The Development of Consumer Protection in Saudi Arabia

12 Pages Posted: 7 Jul 2004

See all articles by David Morris

David Morris

Coventry University - Business School

Maha Al Dabbagh

King Abdulaziz University - Department of Economics


The development of consumer protection in Saudi Arabia is of interest for a number of reasons. First, Saudi Arabia presents a unique combination of size, stage of development of the economy and wealth, coupled with strictness of Islamic observance. Second, consumer protection in the Saudi context has received very little attention from researchers. Despite the richness of Islamic teachings on the conduct of business and trade, very little has been written on consumer protection in Islamic societies other than discussions of financial markets and consumer credit and monopoly. This article briefly explores the background to the emergence of consumer protection in Saudi Arabia. Consumer credit and financial markets are excluded from the discussion. Islamic (Shari'ah) law is analysed as a basis for the regulation of consumer affairs; this system of law is then compared in its major outcomes for consumers with legal systems in advanced Western economies. The development of secular commercial law during recent times in Saudi Arabia is also considered as a parallel development to those in Shari'ah. Both strands of development are then set in the context of Saudi Arabia's 5-year development plans and the changing position of consumer policy issues is tracked through successive plans. The institutional location of consumer policy within the Saudi government system is discussed before finally considering the changing nature of the Saudi consumer and the possible future for consumer protection in the country.

Keywords: Consumerism, consumer protection, consumer policy, Islamic law, Saudi Arabia, economic development

Suggested Citation

Morris, David and Dabbagh, Maha Al, The Development of Consumer Protection in Saudi Arabia. Available at SSRN:

David Morris (Contact Author)

Coventry University - Business School ( email )

Priory Street
Coventry, CV1 5FB
United Kingdom

Maha Al Dabbagh

King Abdulaziz University - Department of Economics

King Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia
Jeddah, 12411
Saudi Arabia

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