Increasingly, nuclear families claim they find it difficult to go to cattle markets and abattoirs to buy animals for sacrifice and distribute the meat among people and would rather hire the services of third parties Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/XPRESS

Dubai: Many Muslim expat families in the UAE honour the practice of qurbani or sacrifice of a halal animal during Eid al-Adha by delegating the slaughter and distribution of meat to third parties as they find it more convenient.

The sacrifice, which is a tradition followed to remind oneself of the importance of wordly renounciation and abnegation, involves a halal domestic animal like goat or sheep, whose meat is distributed among people.

Emirates Red Crescent

But as a 24-year-old Indian woman who lives with her husband in Bur Dubai said, “Much as I would like to buy a full animal and use it at home, it will be too much as we are only two people in the house. So I am thinking of getting the sacrifice done by someone else, so the meat can be distributed among those who can’t afford to buy it.”

She said she will enlist the service of the Emirates Red Crescent under its Al Adha Project whereby she could get the sacrifice done by paying Dh550 for distribution of meat among needy families in the UAE or Dh350 outside the UAE.

A Sharjah resident, 50, said he has been getting the sacrifice done in his hometown Lucknow for years. “The problem with buying it here is where will I get the carcass cut into small pieces during this busy period? Also, whom do I give it to? I just find it easier to get the qurbani done back home. It’s cheaper and also helps feed a few hungry mouths.”

He said there is an active word-of-mouth and online network through which people connect with reliable services.

An Indian family of four in Dubai said they too get the sacrifice done in their native place near Delhi. “We find it more convenient this way as we are a nuclear family and hardly have any friends or extended family here to share the meat of the sacrificed animal.”

The sacrifice taken care of, the expats cater to their own requirements by buying cut portions of meat from local supermarkets.

“Yes, we see this trend at our supermarkets,” said Subhash. K, corporate marketing manager at Choithrams.

Different varieties

He said, “We have many different varieties of meat from Australia, New Zealand and India, cuts such as the grain fed range, sirloin, ribeye and rump steak retailing approximately at Dh89/kg, Angus cuts such as beef cubes, roast, stir fry, mince and braising steak are selling at approximately Dh45/kg.”

Sameer Sulaiman, group CEO of the Fathima Group, which runs the Fathima Hypermarket in Bur Dubai, said, “Eid Al Adha is one of the busiest seasons of the year and demand for meats doubles during the period. Big families on an average buy 7-8 kg of meat while smaller families consume 2-3kg.”

He said, “The fastest selling meat is Indian mutton, Pakistan beef and Indian veal. The prices fluctuate in line with the market demand and availability.”