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United Arab Emirates – Retail and Consumer Issues

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a country located in the Middle East known for its luxury shopping and tourism industry. The UAE has a diverse retail industry, with numerous shopping centers, supermarkets, and local markets catering to consumers’ needs. In this article, we will discuss some of the most common retail and consumer issues in the UAE.

Opening Hours and Forms of Payment

The typical opening hours of shops in the UAE vary depending on the location and type of business. Generally, shops are open from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm, Monday through Sunday. However, some shops may have shorter or longer opening hours, especially during the holiday season.

When it comes to forms of payment, most shops in the UAE accept cash, but credit and debit cards are becoming increasingly popular. Visa and Mastercard are the most widely accepted cards in the country, but American Express and Diners Club are also accepted at some locations. Mobile payments, such as Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, are also gaining popularity among consumers.

Major Supermarkets

The UAE has several major supermarket chains, including Carrefour, Spinneys, and Lulu Hypermarket. These supermarkets offer a wide range of products, from fresh produce to household items, and are typically open seven days a week.

Carrefour is a multinational retail chain that offers a wide range of products, including fresh produce, meat, and dairy products. They also have their own brand of products, which are often cheaper than other well-known brands.

Spinneys is a Dubai-based supermarket chain that focuses on providing fresh, high-quality products. They have a wide selection of fresh produce, meat, and dairy products, as well as an extensive range of imported products.


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Lulu Hypermarket is a UAE-based supermarket chain that offers a wide range of products, including fresh produce, meat, and dairy products. They also have an online shopping platform that offers fast and reliable delivery to most parts of the country.

Online Shopping

Online shopping is popular in the UAE, with more and more consumers turning to the internet to make their purchases. Some of the most popular online shopping websites in the UAE include Noon, Amazon.ae, and Namshi.

Noon is one of the largest online retailers in the UAE, offering a wide range of products, from electronics to household items and beauty products. They also offer fast and reliable delivery to most parts of the country.

Amazon.ae is the UAE version of the popular online retailer, offering a wide range of products, from electronics to fashion and beauty products. They offer same-day and next-day delivery for most orders.

Namshi is an online retailer that specializes in fashion and beauty products. They offer a wide range of products, including local and international brands, and offer free shipping for orders over a certain amount.

Shops for Expats

There are several shops in the UAE that cater specifically to expats, offering a range of international products. Some of these shops include:

  • Choithrams: This supermarket chain offers a range of imported products, including food, beverages, and cosmetics. They have several locations throughout Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

  • The British Centres: This center offers a range of services for expats, including language classes and cultural activities. They also have a shop that sells a range of international products.

  • The Irish Village Shop: This shop offers a range of imported products, including food, beverages, and household items. They are located in Dubai.

Consumer Rights

As a consumer in the UAE, you have several rights that are protected by law. These include the right to:

  • Receive clear information about the products being sold, including their characteristics and price
  • Receive a receipt for your purchase
  • Return defective >products within a reasonable amount of time

    • Receive a refund or replacement for defective products
    • Cancel a contract within a certain amount of time, depending on the type of product or service
    • Be protected from false advertising and misleading claims

    If you have an issue with a product or service, you can contact the Consumer Protection Department (CPD) for assistance. The CPD is a government agency that regulates consumer protection and trade practices in the UAE. They offer advice and information on a range of consumer issues, as well as legal support and representation in court.

    You can contact the CPD via their website (www.consumerrights.ae) or by phone at 600 522 225. They also have offices in several cities throughout the UAE, including Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah.

    In addition to the CPD, there are several other consumer organizations in the UAE that you can contact for assistance. These include:

    • Dubai Consumer Protection: This organization represents the interests of Dubai consumers and offers support and advice on a range of consumer issues. You can contact them via their website (www.consumerrights.ae) or by phone at 600 54 5555.

    • Abu Dhabi Consumer Protection: This organization represents the interests of Abu Dhabi consumers and offers support and advice on a range of consumer issues. You can contact them via their website (www.added.gov.ae) or by phone at 800 555.

    • Sharjah Consumer Protection: This organization represents the interests of Sharjah consumers and offers support and advice on a range of consumer issues. You can contact them via their website (www.sccip.ae) or by phone at 800 80000.

    In conclusion, the UAE has a diverse retail industry, with several major supermarket chains, local markets, and online retailers offering a wide range of products to consumers. Online shopping is popular, and there are several shops that cater specifically to expats, offering a range of international products. As a consumer in the UAE, you have several rights that are protected by law, and there are several organizations that you can contact for assistance if you have an issue with a product or service.


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