The Ministry of Economy and Commerce (MEC) has requested shopping malls, retail outlets and restaurants to lengthen working hours in the holy month of Ramadan and notify customers about their new schedule.
The MEC said the extra time wouldn’t require its approval “as part of efforts undertaken to stimulate commercial sectors”.
The initiative aims to offer customers a “diverse and convenient shopping experience at a time of their own choice” during Ramadan, and comes under the framework of the ministry’s Ramadan initiatives under the theme ‘#Aqal_Min_Al_Wajeb’, Arabic for ‘#the_least_we_can_do’.
Shopping malls, retail outlets and restaurants attract a large number of people during limited working hours in Ramadan, 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 advised shopping malls, retail outlets and restaurants to extend working hours and update customers about the hours so they can plan their schedule and choose a convenient time for shopping.
The MEC has insisted customers to help in the success of its Ramadan inspection campaigns by reporting any violations witnessed.
The campaigns targets all commercial activities, from 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.
The ministry had announced that it would conduct inspection campaigns before, during and after the Ramadan.
The MEC has asked customers to help in its inspection campaigns and report violations in regard to 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 strengthens 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 target all commercial activities and sectors across Qatar to guarantee the obedience of suppliers with their duties under Law No 8 of 2008 on consumer protection and Law No 5 of 2015 on industrial commercial shops, public stores and street vendors, along with their commitment to Ministerial Decision No 243 of 2016 on licences and regulations for street vendors.
The MEC has said it will mention people who violate laws and ministerial decrees to the respective authorities, who will take suitable action against the offenders in order to protect consumer rights.
The ministry has insisted all merchants and shop owners to abide by the rules and regulations governing commercial activities.