x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Social media campaign to inform Dubai residents of their consumer rights

Over a million texts will also be sent out in Arabic and English as part of the month-long campaign by the Department of Economic Development.

DUBAI // A month-long SMS and social media campaign has been launched to inform people of their consumer rights.

The Department of Economic Development (DED) will send over a million text messages in Arabic and English to Dubai residents to spread awareness of how people can make consumer complaints and what their rights are.

In addition to this the DED will also host a weekly Twitter session with officials from the Commercial Compliance and Consumer Protection (CCCP) division who will be able to respond to questions from the public.

The campaign can be followed on the hashtag @Dubai_DED.

"Social media and mobile phones are highly effective in reaching out to people, especially in the UAE where mobile and internet usage is the highest in the region," said Mohammed Lootah, CCCP's deputy chief executive officer.

"The Department of Economic Development is anchoring its latest consumer rights campaign to new media."

The DED is hoping to take advantage of the rising number of mobile phones and social media users in the country.

According to the Telecommunication Regulatory Authority there are 12.36 million mobile phones currently in use in the UAE and cell phone penetration was at 154 per cent as of March.

By the end of June the country also had 175,000 active Twitter users according to figures from the Arab Social Media Report.

"Mobile phones and internet provide an effective means to reach out to different demographics, especially the youth and the business community," said Mr Lootah.

"They also offer the advantage of live, interactive communication as in the case of Twitter feeds."

Twitter users will also receive updates on all consumer related news, initiatives and statistics from DED as part of the campaign.

The SMS texts will include the consumer protection helpline number (600 545555) and other useful information.

Banner advertisements will also be placed on popular websites displaying information on the consumer rights helpline and the website www.consumerrights.ae