The UAE Federal Law No. (24) of 2006 created an important
framework for the protection of consumer's rights in this
country. This Consumer Protection Law, among other things,
established the Consumer Protection Department (within the Ministry
of Economy), specified the obligations of suppliers of goods and
services and the rights of consumers, and fixed penalties for
breach. The next Law Update will focus on the provisions of this
law and its impact on consumers and suppliers alike.
Recently the Government of Dubai underscored its commitment to
consumer protection within the framework of this Consumer
Protection Law when its Department of Economic Development launched
a new consumer rights Internet website under the slogan "Be
Right, Know Your Consumer Rights":
The website is a user-friendly service for suppliers and
consumers alike, providing information on rights and obligations,
the Department's areas of responsibility, and how to make and
handle complaints. The website does not provide a copy of the
Consumer Protection Law, rather the section of the website which
references the law highlights key consumer rights taken from
article 8 of the Executive Regulation of 2007. The website also
sets out a "Consumer Code of Rights" which summarises, in
a concise and informative manner, those rights which emerge, in
effect, from the Consumer Protection Law and its Executive
Regulation. This is as follows:
Goods must meet a level of quality and performance that would
be reasonable to expect, given their price and specifications.
Goods must be suitable for the purpose that the seller conveys
to the consumer, and match the description given to the
Services must be carried out with due care and skill
Materials used in connection with a service should meet
Consumers have rights to remedies in the case that there are
problems with goods or services provided:
- Repairs, replacements and refunds depending on the nature of
- Having services supplied again
At times the website uses the term Consumer Code of Rights
interchangeably with Consumer Protection Law, although as noted
they are different things. If anything, the Consumer Code of Rights
noted above demonstrates, (in particular to retailers) the
priorities of the Department of Economic Development. The FAQ's
note that while the Consumer Protection Law applies to the UAE as a
whole, the Department of Economic Development will only deal with
complaints about retailers in Dubai.
This website is an important tool for consumers, and emphasises
the importance with which the Government of Dubai views effective
implementation of the Consumer Protection Law within the emirate.
The significance of an effective consumer protection regime cannot
be understated for Dubai, which prides itself on the economic
benefits of the world-famous Dubai Shopping Festival among other
However, this website does not provide legal advice to suppliers
about compliance with the Consumer Protection Law, nor does it
purport to do so. Retailers and manufacturers should take this
website as yet another indicator that they must study and comply
with the Consumer Protection Law at all times. That law and its
Executive Regulation are detailed and comprehensive, and compliance
is an essential part of any business in the UAE. At Al Tamimi &
Company we continue to advise a range of clients on an ongoing
basis on effective, continued and efficient compliance with this
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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Following on from our article in last month’s Law Update (Issue 228) regarding the recently established consumer protection website, www.consumerrights.ae, this is the first in a series of three articles which will consider the UAE’s Consumer Protection Law which was introduced in 2006 (the "Law") and its implementing Regulations which were enacted in 2007 (the "Regulations").
The Consumer Protection Act, 68 of 2008 (the "CPA"), came into effect on 31 March 2011 and is likely to have certain far-reaching implications for the promoters of promotional competitions, especially competitions which are conducted using SMS or MMS technology.