Dubai recorded a 2 per cent decrease in the number of consumer complaints filed last year, despite a packed season of shopping events, as the emirate stepped up consumer protection measures and improved customer outreach.
The Commercial Compliance and Consumer Protection (CCCP) section in the Department of Economy and Tourism received more than 60,000 responses as feedback from shoppers in 2021 as the retail sector in Dubai recovered from the impact of Covid-19 pandemic, the government entity said on Wednesday.
Of these, 1,094 were inquiries, 1,471 were observations and 58,167 were complaints that were resolved, the Department of Economy and Tourism said.
“The decrease seen in consumer complaints despite visitors returning in large numbers to malls and markets in Dubai in 2021 underlines an increased awareness among consumers as well as merchants,” said Mohammed Lootah, chief executive of the CCCP section.
“Such shared knowledge and mutual trust have a major impact on Dubai sustaining its reputation as a retail hub and tourist destination.”
Dubai, the commercial and trading centre of the Middle East, has rebounded strongly from the pandemic after a well-rounded testing and inoculation campaign helped it to reopen its economy safely.
The emirate's gross domestic product at constant prices grew 6.3 per cent annually in the first nine months of last year, helped by favourable government policies and supportive fiscal measures, according to official data.
GDP growth between January and September was driven by the trading sector, which grew 7.6 per cent annually and represented 25.4 per cent of the emirate’s economy.
It helped the overall economy to grow by 1.9 percentage points. The growth recorded by the trading sector also accounted for about 30 per cent of overall growth achieved in the emirate's GDP.
The drop in consumer complaints in Dubai came despite a packed retail calendar last year that included the Dubai Shopping Festival, and Dubai Summer Surprises.
“Shoppers in Dubai, including visitors, tourists and residents, are constantly being reminded of their consumer rights,” Mr Lootah said. “We have also made it easier for them to connect with us instantly and have their complaints and concerns resolved amicably.”
Ease of communication was a major factor driving consumer engagement, given that 94 per cent of shoppers using the smart channels of CCCP to voice their concerns had their complaints resolved in 2021.
Most of the consumer complaints received last year originated from the services sector, the data showed.
Services accounted for 34.41 per cent of the complaints, followed by electronics (13.59 per cent) and e-commerce (10.84 per cent).
Refunds were the top reason for consumer complaints, followed by a failure to comply with purchase agreement, defective products and commercial fraud, according to the CCCP.
Emiratis accounted for 24 per cent of the consumer complaints in 2021 while the rest were mostly from Indians (14 per cent), Egyptians (11 per cent), Saudis (4 per cent) and Jordanians (4 per cent).