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Tue 1 Mar 2011 09:38 PM

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UAE shops to slash prices on hundreds of food items

Major shops agree to cut prices by up to 40% across more than 200 items

UAE shops to slash prices on hundreds of food items
Retailers in the UAE have agreed to cut their prices for many food and other essential items by up to 40 percent for one month

A range of retailers in the UAE have agreed to cut their prices
for many food and other essential commodity items by up to 40 percent for one
month, a government official said on Tuesday.

Rising living costs in Arab countries are one of the driving
forces behind the revolts that have toppled leaders in Egypt and Tunisia and
are now challenging autocratic regimes in Libya as well as nearby Bahrain and

UAE, the world's third-largest oil exporter, has escaped the
unrest so far. Its relatively small local population has one of the highest
economic outputs per capita globally at over $47,000.

"Major co-operatives, supermarkets and hypermarkets
have agreed to give special offers as part of the national consumer protection
day for the whole month," Hashem al-Nuaimi, head of consumer protection at
the UAE economy ministry, told reporters.

"It will apply to nearly 250 essential commodities for
the month of March. The price decrease will be from 20 to 40 percent," he

Kuwait said in January it would provide its native citizens
with free coupons for food such as rice, eggs and milk for 14 months until
March 2012 as part of a $4.9bn package.

Bahrain's king had promised to spend $117m more on food
subsidies over the next two years than previously planned as well as offering
other handouts before anti-government protests broke out last month.

Food costs in OPEC member UAE climbed last year as global
commodity prices rose, but the fell sharply early this year. They were still
3.9 percent higher in January than a year ago, data showed this week.

UAE inflation is seen accelerating to 2.8 percent this year
as the second-largest Arab economy recovers from the impact of Dubai debt woes.
Consumer price growth stood at a mere 0.9 percent in 2010, which was the lowest
annual level since the Gulf war started in 1990.

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Baswaten 9 years ago

Hospital fees should be included and to be top on the agenda. Thousands of people avoid going to hospital to treat themselves or their loved ones because they can not afford the high fees.

Anupama V. Chand 9 years ago

Is this measure a case of too little too late? Inflation has sky-rocketed in the UAE in recent years, and while nay-sayers will hold up the property prices falling as an indicator of why this is not true, long-time residents, expats and locals alike, can feel the pinch of even essential goods like powdered milk and dairy products, have climbed steadily upwards. What happens at the end of March? Is this only a short-term, quick-fix solution that is being offered to quell people's rage? If so, the authorities better come up with more sustainable, long-term solutions to tackle a rising food crisis, not just in the rest of the Arab world, but perhaps, in this country too, which has always presented the picture of opulence, but which may not be so fortunate in keeping everyone happy all the time!

Nupoor 9 years ago

The two largest expenses per month are school fee and the rent. Today, the dubai govt announced that there will be no school fee increase in 2011. What about the schools who have already raised their fee by 90% last year? They exercised their clout and got an exception evan as the Ministry of Education and KHDA battled it out openly. If not one, at least the other needs to be reigned in substantially, apart from the food prices.

Mudassir 9 years ago

Very well said......

AP 9 years ago

The decision by UAE shop to reduce the prices by up to 40% for one month is good news, it will be better that for these shops to reduce the prices only by 2-4% and fix it for one year. I am sure that they will increase the prices more and more and make up for these price reductions.

Wildwine 9 years ago

From what I understand this would only be applicable to UAE nationals.

mahesh 9 years ago

agreed completely but i have this sinking feeling that even if they think about reducing school fees they will only focus at local school and not the expat..i willing to take a wager on this.. i have been told that the expat population is the fat golden goose.

Jack Smith 9 years ago

what about the supermarkets, are they going to take a loss you think? no. they all are commercial enterprises, which means their only aim in life is to make a profit, so, come April it will show how they make up for it. And what will happen is people will start to hord items that they can store in their homes, otherwise its will only save a family Dhs 300 - 600 max, on average. So in the whole scheme of things this is a small drop on the whole dry land full of sand.

Jack Smith 9 years ago

They should also look at maintenance fees in Freehold areas, as right now most developer are charging what ever they want. For a community that is incomplete with infrastructure and facilities as they were promised, how can the residents be charged the fees for using them? What about other hidden taxes that makes things expensive such as high import duties on goods, and inter-emirate goods transfer fees, and....
• 10% service charges + 10% City Tax, in Hotels which makes them 20% more expensive
• 5% housing fee which was non-existant a few years ago
• Cars have become more expensive due to higher import duties
• Fuel is now one of the most expensive as compared to other GCC states
• Domestic Gas is almost twice as expensive than 2008
• Telecom tariff are one of the highest in the world, the competition is fake
• Medical services and medicines prices have multiplied in the last few year
• High bank interest rates and charges
How can 40% off a few hundred items just for a month help us?