Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 6 April 2020

UAE consumer Q&As: Do supermarkets have a right to set their own prices for goods?

Do UAE petrol stations accept other GCC currencies?
Q: I've noticed that some petrol stations around the borders take different currencies from the GCC. Is that applicable to all of them? Can I pay in Saudi Riyals for example?

A: There is no general rule that obliges all petrol stations within the UAE to accept different currencies of GCC. It is at their own discretion whether to accept foreign currency or not.

Q: How can a head of broccoli cost Dh9 at Lulu's and Dh24 at Waitrose? Sometimes the price will fluctuate within the same store. I've paid Dh24 for a head of broccoli at Geant and two months later paid Dh7 for the same product.

A: All supermarkets or suppliers have a right to set their own prices of goods or products. As a general principle, the price of products may depend on the market. As long as prices of products are clearly displayed there is no breach of the law. Furthermore, sellers are not obliged to set a general standard price of seasonal products such as vegetables or fruits. They may be set for certain products, but not for all.

Q: Why are some things so expensive here? My Greek yoghurt costs Dh31. In North and South America it costs half the price. How are the higher prices in the UAE justified in general?

A: Sellers or suppliers are not required to justify charging higher prices for the goods that might be cost half the price in North America. Prices may be lower in America due to several economic reasons such as low costs, lower municipality expenses and so on. Sellers also take the demand for a particular product into account before setting up prices. Their duty towards consumer is fair display of prices on products. As long as they are not in breach of any of conditions stated in Consumer Protection law they may not be liable. In accordance with Article 4 of Law No 24 of 2006, the administrative department of consumer protection has a right to observe price turnover and limiting price increases.

If you have a question for Mr Elhais, email newsdesk@thenational.ae with the subject line 'Consumer Q&A'.

Updated: April 29, 2015 04:00 AM

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