UAE consumer Q&As: reader asks about a wrongly advertised price tag

Hassan Elhais, a senior partner at Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants, in Dubai is our new consumer rights advice columnist. Here, he answers questions from consumers on their legal rights and remedies.

A reader asks our legal expert about their consumer rights over an shopping item with an incorrect price tag. Antonie Robertson / The National
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Q: Vouchers for places like spas or restaurants do not always obviously and clearly state that there is an expiry date. Staff do not mention it upon purchasing or alert you before it expires. This means you end up losing the whole voucher plus the money spent on the voucher. What rule applies here?

A: As a general rule, all products should include an expiry or expiration date on their packaging. If the product does not have an expiry date then a consumer may make reasonable inquiries as to the expiration of product. Therefore vouchers devoid of an expiration date may be considered to be indefinite unless an expiry date is conspicuously stated on the packaging. If packaging does not contain an expiry date on a voucher then it should be considered that it will be valid for an indefinite period of time.

Q: I've repeatedly encountered this issue in department stores: I choose my items and head to the cashier. The price tag says Dh250 for a lady's shirt. The cashier punches it, but the price turns out to be Dh295. Is this considered as wrongly advertised and am I entitled to get it for Dh250?

A: Article 1 of Law No 4 of 1979 applies in this instance. The law states that offering illusory prices to deceive a consumer or party to the contract can be penalised by a jail sentence or a fine not exceeding Dh20,000. In some cases the judge might impose either of the two. Actions concerning of illusory promises or false advertisement are taken very seriously by the Consumer Protection Department. Therefore, filing a consumer complaint at


may assist them to seek a remedy against supplier or seller.

Q: How can I confirm that the meat offered at steak houses in the UAE that is from Australia, the US or other countries is halal and was slaughtered based on halal procedures?

A: Matters concerning food products or items are taken very seriously by the consumer department in UAE. Article 2 of Law No 4 of 1979 states whoever deceives or attempts to deceive concerning the quality of meat, whether concerning the origin of the meat or whether it was halal or not, may face a jail term not exceeding two years and fine ranging between Dh500 - Dh20,000 or either of the penalties imposed. The judge has a discretionary right to impose either a fine or a jail sentence. Consumers have a right to seek clarification concerning quality of meat before purchase.

If you have a consumer rights question for Mr Elhais, email with the subject line 'Consumer Q&A'