Arabic language: quotations, invoices, warranties, price tags, menu cards, U.A.E. 2017

March 5th, 2017 by Stephen Jones Leave a reply »

Businesses in Dubai were instructed last year to use Arabic as the main language for receipts, menus and invoices by 2017.

The Commercial Compliance & Consumer Protection (CCCP) division at Dubai’s Department of Economic Development (DED) wants to preserve the Arabic language as Dubai becomes a multinational destination.

All commercial establishments have to use Arabic while issuing invoices and receipts, for example at hotel reception desks and in restaurants and spas – menu cards, price tags – in addition to any other language of the business owner’s choice.

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“Consumers who don’t know English should be able to read and understand what is written on the invoices they receive.”
“According to statistics ….a large segment of consumers in Dubai belong to GCC and other Arab states. Hence, it’s important to provide information and services in Arabic language, particularly while receiving enquiries and complaints and in after-sales services provided through call centres.” Mohammad Ali Rashed Lootah, Executive Director of CCCP
The CCCP will monitor businesses in 2017 to ensure compliance with the new rules.

This is reiterated in the’ Blue Book’.
Businesses Policies.
Businesses Policies, shall be written in Arabic and foreign language and displayed in a prominent visible please to consumer.
1) Businesses / Service providers shall give the consumers a purchase invoice in Arabic and foreign language, stating all details related to goods / services such as: prices, quantities of purchased items, as well as the trade name.
2) Businesses / Service providers shall clarify the sold items separating each item alone, and stating the item value against each item. The invoice shall not be made only with the total invoice amount.
3) In the absence of a separate document of the warranty. The warranty must be written with coverage and the duration in the invoices.

Think about:
– Who will create, maintain, validate data?.
– Which printed documents are affected? cheques? quotes? menu cards?, price lists? price tags? till receipts? invoices?
– Which reports and interfaces may be affected?
– What business polices, contracts/warranties may need to be updated to be in dual language in the same document?

Lets hope some commonsense is going to prevail in practice particularly for B2B. Vonsider for example”

– Relabeling all existing stock in a retail supermarket chain. Is it acceptable instead just to provide on shelf dual language price labels?
– What about goods sourced from abroad. If all stock ahs to be relabelled on receipt then again there increased costs and delays. Not so easy for frozen, or perishable items.
– When you are buying to order you can specify the labelling /packaging you want but what if you want to post buy – e.g. a supplier offers a special promotion of a fashion item – at short notice, for a line you have never sold before and maybe will never be sold again – do you buy or not given the additional complexity – of l the attached labels and washing instructions need to be translated etc.
– Spot happy hour sales promotions to pick up sales in slack periods e.g. buy one get one free , e.g. for a restaurant which has no bookings early evening, or a supermarket, or Eid promotions now all have to be translated. What about marking down the price of short shelf life stock? Is it just enough to put up a bilingual notice?
– What about on line?
– How will it impact e commerce companies, airline tickets, discounters or booking engines like Zomato or Groupon?.

The impact on business systems- more data to hold, longer time to print, (maybe for one invoice O.K. but what if you print 100,000 a month?) printers that handle both l to R and R to L printing in the same document
document management and scanning systems that now have to work with dual language for e.g. scanned invoices.


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