UAE cracks down on retailers hiking price of hand sanitisers

crack down, hiking price, hand sanitiser

Sharjah/Ajman - Violators could be fined between Dh5,000 and Dh100,000.


Afkar Ali Ahmed

Published: Fri 13 Mar 2020, 10:44 PM

Authorities in Sharjah and Ajman have launched a major crackdown on retailers who are hiking the price of hand sanitisers to cash in on the coronavirus outbreak. Violators could be fined between Dh5,000 and Dh100,000 and their outlets could also face permanent closure, the Ministry of Economy (MoE) has warned.
An official at the Sharjah Economic Development Department (SEDD) said that the move follows complaints from customers about 100-120 per cent increase in the prices of hand sanitisers produced by various companies. The customers have pointed out that the retailers are exploiting the situation and taking advantage of the zooming demand of the sanitisers in the wake of coronavirus scourge.
He said that the authorities in Sharjah, in coordination with the MoE, have intensified inspections targeting shops and pharmacies who manipulate prices.
Demand grows manifold
Khaleej Times carried out field visits to a number of supermarkets, groceries and commercial outlets in both the emirates. It was found that the demand of hand santisers had increased by 200 per cent. Many shopkeepers in various areas said that they had run out of stock and had increased prices as imports have stopped while the demand has grown manifold.
An employee at Al Madinah Supermarket in Al Qasimiya area in Sharjah said they received a circular from the SEDD about the prices of the santisers and were warned against increasing it. "We have only certain brands available," he said, adding: "We didn't increase the price. We are expecting new stock by next week."
Employees at three supermarkets in Sharjah's Al Mahttah area said they don't have any stock of hand sanitisers left and were planning to import a huge quantity of the product shortly. Rakesh, a staff at Shuaa Al Madina Supermarket, pointed out that it's the importers who increase the price of a product, not the retailers. Nitin Kumar, a seller in one of the major stores in Ajman, said that foreign tourists who stay in Ajman hotels on Corniche Road are the ones who buy hand sanitisers the most.

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