UAE retail giant Lulu has emerged as the cheapest among a sample of Dubai supermarkets, according to a price comparison of staple foods and household items.
The rankings, which compare a basket of food and other household products at seven stores, showed Lulu offered the best value for money, followed by Geant.
The Al Barsha branch of the retailer, which operates 104 stores across the Gulf, including ten in Dubai, charged AED16 less than the most expensive store for the same ten items, which included Kellogg’s Corn Flakes, Colgate toothpaste and Head & Shoulders shampoo.
The total bill at Lulu came to AED86.65 (US$23.6), compared to AED103.70 at Choithram’s in Umm Suqeim, which was the priciest of the seven stores.
The third cheapest store was Carrefour’s Dubai Marina branch in Silverene Tower, which charged a total of AED95.10, followed by Al Maya in Marina Promenade (AED98.80) and the Marina Mall branch of Waitrose (AED101.45).
Spinneys in Marina Walk ranked the sixth most expensive supermarket in the emirate with a total bill of AED102.40.
The cost of basic foodstuffs has become a sensitive subject in the Arab world in the last year, fuelling the political protests that toppled rulers in Tunisia and Egypt.
Global food prices increased eight percent between December and March, threatening the food security of millions of people, the World Bank said in April.
Even after the rise, food prices remain one percent below a year ago and six percent below the February 2011 historical peak, the World Bank said.
Food prices in Dubai increased 3.1 percent in May compared with the previous month, the highest rise in 11 months, according to June data from the Dubai Statistics Centre.
In a bid to keep costs down, the UAE cabinet in January announced plans to liberalise trade in 12 commodities including livestock and dairy products, fats and oils, honey, eggs, fruit juices, salt, yeast, animal feed, detergents and hygiene products.
UAE Economy Minister Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri said the move would strengthen the competitiveness of the UAE economy by curbing monopolistic practices and avoiding unjustified price rises.
Last year the UAE fixed the cost of around 400 foodstuffs and household products at 70 outlets.
* Data taken from a survey by Arabian Business’s sister title, Time Out Dubai.