The Ramadan season in Qatar has officially kicked off a few weeks early this year, after the Minister of Economy and Trade announced an upcoming annual price freeze on some 400 food and everyday items in grocery stores.
The set prices take effect June 6 and will be in place until the end of Ramadan, which is estimated to be around July 16.
During this time, all shops in Qatar will be required by law to sell the listed goods at the prices set by the government, which is about 10 percent lower than usual.
The Minister of Economy and Commerce Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim bin Mohamed Al-Thani issued Ministerial Decision No. 216 of 2015 outlining the items and their maximum costs as an effort to “ease the burden of extra costs on consumers,” QNA reports.
This follows the approval given by the state Cabinet earlier this month of the minister’s decision to fix the prices.
On the list
Items on the list include flour; cooking oils; dairy such as fresh and condensed milk, laban, yogurt and cheese; dates; processed fruit drinks and Vimto; staples like pasta and rice; fresh and frozen chicken and other meat; fruit and vegetables, tea, coffee and other canned foods; and items such as trash bags, hand soap and paper tissues.
This is the fifth year the government has fixed the price of everyday goods for shoppers in Qatar during Ramadan, when Muslim families buy and cook large meals to enjoy after breaking their fast and to share with friends, neighbors and those less fortunate.
This year’s list of goods is similar to last year. In 2013, the prices of 320 items of food and household essentials were fixed.
The minister has urged residents to report any violations and warned stores that inspectors would monitor prices and the stock of items.
Ramadan is currently expected to start around June 18, according to predictions from the Sharjah planetarium, the National reports.
Stores and malls around town are already gearing up for the holy month. Decorations have been going up around town and some supermarkets have launched special promotions on favorite seasonal products.
You know that Ramadan is approaching when you see a Vimto mountain appear in the supermarket pic.twitter.com/cAxKf5vsbZ
— Brian Candy (@iCandy_pw) May 29, 2015
For example, Al Meera, which has 35 branches around the country, said it would sell 1,000 items at cost-price during the month.
Ahead of Ramadan each year, health professionals issue warnings about not over-indulging in rich and oily foods, particularly when breaking the fast. In recent years, Hamad Hospital has seen a spike in patients complaining of stomach and digestive issues at the time.
Are you getting ready for Ramadan? Thoughts?