Dubai hypermarkets hike prices ahead of Ramadan

The Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai has found that several hypermarkets increased the price of essential foodstuffs in the run up to Ramadan, a holy month in the Muslim calendar.
British professionals moving to Dubai will be interested to hear that the DED’s Commercial Compliance and Consumer Protection Division came across the discovery as part of its widespread investigation programme, 15 days ahead of Ramadan.
What it found was that certain hypermarkets – which are essentially an amalgamation of a supermarket and a department store – were making deliberate changes to the normal price of certain items like sugar, oil, fruits, vegetables and poultry.
Price rises, the Commercial Compliance and Consumer Protection Division reported, fluctuated from as little as two per cent to exorbitant amounts, nearly 50 per cent more than their original value.
“The DED has sent a letter to the Ministry of Economy requesting appropriate action on such price increases as it falls under the Ministry’s mandate,” said Omar Bushahab, chief executive officer of the division.
He added that, in the interim, the division will be looking to implement all measures within its power to ensure that consumers in Dubai are able to get essential grocery items at fair prices.
“Monitoring consumer prices is an integral part of our efforts to protect consumer rights and maintain harmonious relations between traders and consumers in Dubai,” Mr Bushahab expanded.
“We work closely with retail outlets and also take necessary action on consumer complaints.”
The division also engages with outlets during this period to ensure they maintain stable prices, reflective of the economic situation in Dubai.
Ramadan occurs in the ninth month of the Islamic calendar as is characterised by abstinence, most typically found in fasting during daylight hours.
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