ABU DHABI // New requirements for small groceries focus on food safety, standardisation and consumer protection, the capital's food authority says.
Businesses that undergo the mandatory renovations will resemble petrol station mini-marts or 7-Eleven convenience stores, said Mohammed Al Reyaysa, the director of communications and community service at the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority.
"In the new grocery, everything will be computerised," Mr Al Reyaysa said. "You will see more improvement than the old-fashioned way."
The first priority is food safety, he said. One new rule prevented hazardous items from being stored next to food.
Employees will wear uniforms, and a new shelving and storage system will give customers more space to walk around, Mr Al Reyaysa said.
Groceries will also be required to clearly display prices.
"When you go to a grocery in the old-fashioned way you couldn't see the prices, so today it's Dh1, tomorrow it's Dh1.50," Mr Al Reyaysa said. "Now they will have the prices clear for the people."
He said the requirements would modernise the industry.
"Keep in mind that this sector has been around for 30 years, maybe, and many of those [owners], they didn't even change little things in the shop," Mr Al Reyaysa said.
"It is very important to keep in mind that there should be an amount of money that you put aside to improve and make your place better."
Customers can see what the new stores will look like in two model "Baqala", one in Al Nahyan and the other in Al Markaziyah.