The UAE has passed a new law to ensure that there is enough food supply in the country at any given point in time, including during emergencies.
The law requires retailers to allow monitoring of their inventories.
Merchants who hoard food supplies or do not adhere to the regulations of the law will be penalised.
President Sheikh Khalifa today approved Federal Law No. 3 of 2020 to regulate food supply in the country.
All registered merchants including retailers have to abide by the law and those who fail to do so will incur huge fines and jail terms.
The Ministry of Economy will implement the law and work with the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority (Ncema) to make sure the supply of the food meets the demand.
The retailers will have to distribute their food stock as directed by the Ncema in case of a crisis.
The law also requires retailers to stick to the regulations governing the location and standards of storage.
Those who fail to do so will be slapped with a fine of between Dh500,000 and Dh2 million.
Retailers must also allow online monitoring of their supplies, food stock and storage conditions.
Offenders will be punished with a fine of between Dh100,000 and Dh1 million.
In emergency and on Ncema’s directive, retailers who do not open their food warehouses will be fined between Dh1 million and Dh5 million, and can be jailed.
In the case of repeated offences, penalties will be doubled.