Fines for Computer Street traders revoked
Some IT traders claim they have been unfairly punished as they are not strictly retail businesses
Dubai IT traders that feel they have been mistakenly penalised for failing to display the prices of computer goods in their showrooms will be able to get their fines waived, according to the association that represents the local IT channel community.
Authorities have been carrying out spot-checks to ensure that retailers are clearly pricing products as part of compliance procedures to protect consumers, issuing fines of up to AED3,000 (US$800) for retailers in breach of the regulations.
Some IT traders claim they have been unfairly punished as they are not strictly retail businesses even though they stock goods at their premises.
The Dubai Computer Group, which was set up last year to serve the interests of IT traders, has been in contact with the Economic Department to explain that a high number of showroom-based traders in the Bur Dubai district are primarily focused on wholesale and re-export activities.
“There was a problem because our group is not just shopkeepers — we have wholesalers, distributors and stores in the Street that are actually doing wholesale business,” said Rakesh Bohra, head of PR at the DCG and managing director of the Trinity Group. “That has now been addressed by the DCG and understood by the Ministry.”
Talal Ahmed Al Zaabi, boss of reseller Grandsys and president of the DCG, and Maher Abu Amarah, president of Winning Deal Computers, recently met with the Economic Department, which has now agreed to scrap any fines levied on non-retail focused companies in Computer Street.
“If anybody still has a fine then they can bring those papers to Mr Thalal and Mr Maher and those fines will be waived,” promised Bohra.
The situation for mall-based IT sellers — such as those located in Al-Ain Plaza, Al Khaleej Plaza and Wi-Fi Computer Zone — remains slightly different though as all entities are permitted to display prices. That includes wholesalers operating out of those locations.
The DCG is backing the Economic Department’s campaign, insisting that the correct labeling of prices is good for the image of the business.
“When it comes to the malls I recommend that we should all start putting price tags on items because it will help customers feel that our shops are credible,” explained Bohra. “When they go to a power retailer they see the price in the store or on a leaflet in the mall so it is important that as retailers we do the same.”