Poultry meat production was constrained due to outbreaks of diseases which resulted in some plants either closing or scaling down their operations, and the increasing prices of feed and high operational cost have added to the problems of poultry producers. A newly constructed farm in Abu Dhabi is expected to start production in 2013, and according to industry sources, early this year Saudi Arabia stopped exports of poultry meat. This development has encouraged UAE producers to increase their production, said the USDA.
Five large-sized farms produce about 75 percent of the local poultry production, half of which is produced by a single farm in Dubai; two medium-sized farms produce nearly 10 percent of the total, while the balance is filled by several small operations. Major poultry operations are fully integrated, including on-farm slaughtering facilities. They also have their marketing, sales and distribution staff and some even retail directly. Domestically produced poultry is generally marketed fresh/chilled. Summer heat causes both production and marketing problems when demand for poultry meat drops, as many UAE residents travel abroad fleeing the high temperature, according to the USDA. During the summer months major operations will freeze some production. In an effort to expand market share, some producers are producing limited amounts of chilled boneless or bone-in parts.
In 2011, almost 96 percent of the total poultry imported by UAE were frozen chicken, 50 percent of which were frozen meat and edible offal of chicken not cut in pieces, and 46 percent frozen cuts and offal parts. Similarly, 98 percent of total exports were frozen chicken, 64 percent of which were frozen cuts and edible offal, and 34 percent frozen meat and edible offal not cut in pieces, and almost 94 percent of reexports were frozen chicken, 53 percent frozen cuts and edible offal and 41 percent frozen meat and edible offal not cut in pieces.