Home tutoring banned, nine pharmacies fined

By DG Staff

UAE 3 April 2020: The Ministry of Education has banned until further notice all forms of remedial tutoring offered to students at private entities, residences, and educational institutions. Remote learning offered to students is exempted from this rule.

The ministry said the decision was taken as part of preventative and precautionary measures against the spread of the novel coronavirus, Covid-19, with the aim of protecting the health of students and the general public.

The ministry stressed that the education sector is a priority receiving immense support from the UAE leadership, which is concertedly following up on educational developments and the future of pupils in the country, said Wam.

Harsher Abu Dhabi penalties for price manipulation, monopoly

The Department of Economic Development (DED)- Abu Dhabi has issued a decision to take disciplinary action against companies that increase prices without justification, in order to regulate the market and ensure consumer protection.

The decision will curb unjustifiable increases in the price of food and medical equipment with a fine of Dh250,000 for the first violation, increasing to Dh2 million for repeat violations.

Fines apply to those raising prices for food and medical equipment whether selling retail or wholesale. In addition, those refusing to sell or creating monopolies will be subject to the same fines.

The decision also gives DED the capacity to temporarily close down the violating facility, suspend its licence for a minimum of one month up to a maximum of 3 months, or to close it down permanently, confiscate the said items, and to refer the case to the prosecution if the violation is deemed an unlawful offense.

Under the decision, the administrative fines may be appealed against within 60 days from the date of reporting the infraction, with the grievance to be looked into by DED within 90 days from the date of the transmittal of the appeal. DED may turn down the appeal, reduce the administrative fine or abolish it.

9 pharmacies, 2 suppliers fined for inflating face mask prices

Dubai Economy has issued fines to nine pharmacies and two pharmaceuticals suppliers for inflating the prices of face masks and trying to take undue advantage of the high demand for hygiene essentials following the nationwide alert against the Covid-19 pandemic.

The fines were issued after consumer complaints and follow-up by the Commercial Compliance and Consumer Protection (CCCP), sector in Dubai Economy. The nine pharmacies, located in Jumeirah, Al Wasl, Naif, Ibn Batuta Mall, Mall of the Emirates, Al Khawaneej, and Mirdif were found to have sold the masks at exaggerated prices.

The two suppliers were fined after CCCP tracked the supply chain and verified that they had distributed the masks to the pharmacies at an exaggerated price.

A repeat offence would attract double the fines and may lead to closing down the business. Dubai Economy has appealed to pharmacies and medical equipment suppliers to demonstrate their social responsibility by reducing the prices of hygiene essentials in view of the present situation.

Dubai Economy also called on consumers to raise their complaints and queries relating to price increases of their basic needs, including hygiene essentials, on the Price.ded.ae portal launched recently to expedite interaction with consumers.

Nakheel sterilises 647 residential buildings across Dubai

Master developer Nakheel has embarked on a two-week precautionary deep disinfection programme at all 647 residential buildings in its Dubai property portfolio as part of its ongoing commitment to safeguarding public health.

Taking place until 12th April, the exercise covers all buildings managed by Nakheel Strata and all apartment blocks under Nakheel’s residential leasing division, the company said on Thursday.

Buildings at Palm Jumeirah, Discovery Gardens, The Gardens, Jumeirah Heights, Masakin Al Furjan, Badrah and International City are undergoing the deep disinfection, which covers all common areas – lifts, lobbies and corridors – using Dubai Municipality-approved materials.

The process is taking place during the government’s current night time restrictions, under which residents should be at home between 8 pm and 6 am, it said.

Nakheel has also disinfected all of its offices across Dubai, and continues to follow strict disinfection regimes at its offices, malls, buildings and communities.

A Nakheel spokesperson said, “We are doing everything we can to protect people as much as possible. We also call on residents and customers to help us help them stay safe by following official instructions, including staying at home, avoiding non-essential activities and regular handwashing with soap and water.”

Cooperation from non-Muslim houses of worship praised

The Abu Dhabi Department of Community Development, DCD, expressed its thanks to all non-Muslim houses of worship for their collaboration and positive response to the guidelines and instructions issued to help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, stressing the importance of social solidarity and national vigilance on the part of all members of society.

With the department’s help, houses of worship can conduct prayers, and offer seminars and awareness activities remotely, while also guaranteeing continuous communication to help regulate this vital sector that forms an integral part of the community.

Dr. Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, the Chairman of the Department of Community Development, sent out a letter to all non-Muslim houses of worship in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi reassuring them that the department was following up on their positive response to the efforts of the government and the community.

“I deeply feel that we have become one community, living on this good land with God’s blessing. We thank Him during times of prosperity and we pray for Him during times of need. We will get through this crisis together. I would like to thank you for the good initiatives you’ve taken, through which you have truly proven to be a part of Abu Dhabi,” he said.

He added that he was aware of the great role these houses of worship were playing in guiding their members and emphasizing the notion of social responsibility.

“I feel happy when I see this spirit of solidarity between the houses of worship. I have taken notice of how you are following up with members of your communities, and of the messages and prayers you are sending out. I greatly appreciate these efforts that will help support people as they face this crisis and will reveal a positive side to the situation. These are the values of faith within all religions,” he stated.

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