Abu Dhabi: Retail prices of foodstuffs have declined by 30 per cent compared to last year, Gulf News has learnt.

With 85 per cent of consumers buying Ramadan products from 160 stores nationwide, and a mixed trend towards prices of foodstuffs during the first week of the fasting month, the Consumer Protection Department (CPD) at the Ministry of Economy (MoE) is conducting random field visits to prevent price manipulation among retailers.

During a surprise visit to the Abu Dhabi Co-Operative Society (Co-Op) yesterday Dr Hashim Al Nuaimi, director of the CPD, told Gulf News that the ministry has received hardly any complaints.

"We received many complaints last Ramadan regarding prices of different products.

This year there is greater variety, larger quantities and price reductions of 20 to 25 per cent," Al Nuaimi told Gulf News.

He has so far paid surprise inspections of more than 55 stores across the country.

Al Nuaimi was pleased with the special offers and prices on display.

He noted that 62 stores have reduced their prices during Ramadan, and this has resulted in a 25 per cent rise in sales.

During a field visit to fruit, meat and vegetable outlets in the Abu Dhabi Mena Port last week, Al Nuaimi fined several violators between Dh5,000 and Dh10,000 for manipulating prices.

Civil Defence creates awareness

The Dubai Civil Defence has started a 'My tent is safe' campaign to ensure safety of Ramadan tents and spread awareness about safety procedures, a senior official said.

Major General Rashid Thani Al Matroushi, Director of Dubai Civil Defence, said there are 70 Ramadan tents in Dubai - 27 of them in hotels, 26 in homes while 17 belong to charity organisations.

The first step of the project is ensuring organisers obtain a licence from the civil defence to set up tents.

The campaign will distribute free fire extinguishers to all Ramadan tents and will oblige hotels to appoint a supervisor in every tent who is capable of using fire extinguishers and supervise evacuation in case of emergencies.

There have been two fires in Ramadan tents from 2005 to 2009. One fire broke out in a tent in Jumeirah on September 30, 2006, while the other fire broke out in a tent in Al Qusais on September 22, 2007. No injuries were reported in either incident.

- Staff Report

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Your comments

The prices have really come down and the efforts made in this regard by the concerned departments and stores are commendable.
Posted: August 31, 2009, 12:13