Veterinarians are called in to inspect the sheep at an abattoir ahead of one of Islam’s major holidays in Dubai, where the municipality is encouraging residents to use smart apps to order the sacrificial animals.
Muslims during Eid Al Azha, which falls in July this year to mark the end of the hajj pilgrimage season, traditionally buy a whole sheep to be slaughtered and distributed among friends, family and the poor.
Demand, however, is all-year round in the Muslim emirate, with mask-clad workers at the abattoir in Al Qouz industrial area — one of many in Dubai — seen slicing and cleaning the meat for delivery or pick-up.
To avoid overcrowding at the facility during the Eid, Dubai officials have urged people to use smart apps to make their orders, as the emirate witnesses a new wave of coronavirus infections.
Through the apps, residents can put in their orders for slaughter, have it delivered or even distributed to local charities.
While such apps are not widely available in Muslim countries, they have been used in some countries such as Pakistan.
Dubai, one of the seven members of the United Arab Emirates, has seven apps, said officials.
Ali al-Hamadi, director of public health services at Dubai municipality, said deliveries through the apps are made “within one or two hours, saving people time and energy”.
“In the past two years, due to Covid-19, many have resorted to using smart apps, as precautionary measures are still needed, and we have to take that into consideration,” he told.
Fayez al-Badr, in charge of one of Dubai’s smart apps, said customers can “order the type of slaughter, its age, and can, through the app, pay and have it delivered in a refrigerated van”.
The UAE warned earlier this month that people must follow its anti-Covid measures including wearing masks indoors or face heavy fines, after cases more than doubled in a week.
Muslims mark Eid by buying sheep and goats to kill in the annual ritual that stems from the story of Prophet Abraham (AS), commanded by God to slaughter his beloved son Ishmael (AS) as a test of his faith.
Sheep are slaughtered, in reference to the lamb that God provided for sacrifice instead of Ishmael.
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