In a slaughterhouse in Al-Quoz, an industrial district of Dubai, veterinarians and employees are already preparing for the great Muslim holiday of Eid, the authorities of the emirate betting again this year on mobile applications to avoid the rush.
During Eid al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice), around mid-July this year and which marks the end of the great pilgrimage to Mecca, Muslims traditionally sacrifice sheep, lambs, or calves, whose meat is then distributed to family, friends and those in need.
To avoid a large crowd in front of the slaughterhouse, while cases of coronavirus contamination are on the rise again, the municipality of Dubai, one of the seven emirates forming the United Arab Emirates, is calling on customers to give preference to online orders.
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In this wealthy, ultra-connected city, where almost everything is delivered to order, from medicine to gasoline, seven mobile applications allow you to choose an animal to sacrifice and receive the meat at home in a few hours.
Similar apps have been developed in other Muslim countries, including Pakistan.
In Dubai, their use has spread over the past two years, during the Covid-19 pandemic, says the head of public health at the municipality, Ali Al-Hamadi.
Today, “prevention measures are still imposed and this must be taken into consideration,” he told AFP, also emphasizing “the time and effort” that these platforms save.
The United Arab Emirates announced last week a 100% increase in cases of coronavirus contamination and called for observing barrier gestures, after a “relaxation” of the population.
Fayez Al-Badr, the manager of one of the applications, explains that users can “choose the type of animal, its age, the cut of the meat, the method of payment and the delivery in refrigerated trucks”.
They can also request the distribution of the meat to the poorest through charitable organizations, he told AFP.
This annual ritual stems from the story of the prophet Abraham, who was ordered by God to sacrifice his son Ishmael to test his faith. The beasts are sacrificed for Eid al-Adha in reference to the lamb that God gave Abraham to slaughter instead of his son.