Abu Dhabi’s Masdar, ADDED signs cooperation deal on consumer protection

By Amirtha P S, Desk Reporter
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The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) has made a cooperation agreement with Masdar, Abu Dhabi-based renewable energy company, to set up rules and foundations for protecting consumers, trademarks, control and inspection of markets within the Masdar City Free Zone.

The deal comes in line with the vision of the two parties in developing the business ecosystem within the free zones in Abu Dhabi and its dealings with local markets, protection of rights and ownership of trademarks and consolidation of inspection and supervision visits to the markets.

The agreement was signed by Rashid Abdul Karim Al Balooshi, Under-Secretary of the Department, and Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, the Chief Executive Officer of Masdar.

During the signing ceremony, Mr. Al Balooshi highlighted ADDED’s interest in improving the joint efforts with free zones’ authorities in Abu Dhabi to protect the rights of foreign companies and enhancing consumers’ trust, which in turn provides a stimulating investment ecosystem across the emirate.

Mr. Al Ramahi pointed out that Masdar seeks to organize work and supervise markets in the free zone within its jurisdiction, which in turn qualifies it to issue multi-activity commercial and service licenses for commercial establishments. 

Joint efforts against complaints

Following the agreement, ADDED will address the complaints referred to it by Masdar under the applicable procedures, in addition to receiving all consumer complaints against commercial establishments operating within the free zone.

Further, the agreement specifies that in case it is necessary to take administrative action, the ADDED will refer the complaint and recommendations to Masdar to impose the penalties thereof under the schedule of administrative penalties and applicable procedures.

In case the complainant is against a free zone establishment, then needed actions will be taken by Masdar. If the complaint is related to a branch within the free zone and its head office is within the department’s jurisdiction, it is entitled to address the complaint directly to the head office.

Masdar has delegated the ADDED to accept all consumer complaints against commercial establishments operating within the free zone in Masdar City, while Abu Dhabi’s energy company applies all procedures of control and seizure under the procedures applicable in the department.

Furthermore, Masdar will take care of necessary procedures against the facilities registered with it to keep them under obligation to change their trade name in case it conflicts with a registered and protected trademark. It also delegates the department’s inspectors to carry out control and inspection processes to detect commercial violations within its jurisdictions.

The agreement also stated that goods that are seized or controlled will not be released from Masdar’s free zone until the incident is settled either through reconciliation or judicial order. The department’s officers who are tasked with judicial control will be authorized to access the commercial facilities registered with Masdar.

Moreover, the agreement allows Masdar to issue a final decision on the temporary closure of the violating facility within its jurisdiction following a recommendation by ADDED.

The agreement offers joint regulation for several clauses between the department and Masdar such as raffles and awards through the implementation of the procedures applicable at the department in this regard.

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