UAE shops banned from raising prices of key items during Ramadan

Policy covers staples such as cooking oil, eggs, dairy, rice and sugar, Ministry of Economy says

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, 15 May 2018- Ramadan shopping at Lulu Hypermart, Barsha, Duba. Leslie Pableo for The National
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Retailers are banned from raising the prices of essential items during Ramadan without approval, the Ministry of Economy has said.

A senior figure from the ministry said retailers could not raise the prices of cooking oil, eggs, dairy, rice, sugar, poultry, grains, bread and wheat.

“Prices of essential goods cannot be increased without prior approval from the ministry and relevant authorities, following the pricing policy for basic consumer goods,” said Abdullah Al Shamsi, assistant undersecretary for the ministry's monitoring and follow-up sector.

In recent years, the UAE has taken steps to freeze prices during the holy month.

The country has also formed an investigation team to ensure that retailers honour discount offers announced for Ramadan.

The team aims to protect consumer rights and prevent discrepancies between advertised and actual prices during the month.

This year, Ramadan, the holiest and most important month of the year for Muslims, is expected to start on March 10 or March 11 and will be followed by Eid Al Fitr around April.

Leading retailers in the country have announced price reductions that are set to benefit millions of people from next week.

The move aims to ease the financial burden on consumers amid concern over rising prices.

Mr Abdullah said the investigations team is part of the UAE's commitment to protecting consumer rights and maintaining market integrity.

The team will include members from the Ministry of Economy, economic development departments across the country, and other ministries and federal authorities.

The Ministry of Economy has carried out 620 inspections of retailers so far this year, following a total of 96,200 across various markets in 2023.

“These efforts revealed 6,545 violations, highlighting our continuous commitment to consumer protection,” Mr Al Shamsi said.

The ministry is also working on increasing consumer awareness of their rights and the laws on prices.

“Our goal is not only to monitor but to also educate the public about their rights and the mechanisms in place to protect those rights,” he said.

He encouraged consumers to report any discrepancies or violations by calling 8001222.

Updated: March 28, 2024, 9:33 AM