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Retail outlets in the UAE are allowed to sell only 330 ml cans, priced at AED 1.50
300 ml cans of Pepsi and Coca-Cola are intended only for hotels, tourist restaurants, and exports
The Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED) and Sharjah Department of Economic Development (SDED) recently held a meeting with the suppliers of Pepsi and Coca-Cola in the UAE to review the mechanisms of distribution within the two companies and to discuss the issue of the 300 ml cans of both the soft drinks in the market.
The meeting came as part of the keenness of the two departments to coordinate with outlets in Dubai to protect consumer rights.
DDED and SDED thanked His Excellency Sultan Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, for his wise intervention on the soft drinks issue and confirmed that the 300 ml cans of Pepsi and Coca-Cola are intended only for hotels, tourist restaurants, and exports. Retail outlets in the UAE are allowed to sell only 330 ml cans, priced at AED 1.50.
“DED investigated and followed up the case with five leading retailers in Dubai, including Carrefour, Emirates co-operative Society and Union Co-operative Society, to ensure that they don’t sell 300 ml cans of Pepsi or Coca-Cola and that the said cans are available only in hotels and tourist restaurants in the emirate,” said Omar Bushahab, CEO, Commercial Compliance and Consumer Protection Division in DED.
“We focus on conducting field trips to all retail outlets to inspect prices and other relevant issues to reassure consumers that we are monitoring the market closely. We are also keen to coordinate with retail outlets in Dubai to guarantee consumer rights and apply the highest standards in service in line with the Consumer Protection Law,” Bushahab stated.
“The use of 300 ml cans in hotels is necessary due to their different standards of storage and distribution. Hotels rely on international standards and their pricing is also different from other outlets that are not subject to the 10% municipality fees as in the case of hotels,” added Bushahab.
Bushahab noted that in order to use cans of a different size, hotels will need to rearrange their distribution mechanism and change the systems in place, which in turn will require more time and investment. It would be contrary to the policy of the Government of Dubai to facilitate businesses and help them overcome obstacles.
Bushahab praised both Pepsi and Coca-Cola for their efforts to find acceptable solutions. Both companies, while enjoying a strong reputation and business locally and globally, have also played an important role in supporting the national economy as well as social initiatives since their entry into the UAE market.
Khalifa Misbah Al Ketbi, Director of the Control and Protection of Trade Department in SDED said: “Possible collaboration between suppliers and Departments of Economic Development in the UAE is a solution whereby a sentence like “for export only” can be printed on 300 ml cans. It will give authorities better control over the markets and ensure that products meant for exports are not diverted to local retailers and department stores”.
Al Ketbi noted that SDED monitors the markets to make sure there are no violations, and if there is any, prompt action is taken against such retail outlets and department stores. He praised the efforts of Pepsi and Coca-Cola in dealing with the 300 ml cans issue with transparency, adding that both companies are among the oldest in the UAE and have a good track record on the social and economic fronts.
The suppliers of Pepsi and Coca-Cola stressed their keenness to follow the UAE laws noting that it is likely that some cans destined for export might have been leaked to some outlets.