While all retailers are eligible to take part in the Dubai Summer Surprises, it is not necessary that they must run promotions during this period. But if they do, they will need to come up with the real deal.
“The Department of Economic Development (DED) has a unit dedicated to consumer protection and compliance,” said Suhaila Gobash, director at Events and Festivals Marketing Services. “This unit runs a dual strategy of educating retailers and consumers; for instance through the ‘Know Your Rights’ campaign and running regular and random inspections on all retailers in Dubai to ensure compliance and fair trading.
“The latter includes comparisons of prices before and after the festival’s start to ensure the advertised discounts are real.”
Fines for offending retailers vary from Dh5,000 to Dh250,000. In most cases, the violators are given a first warning and where there are repeat offences the fines are maximised.The DED also has the right to cancel the trade licence in case of repeat offences.
This year 6,000 retailers have registered for the Dubai Summer Surprises promotions. “Dubai Events & Promotions Establishment (Depe) encourages retailers to add value by creating special offers, discounts and other promotions to attract additional sales during DSS,” said Suhaila.“The attraction of DSS is being a city-wide festival covering all segments from product retail to the various service retailers, including hotels, restaurants, spas etc.”
Suhaila said that the various units within Depe and DED work jointly in developing better regulations and to realise opportunities for growth in the retail and events sectors.
“During the festivals Depe spends millions in attracting visitors to Dubai promising an outstanding destination for shopping and entertainment,” she added. “DED plays a key role to fulfil this promise through inspections and campaigns for fair competition, consumer rights and fair pricing and promotions, especially when it comes to the DSS or DSF.”
Most regional visitors look to the festivals organised by Depe to visit Dubai. In 2011, DSS attracted almost 4 million consumers who spent a combined Dh8.8 billion, out of which Dh2.7 billion was spent exclusively on shopping.
“While all retailers benefit from the campaigns and promotions of DSS, we have to ensure that retailers add value to the festivals and either conduct their own promotions or participate in city-wide promotions organized by Depe or by one of its partners such as the Dubai Shopping Malls Group,” she said. “Therefore, retailers who want to benefit and add value need to register and contribute to the success as either participating retailers or as sponsors of the festival.”