Abu Dhabi: This Ramadan, retail outlets will offer discounts on 10,000 items, allowing for Dh300 million in savings among residents, the UAE Ministry of Economy announced in the capital on Sunday.
The discounts will be available across 600 hypermarkets, supermarkets and cooperative societies, Dr Hashim Al Nuaimi, director of consumer protection at the Ministry, said at a press conference held to announce preparations for the holy month.
“On certain essential commodities, like rice, flour and poultry for instance, the discounts will be as high as 50 to 75 per cent, and some products will even be sold at cost price during the holy month,” Dr Al Nuaimi told Gulf News.
Compared to last year, Dh50 million more is being offered in savings for consumers through the various discounts, he added. In addition, prices remain locked for about 4,500 essential commodities in 2017, representing 15 per cent more items with locked prices compared to 2016.
Ramadan in the UAE sees a significant increase in sales, particularly for essential commodities and foodstuff. To that end, the Ministry organises meeting with suppliers and traders to agree upon discounts and Ramadan initiatives.
Dr Al Nuaimi said that about 21,000 tons of fresh produce is expected to be imported daily in Dubai, while Abu Dhabi imports are expected to exceed 4,000 tons during Ramadan.
“We also have 125,000 tons of produce in stock, and this is bigger because of the improved refrigeration capabilities in Abu Dhabi and Dubai markets,” Dr Al Nuaimi said.
In order to ensure that consumers are not exploited through higher prices during the month of fasting, the Ministry will conduct 450 scheduled and random inspections on retail outlets, including those in meat, poultry and fish markets.
The official also urged residents to reach out to the Consumer Protection Department at the Ministry with any concerns.
“We logged 10,283 complaints in the first quarter of 2017, and these were mainly about high prices, automobiles and automobile parts, electronics and telephones, furniture, and credit cards,” Dr Al Nuaimi said.
Product recall website
The UAE Ministry of Economy will now announce product recalls through its newly updated website, said Dr Hashim Al Nuaimi, director of consumer protection at the Ministry. The website will specify all details of the recalled item, along with reasons for the recall.
The official said that 275,299 items had been recalled from UAE markets in the first quarter of this year (2017). More than 165,060 of these recalled items were cars, 90,378 were electronic devices and 19,858 were children’s toys.