Coronavirus: seven Dubai retailers fined for face mask price hike
Traders and pharmacies caught profiteering face a fine of Dh5,000 for a first offence
Seven pharmacies and stores in Dubai caught profiteering from the coronavirus outbreak by increasing the prices of face masks have been fined.
Inspectors from the Commercial Compliance and Consumer Protection division (CCCP) of Dubai Economy were tipped off by consumers.
The retailers were found guilty of inflating the prices during recent inspections.
Three pharmacies in Warsan, Al Qusais, and Al Jaddaf while two supermarkets in Al Safa and a trading company in Dubai South were fined.
A marine services company was also fined for selling masks without a licence.
Traders and pharmacies caught profiteering face a fine of Dh5,000 for a first offence.
Repeat offenders can expect to have the fine doubled and face possible closure.
In January, Dubai Economy warned all pharmacies and retail outlets in the emirate not to increase the price of face masks.
The department said it was illegal to hike prices amid the coronavirus outbreak and urged customers to report cases of profiteering.
On March 31, officials fined three pharmacies for increasing hand sanitiser and mask prices.
Last week, the CCCP received 784 profiteering complaints after consumers reported cases of price hikes on essential hygiene products and food items.
The demand for face masks has soared in the country as people should cover their nose and mouth at all times when they step outside their homes.
In Dubai, drivers and passengers should also wear masks even when they are inside their cars.
Consumers can report any negative practices, especially those relating to prices of basic needs, on the Dubai Economy price-checker website, by calling 600 54 55 55 or via the Dubai Consumer app.
Updated: April 20, 2020 05:22 PM