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Thursday, October 28, 2021

Social media users launch #BoycottHighPrices campaign


Social media users in Qatar are calling for a boycott of high prices of food items, rent, and other products and services.

A trending hashtag has emerged in the Qatari Twitter-sphere calling for the boycott of high prices, with many complaining of extortionate rates in the country.

The hashtag – #المقاطعه_للاسعار_المرتفعه [#Boycott_high_prices]- takes on all products and services deemed to be too expensive in Qatar, though many focused on the price of rent and food items.

“To be honest the prices in Qatar are overpriced and I think that the ministry of commerce should take an action to stop the business owners to price the products as they want,” one Twitter user said.

“Ministry should have a close look on the rent charged. Half of our salary is gone for the rent. It’s becoming so hard to live with a family here,” another user added.

Weighing in on the topic, Qatari columnist Mohammed Al-Kuwari said change is necessary.

“No one wants to impose losses on business owners but the goal is to form pressure to change a reality in which there is greed, exaggeration in prices, and neglect of people,” he said.

It is necessary to put forward an alternative that could be better, and to exchange experiences in electronic shopping, to which there are endless options of any commodity,” he added.

Read also: Qatar’s GDP to hit $208bn by 2024

For the campaigners, even the cost of coffee was a point of contention.

“I think it is time for cafes and restaurants that have exaggerated their prices to re-examine and reduce their rates so that the consumer does not ultimately have to enforce this boycott,” Hamad Lahdan Al-Muhannadi, who boasts more than 240,000 followers, tweeted.

Some pointed towards business owners themselves to assist the campaign.

“Such boycotts only succeed with the support of business owners who set appropriate prices,” one tweet said.

Another tweet read “no one is speaking about the prices of real estate and land that break backs.”

According to February 2021 figures from global database Numbeo, the cost of living for a single person in Doha -without rent – is estimated to be a little over QR 3,000.

For a family of four, the estimated monthly costs are QR 11,000 without rent, the database said.

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