UAE Has Adequate Food Stocks “For A Long Time,” Says Official
Allaying fears over the likely shortage of wheat, corn and other essential commodities, the government on Wednesday assured that it had enough stocks to meet the demand from people “for a long time.”
Speaking to reporters, Abdullah Al Saleh Undersecretary of the Ministry of Economy and Abdallah Alfan Al Shamsi, Assistant Undersecretary for the Monitoring and Follow-up Sector, confirmed that government’s policy in achieving food security has ensured that the existing quantities of wheat, corn and flour were sufficient for a long time.
The officials stressed the government was closely monitoring the present situation in view of the escalating tensions in Europe and the war between Russia and Ukraine.
Abdullah Al Saleh said that the UAE imported wheat and flour from many countries including Russia and Ukraine. “We are monitoring the situation and looking into alternatives if the supply chains from the two countries are disrupted,” he explained.
Abdullah Al Shamsi further disclosed that the UAE imports food commodities from Canada, Romania, India, Australia, Argentina and from neighbouring countries – Oman and Saudi Arabia – respectively and ruled out the possibility of any shortage of these goods.
Prices During Ramadan
On the plans to monitor prices in Ramadan, he said the department will keep an eye on price control not only during the holy month of Ramadan but throughout the year, and officials were coordinating with each other on a daily basis.
He said: “We are more concerned about real offers during Ramadan in coordination with malls and other sales outlets, and we encourage partners to launch special offers in the month of Ramadan.”
The Undersecretary said the Ministry’s officials have inspected 25,162 inspections on shops and other commercial established and found 3,238 violations in Q2 of 2021.
He stressed that the UAE was able to control maintain prices and the quantity of goods in all markets during COVID-19 pandemic, and has a strong logistical network, linked to all markets in the world.
He explained that while many countries were affected by lockdowns and they witnessed shortage of food items, the UAE averted the crisis in the best possible way.
He added: “As for non-mainstream commodities, the UAE economy is open, and these commodities are subject to supply and demand, and the market is competitive. And when we talk about the ministry’s intervention, then we mean basic commodities.”
Abdullah Al Shamsi explained that the law granted the Ministry of Economy the powers to directly intervene to regulate and set prices. “We are closely monitoring the prices of products and basic commodities that affect the life of the consumer.”