H.E Rashed Mohamed Al Shariqi, Director General of Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA), revealed today that a comprehensive plan to develop the retail stores sector (grocery stores) was underway, details of which would be disclosed later this year.
The plan envisages sea changes to the sector, bringing benefits to all stake holders, such as consumers, owners, operators and neighborhoods in which grocery stores are located. The proposed changes are in line with Abu Dhabi 2030 Vision.
Al Shariqi said the modernization of the retail and grocery sector was very much a part of ADFCA's endeavors to achieve Abu Dhabi Governmentï¿½s Vision. The changes will necessitate the sector to adopt global food safety procedures in the running of groceries more rigorously.
"The most important function of grocery stores is meeting the daily needs of consumers for foods and food products. A recent Government of Abu Dhabi ï¿½ assigned study by an agency on the retail sector in the city concluded that Abu Dhabi residents had spent about AED 3.4 billion in the year 2010 on food and beverages and other consumer goods, out of which small groceries accounted for AED 1 billion," Al Shariqi pointed out, explaining the context of the proposed changes.
The study revealed that there are about 1,300 grocery stores in the city, with an approximate size of â€‹â€‹ 45 square meters. Open for 16 hours and serving roughly 150 customers of varied nationalities and backgrounds a day, most grocery stores are located in residential or work areas in the city. Their proximity coupled with services such as home delivery and sale on credit make them an attractive option for the consumers. This dynamic sector stands to gain much if they uniformly implement global standards in their services, the study suggested.
"Our initiatives for the grocery sector are aimed at further improvement in standards. ADFCA has conducted a field survey on grocery stores in Abu Dhabi, the date from which will be used in putting together a new set of standards and incentives. Once implemented, the new standards will give the customers improved shopping experience, while the owners and operators will have better and more lucrative business opportunities," Al Shariqi promised.
The Emirate of Abu Dhabi is currently involved in effecting a qualitative leap in all sector by the year 2030. The Vision 2030 aspires to develop a sustainable economic model that brings all round well being and prosperity in an atmosphere of environmental soundness. ADFCA and Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development will work together to implement the proposed improvement plans for the grocery sector.