Refunds, Exchanges & Consumer Rights

Policies on refunds and exchanges vary from shop to shop. It is common to be offered an exchange or credit note rather than a refund. Even with tags attached, many stores will not even consider an exchange unless you have the receipt. For some items, such as those in sealed packages, shops insist that the packaging should be intact so that the item can be resold – a fairly illogical stance if the item proves to be faulty. If you are having no success with customer services, ask to speak to the manager, as the person on the shop floor is often not authorised to deviate from standard policy whereas managers may be more flexible.
 
Buyer Beware â€‹Traps for the unwary shopper do exist. Some of the international stores sell items that are far more expensive than in their country of origin (you can often even still see the original price tags). Prices can be as much as 30% higher, so beware.
 
Consumer Protection
The Consumer Protection Department of the UAE Ministry of Economy has been established to safeguard the interests of shoppers. The department tracks and regulates retail prices and has rejected planned price increases for staple goods. It has also mandated that all retail outlets display a notice of their consumer rights policy in the store. Consumers wishing to complain about a retailer can complete a form on the Ministry of Economy's website, send an email to consumer@economy.ae, or call the freephone hotline on 600 522 225. 

In Dubai, the Consumer Rights Unit within the Dubai Economic Department (600 545555) primarily deals with unfit food, but can be contacted to report faulty goods or to complain if a guarantee is not honoured.

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