Protecting consumer rights in the UAE
Federal Law No. 15 of 2020 for consumer protection aims to guarantee the right of the consumer and ensure that he gets a good of high quality for the advertised price. This law is also keen to maintain the safety of the consumer when using the product or service provided; as well as protecting the privacy and security of consumer data. This law also covers the protection of the consumer who obtains a good or service via the internet or any commercial transactions carried out by e-commerce methods, provided that the provider of the good or service is in compliance with e-commerce licenses and is licensed by the concerned authorities in the UAE.
You can also see the text of federal law No. 15 of 2020 on consumer rights through the following link:
The authorities concerned with consumer protection in the UAE are five:
Ministry of economy, Department of economic development(DED), Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology(ESMA), Abu Dhabi quality and conformity Council, Abu Dhabi Agriculture & Food Safety Authority- ADAFSA.
Ministry of economy
The consumer can report any complaints or violations of consumer rights by calling the hotline issued by the Ministry of economy (600522225), or reporting electronically through the website of the Ministry of economy; which aims to protect the rights of consumers, providers of services and products, as well as to maintain the stability of the movement of sales and purchase.
Through this website, the consumer, manufacturer and retailer can recall any damaged product from the UAE market within 24 hours, and it takes three months in cases of maintenance.
Departments of Economic development (DED):
The Departments of Economic development (DED) in the related emirate are concerned with consumer rights issues and implement plans and procedures related to consumer protection laws. It also receives complaints and helps to raise public awareness of their rights and duties.
Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology (ESMA):
The role of ESMA is to provide technical regulations, product standards in the fields of safety, health and environmental protection, consumer rights protection, monitoring the implementation of these regulations, and providing services to the public and private sectors, inside and outside the country.
The authority imposes mandatory standards on special products related to chemicals, gas and electrical appliances.
It is considered an approved reference for the practice of management, supervision and coordination of specifications, metrology and quality control of products within the UAE.
Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council
To enable Abu Dhabi to achieve its social, economic, and environmental objectives, the Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council (adqc) develops conformity programs for local products, systems, or manpower to meet specific standards as per certain inspection requirements, and continuously monitors markets.
"Manaa" services system:
The council has also developed a consumer safety services system ‘Manaa’ , that provides reliable information about any product and its compliance with safety regulations.
Quality partner program:
It is an initiative that promotes collaboration between Abu Dhabi Quality and conformity group and trade owners ,It also aims to urge commercial establishments to comply with quality, safety and technical regulations in a way that preserves the rights of both the merchant and the consumer.
Abu Dhabi agriculture and Food Safety Authority
The Abu Dhabi authority for agriculture and food safety is responsible for food safety, Agricultural Affairs and livestock, and its role is to support research in all areas of food and agriculture, which leads to the development of specifications, standards and systems that match the latest scientific standards. It also creates awareness among the public, in coordination with all relevant government and private sector bodies and organizations.
Consumer Law between supplier duties and consumer rights
The consumer protection law establishes a set of controls and obligations that the supplier of the commodity must comply with, which are as follows:
- The supplier shall provide the consumer the receipt of the item an invoice in Arabic and any other language may be added besides Arabic; the invoice shall be dated and include the name of the trade provider, its address, the price of the item or service, its type, and its quantity.
- If there was any disputes between the parties, the supplier must settle the dispute in a civilized, prompt and fair manner.
- confidentiality of consumer data and not to be used for marketing and promotion purposes.
- Appreciation of the values and religious, Customs and traditions of the consumer when providing the good or service to him.
- If the service supplier markets its products or provides its services through websites and social networking sites, it must notify the consumer and the competent authorities in the UAE of his trade name and e-commerce licenses according to the emirate concerned, his address and legal status, with the need to specify the terms of contract, payment and guarantee.
- The supplier is not entitled to put any condition in the terms of the contract that would harm the Consumer, his right, and safety. Any provision made by the provider that would exempt it from any obligations provided by the Consumer Law is a void condition.
Imprisonment for a maximum of two years or a fine starting from AED 10 thousand and not exceeding AED two in the case of :
- If the supplier provides misleading information, data or labels on the product or service he provides.
- If he provides the consumer with a product that does not conform to the specifications and refuses to replace, return or refund the price to the consumer.
Consumer rights guaranteed by law are as follows:
- He must be provided with real, actual and detailed information about the product he wishes to purchase or the service he wishes to receive.
- The need to provide him with his rights when buying or after the purchase as well as his obligations towards the provider.
- The law also guarantees him to shop in a healthy and safe environment
- The consumer has the right and complete freedom to choose the best product and the most suitable service for him according to his wishes.
- The law guarantees to the consumer that he will receive fair compensation in case of any damage to him or his funds from the purchase of the goods or from the receipt of the service.