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Mon 15 Sep 2008 07:10 AM

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Key copiers say new rule is hard on business

Abu Dhabi retailers voice concerns over security clampdown by police.

Businesses in Abu Dhabi claim the enforcement of a law regarding key copying is having a dramatic effect on their businesses.

Police have begun enforcing a law requiring residents to gain official permission to get their keys copied.

The law, which has been on the books for 10 years but has not been routinely applied, is designed to protect residents by keeping records of all copied keys.

But shops which offer key-copying services say the policy shift has had a devastating effect on business, UAE daily The National reported on Monday.

“The real impact is more psychological. People who come for legitimate business become very concerned about this new rule and very concerned that they need a police statement,” said the manager of one shop, who asked not to be named.

“It turns them off. Some of them get scared, others get annoyed because they think it’s a very legitimate thing for their own houses.”

Under a previous system, police asked key-cutting shops to record the details of each customer and to photocopy their identity documents.

Now customers must provide proof of ownership to the police and gain a letter of “no objection” before copying keys.

Abdul Muthalib, who manages a small key-cutting shop in the basement of Marina Mall, told the paper he had lost at least 30 percent of his revenue since the changes.

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