The Ministry of Economy and Commerce (MEC) has urged shopping malls, retail outlets and restaurants to extend working hours throughout the holy month of Ramadan and inform consumers about the new schedule.
In a statement, the MEC said the extension of working hours would not require its prior approval “as part of efforts undertaken to stimulate commercial sectors”.
The initiative, which aims to provide consumers with a “diverse and convenient shopping experience at a time of their own choice” during the holy month, comes within the framework of the ministry’s Ramadan initiatives under the theme ‘#Aqal_Min_Al_Wajeb’, Arabic for ‘#the_least_we_can_do’.
Throughout the holy month, shopping malls, retail outlets and restaurants attract a large number of people during limited working hours, the MEC statement notes.
Given the "unique nature of Ramadan when time is divided between prayers, work, shopping and long commuting hours due to traffic congestion", the ministry has urged shopping malls, retail outlets and restaurants to extend working hours and inform consumers of the new hours so that they can better plan their schedule and choose a convenient time for shopping.
• Consumers urged to contribute to success of inspection campaigns
The MEC has urged consumers to contribute to the success of its Ramadan inspection campaigns by reporting violations.
The campaigns will target all commercial activities, covering shopping malls and retail outlets, subsidised goods and fodder centres, restaurants and cafeterias, local restaurants, cosmetics and perfume shops, fruit and vegetable shops at the central markets, gold, jewellery and precious metals outlets, tailor shops, men’s and women’s accessory shops, women’s and men’s beauty salons and other business activities, according to the press statement.
The ministry had earlier announced that it would conduct round-the-clock inspection campaigns before, throughout and after the holy month as part of its Ramadan initiatives.
The MEC has asked consumers to contribute to its inspection campaigns and report violations in line with the relevant laws and regulations by submitting complaints and suggestions through the following channels: call centre: 16001, email: [email protected], Twitter: MEC_QATAR, Instagram: MEC_QATAR, and the ministry’s application for iPhone and Android devices: MEC_QATAR.
The ministry intensifies its campaigns before and during Ramadan in a “bid to regulate markets and commercial activities in the State in order to monitor prices and ensure compliance with laws and regulations governing commercial activities in order to protect consumer rights”, the statement notes.
The campaigns will target all commercial activities and sectors across Qatar to ensure the compliance the compliance of suppliers with their obligations under Law No 8 of 2008 on consumer protection and Law No 5 of 2015 on industrial commercial shops, public stores and street vendors, as well as their commitment to Ministerial Decision No 243 of 2016 on licences and regulations for street vendors.
The MEC has said it will refer those who violate laws and ministerial decrees to the competent authorities, who will — in turn — take appropriate action against the perpetrators in order to protect consumer rights.
Further, the ministry has urged all merchants and shop owners to abide by the rules and regulations governing commercial activities.
It has also called upon all merchants and shop owners to learn about the regulations and laws governing commercial activities by visiting the MEC website at www.mec.gov.qa to avoid committing violations and being subject to legal action.
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