Dubai, Continued efforts by Dubai Economy to improve consumer rights awareness and strengthen consumer feedback as part of promoting the city as a safe and competitive shopping destination have led to a substantial increase in consumer complaints. While 32,650 consumer complaints were received in 2018, the past year saw a 20% increase leading to 39,113 complaints, or 3,259 complaints monthly on average, according to the Commercial Compliance & Consumer Protection (CCCP) sector in Dubai Economy.

True to Dubai's reputation as a thriving services hub, the largest share of consumer complaints also came from this sector in 2019. The Services sector accounted for 29% (11,342) of the complaints while the Electronics sector was next at 15% (5,867). The increasing number of digital transactions in Dubai also find a reflection in the number of consumer complaints with 4,694 (12%) complaints related to the eCommerce segment.

An overview of the complaints received in 2019 also show that consumers use varied channels to raise their grievances. The Dubai Economy Contact Centre (Tel: 600 54 5555) received about 57% of complaints while the remaining 43% came through various smart channels offered by CCCP, including the Smart Protection app.

Non-compliance with the purchase terms was the issue involved in 27% of the consumer complaints in 2019 while others were chiefly related to refund (19%) and damaged products (17%). Non-compliance with warranty terms, commercial fraud, and price mismatches were among the causes of the remaining 37% of complaints.

Emirati consumers constituted 25% of the total complainants in 2019 while Indians (16%), Egyptians (12%), Saudis (9%) and Jordanians (6%) stood next.

Mohammed Ali Rashed Lootah, CEO of CCCP, said the increasing number of consumers raising a variety of issues validate the effectiveness of the outreach and awareness campaigns of Dubai Economy. CCCP responds to consumer complaints and resolves them amicably within a maximum of four working days, he added.

"Dubai's economy seeks to promote an awareness culture and an ideal environment where consumers and merchants enjoy cordial relations. Our focus is on handling consumer issues impartially and in line with the best international standards so that Dubai will be a safe and preferred place to shop for any consumer, both residents and tourists alike," said Lootah.

Lootah further mentioned that Dubai Economy received almost 63,356 enquiries and suggestions from consumers in 2019 in addition to complaints, which reflects the high level of confidence in Dubai Economy and CCCP. "We are happy to see such kind of feedback and we invite all consumers to get int ouch with us if they have any query, comment or complaint."

Lootah reminded all shoppers in Dubai to obtain complete information about any product before buying it, review the user's guide, and keep their purchase invoices safe throughout the warranty period. All channels of Dubai Economy remain open to consumers to raise their concerns whenever needed, added Lootah.

Source: Department of Economic Development, Dubai