281 trade establishments in Dubai fined for hiring hawkers

281 trade establishments in Dubai fined for hiring hawkers

DED official says the practice tarnishes the image of the emirate and reflects an uncivilised image to visiting consumers and tourists.

By Salah Al Deberky/staff Reporter

Published: Thu 19 Feb 2015, 1:36 AM

Last updated: Thu 25 Jun 2015, 7:38 PM

Vendors selling phone credit to passersby is a common sight. — KT file photo used for illustrative purpose

The Field Control and Consumer Protection Section last year issued 281 fines to trade establishments in Dubai for hiring hawkers and street vendors to promote their products. Such a practice is in contravention of the law streamlining the methods of sales in the emirate. The action was taken following raids carried out by the section in all parts of Dubai to eliminate the practice once and for all.

Over 1,313 complaints in one month

 The Consumer Complaint Section (CCS) of the Department of Economic Development, Dubai, received 1,313 complaints in January, showing a 45 per cent increase as compared to complaints received during the same period last year.

Complaints varied in terms of type and the commercial sectors complained of. Most complaints filed by consumers were against the services sector, which accounted for 37 per cent of the total complaints received, while the remaining complaints have been lodged against other sectors.

While the automotive sector recorded 154 complaints; the electronics sector received 359 complaints; textiles sector 147; services sector 484; and furniture 40 and other sectors, 129 complaints.

Ahmed Al Awadhi, Senior Director of Field Control Section at the Department of Economic Development - Dubai (DED), said the unhealthy phenomenon of street vendors is not only a violation of the established laws, but also tarnishes the image of the emirate and reflects an uncivilised image to visiting consumers and tourists. It also facilitates the disposing of duplicate and fake goods.

“Vendors and hawkers sell counterfeit and fake products such as mobile phones, wristwatches and ready-made garments,” Al Awadhi said.

He noted that some vendors even sell phone credit to passersby.

It has also come to the authority’s notice that a number of trade establishments exploit these vendors by asking them to promote their products. Establishments coerce vendors to bring tourists and consumers to their shop for a commission.

A number of trade establishments were fined for breaching the provisions of “displaying products by selling them through hawkers shouting on the streets”. These vendors harass and disturb tourists, Al Awadhi said, which in turn cause financial loss to law-abiding traders.

Al Awadhi urged the public to avoid purchasing from street vendors, and report them to the department as their products are fake, which may harm consumers.

Balancing duties of traders, rights of consumers

Complaints & Responses

Model’s complaint closed due to lack of proof: A model lodged a complaint against a fashion show agency. He claimed that he had verbally agreed with the agency to  model for them for a fixed amount of money. However, when the fashion show was over, the agency refused to pay the amount. The consumer complaint section (CCS) asked the complainant to produce any document which may prove the agreement. But, since the complainant failed to present any proof, the complaint was closed.

 Wrong application, wrong licence:A man complained about a typing centre saying that he had gone to the centre to get an application typed in order to obtain a tourist licence. He added that he paid the fees in full. However, when he received the licence, he was shocked to find it was a ‘General Trade’ licence. After verifying the matter, the CCS contacted the typing office and summoned those concerned. The complaint was solved amicably by refunding the fee to the complainant and cancelling the licence issued to him.

(Compiled by Salah Al Deberky)

Balance doesn’t necessarily mean the economic balance between economic data and facts such as consumption, savings, supply and demand; or production and distribution.

It also refers to the balance between commitments and duties of the trader or the supplier; and the protection of consumer’s rights and interests as specified by the law.

The Department of Economic Development - Dubai’s (DED) Commercial Compliance and Consumer Protection Division works continually on developing services rendered to traders and consumers alike. The division accelerates the response and control over the ongoing field operations according to the latest techniques to get maximum benefit from the skills and expertise of its technical and human resources.

This is aimed at discovering violations at an early stage to remind traders and suppliers about their obligations.

Today, the consumer has become much more knowledgeable about economic aspects, and follows the latest information, facts and laws on domestic and foreign levels, as these directly impact his/her living conditions.

At the same time, the trader is keen on offering the best products and services at an affordable price to achieve the highest possible profit.

Accordingly, we are keen on achieving the principle of balance between the trader and the consumer, and would like to remind the traders about their obligations and duties, and the consumer about his/her rights.

This balance is of utmost importance for field commercial surveillance, especially in light of unacceptable practices like trade monopoly, price tampering and trade fraud. This balance is a huge responsibility on the trader’s shoulder.

The Commercial Compliance Division not only protects the markets from violations, but also works on creating interaction and cooperation with consumers and investors to uphold the law.

It also works on launching campaigns with the aim of sending a clear message to factories, salesmen and distributors that violations of local laws is dealt with zero tolerance.

Commercial surveillance is an opportunity for the DED to intervene rationally in the economic field within the frame of streamlining the protection of competition. It also works on improving the work environment and enhances the satisfaction of the overseer, his self-confidence, culture and potentials.

(As told by Abdul Aziz Al Tnak, Director of Commercial Compliance Division)


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