Suppliers of fruit and vegetables have been warned not to raise prices of popular items during Ramadan.Demand usually rises during the holy month as households in the Emirates cook more food than they need to distribute to people who are less well off.
Officials from the Ministry of Economy and Abu Dhabi's Department of Economic Development will coordinate with each other to ensure there is an adequate supply of fruit and vegetables available throughout the period, the state news agency Wam reported yesterday.
The cost of staples has sometimes risen in past years as retailers adjust prices in line with stronger demand. But this year officials are redoubling efforts to ease the burden on consumers.
Hashem Al Nuaimi, the director of consumer protection at the ministry, and Mohammed Rashid Al Rumaithi, the head of the trade protection directorate at the development department, warned suppliers not to raise prices as a result of the increased demand.
The ministry will take legal action against any trader who monopolises supplies, Mr Al Nuaimi was reported as saying by Wam.
Ramadan is expected to start on Friday, July 20, with the first full day on July 21.
As part of other recent initiatives, prices of 1,600 food staples - such as rice, flour, sugar and water - are to be frozen until the end of the year, the ministry announced this month. In addition, it said a "Ramadan basket" of 15 to 20 household essentials would have their prices capped at a total of Dh70 (US$19) to Dh170, depending on the individual items.
Last month, the Government announced the Ramadan Ration project, which subsidises food for Emirati families, would be extended to the end of the year.
The latest campaign is not limited to UAE nationals and will benefit all households.from the national.