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UAE fruit and vegetables import ban could double prices for consumers

Staff Writer |
After the United Arab Emirates' (UAE) recent ban on the imports of fruit and vegetables from five Middle Eastern countries, due to high pesticide levels, some are expecting it to lead to inflated prices for UAE consumers.

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Produce from Egypt, Oman, Jordan, Lebanon and Yemen were banned on Monday.

From May 15, sellers will have to pay more for food from other countries and more to import it – increases that will be passed on to customers.

"We usually get carrots from Oman for Dh1.50 a kilogram, but now we will have to get them from China or even Australia where it is Dh3.50 a kilo," said Shokrollah Ali, managing director of Shokri Hassan Trading at Dubai’s Fruit and Vegetable Market.

A kilo of lettuce, which would usually cost Dh4.50, is expected to be more than triple that price – between Dh15 and Dh20.

Shavanas K M, sales manager at Barakat Vegetables and Fruits, said: "It will be more expensive because there will be no other option.

"We have to get these items from Holland now by air only so the price will be very high because it includes freight charge, service and air conditioning. It’s a huge difference," Shavanas said.

"Most products will be double the price or Dh10 to Dh15 more, so food costs will be high for consumers.

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