LuLu Hypermarket at Madinat Zayed Shopping Centre in Abu Dhabi. Picture used for illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Abu Dhabi: Authorities have launched a series of measures to cut down the number of people flocking to supermarkets, and are urging residents to take note.

The Department of Economic Development (DED) in Abu Dhabi, in cooperation with the Department of Municipalities and Transport (DMT), the Integrated Transport Centre (ITC) and Agthia Group, have joined hands to provide residents with a reliable supply of food items and consumer goods.

The initiatives will benefit residents in three ways:

  1. Increase access to food and essential items by opening more shops
  2. Arranging home delivery of items
  3. Enabling online ordering of products through a new mobile app

Rashid Abdul Karim Al Balooshi, acting undersecretary at the DED, said the initiatives aim to support the community and prevent overcrowding at shopping outlets. Due to the circumstances of the coronavirus COVID-19, Al Balooshi explained that the DED has taken necessary measures to achieve the sustainability of basic commodity supplies for all consumers in various regions of the emirate, provided that they are delivered in a safe manner.

“The needs of residents, especially for food, will be provided and secured through a new delivery service from a number of small retailers,” said Al Balooshi.

In coordination with the Department of Municipalities and Transport, residents will soon have more options of retailers to choose from, such as the launch of the Agthia mobile app.

“The transport department will receive the delivery request from a food company and other outlets, which will all be available at reasonable prices,” he said.

The announcement was made a day after the Abu Dhabi DED directed owners of food and beverage outlets to prioritise purchases from local suppliers.

According to the Abu Dhabi Government Media Office, the DED “directs owners of food and beverage outlets in Abu Dhabi to prioritise purchases from local suppliers and to contact local farms, livestock keepers, local poultry farms and fisheries to set a monthly purchase programme, in order to support local production.”

The aim of the initiative is to ensure food security, support local commodities suppliers, encourage local agricultural production and maintain a sustainable local food supply to the entire community.