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USDA International Egg and Poultry

02 July 2014

USDA International Egg and Poultry: UAE’s Poultry SituationUSDA International Egg and Poultry: UAE’s Poultry Situation

Poultry meat production in the United Arab Emirate (UAE) is expected to reach 43,000 metric tons (MT) in 2014 compared to 41,000 MT in 2013
USDA International Egg and Poultry


Assuming all determining factors continue at the same pace, production is expected to increase 5% to 45,000 MT in 2015. Quail production in the UAE is estimated at 300,000 birds/monthly. Table egg production is estimated at about 500 million annually.

The poultry industry in the UAE is facing numerous challenges with the greatest being disease issues. Other challenges include biosecurity issues, increased feed costs, increased operational costs, and competition with countries subsidizing its’ poultry industries.

Major poultry operations are fully integrated including on-farm slaughtering facilities. Domestically produced poultry is generally marketed fresh/chilled. During the summer months when sales typically drop, major operations freeze 5-10% of their production. Spent hens and chicken paws are either destroyed or recycled in rendering plants. Local production of processed poultry is limited to chicken franks and chicken parts, particularly breasts. Negligible amounts of locally produced chicken franks are exported to neighboring GCC and other Arab countries.


Poultry meat consumption is expected to remain strong supported by increases in population, growing tourism and transit passengers passing through UAE airports, an active and growing HRI sector, poultry’s price advantage over other meats, and the adaptability of poultry in cuisine.

Local production covers about 15% of total UAE market demand for poultry meat with the remaining 85% from imports. Locally produced chicken are generally consumed by UAE nationals who represent 15% of the population, consumers with high disposable incomes and Muslims who prefer to consume products with guaranteed Halal slaughter. Almost 75% of imported poultry meat is consumed in the foodservice sector. Domestic consumer preferences include whole birds, leg quarters, boneless whole chicken, chicken breast, drumsticks, wings, and other offal.


UAE’s poultry meat imports reached 357,000 MT in 2013, down 1% from 2012 (360,000 MT). Poultry meat imports are expected to hit 370,000 MT in 2014 and 380,000 MT in 2015. Brazil is the leading supplier of poultry to the UAE with 68% of the market share, followed by the US, France, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, and Argentina.

In the absence of official UAE trade data, exports are estimated to reach 1,700 MT in 2014. Re-exports reached 25,000 MT in 2012, a 73% increase from 2011. Re-exports are also expected to increase to 28,000 MT in 2014 given Dubai’s position as a re-export hub in the region. A majority of the re-exported poultry products are destined to Afghanistan, Oman, Iran, Qatar, and African countries. The increased forecasts are based on favoring factors such as economic improvements and the aggressive future development plans set by the UAE Government.

The UAE is a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) along with Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia since it’s inception in 1981. Jordan, Morocco, and Yemen have been in membership talks with the GCC. Recently, member states of the GCC monetary union (Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Kuwait) have been in talks with the UAE and Oman to persuade them to join. The GCC has been working on the creation of a monetary union to create a single currency among members and with the approval of the monetary agreement became effective in February 2010. However the UAE and Oman opted out prior to the monetary union’s launch.

The GCC has also held a number of meetings in June 2014 such as the 131st session Saudi Arabia to discuss progress on the Riyadh Agreement; a workshop to modernize and enhance a statistical system, General Data Disseminating System (GDDS), across the GCC; and a workshop with ASEAN and GCC member countries to increase cooperation and trade relations.

Source: USDA FAS Gain Report UAE6-2014/Various News Wires

Source: Foreign Trade Statistics, UAE Customs Authorities - Not Official USDA Data/USDA FAS Gain Report UAE2-2014

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