Some UAE residents struggle to buy food as supermarket shelves go empty

With major roads impassable due to floods, supply chains in some communities have taken a hit


Waheed Abbas

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Supplied photo
Supplied photo

Published: Thu 18 Apr 2024, 5:21 PM

Last updated: Thu 18 Apr 2024, 10:53 PM

Demand for fresh food has grown exceptionally after the recent record rains with shelves going empty at supermarkets and hypermarkets.

Residents are stocking food and water as some areas are seeing supply chain issues due to flooded roads and streets.

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However, many groceries in the residential communities are also still not operational as they remain closed because they are still flooded. This left residents to purchase groceries and food items from hypermarkets.

“Groceries around us are closed because they’re flooded. Therefore, people in all the neighbouring buildings are going to a hypermarket which is the only source for food, beverages and other household items. People are buying in bulks because streets are flooded and they don’t want to go through this hassle time and again,” said Zubair Khan, an Al Majaz resident.

Khan said he walked through flooded streets for 300 metres to get fresh drinking water, dairy products, chicken and bread.

“All the grocery shops have been closed since Tuesday evening. Therefore, I had no option but to walk to a hypermarket around 300 metres away from my home through flooded roads. Many shelves were empty when I reached there because people had been buying in bulk since Wednesday morning. Even, 5-litre bottles are difficult to find anywhere now,” he said.

Many wholesale supply chain companies have been facing challenges in delivering supplies to retailers due to many areas still remaining flooded.

Kamal Vachani, partner and group director, Al Maya Group, confirmed that the demand for fresh food items at Al Maya has indeed surged post-rains, with bread, vegetables, and fruits being among the most sought-after products.

“Our in-house bakery is operating at full capacity to meet this increased demand, ensuring that our customers have access to freshly baked bread and other baked goods. Customers are showing a keen interest in replenishing their supplies with nutritious and wholesome options, and we’re committed to fulfilling their needs promptly,” he said.

He added that despite the challenges posed by rains and floods, the retailer has maintained a robust supply chain, ensuring that delivery companies can reach efficiently.

“We’ve implemented proactive measures to mitigate any potential disruptions, including running our in-house bakery at full capacity to meet the heightened demand for fresh bread and other baked goods. This enabled us to overcome supply chain obstacles and provide seamless delivery services,” said Al Maya Group partner and group director.


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