Local vendors including fruit sellers and meat suppliers, are experiencing a significant increase in sales in the holy month of Ramadan. This surge in demand is attributed to the essential role these items play during iftar.

“Many people do not consume fruit everyday, regularly. However, during the holy month, it’s a daily affair,” said Fareedul Shafique, a fruit vendor at the Waterfront market.

“Our customers visit us once or twice a month on regular days. In the month of Ramadan, they are visiting us nearly every week or every four days,” added Shafique.

Fruits are significant during iftar as they provide essential nutrients and hydration after a day of fasting. Faithful often consume dates, which are traditionally consumed to break the fast, with refreshing watermelons and juicy oranges, among other fruits to replenish their energy and vital nutrients.

Another fruit vendor at the Waterfront, Mohammed Ali, said that during Ramadan, many of them rely heavily on fruits for their iftar meals. “We've seen a noticeable increase in sales, with customers purchasing two to three different types of fruits every day,” said Ali.

“The most purchased fruits are apples and oranges. However, people also prefer nutrient-packed fruits like strawberries, blueberries, avocados, bananas, guavas, plums, etc.,” said Ali, adding that there is no increase in price for any fruit.

However, for bulk purchases for iftar distribution, many residents prefer Al Awir fruit market. “We have daily orders of more than 1,000kg of fruits every day. These are the people who give away or host mass iftar in various parts of the city,” said Saleem Kunji, a fruit wholesaler based in Awir market.

“The main fruits that people prefer for distribution during Ramadan are oranges, bananas, and apples,” said Kunji.

Increase in meat sales

Similarly, meat sellers are also witnessing a surge in business as the demand for meat spikes during Ramadan. Asgar Khan, a butcher at the Waterfront market, said that Ramadan is a busy time for them and at times they have to work extra hours to cater to their customers. Almost everyone who fasts prioritises meat in their iftar meals, whether it's for preparing traditional dishes or simply adding protein to their meals. We've seen a noticeable increase in sales across all meat varieties,” said Asgar.

“Moreover, in Ramadan, many people try to prepare some unique dishes which require meat from a particular part of the animal's body. People come to us with such orders. On a regular day, our customers come to us once in 10-15 days. However, in Ramadan, it has become a weekly affair,” said Asgar.

One significant aspect of meat sales during Ramadan is the wholesale purchase of whole animals for mass iftars organized by charitable individuals and organisations. Many generous donors opt to buy entire lambs or buffalos in large quantities for the preparation of meals that are being distributed as iftar meals.

Hamza Malik, a butcher at Sharjah’s Sajja livestock market, said that they see a considerable increase in requests for whole animals during Ramadan, especially from those looking to donate for mass iftars.

“On a daily basis, we have orders for over 300 whole animals every day, and these are purchased by the people who distribute and donate iftars every day,” said Hamza.

“Ramadan is the time we are continuously working. We divide our work into shifts, and we have to work round the clock for slaughtering, cleaning, cutting, and logistics to the kitchen,” said Hamza.

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