Sharjah pharmacy
Picture for illustrative purposes: An inspector during an earlier raid Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Nine merchants and five pharmacies have been fined for hiking the price of facemasks, it was announced on Monday in a statement from the Commercial Compliance and Consumer Protection (CCCP) sector of Dubai Economy.

Pharmacies in Al Quoz 1, Al Mizhar, Al Warqa 1 and Al Sabkha as well as a supply company, supermarket, and a trading company were sanctioned for taking advantage of the present circumstances by inflating the prices of face masks. The last merchant fined was a factory that sold goods online at higher prices.

The action was taken following consumer complaints and investigation by CCCP, which confirmed that the nine merchants had violated consumer protection law by inflating prices. Dubai Economy confirmed it will continue to track and analyse the causes of price increases and work to reduce them in addition to punitive actions against violators . A repeat offense would result in doubling of the fines and may lead to the closing down of the outlet.

Dubai Economy reminded businesses to refrain from taking undue advantage of the present situation and also called on pharmacies and medical equipment suppliers to demonstrate their social responsibility by reducing the prices of essentials, such as face masks, sanitisers, and disinfectants.

Consumers can report any negative practices, especially those relating to prices of basic needs, on the portal launched recently to expedite responses to consumer queries and complaints, or by calling 600 54 55 55.