Pharmacies, suppliers fined for selling face masks on inflated price - GulfToday

Pharmacies, suppliers fined for selling face masks on inflated price


Shoppers and businesses can track and compare the prices of basic need products on daily basis.

Business Bureau, Gulf Today

Dubai Economy issued fines to nine pharmacies and two pharmaceuticals suppliers for inflating the prices of face masks and trying to take undue advantage of the high demand for hygiene essentials following the nationwide alert against the Covid-19 pandemic.

The fines were issued after consumer complaints and follow-up by the Commercial Compliance & Consumer Protection (CCCP) sector in Dubai Economy. The nine pharmacies, located in Jumeirah, Al Wasl, Naif, Ibn Batuta Mall, Mall of the Emirates, Al Khawaneej, and Mirdif were found to have sold the masks at exaggerated prices. The two suppliers were fined after CCCP tracked the supply chain and verified that they had distributed the masks to the pharmacies at an exaggerated price.

A repeat offense would attract double the fines and may lead to closing down the business. Dubai Economy appealed to pharmacies and medical equipment suppliers to demonstrate their social responsibility by reducing the prices of hygiene essentials in view of the present situation.

Dubai Economy also called on consumers to raise their complaints and queries relating to price increases of their basic needs, including hygiene essentials, on the portal launched recently to expedite interaction with consumers.

Dubai Economy (Department of Economic Development – Government of Dubai) is the government body entrusted to set and drive the economic agenda of the emirate of Dubai, UAE. Dubai Economy supports the structural transformation of Dubai into a diversified, innovative service-based economy that aims to improve the business environment and accelerate productivity growth. Dubai Economy and its agencies develop economic plans and policies, identify and support the growth of strategic sectors, and provide services to domestic and international investors and businesses.

It may be mentioned that Dubai Economy has already launched a ‘Price Monitor’ to track daily prices of staple foods and essentials and ensure that consumers continue to get their basic needs at fair prices in spite of the precautionary measures being adopted in view of the Covid-19 pandemic threat. A dedicated portal – – has also been launched to strengthen communication with consumers and enable them raise their complaints and queries on price increases faster and easier.

The initiative is aimed to empower consumers with improved awareness of their rights, limit the scope for price manipulation and enhance consumer confidence in Dubai. Consumers can file their complaints and queries relating to price increase on the portal in Arabic or English in a few simple steps, along with supporting images, and have them addressed promptly by Dubai Economy.

The ‘Price Monitor,’ which is also available in Arabic and English, will allow shoppers and businesses on a daily basis to track and compare the prices of 41 basic needs including rice, bread, flour, cooking oil, meat, poultry, fish, milk, eggs, water, salt, sugar fruits and vegetables and hygiene essentials such as sanitisers and face masks. Dubai Economy will also evaluate demand and supply in the local market based on the price list regularly and address any likely concerns among shoppers and traders.

Teams from the Commercial Compliance & Consumer Protection (CCCP) sector in Dubai Economy will co-ordinate with retail chains and supermarkets in the emirate to publish the daily list with the minimum and maximum price. The initiative is also part of the market monitoring and follow-up which CCCP has intensified in recent days to reassure consumers and protect their rights.

Dubai Economy called on consumers to raise their complaints on its portal.

Dubai Economy has been working to ensure that local supermarkets and pharmacies do not hike their prices of popular items. Face masks and hand sanitiser have become highly in demand in recent weeks, but the DED clarifies that this should not inflate the prices.

The DED has shut down several retail stores for failing to follow pricing regulations and restrictions. To make things clearer, a new guideline has been created to help outlets understand the frames within which they can price everyday items.

Each day, a price monitor will reveal the minimum and maximum amount that each store should charge for household groceries. This includes face masks, hand sanitiser, rice, flour, sugar and salt, as well as daily produce such as dairy, meat and fruit and vegetables.

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