The good and bad of standardization. A case of baqala’s in Abu Dhabi.


The Baqala was a project of Abu Dhabi’s Development Vision for 2030 which is aimed at achieving the environmental sustainability and health and safety in the retail sector. They do this by the process of standardization of all  grocery shops in abu dhabi so that they are visually appealing, consumer friendly and will have a overall standard price of all items. They decided to do this as they found out that out of the total Dh.3.4 Billion people spend of food and drinks, Dh1 billion was spent through small scale groceries.

As a part of this procedure hundreds of groceries were closed down by the abu dhabi food control authority as they were not able to cope with the new standards set by the government and all the stores that was under 200 square feet was asked to close down.  Standardization is good for all the customers but the small scale owners of these small groceries are put out of business and majority of them are forced to as they don’t have enough capital to upgrade their shop to the new standard set by the government which will leave many of these owners in trouble.

Standardization will also halt the opportunity for innovation and individuality and these owners will have no room for expansion too. For example, when lulu one of the fastest growing retail outlets started they started off as a small grocery which expanded into MNC. But, if there as standardization then, there would have been no room for expansion and innovation. Standardization will make the growth stagnant.

Raunaq Mathew, Dubai Campus


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