Consumer rights and their impact on businesses are highlighted in the latest edition of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry's newsletter CSR Al Youm.
It outlines the requirement for companies to uphold consumer rights in line with the UAE's law and international best practices.
"Few people are aware of the fact that the UAE has a law, No 24 issued in 2006, and a series of related bylaws that define consumer rights," said a spokesman for the chamber's Centre for Responsible Business.
"These rights seek to protect consumers from unsafe products, misleading advertising and faulty goods. Companies whose products or services are in violation of this law face fines, recalls or legal action by the relevant authorities, while companies that abide by the law reduce their risks, enhance customer loyalty and satisfaction and improve their own reputation," he said.
"A consumer protection self-test kit included in the newsletter assists companies in checking whether they are abiding by the law and acting responsibly towards their customers," he said.
The newsletter highlights an initiative by Le Marche and Geant supermarkets to discourage the use of plastic bags by charging 25 fils, which is donated to charity, for each bag and selling reusable jute bags to its customers. After just a few weeks of the initiative, the use of plastic bags went down by up to 40 per cent.
"This example highlights the win-win approach of responsible business practices, which benefit not only society but also enhance company' performance by reducing costs, driving innovation, winning new customers and improving the firm's reputation," added the spokesman.
Other topics covered by the newsletter include protection against fraud and tools for improving the environmental performance of organisations.
CSR Al Youm is available in English and Arabic at www.dubai-ethics.ae/derc/Compass.aspx