Dubai: The coronavirus COVID-19 will not have an impact on food consumption in the UAE, confirmed a senior official from the Emirates Council for Food Security.
Issa Al Hashemi, the official spokesman for the Emirates Council for Food Security, said that the annual food consumption per capita was an average of 700 kg, and explained that this year will not be any different despite the ongoing pandemic.
“As we approach the holy month of Ramadan, we assure the public that the UAE maintains a strategic stock of food commodities and we have a dedicated team representing federal, local and private sectors to facilitate supplies and meet demands,” said Al Hashemi.
According to statistics, the 700 kg of food was made up of five different types of food:
- Fish 4%
- Meat and poultry 29%
- Grains, pulses 32%
- Fruits 21%
- Vegetables 14%
He pointed out that the UAE gives priority to food security and stressed there were sufficient food supplies to cater to everyone throughout Ramadan and beyond.
"I would like to reaffirm that we are capable of responding to all the needs of the public and ensure the available of food supply to markets from both local produce and that imported from abroad," said Al Hashemi.
He added that the volume of exports and imports of food are the same compared to the same period last year, and have not been affected by the current circumstances.
The total amount of food imported to the UAE during the first quarter of 2020 reached more than 3.5 million tonnes at a value of over Dh13 billion, while food exports reached 918,000 tonnes with a total value of more than Dh3.7 billion. The volume of re-exported food was recorded at more than 455,000 tonnes.
"We assure everyone that we shall be providing all the essential food items for Ramadan and we are capable of dealing with any new situation," added Al Hashemi.
Residents in Dubai can track the daily prices of staple foods via a price monitor launched by Dubai Economy. Through accessing the website price.ded.ae, consumers can lodge their complaints and queries about any price increase they may come across.
The price monitor, which is also available in Arabic and English, allows shoppers and businesses on a daily basis to track and compare the prices of 41 basic needs including rice, bread, flour, cooking oil, meat, poultry, fish, milk, eggs, water, salt, sugar fruits and vegetables and hygiene essentials such as sanitisers and face masks.
Dubai Economy will also evaluate demand and supply in the local market based on the price list regularly and address any likely concerns among shoppers and traders.
The daily price monitor is available on the Instagram and Twitter handles of Dubai Economy @Dubai_DED.