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Monday, August 2, 2021

Ministry orders closure of Qatar beauty center for expired hair dyes

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VLCC closure
VLCC closure

A branch of the popular VLCC beauty and slimming center in Al Waab has been temporarily shut-down for displaying and selling out-of-date hair dyes, the Ministry of Economy and Commerce (MEC) said.

Following spot checks by inspectors who found the expired products, the salon was ordered to be closed for two weeks, starting yesterday (Apr. 5) and also fined, MEC announced on Twitter in Arabic.

The censured branch on Al Waab Street, next to Al Waab petrol station,  is one of three VLCC outlets in Doha. Describing itself as a “wellness” brand with 300 outlets in 11 countries, VLCC provides slimming, beauty and fitness programs.

Having expired products is contrary to article 6 of Qatar’s consumer protection law (No. 8 of 2008), which states:

“No defective or adulterated commodity shall be sold, displayed, presented, promoted or advertised. The commodity shall be deemed to be adulterated or defective where it does not conform to the prescribed standard specifications, is unfit for use, or has expired.”

No one at the center was available for comment.

Inspection campaign

The ministry said yesterday the closure was ordered as part of a rolling program of inspections that looks for violations such as price manipulation, selling fake products and items that don’t comply with defined standards.

Beauty salon in Bin Omran closed by MEC
Beauty salon in Bin Omran closed by MEC

Last month, the ministry recorded a total of 113 violations of stores and salons across the country, following spot checks by inspectors, it said in a statement.

The most common violation (27 cases) was not properly displaying prices for goods or services and increasing prices without seeking advance permission from authorities (21 cases).

Additionally, inspectors found 14 incidents of outlets having expired products.

In late February, the MEC announced it had ordered the temporary closure of two other salons in Doha for stocking out-of-date cosmetics: La Forme Beauty Lounge on Mirqab Al Jadeed (Al Nasr) St. and the Diana Beauty Center in Bin Omran.

Other violations include violating the terms and conditions of warranties, not conforming to the rules for sales and special promotions as well as not issuing proper receipts and invoices for purchases.

Penalties for outlets which are found to break the consumer protection law include temporary closure and fines ranging from QR5,000 to QR30,000, the MEC said.

Baladiya closures

Meanwhile, another government authority tasked with upholding hygiene and safety standards in Qatar said it had conducted a total of 2,604 inspections of outlets – mostly eateries, food shops and beauty salons – last month.

Of the businesses inspected by the Ministry of Municipality and the Environment (MME/Baladiya) (and some will likely have had multiple checks) 1,861 outlets were found to comply with health conditions, and a further 76 met the conditions after amending practices.

Expired food
Expired food

Some 301 were found by inspectors to have broken the law during last month’s checks.

The ministry announced a total of 18 outlets were temporarily shut down by inspectors for violating food laws, including:

  • 6 restaurants;
  • 3 cafeterias;
  • 2 grocery stores;
  • 1 dessert shop;
  • 1 kitchen;
  • 2 storage facilities; and
  • 3 boxing facilities.

Longhorn Steakhouse on the Pearl-Qatar was one of the restaurants ordered to be closed last month after inspectors seized large amounts of expired food products from a restaurant which they said was hidden by staff.

Inspectors also visited the central market in Abu Hamour and examined12,466 tons of fruit and vegetables. Some 271 tons were destroyed after being found to be unfit for human consumption, The Peninsula reported.

In one week during March, ministry inspectors ordered the destruction of 17 tons of rotten fruit and vegetables.

Meanwhile, inspectors have also ordered the destruction of 172 consignments of fresh produce brought in through Qatar’s ports which is found to be rotten or damaged, Baladiya said today on Twitter.

Translation: Some 6,053 shipments were inspected and 172 were destroyed at the quarantine offices of Qatar’s ports.

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