Parents fear a price hike in back-to-school items

DUBAI/SHARJAH/AJMAN – It's that time of the year again, when parents have nightmare with their children presenting them with wish lists just before schools reopen. And this year, pre-reopening shopping for back-to-school items threatens to burn even bigger holes in their pockets, what with such items keeping pace with the general trend of price rise in the air.

By Asma Ali Zain And Afkar Abdullah

Published: Fri 12 Aug 2005, 11:55 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 7:13 PM

Speaking to Khaleej Times, several parents said they were worried by their children’s demands for branded items and the exorbitant prices they have to pay for them.

"I think the time has come for us to wage a war against brands because they come with such high price tags. This year too, there has been the usual price hike in all back-to-school items, especially branded school bags and stationery items," said Rozeia Mostafa, who is planning to buy back-to-school items from a major retail chain in Dubai.

"For years now, my children have forced me to buy branded stuff because they say that it is the 'in' thing. But brands are expensive. This year, rents have gone up and prices of essential commodities including foodstuff, transportation charges and utility bills have gone up as well. I really don't know how to handle the situation since prices of back-to-school items have also gone up. I am looking for cheaper stuff," she adds.

Says Karim Hussain: "We are forced to buy expensive back-to-school items because the cheaper goods available do not last long." He also shared his apprehension over the fact that school stationery items might also be dearer this year. "With prices of essentials increasing in Dubai, we fear that schools this year might sell compulsory books, uniforms and stationery items at a price higher than last year," he said, adding: "Parents are being fleeced in every possible way."

Mariam Qurban, a mother of four school-going children, voicing her concerns, said: "I have four children who have to be equipped with new school paraphernalia. My husband does not earn much, and with the prices of back-to-school items increasing (between Dh2-5), we are very worried. Schools have also increased their fees, so we are paying through our nose to ensure a good education for our children, and at the same time not letting them feel any lesser than their fellow students."

Meanwhile, Ajman Municipality has formed teams to control price hike of all products immediately after His Highness Shaikh Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Ajman ordered raise in salaries of government employees.

According To Saif Al Shamsi, Deputy Director of Ajman Municipality, the teams were formed since they anticipated traders to increase following the salary hike. The teams will keep tabs on the prices of back-to-school items in the market and ensure reasonable prices which parents can afford.

He pointed out that the municipality, in coordination with the Ministry of Economy, was determined to fix prices for products, and make it mandatory for traders to stick to the prices.

An official from Sharjah Municipality said the prices of back-to-school items was expected to register an increase this year just as other products. But the increase should be reasonable and within reach for parents, he said, adding that municipal inspectors were monitoring the market to ensure quality and fixed prices of these items to the public.

More news from