Coronavirus: Abu Dhabi businesses warned not to hike prices

The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development said officials would help protect consumer rights

Businesses in Abu Dhabi have been warned not to artificially hike prices in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak.

Officials from the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) said instances of unjustified price increases would be prosecuted.

Mohammed Ali Al Shorafa, the chairman of ADDED, said the authority was anxious to help "protect consumers' rights across the emirate".

He said the announcement was needed to “prevent business owners, traders and distributors from taking advantage of the sudden surge of consumers buying their necessities”.

“In case any violation has been stated, whether through reports or periodic inspection by teams affiliated with ADDED, it will be met with the strictest rule of the law,” he said.

In recent weeks, Abu Dhabi has announced a raft of new measures designed to protect public health against the spread of Covid-19.

Schools, universities and cinemas have been shut, and all flights to and from Lebanon, Iraq, Syria and Turkey have been suspended until further notice.