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Tue 2 Oct 2007 01:09 PM

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Shops shut down for profiteering during Ramadan

UAE closes shops for exploiting consumers in holy month by hiking prices.

The Ministry of Economy in the UAE said today it has closed forty-one shops for commercially exploiting consumers by hiking prices of retail goods and services in the month of Ramadan.

Hamid Ali Al-Muhairi, assistant deputy commissioner for corporate control, said in a statement that the shops have been closed down after inspections from the ministry and municipal authorities, and also warned all suppliers, distributors, wholesalers and retailers in the Emirates to not artificially raise prices.

"The UAE Ministry of Economy cautions all distributors, traders and sales outlets from exploiting consumers in the UAE," said Al Muhairi in a statement.

"The ministry will take the severest penalty in the stipulated law against violators, which have had to close their shops and have been referred to the relevant judicial courts."

Municipality authorities in the Emirates have been monitoring the retail markets to check the prices of vegetable, fruits and meat, which some reports say have increased by 20% in some districts in the holy month.

Al-Muhairi also emphasised need for suppliers in the UAE to label the price of all retail goods in Arabic, as required under the country's Consumer Protection Act (2006), the statement added.

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