Ministry of Economy organizes 14th GCC Consumer Protection Day
The Ministry of Economy organized the 14th GCC Consumer Protection Day today in Dubai. The event is organized on March 1 every year based on the recommendations of the GCC Consumer Protection Committee and features a range of activities and programs aimed at enhancing customer protection and satisfaction.
This year, a number of officials from governmental, cooperative and private sectors participated in the event themed “Towards Consumer-safe Online Shopping.” Participants included the Dubai Department of Economic Development, Emirates Society for Consumer Protection, the Automobile Committee, the Committee for Fruits and Vegetables, and the Lulu Group highlighting national efforts in the area of consumer protection and commitment to establish safe online shopping guidelines and practices.
Dr. Hashim Al Nuaimi, Director of the Competitiveness and Consumer Protection Department at the Ministry of Economy, said in his speech on behalf of H.E Eng. Mohammed Bin Abdul Aziz Al Shehhi Undersecretary of Economic Affairs in the Ministry of Economy: “Consumer satisfaction and protection of their rights are objectives shared by all GCC countries. GCC Consumer Protection Day is an important annual platform for the exchange of expertise and to widen the scope of consumer protection to ensure a safe and reliable consumer environment in the UAE and other GCC countries.”
Al Nuaimi added: “This year’s event has a special significance in light of the declaration of 2019 as the ‘Year of Tolerance’ in the UAE, in line with its leadership’s vision to strengthen the country’s status as the global capital of tolerance.”
He pointed out that the Ministry of Economy has launched several initiatives this year to further strengthen the idea of tolerance in commercial transactions in support of consumer protection policies. Free maintenance of cars and the initiative to help recover vehicles held in agency workshops for more than six months owing to the owners’ inability to pay fines are notable examples in this regard.
He added that the Consumer Protection Department will continue to launch more initiatives that promote tolerance across different markets in the country this year. Furthermore, he explained that e-commerce has been a major focus area in terms of efforts exerted in this regard, in view of the sector’s significance and the many challenges it faces.
Dubai Department of Economic Development
Ahmed Al Zaabi, Director of Consumer Protection Department at Dubai DED delivered a presentation on the department’s efforts to further develop consumer protection system, focusing on the smart protection services offered through the ‘Dubai Consumer,’ application, which contributes to enhancing consumer safety and satisfaction. He added that this service is available 24 hours anywhere and is based on artificial intelligence. The application is capable of resolving consumer complaints within five minutes, guaranteeing a higher level of quality with minimum errors, thereby increasing consumer confidence raising consumer awareness and enhancing the market’s attractiveness.
Emirates Society for Consumer Protection
Mohammed Khalifa Al Muhairi, Chairman of the Emirates Society for Consumer Protection, emphasized during his speech at the event the importance of national efforts to enhance the consumer protection environment in the country, especially online shopping due to constant developments in this sector.
Guido Ferralasco, Managing Director of Ferrero, the sponsor of this year’s event, delivered his speech underscoring the importance of the UAE and regional markets as vital hubs for Ferrero products, and elaborated on the most important standards and procedures adopted by the company to ensure high levels of consumer safety and satisfaction.
Suhail Al Bastaki, Director of Happiness and Marketing Department, Union Coop, explained in his speech on behalf of Consumer Cooperative Union that online shopping is one of the most modern ways of impacting the global trade sector. He also announced discounts on 125 commodities of the Coop brand in line with the Year of Tolerance, the 14th Gulf Consumer Protection Day and the 24th Cooperative Shopping Festival. The aim of this strategy is to achieve the highest level of interest and belief in the role of cooperatives in alleviating the financial burden on the society.
Mr. Abu Bakr T.B, Regional Stores Director at “Lulu hypermarket”, delivered a speech in which he reviewed the efforts of the Lulu Group to enhance the satisfaction of consumers in the country in 2019, especially considering the Year of Tolerance, in cooperation with the Ministry of Economy. He announced that the group fixed the prices of 142 commodities during the current year, with sales increasing up to 50 per cent. Furthermore, he outlined weekly, monthly and seasonal offers. He also delivered a presentation on ‘Safe Online Shopping.’
Committee on Fruits and Vegetables
Hossam Rashid, Advisor to the Dubai Central Vegetable and Fruit Market Traders Group, elaborated on the important role that the Group has in providing a safe shopping environment for the consumers of vegetables and fruits in the UAE. He explained that the Group works to promote communication between market traders and stakeholders, and supervise market development, strengthen its overall position and build close partnerships with relevant ministries and government departments to provide more effective services to the vegetable and fruit sector.
Committee on Automobiles
Yousif Al-Masri, Executive Director of Government Affairs at Al-Futtaim Motors, delivered a speech to the Committee of Car Agencies. He presented an overview of the automotive sector in the UAE, which includes more than 80 dealers representing 367 brands and 55 thousand private workshops and a large dealer of auto spare parts and accessories.