x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

FNC call for action on Ramadan price rises in UAE

Despite insistence by shops that prices have held steady, FNC members say they have noticed an increase in grocery costs, particularly fruits and vegetables.

A fruit and vegetable shop at the Tourist Club area in Abu Dhabi. The Statistics Centre Abu Dhabi says prices have risen over Ramadan, prompting the FNC to call for further investigation. Ravindranath K / The National
A fruit and vegetable shop at the Tourist Club area in Abu Dhabi. The Statistics Centre Abu Dhabi says prices have risen over Ramadan, prompting the FNC to call for further investigation. Ravindranath K / The National

ABU DHABI // Federal National Council members have said they have noticed a rise in food prices during Ramadan, contrary to shops insisting that prices are steady.

Experts from the Statistics Centre Abu Dhabi said vegetable prices are up by 14.4 per cent and fruit by 11.4 per cent since the beginning of Ramadan.

The FNC members have called for further investigation, and said the Ministry of Economy should monitor the situation more closely.

“No one has complained to me personally, but we have heard prices have gone up,” said Hamad Al Rahoomi (Dubai), who has previously complained of rising food prices to the Minister of Economy.

“The ministry is working on it, but they need to monitor more closely,” he said. “Especially places that are said to give fake prices to the ministry and sell their goods at different prices. Inspections should also be unannounced.”

Ali Al Nuaimi (Ajman) said he also noticed an increase, mostly for fresh produce.

“Usually such increases happen when there is excessive demand,” he said. “I suggest people should be responsible and not purchase more than their requirement so prices do not increase further.”

He said with Ramadan, a lot of shops were selling goods on offers, particularly co-op stores and large hypermarkets and people should take advantage of these prices.

The Minister of Economy has attributed price rises in the past to the decrease in imports from Arab Spring countries.

FNC members agreed that co-ops were the best places to shop during Ramadan.

“Co-ops are the only ones that stick to prices,” said Mossabeh Al Kitbi (Sharjah). “These are the most important stores in the market, because if they did not give supported prices, the market would go aflame.”

osalem@thenational.ae