Dubai: Two fruit and vegetable outlets in Dubai have been found guilty of increasing prices during the month of Ramadan. The Consumer Protection Department of the Ministry of Economy will impose a fine between Dh5,000 and Dh100,000 on these violators.
The vendors have been asked to keep prices stable during Ramadan and not to take advantage of increased demand by overcharging customers.
“We have fined two outlets and this is a part of our efforts to ensure that the prices are not increased. The fine will be decided and it can be anything between Dh5,000 and Dh 100,000. Along with my team, I am inspecting the prices in the markets every morning and also evenings,” Dr Hashem Al Nuaimi, Director of Consumer Protection Department of the Ministry of Economy, told Gulf News, as he took a round of the Al Aweer Fruit and Vegetable market on Tuesday morning.
On regulating the prices in the supermarkets, Al Nuaimi said that the department officials will also inspect supermarkets regularly to check any violations.
He said the overall demand had increased, particularly for tomatoes. “There is more than a 20 per cent rise in demand for tomatoes.”
“Apart from the two incidents we have not come across any other violations,” he said.
Vendors in the wholesale fruit and vegetable supermarket, meanwhile, said that after the initial spurt in demand, the flow of customers in the wholesale fruit and vegetable market has stabilised.
“In the first two days, there was a heavy rush but now customers have reduced partly due to the heat and also because during the first few days people want to buy in bulk and store. We are expecting demand to go up again in the coming few days,” said Zahid, a salesman in one of the shops in the wholesale market.
The authorities have also asked consumers to report incidents of unfair price hikes, overcharging and failure by vendors to display the prices of their merchandise during the month of Ramadan.
The Department of Economic Development, while maintaining a strict watch against violations, has said that violations of consumer rights will be taken seriously. Before the start of the holy month, the department held several meetings with fruit and vegetable vendors, fish and meat traders raising awareness and asking them to keep prices stable.
Consumers can report violations on 971 600 545555