How to Protect Your Rights as a Consumer in the United Arab Emirates

  • Publish date: Wednesday، 12 July 2023 Last update: Tuesday، 01 August 2023
How to Protect Your Rights as a Consumer in the United Arab Emirates

The law which governs your rights as a Consumer in the UAE is Federal Law No 15 of 2020 on Consumer Protection (“Law”).  This Law is applicable to all the goods and services you purchase in the UAE (including Free Zones) and to all the e-commerce platforms which are registered in the UAE.

Are you a “Consumer” and if yes, why knowing your rights is important?

Mostly, terms such as Customer and Consumer are used synonymously. In fact, they both have a different meaning. For example: A Customer is someone who purchases the goods & services and makes the payment. These goods and services may be for self-use or for reselling or may be for the use of a third party. The Consumer is someone who consumes the goods and services for the self-use. To simplify, when a father purchases a toy for his child, the father is a customer, and the child is a “Consumer”.

As per Law in the UAE, Consumer is every physical or juristic person who obtains a Good or Service - with or without charge - to satisfy his personal needs or the needs of others, or for which transactions or contracts are concluded therewith.

A lot of us have pleasant experience when we purchase goods and services from the various retail destinations in the UAE. However, for some of us this may be far from the reality. Some of us may have faced issues such as bad customer service, no refunds, the supply of defective goods or counterfeits goods thought to be genuine at the time of sale. Unfortunately, given the boom in trade and thriving business, these instances of mis-selling are not uncommon in the UAE. Therefore, it is extremely crucial to know your rights as a “Consumer” in order to make the best, well informed choices and to get prevented from being mistreated or misled by businesses.

Your rights as a “Consumer” in the UAE

  1. to be provided an appropriate and safe environment when purchasing a good or receiving a service.
  2. to obtain correct information about the goods we purchase, use or consume or the service which we receive.
  3. to be informed about our rights and obligations.
  4. to have the right to choose the most appropriate product and service available in the market according to our wishes as a Consumer.
  5. to obtain fair compensation for damages which we suffer as a result of purchasing or using defective goods or receiving inadequate or unprofessional services.

The Supplier’s Obligations which are Consumer’s rights:

  1. protect Consumers’ privacy and data security, and refrain from using them for promotional and marketing purposes.
  2. respect Consumers’ religious values, customs and traditions when providing them with goods or services.
  3. settle Consumers’ disputes promptly.
  4. provide the Consumer with a dated invoice that includes his trade name, address, type of goods or service sold or provided, its price and quantity and any other data specified by the Law. The invoice must be in Arabic and the provider may add any other language, as he deems fit.

Where can Consumer seek a redressal?

  1. For consumer issues, contact Ministry of Economy on 800 1222.
  2. You can file a complaint at Department of Economic Development (DED) in each emirate which deals with consumer rights issues.

Penalties that can be levied under the Law:

Suppliers who fail to provide clear information and labelling or advertise misleading prices and false data on the goods and services or fail to repair or replace a defective product without a charge, will face imprisonment of up to two years and a fine not exceeding AED two million.

For any general commercial and corporate advice, kindly contact us at  Law & Order UAE.

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