Rent not an excuse, fix the prices please
Filed on December 22, 2015 | Last updated on December 22, 2015 at 08.55 am
Residents cry foul as eateries charge for meals and beverages in an unjustifiable manner.
Restaurants and cafeterias are increasing prices unscrupulously as they are paying huge amount in rents, according to residents.
Is it just hike in rents that make them go for unjustifiable prices for meals, soft drinks, tea, coffee and even bottled water?
With no hesitation, customers said no and alleged it is the absence of surveillance by authorities that makes these facilities hike the prices unreasonably.
People who talked to Khaleej Times said ‘restaurants are not meant only for tourists, but also frequented by Emiratis and expatriates.’
The residents also alleged that they are paying tenfold the price of soft drinks and bottled water in some restaurants and cafes nowadays.
Zainab Al Naqabi, a resident, called for fixing the price of bottled of water in all sale outlets with strict surveillance, especially on restaurants which charge double prices.
“We refuse to buy a bottle of water at more than Dh2 from a grocery, and even threaten to report the matter to the competent authority. But we keep quiet when we pay Dh10 for the same water in a restaurant. If we justify the increase of the price of the service and luxury, why do these restaurant charge the high price on home delivery?.”
This reporter has found big differences in the prices of soft drinks and locally bottled water at various restaurants depending on whether they are located inside or outside the shopping malls or at exhibition centres and showrooms.
Prices of soft drinks start from Dh4 to as much as more than Dhs25, while bottled water starts from Dhs3 up to Dhs14, and that is applied to cafes as well.
“The high rent of restaurants in the shopping malls is the main reason for the staggering increase in the prices of beverages and food,” said Salem Fareed, a resident.
He added that the eateries have no right to hike the prices, particularly those located within the buildings and small kiosks in showrooms and other facilities.
Salem also drew the attention to the phenomenon ‘the more demand, the more the price.’
“It is unreasonable to charge Dh8 for a soft drink, while it is available for Dh1.5 outside the restaurant,” he added.
Mariam Al Salami attributed the absence of surveillance on restaurants and cafes to the increase in the prices of all kind of beverages.
As a customer, she said: “Like others I always resent over the unjustifiable increase in the prices of soft drinks and water, but we don’t know to whom we complain.”
“Those who frequent restaurants are shocked when they are charged Dh25 for a soft drink and Dh10 for a bottle of water.
“The issue is not a matter of eateries, but is seen in exhibitions, cafeterias and cafes in service facilities like hospitals, which also charge more prices for refreshments, water and fruit juices.”
Atif Al Zaioudi said even for tea and coffee, one has to spend not less than Dh20 in restaurants and cafes inside and outside the shopping malls, but in cafeterias the stuff is much cheaper.
“If price hike is justified for the stuff being sold in tourist landmarks, these restaurants should be specified whether they are in the tourist spot,” he said, adding prices of refreshments should be fixed and facilities must be put under close watch of the authorities concerned.
A number of owners of restaurants said the increase in rent was the reason for rise in the prices of soft drinks and water and it is reasonable while taking into account the high cost of living.
However, some restaurants shifted to places where the rent is cheaper in order to keep the prices at affordable level and also maintain their customers.