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Tue 22 Mar 2011 06:58 PM

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UAE officials to get tough on restaurant price rises

Eateries could face closure for repeat violations as Ministry warns owners over rising customer bills

UAE officials to get tough on restaurant price rises
Consumer protection chiefs in the UAE have vowed to clamp down on the prices that restaurants are charging for food and drink.

Consumer protection chiefs in the UAE have vowed to clamp down on the prices that restaurants are charging for food and drink.

The Consumer Protection Department of the Ministry of Economy is to monitor prices closely following complaints that restaurant bills have risen by up to 20 percent in some cases.

And outlets found to be violating the price cap will face being closed down for a week, a top official has said.

According to a report in Arabic daily Emarat al Youm on Tuesday, talks have taken place between restaurant owners and Ministry officials to ensure prices are set at reasonable levels.

Restaurant owners say prices need to rise due to the increasing cost of wholesale foods, as well as the wages of staff.

But according to studies conducted by the Department of Consumer Protection, restaurants are still able to make acceptable profits without raising prices.

The director of Consumer Protection Department, Dr Hashim Al Nuaimi, told the paper that his office will "take the necessary action" in an attempt to see restaurant prices return to previous levels.

The paper reported that the department would also hold a series of meetings with food and drink suppliers to discuss the matter.

Nuaimi was quoted as saying: "The ministry will impose fines on shops that increase prices, and if the violation is repeated by the outlet or supplier, it will be closed for a week."

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Furqan 9 years ago

I dont mind paying for food. Its an individual decision. There is a huge variety and range available to chose from. But the most irritating part is to pay AED 20 for a soft drink which once ordered comes with a glass of ice and a can of coke!

Furqan 9 years ago

I dont mind paying for food. Its an individual decision. There is a huge variety and range available to chose from. But the most irritating part is to pay AED 20 for a soft drink which once ordered comes with a glass of ice and a can of coke!

Azeem Naina 9 years ago

Is the ministry not aware of the price increases ? Rental increase ? Number of additional fees from Municipalities ? Emirates ID for employees ? Waste management Dept. fees ? and above all the restaurant owners depend mostly on imported food stuff..who is controlling the price ???????????????? Don't punish the business people with tough rules like closing the shops..

AD 9 years ago

This is plain ridiculous. What does 'acceptable profits' mean anyway? Etisalat makes billions of dollars in profits each year; is that so 'unacceptable' that they don't drop their prices by half?

Andy 9 years ago

What the government is forgetting to remember here is how much it costs an expat to live and open a business in Dubai. If rental fees were not so high due to the association/community fees that the government charges I'm sure food prices would drop due to competition. When rental prices are so expensive due to the fees that the government charges less people are willing to open up a restaurant and work for little or no profit. How often do you see a local opening up a restaurant and working there by themselves to cut down on expenses so that they can sell the food for less to the customers? If the government really cared then they would drop the fees for landlords that they charge property owners which rent to restaurant owners. They should exempt them from paying those high fees just like they exempt the locals from paying parking fees. This in return should help drop food prices at restaurants.