The Department of Economic Development (DED) in Ajman has announced that it is putting into place stringent measures that will be aimed at protecting consumers, growing the economy, and eradicating unethical business practices. The resolutions were reached at a workshop that was organized by the Commercial Control and Consumer Protection Division (CCCPD), which is a sub-branch of DED in Ajman.
DED identified price exploitation and counterfeit goods as two of the most widespread malpractices perpetrated by unethical businesspersons in the emirate of Ajman. Consequently, the Department through its Director General, H.E. Ali Issa Khalfan Al-Nuaimi, has vowed to do its best to ensure that these and other unethical business practices are a thing of the past in Ajman.
DED’s new resolutions also lay out a significant number of other consumer protection statutes, including the right for consumers to have a choice and a voice, the right to claim compensation for damaged goods and, the right to be served in a safe environment.
The Department also noted several other areas of concern to consumer protection, including misleading adverts, which are usually stapled on car windows and house doors and unsourced goods, which are usually sold on vehicles in the streets.
The Department will particularly be enforcing consumer education, as an educated consumer is an empowered consumer. H.E. Al-Nuaimi reiterated the Department’s commitment to imparting consumers with thorough education, saying that enlightened consumers are the most effective weapon that the Department has in the combat against exploitation.
H.E. Al-Nuaimi noted that consumer protection is a national responsibility in the emirate of Ajman and in the UAE in general.
“In order to effectively develop our economy, consumers need to be protected against unethical business practices. A protected consumer possesses more purchasing power, and is a key driver of our economy. By coming up with these initiatives, DED wishes to enhance market stability and raise consumer awareness throughout Ajman,” Al-Nuaimi said.
To solemnize the resolutions, DED unveiled a brand manual and logo which will be used in all present and future consumer protection campaigns. The Department has also put together a team of trained and qualified inspectors who will carry out inspection of all establishments within Ajman. The team will also play a crucial role in the combat against commercial fraud and counterfeit products, which, Al-Nuaimi noted, have become an issue of global concern.
H.E. Al-Nuaimi remarked that DED is dedicated to working in close collaboration with all stakeholders to combat cases of consumer exploitation in the region. In this regard, the Department will also be extending its consumer education to merchants in the emirate.
Al-Nuaimi’s words were echoed by Saud Sultan Al-Shammari, Director of Commercial Control and Consumer Protection Division. Al-Shammari expressed the Division’s stand in consumer protection, promising to communicate with all the commercial centers, shopping malls, major sales outlets and other stores in Ajman to implement the consumer protection campaign.
In order to create an ideal economy, the government, businesses and consumers need to work in harmony with each other. Consumers are the main drivers of economy in a country. Yet, for them to sustain demand, they must be safeguarded against unethical business practices, which is where DED comes in.
However, while DED and CCCPD are committed to educating and protecting consumers against unethical business practices, consumers need to play a proactive role in ensuring that their rights are safeguarded.
“While the CCCPD intends to educate the consumer on the necessary knowledge and skills needed to perform mindful examination for goods and services, the consumer bears the responsibility of ensuring that they put this information to use,” Al-Shammari pointed out.
According to Al-Shammari, it is the small things that make all the difference. Consumers should check to ensure that the goods they are buying are not defective, expired, or refurbished. Comparing prices across several outlets also goes a long way in protecting consumers against unnecessary price hikes by some greedy merchants. Additionally, consumers should be advised to keep dated invoices and warranty documents, which serve as a right to return defective items to the vendor.
Al-Shammari called upon all consumers to report cases of commercial fraud and violation of their rights to the Commercial Control and Consumer Protection Division at the Department of Economic Development in Ajman. Consumers can reach the Division’s representative via a toll free number (80055) or through email ([email protected]). Customarily, the Department aims to solve all cases of consumer complaints within 72 hours.