Vets are called in to inspect the sheep at a slaughterhouse ahead of one of Islam’s most important holidays in Dubai, where the municipality is encouraging residents to use smart apps to order the sacrificial animals.
During Eid Al-Adha, which falls in July this year to mark the end of the Hajj pilgrimage season, Muslims traditionally buy a whole sheep to be slaughtered and distributed among friends, family and the poor.
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Demand is year-round in the Muslim emirate, however, with masked workers at the slaughterhouse in the Al-Qouz industrial area — one of many in Dubai — seen cutting and cleaning the meat for delivery or collection.
To avoid overcrowding at the facility during Eid, officials in Dubai have urged people to use smart apps to place their orders as the emirate witnesses a new wave of coronavirus infections.
Via the apps, residents can pass on their slaughter order, have it delivered or even hand it out 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, officials said.
Ali al-Hamadi, director of public health services at Dubai Municipality, said deliveries via the apps are “made within an hour or two, saving people time and energy.”
“Over the past two years, many have resorted to using smart apps because of COVID-19 as precautions are still needed, and we need to take that into account,” he told AFP.
Fayez al-Badr, responsible for one of Dubai’s smart apps, said customers can “order the slaughter type and age and pay through the app and have it delivered in a refrigerated van.”
The UAE warned earlier this month that people should follow their anti-COVID measures, including wearing masks indoors or facing hefty fines, after the number of 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 the prophet Abraham, who was commanded by God to slaughter his beloved son Ishmael as a test of his faith.
Sheep are slaughtered, with reference to the lamb that God gave as a sacrifice instead of Ishmael.
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