Dubai: Livestock prices in Dubai remain buoyant ahead of Eid Al Adha (Festival of Sacrifice) as some supply remains curtailed and some imports arrive by air cargo, traders said.
According to goat and sheep sellers at Dubai’s main livestock market in Al Qusais, Pakistani livestock is not arriving in the UAE because traders in Pakistan are primarily trying to cater to local demand there. Meanwhile, some traders are importing livestock via air, especially from India, which is more expensive than shipping by sea.
Both these factors have kept prices from sliding this Eid Al Adha, said traders. Prices are around the same level as last year’s Eid, they added, with no extraordinary spike expected this season.
Eid Al Adha sees Muslims purchase a sacrificial animal, usually a sheep or goat, in gratitude for the spiritual blessings of the annual Haj pilgrimage season. A portion of the meat is typically gifted to someone, while some of it is donated to charity. It is also a tradition to have a family lunch, comprising a dish cooked from the meat of the sacrificed animal on Eid day.
This year, Eid Al Adha falls on July 20 in the UAE.
Ahead of the first day of Eid Al Adha, prices were holding steady at the Dubai livestock market. Prices are determined by the weight, healthy features and country of origin of the animal, besides supply-demand and haggling skills.
What are prices like this Eid?
Indian livestock mutton is highly sought after, for its taste and ease of cooking, customers and traders said, and so it commands the highest price. Indian goat (around 20kg) was going for Dh800 to Dh1,200 on Saturday. In comparison, for the same price, a heavier Omani variety (35kg) can be bought.
Somali livestock is usually the least expensive, with prices hovering around Dh550 to Dh600 for a 15kg goat.
Marked for sale
Livestock seller Mohammad Yousef said business was more or less the same compared to last Eid Al Adha. “Some customers come in advance of Eid and select the best sheep or goat. We mark the customers’ initials on their purchase. One customer paid Dh3,500 for a 40kg goat from India because of its size, beauty and good health,” he added.
“Indian livestock is more expensive because people like its taste and it cooks faster than the other verities, because the meat is soft. It’s also costlier because some traders have imported the livestock by air cargo, which is more expensive than the more common way of importing by sea. One trader paid Dh800 per animal on air cargo.”
Some customers said the prices were too high. Indian expat Nusrat Ali, who is from Mumbai, said: “I think some traders are misusing the excuse of the COVID-19 pandemic to try to justify higher prices. Some of them are asking for Dh1,800 for a 22kg Indian goat. I had paid around Dh1,400 last Eid for the same.”
Prices nosedive after the first day of Eid, with some people waiting to offer the sacrifice on the second day of Eid.