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Abu Dhabi: Business establishments and wholesale and retail outlets that increase the prices of food and medical items will face a fine ranging from Dh250,000 to Dh2 million.

The move follows a decision issued by Mohammed Ali Al Shorafa Al Hammadi, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, defining administrative irregularities and fines against economic establishments that increase the prices of food and medical items without justification.

The decision aims to curb practices of monopoly and abstention from selling, with a view to controlling markets and protecting the rights of consumers.

It also seeks to limit unjustified hikes of the prices of food and medical items in view of the spread of the global coronavirus pandemic.

Closure or suspension

The department has the power to temporarily close the violating facility and suspend its commercial licence for a period of one to three months. It can also close the establishment permanently and cancel the licence in accordance with legal procedures.

Violators may be referred to the competent prosecution if the committed violation is considered a crime punishable bylaw.

Violating establishments have the right to complain against the administrative irregularities within 60 days from the date of notifying the violation.

The department undertakes to consider the grievance within 90 days from the date of the grievance, and it may reject the grievance, or reduce the administrative penalty or cancel it.