People shopping at a mall in Dubai. The Commercial Compliance & Consumer Protection (CCCP) sector in Dubai Economy recently issued the Commercial Compliance Manual as part of its efforts to ensure best practices and competitiveness. Image Credit: Arshad Ali/Gulf News

Dubai: The Commercial Compliance & Consumer Protection (CCCP) sector in Dubai Economy recently issued the Commercial Compliance Manual as part of its efforts to ensure best practices and competitiveness across business activity in the emirate.

The manual highlights five key elements that merchants must adhere to in order to maintain transparency in dealing with consumers as well as the authorities concerned. The five elements identified are part of a set of touchpoints listed in the manual to enhance ease of business and protect the rights of merchants as well as their consumers.

“The Commercial Compliance Manual includes the most prominent elements and conditions that merchants must be aware of and uphold. Merchants should also commit to co-operating with the competent inspection and control teams to ensure the success of the system,” said Abdul Aziz Al Tannak, Director of Commercial Control in CCCP.

Five elements

The five elements of doing business listed in the manual include consumer care, storefront, shop’s activity, location of the facility, and the Dubai Economy inspections.

All merchants should focus on fostering a culture of flexibility in dealing with consumers to help improve their shopping experience in Dubai, remembering that communication is key to customer loyalty.

Merchants should also avoid disturbing pedestrians by marketing their services and products outside their stores and must ensure that the store’s policy regarding purchases and exchange, among others, does not conflict with consumer protection laws and is displayed at the cashier desk or at a prominent place in the store. The invoice prices should be aligned with those displayed on the shelves.

The manual states that the merchant must document the terms and conditions of a consumer’s purchase on the invoice or in a contract signed between the two parties. In addition, the merchant must abide by the information of the products and services mentioned in the company announcements; avoid practices that violate laws and regulations, such as misleading the consumer or selling counterfeit products; and commit to displaying the guidelines for consumer protection channels that are available at www.consumerrights.ae.

Clarity on warranty

Merchants must clarify the warranty/extended warranty details on a product or service and its validity as well as document the condition of the products upon receipt for maintenance or repair, with confirmation of the same by the consumer. The merchant is also bound to co-operate with consumer protection authorities to resolve consumer complaints.

The storefront is prominently mentioned in the manual as the first thing that attracts the attention of a consumer. Therefore, the storefront presentation and validity of the information displayed are important. The manual emphasises the importance of proper storefront signage, with the store name correctly mentioned, including in Arabic language. The storefront must not be tinted more than 50%, only permitted trademarks must be used and a prior permit must be obtained for any additional signage.

Constant monitoring

CCCP monitors commercial outlets and establishments in Dubai to ensure sustainable business practices and ensure an appropriate environment for merchants and consumers. The Commercial Compliance Manual complements the efforts of CCCP by instating clear foundations for more than 2,921 commercial activities to ensure transparency, sincerity and honesty.