Food prices are expected to remain stable during Ramadan, Dr Hashim Al Nuaimi, Head of Consumer Protection Department at the Ministry of Economy, told reporters in Abu Dhabi yesterday.
"There is no need for customers to rush to the markets as all the items are available and will remain [more or less] at the same price," he said.
Al Nuaimi toured Abu Dhabi Cooperative Society at Abu Dhabi Mall, as part of a series of trips to monitor prices and make sure outlets are abiding by the Ministry of Economy's initiative to keep prices low.
Earlier this year, the Ministry of Economy introduced this new initiative by which retailers in the food business were asked to sign an agreement to fix the prices of at least 40 products of essential foods until the end of the year.
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This has led to a total of 1,000 fixed-price items at 300 outlets across the country. When asked about items such as onions and meat which have witnessed price increases recently, Al Nuaimi said that they are being monitored.
"A small bag of onions is sold at Dh6.50 and there will be no increase in its price," he said. "As for the meat, it will differ based on its kind and where it's coming from."
Faisal Al Arshi, Deputy General Manager at Abu Dhabi Co-Operative Society, told reporters that the measures taken by the Ministry of Economic Department and Ministry of Economy have enhanced competition between the different retailers especially since every outlet's list of fixed price products is different."
Al Arshi said that the Abu Dhabi Coop today has 256 items that have not been affected by price rise since 2008, and claimed the Society has a market share of 30 to 35 per cent.
Al Nuaimi also inspected the Ramadan baskets, which target consumers with limited incomes. "These baskets are even at less than cost price and are just for the month of Ramadan," Al Nuaimi said.