The UAE Ministry of Economy today (May 25, 2016) held a special media briefing to talk about consumer protection and the Ministry's preparations for the coming Holy Month of Ramadan. The event, which was held under the patronage of His Excellency Eng. Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, was held at the Ministry's office in Abu Dhabi and was chaired by Dr. Hashim Saeed Al Nuaimi, Director of Consumer Protection Department. The event was attended by journalists and representatives from various local and foreign media agencies.
The briefing highlighted the latest directives of the Supreme Committee for Consumer Protection, which is chaired by Minister Al Mansouri. The Ministry also talked about operational measures and its scheduled activities for Ramadan. Dr. Nuaimi discussed the Ministry's continuing efforts to ensure consumer protection during the Holy Month, which includes several key measures and planned activities in order to help achieve its goals of enabling appropriate business practices and ensuring consumer protection in UAE.
Dr. Nuami shared that the Ministry has conducted more than 55 meetings with various suppliers of essential food items like rice, oil, flour, milk, fruits and vegetables--urging them to maintain sufficient stock of their products as the celebrations for the Holy Month of Ramadan usually drives in an increased demand for these items. He also cited the role of local cooperative societies and hypermarkets and their initiatives to maintain and control the prices of over 4,000 consumer items during the year. Dr. Nuaimi also added that these outlets will be launching discount campaigns on the most essential items during Ramadan, which is valued to be worth over AED 260 million. He added that these campaigns will include a total of up to 5,000 items with a discount percentage of up to 70 per cent from its original value
Al-Nuaimi said that the daily import of Dubai alone will reach 18 thousand tons in the Holy Month of Ramadan, while Abu Dhabi’s suppliers’ imports will reach 4000 tons on a daily basis. He pointed out that such increase comes as a result of the Ministry's request to raise the level of imports by at least 30 per cent during the holy month to ensure the availability of supply and maintain the price level.
Dr. Nuaimi also expressed the Ministry's commitment towards increasing the level of consumer awareness in the UAE--making people more aware of their rights as a consumer and to teach positive purchasing practices. He added that the Ministry of Economy will continue in conducting field inspections across the country, mentioning that there were 2911 inspection visits for the first quarter of 2016 and will be carrying out 400 inspection visits for the Holy Month of Ramadan alone. The move reflects the Ministry's goal of ensuring consumer protection while aiming to check if retail facilities are in adherence with set consumer laws, standards and guidelines.
Dr. Nuaimi pointed out that the Ministry of Economy is keen to communicate with consumers and can receive complaints, suggestions and feedback through its Consumer Protection Call Centre, which can be contacted at 600-522-225. He added that from the beginning of this year until May 22, 2016, the call centre received 7957 complaints that were classified into nine categories-- price increase, cars, electronics, phones, furniture, spare parts and tires, real estate, credit cards and others.
Dr. Nuaimi mentioned that the Ministry of Economy has launched a set of smart services to ensure new platforms of communications with consumers through applications for smart phones and tablets, such as the Re-call service, the Consumer Complaints service and Price Increasing Request service.