The UAE government has eased fears of a rise in food prices as a result of its restrictions on produce from Egypt, Oman, Jordan, Lebanon and Yemen, pointing to ready alternatives from nearby countries and from local production.
Dr Hashim Al Nuaimi, director of the consumer protection department at the Ministry of Economy, told the National that the likes of India, Iran and the Netherlands would fill the gap. “There is also Morocco and Algeria,” he added.
According to Al Nuaimi, prices have not increased since the ban came into force at the start of this week.
Many in the UAE fear an increase in prices for the start of Ramadan in a week’s time, when demand for a wide variety of products usually rises.
The Sharjah Co-operative Society announced that Dh30m (€7.4m) had been allocated to subsidise 1,000 essential foods during Ramadan, while 200 other products would have fixed prices.
"The aim of these subsidies is to alleviate the pressure on residents during the holy month, as their demand for essential food items increases," said Majid Al Junaid, director of Sharjah Co-operative Society.