UAE fixes price of 3,500 food items before Ramadan - Gulf Business
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UAE fixes price of 3,500 food items before Ramadan

UAE fixes price of 3,500 food items before Ramadan

The ministry said that it has signed a deal with retailers to offer discounts of up to 70 per cent during Ramadan on about 4,700 essential food items.

The UAE’s Ministry of Economy has said that it has fixed the prices of 3,500 essential food items prior to the holy month of Ramadan, expected to begin on June 18.

All retail outlets are required to display the listings of all 3,500 commodities and indicate their location clearly, the ministry said. officials did not specify if prices will remain fixed through out 2015.

The ministry also said that it has signed a deal with retailers to offer discounts up to 70 per cent on essential food items during Ramadan. Around 4,700 items are set to be included in the scheme.

The value of the initiative is estimated to be Dhs 200 million, the ministry added.

In addition, officials have also recommended that retailers increase imports during Ramadan to avoid inflating food costs.

Hashim Al Nuaimi, director of UAE’s Consumer Protection department, said that the ministry had requested suppliers to increase the imports of fruits and vegetables by 30 per cent during Ramadan.

He pointed out that daily imports of vegetables and fruits in the Dubai market alone during the period are expected to reach 16,000 tonnes, while traders in Abu Dhabi will import a further 3,500 tonnes.

The Ministry of Economy will carry out regular inspection checks to monitor the food prices across supermarkets and department stores in the UAE, it said.

Al Nuaimi said that the ministry plans to conduct 350 inspection tours during Ramadan, up from 280 last year.

He did not specify the penalty for increasing food prices but the ministry has previously fined between Dhs 5,000- Dhs 100,000 for such offenses. Shop owners also risk facing legal action and possibly closure if they fail to comply.

According to National Bureau of Statistics, the UAE’s inflation rate in March this year rose by 4.3 per cent year-on-year, recording the highest rate since February 2009.

Food and soft drink prices, which account for nearly 14 per cent of the basket, rose 1.1 per cent year-on-year in March.

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