Dubai warns retailers not to hike prices ahead of VAT

By Sheena Amos

DUBAI 11 December 2017: The Commercial Compliance & Consumer Protection (CCCP), sector in Dubai Economy has called on retailers in Dubai not to use the Value Added Tax (VAT), to manipulate prices ahead of VAT implementation from January 1, 2018.

It asked businesses to add VAT to prices and display it effective 01 January 2018.

Dubai Economy will roll out various campaigns in the coming days to ensure that traders do not increase their prices before VAT is implemented. The initiative is part of protecting consumer rights and enhancing transparency across retailing in line with Dubai’s reputation as a competitive business destination.

Retailers have to display the VAT applicable separately on every invoice from 01 January 2018 onwards and Dubai Economy will impose fines on those who do not abide by the new regulation. Dubai Economy will continue to conduct field inspections and also act on complaints received from consumers against retailers who are found to have increased prices ahead of VAT.

“Dubai Economy is committed to protecting consumers against unscrupulous trade practices. Retailers should comply with their price list and anyone who increase prices without any justification will incur fine,” said Mohammed Ali Rashid Lootah, CEO of CCCP.

Lootah also told retailers not to manipulate the prices of VAT-exempted products or the five per cent VAT applicable. The CCCP task force is already monitoring market activity to ensure that retailers do not raise prices before the beginning of 2018.

“We call on consumers to watch out and ensure that there is no price manipulation or non-compliance with the laws. Consumers must ask for service and sale invoices and retain a copy with them. Complaints if any can be raised on the Ahlan Dubai number 600 54 5555, displayed across all retail establishments,” added Lootah.