British Fresh Eggs in Dubai 1970s
Fresh eggs were non existent in 1971 Dubai unless you owned chickens. Most Grocery Stores only sold imported pickled eggs in jars. Pickled eggs looked like eggs but certainly didn't taste like eggs! Maybe the more enterprising could find fresh eggs for sale outside Dubai in, say, Dhaid or one of the farming areas but mostly people in Dubai lived life without the benefit of fresh eggs back then, that is until.......................
A British Expatriate capitalized on fresh egg scarcity in Dubai. His brother owned a chicken farm near Heathrow Airport in London. Between them they arranged for fresh eggs to be flown to Dubai by BOAC's newly introduced daily VC10 service from London to Dubai.
Happiness is an Egg
These imported fresh eggs were initially sold only to the Expatriate's friends but news of fresh eggs being available in Dubai spread by word of mouth amongst the British Expatriate community. Soon these fresh eggs were being sold to the Expatriate's friends and "friends of friends" so more fresh eggs were imported. Although BOAC's VC10 flew daily to Dubai, these fresh eggs were shipped irregularly. "Fresh Egg Seekers" had to know when the fresh eggs arrived in Dubai and where they could lay hands on the precious fresh eggs. Expatriate sold his eggs from his Apartment so knowing the Apartment's location was a key piece of information. Growing demand meant fresh egg sales were often rationed - sometimes to a tray of eggs (2 dozen)- sometimes half a tray. Then Dubai's larger Grocery Stores, such as KM Brother's Supermarket, began airfreighting in fresh eggs from Europe. Before long fresh eggs were freely available in Supermarkets and Grocery Stores.
Which came first? Chicken or Egg?
As Dubai's population grew so did the consumption of fresh eggs but it was not until 1978 the UAE's first Poultry Farm was established by Al Ahelia soon to be followed by other Poultry Farms. Often there were complaints these fresh eggs had a "fishy" taste, probably from using fish meal to feed chickens, so imported eggs continued to be popular. As late as 2013 fresh eggs were imported from countries such as Ireland for sale in Dubai's many Supermarkets.
Today UAE both imports and exports fresh eggs. UAE now has a major industry based on producing eggs and chicken meat.