Consumer protection law
The Federal Law No. 15 of 2020 on Consumer Protection repeals the Federal Law No. 24 of 2006. The new law aims to protect all consumer rights, including the right to a standard quality of goods and services and the right to obtain them at the declared price. It further seeks to preserve the health and safety of the consumer when using the goods or receiving the service. The law protects the data of the consumers and prohibits suppliers from using it for marketing.
Scope of the law
The law applies covers all goods and services sold or provided by suppliers, advertisers and commercial agents across the UAE’s mainland and free zones. I It also covers goods sold through eCommerce platforms registered in the UAE. Meanwhile, the law does not apply to eCommerce activities that are carried out between customers in the UAE and eCommerce businesses registered outside the UAE.
According to the law, the UAE’s consumers are granted the following rights:
- to be provided an appropriate and safe environment when purchasing a good or receiving a service
- to obtain correct information about the goods they purchase, use or consume or the service they receive
- to be informed about their rights and obligations
- to have the right to choose the most appropriate product and service available in the market according to their wishes
- to obtain fair compensation for damages they suffer as a result of purchasing or using defective goods or receiving inadequate or unprofessional services.
The supplier must:
- protect consumers’ privacy and data security, and refrain from using them for promotional and marketing purposes
- respect consumers’ religious values, customs and traditions when providing them with goods or services
- settle consumers’ disputes promptly
- 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 Executive Regulation of this law. The invoice must be in Arabic and the provider may add any other language, as he deems fit.
eCommerce businesses are required to provide to consumers and the authorities in the UAE with details about their licensing entity, information in Arabic about the product or service provided, specifications, the terms of contract, payment, warranty and other relevant data.
The law prohibits and voids any contracted conditions that would harm the consumer. It also makes null and void, any clause of the contract that would exempt the supplier from any of the obligations stipulated in this 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.
Find all laws and regulations on consumer protection and combatting commercial fraud in the UAE.
Also read Electronic Transactions and Trust Services Law (Available in Arabic only).
Consumer rights protection
Ministry of Economy
Ministry of Economy has a Consumer Protection Department. Competencies of the department include:
- Supervising the execution of the general policy for consumer protection in cooperation with the authorities concerned
- Co-ordinating with the authorities concerned to confront unfair commercial practices which harm the consumer
- Co-ordinating and cooperating with the authorities concerned to spread awareness on the consumption of goods and services and to inform consumers of their rights and the means of claiming them
- Controlling prices and striving to limit their increase
- Seeking for the achievement of fair competition and combating monopoly
- Receiving and resolving consumer complaints or referring them to competent authorities
- Publishing the discussions and recommendations that contribute to increasing consumer awareness.
The ministry provides a hotline (600-522-225) to receive complaints related to infringements of the rights of the consumers.
The ministry launched a section on their website for announcing the recall of damaged products. This was done to protect the rights of consumers, retailers and manufacturers as well as to maintain stability in the market.
Department of Economic Development (DED) in each emirate deals with consumer rights issues and implement plans and procedures related to consumer protection laws. It receives consumer complaints and raises the consumer awareness about their rights and duties.
Refer to DED in:
Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council
Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council is responsible for developing quality infrastructure and raising awareness on quality standards in the emirate of Abu Dhabi. The Council introduced a consumer safety services system, known as 'Manaa', which provides reliable information on any product and its compatibility with safety regulations.
The Council also launched a 'Quality Partner Program' to encourage businesses to conform to relevant quality, safety and technical standards and regulations through self-assessment and voluntary commitment schemes.
Abu Dhabi Agriculture & Food Safety Authority- ADAFSA
Abu Dhabi Agriculture & Food Safety Authority is responsible for food safety and agriculture in the emirate of Abu Dhabi; it is also responsible for animal wealth. It encourages and supports research in all areas of food safety and agriculture that leads to the development of specifications, standards and regulations that match the latest scientific knowledge in its areas of responsibility.
For more about consumer rights protection in the UAE, refer to the below links:
Government charter on customer service
The Customer Happiness Charter for Federal Government Services aims to ensure customer's happiness with federal government services, which are rendered with speed, professionalism, mutual respect and transparency.
Read about UAE's efforts to enhance customer happiness with public services and the initiatives launched under the 'Emirates Government Services Excellence Programme',
Read also the 'UAE Government Charter for Future Services'.
Updated on 06 Apr 2022