The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) announced that it has conducted over 10,000 field inspection visits to commercial facilities all over the Emirate of Abu Dhabi during the Holy month of Ramadan. Approximately, 100 fines and 195 warnings were given to the violators.
ADDED’s inspections are a strong part in consumer protection in which it verifies if the commercial facilities are conducting activities in line with regulations and 120 such activities were investigated during the Holy Month.
The field inspection visits targeted 15 main outlets, points of sale, retail outlets, fruit and vegetable shops, livestock markets, butcheries, consumable outlets, restaurants and coffee shops. The department also organized ‘Safe Home’ and ‘Safe Cars’ campaigns this year.
The field inspection visits by the department were a total of 5,080 in Abu Dhabi City and the total number of Al Ain and Al Dhafra visits were 3,182 and 1,747 respectively. During these inspections, 2,116 items were not following the appropriate specifications and as a result, were confiscated. These items were ranging from automotive spare parts, electronics to clothes, accessories, food products and others.
ADDED’s Commercial Protection Department (CPD) raised awareness among consumers through its social media platforms by sharing advice, instructions and directives in order to protect consumer’s rights during Ramadan.
H.E. Mohamed Monif Al Mansoori, Executive Director of ADDED’s Abu Dhabi Business Centre, states that these campaigns fall within the framework of the Commercial Protection Department’s preparations ahead of festive seasons as during such periods, there is a significant rise in commercial activities across different regions all over the emirate. Thus, in order to ensure consumer protection and detect violations of ADDED’s regulations and conditions for conducting commercial activities especially during these festive seasons is essential.
H.E. Al Mansoori elaborated: “ADDED continues its efforts to further enhance consumers’ trust in Abu Dhabi’s local markets, and this is achieved through partnerships with commercial facilities, where we cooperate in inspection campaigns and initiatives to protect consumers from commercial fraud. We urge consumers to be aware of their rights and feel free to ask questions about the products and services, particularly during the festive season.”
Al Mansoori added further that such campaigns also strengthens the transparency in local markets and helps in eliminating the malpractices that might have a negative impact on the overall performance of Abu Dhabi’s business sector.
The CPD issued several circulars to various points of sale during the Holy Month of Ramadan to ensure consumer protection including a circular on freezing prizes during festive seasons. Another circular emphasizes on prohibiting additional unjustified fees or service charges on consumers and to reimburse the amounts stated on bills if any such unjustified amount is charged to consumers. Additional circulars also focused on the prevention of misleading information and avoiding any discrimination of consumers in terms of price and quality of products and services.
In addition, the CPD highlighted the need to add product descriptions in Arabic so that the product packaging is clear and understandable for Arab-speakers as well. These should also necessarily include the date of manufacturing, packaging and expiry, ingredients, net weight and country of origin along with other information.