Dh1m fine for manipulative traders

The UAE is on the verge of enforcing tough penalties involving fines of up to Dh1 million against dealers trying to manipulate the market by raising prices of consumer products without prior official permission.
The Ministry of Economy said the new regulations, which have been approved by the federal cabinet, would be enforced in the third quarter of this year and warned traders against any manipulation attempts.
In a statement carried by local Arabic newspapers, the ministry said it would not allow dealers to manipulate or control consumers and ruled out any move by the higher committee for the consumer’s protection to approve requests by suppliers to raise the prices of some products this year.
The ministry said its anti-manipulation actions had ensured market stability, adding that prices of consumer products in the UAE are the lowest in the Gulf despite the absence of subsidies enforced in other Gulf nations.
“The new federal law concerning the protection of consumers will be enforced in the third quarter…it involves increasing the penalty ceiling to Dh1 million after it was endorsed by the cabinet,” economy minister Sultan Al Mansouri said.
“The UAE will not allow traders to manipulate consumers at will….the government will continue to intervene in consumer prices to ensure maximum protection for the consumers in the country.”
Mansouri said the ministry’s higher committee for consumer’s protection is considered “the frontline” in the defence of consumers, adding that it would not approve any new price increases without “strong and convincing reasons.”
“The committee normally carries out a comprehensive study into any request for prices increases…this study involves the reasons for this increase, the price level in the country of origin, prices in neighbouring countries and the profit margin…I don’t think we will approve any price rise this year,” he said.
According to Emirat Al Youm newspaper, the new law increases the maximum penalty against violating dealers to Dh1 million from Dh100,000 and the minimum fine to Dh100,000 from Dh10,000.