The United Arab Emirates 2014 total domestic poultry meat production is expected to reach 43,000 MT, compared to 41,000 MT in 2013.
Assuming that all determining factors continue at the same pace, production is expected to grow by 5% to 45,000 MT, in 2015. Table egg production is estimated at about 500 million annually.
Chicken production dominates total UAE poultry sector, with the exception of one quail farm, which produces an estimated 300,000 birds/monthly.
The poultry production sector in the UAE is facing serious challenges, with diseases being the greatest among them all. Old disease strains have mutated to new strains, particularly the avian influenza, which complicates the situation for the producers. Migratory birds and lose animals also contribute to the movement of diseases to producing farms. As a result, mortality increased to 12% in 2014. Diseases will continue to pose big threat to producers.
All locally produced chicken should be Halal slaughtered. Hand slaughtering is the most common slaughtering practice. Stunning is not allowed in poultry according to UAE law. As a result, the movement of the birds during slaughtering complicates the slaughtering process, with producers end up having large number of birds with broken wings, legs and other damages which lead to downgrading 15% of the production.
Technology changes have been positive. New steam scalding method has been introduced in the UAE and is reported to have helped greatly in reducing cross contamination and bacterial count, compared to the old method of using boiling water.
Also, according to industry sources, Saudi Arabia and Oman export fresh poultry meat to UAE causing marketing challenges to local producers since both countries receive support from their governments.
In the absence of subsidies from the federal government, poultry producers face fierce competition from their counterparts in Abu Dhabi, as the Emirate of Abu Dhabi provides 25% subsidy to its poultry farmers for feed purchases. The sale of subsidised feed from the Emirate of Abu Dhabi to other Emirates is illegal in UAE
Biosecurity remains a delicate issue in poultry production farms in UAE. Also, the increasing prices of feed and high operational cost have added to the problems facing poultry producers. As a result, some small producers have either closed down or scaled down their operations.