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Wed 5 Oct 2011 04:09 PM

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Dubai may tackle online shopping consumer rights issue

Emirate’s economic development department may decide action on receipt of sufficient complaints

Dubai may tackle online shopping consumer rights issue
The number of people using the internet to make purchases in the UAE rose to 42 percent last year (Image for illustrative purposes only)

Dubai may tackle the issue of consumer rights in relation to online shopping, a leading executive in the Department of Economic Development said.

The Commercial Compliance and Consumer Protection Division at the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED) has already launched the ‘Blue Book’ guide to consumer rights in the UAE.

However, the online shopping sector is an area it may tackle in subsequent editions if there is sufficient demand from consumers.

“We will have a second, third, fourth and more versions of the Blue Book. After we have done the first version we will study the complaints we receive in 2011,” Mohammed Lootah, deputy CEO of the commercial compliance and consumer protection department at the DED, told Arabian Business.

“If the online complaints were one of the top three or four it will be one of the [sectors] in the second version. We always work on a priority basis, so whatever matters for the people now we will cover,” he added.

The number of people using the internet to make purchases in the UAE rose to 42 percent last year, up from 29 percent in 2009, according to a MasterCard survey on online shopping launched in March.

However, 45 percent of UAE consumers said they still do not feel secure shopping online.

Speaking in Mirdif City Centre, Lootah launched the DED’s new mall-based Consumer Protection Centre, which will travel around the emirate’s malls in a bid to generate awareness of consumer rights.

Copies of the Blue Book, which covers the vehicles, textiles and electronics sectors and issues such as refunds, exchanges, warranties, invoicing and other retail aspects, will be distributed as part of the initiative.

Lootah revealed the Blue Book, currently available in English and Arabic, will also be translated into Russian, Chinese, Urdu, Hindi and Persian over the next two weeks and a version in Filipino may be made available.

“We are trying to take the clauses of the law and write them in a very simple manner so people can understand... If there is a suggestion from certain retailers, we would be more than happy to translate it [into Filipino],” he said.

The mobile centre will be at the Mirdif City Centre until October 8, the Dubai Mall from October 10 to 15, Dubai Festival City from October 17 to 22, Arabian Centre from October 24 to 29, Ibn Battuta Mall from November 9 to 14, Mall of the Emirates from November 16 to 21 and Deira City Centre from November 23 to 28.


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