The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) has issued seven violations and 29 warnings to various commercial facilities for not complying with Circular No. 11 of year 2020, which was recently issued by the department covering the price monitoring of fruits, vegetables and consumer goods.
The issued violations and warnings are the result of the 354 inspection visits conducted by the Consumer Protection Division of ADDED's Commercial Protection Department to licensed commercial establishments in the emirate.
In collaboration with the Department of Municipalities and Transport (DMT) and the Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA), ADDED has also implemented a comprehensive campaign aimed at monitoring the availability and prices of consumer goods in the local markets of the emirate.
The campaign covered a total of 870 inspection and control visits conducted across commercial facilities in Abu Dhabi city, Al Ain city and the Al Dhafra region, comprising of 607 restaurants, 22 sales outlets, 20 shopping centers, 152 mobile vehicles and 69 pharmacies.
H.E. Rashed Abdul Karim Al Balooshi, Undersecretary of ADDED, stressed on the importance of the measures that the department is implementing to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). He emphasized on the necessity of working closely together in joint cooperation to overcome the challenges of this crisis and achieve stability within the local markets of Abu Dhabi, which will benefit consumers, merchants and society as a whole.
H.E. also expressed ADDED's keenness towards protecting consumer rights and counter-acting any attempt being made to increase the prices of goods unjustifiably during the extraordinary circumstances that the world is facing today, based on Federal Law no. 24 of 2006 on Consumer Protection.
Al Balooshi shared that ADDED will continue in conducting several inspection campaigns covering commercial facilities across various areas in Abu Dhabi to ensure full compliance with Circular No. 11 of 2020 in setting of goods’ prices.
He added that the department is fully committed in continuously working through all its divisions on the issuance of circulars and resolutions to properly regulate and organize commercial operations under the current exigent circumstances, including the issuance of fines and warnings against the entities that violate or fail to abide by the instructions being issued.
H.E. said: “Our efforts in this regard are dedicated to ensure consumer protection, as well as to promote the national economy and its economic gains amid the current challenges.”
ADDED Circular No. 11 of 2020 stipulates that businesses are required to publicize the prices of products and goods throughout the year and avoid price increasing during seasons, occasions and exigent circumstances without any justification; display price lists in local currency clearly and boldly in a conspicuous place; and refrain from imposing any extra fees upon the consumer, except for the VAT or delivery charges.
In line with this, discrimination is strictly prohibited, whether in terms of pricing or quality. Moreover, as per the circular, statements of “Goods sold are not returnable or exchangeable” in the invoice, contract or the premises of the establishment or business are prohibited.
ADDED calls upon all parties to fully comply with all the laws, regulations, circulars and resolutions on consumer protection issued by the department or any other competent authority, whether in terms of invoicing, announcements, ingredients/ contents or product labels.