Dubai: Cattle prices in Dubai will not be allowed to rocket during the Eid Al Adha festival of sacrifice that begins next weekend, a top official said.
Dr Hashim Al Nuaimi, director of the Consumer Protection Department, warned traders will be fined heavily — between Dh5,000 and Dh100,000 — if they increase cattle prices this festive season.
“The supply’s good, why increase prices?” Dr Al Nuaimi said while inspecting the cattle market in Ghusais on Monday.
Prices typically rise during Eid Al Adha as residents rush to sacrifice a sheep or goat for the occasion, which follows the Haj pilgrimage in Makkah. Cows and camels can also be sacrificed.
The sacrificial animals’ meat is traditionally given to the poor, friends and neighbours. Portions are also cooked for the family offering the sacrifice. However, some residents who budget early for the ritual see prices climb out of reach as Eid Al Adha draws close.
“This Eid Al Adha, no, this will not happen. I’ll come again to check. We’ll check in Fujairah and other emirates,” said Dr Al Nuaimi.
During the inspection he asked a number of traders to slash prices about 20 per cent, saying “that’s too much, bring it down” as he made the rounds.
The average price for a small goat — about 10-15kg — should be around Dh400. A large 40kg sheep should be priced at about Dh1,000.
“You should shop around and negotiate also. The consumer should know the rights. Don’t give him [the trader] the money just because it’s what he asked for.”
Despite the official price guidelines, listed at most pens, many traders were still asking for Dh30-Dh70 more, said Indian customer Syed Miya. “Everyone’s got a different price, who’s setting these prices? And they’ll raise it more come Eid, I know they will.”
Two Pakistani traders said it was difficult to reduce prices as they made just Dh10-Dh30 profit per goat.
Dr Al Nuaimi said prices this season were down about 20 per cent from last Eid Al Adha. In 2011, about 2.3 million cattle were imported to the UAE through Ras Al Khaimah alone, he added.