The Department of Economic Development (DED) has launched an SMS and online campaign to spread awareness on consumer rights and the existing mechanisms to receive and redress consumer complaints in Dubai.

Over a million SMS in Arabic and English will be sent to residents in Dubai as part of the month-long SMS campaign while the online campaign will be rolled out on Twitter and those websites with a high volume of traffic.

A weekly Twitter session where officials from the Commercial Compliance and Consumer Protection (CCCP) division of DED directly interact with consumers and respond to their queries will also be part of the campaign. The campaign can be followed on the hashtag #Dubai_DED.

“Social media and mobile phones are highly effective in reaching out to people, especially in the UAE where mobile and internet usage is the highest in the region.  The Department of Economic Development is anchoring its latest consumer rights campaign to new media,” said Mohammed Lootah, Deputy CEO, Commercial Compliance and Consumer Protection (CCCP) division, DED.

There were 12.36 million mobile phones in use in the UAE and mobile penetration in the country was 154 per cent according to data released by the Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (TRA) earlier in March 2012. The UAE also had 175,000 active twitter users by the end of June 2012, according to the Arab Social Media Report.

“Mobile phones and internet provide an effective means to reach out to different demographics, especially the youth and the business community. They also offer the advantage of live, interactive communication as in the case of Twitter feeds,” added Lootah.

Twitter users will receive updates on all consumer-related news, initiatives and statistics from DED as part of the campaign. The SMS texts will include the consumer protection helpline number (600 545555) and other useful information.

Banner advertisements across high-traffic websites will also display information on the consumer rights helpline and the website'

Joumana Saad

Before joining SME Advisor, I worked as a producer/reporter for Forbes Media in New York. I obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and International Studies at the University of South Florida in the US. I am currently in Dubai working as Sub-Editor for SME Advisor Middle East, which is a business magazine published by CPI. You can follow me on Twitter: @joumanasaad or @SMEadvisorME and (Joumana Saad) or (SME Advisor) on LinkedIn.