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High prices take the taste off Eid sweets

Abu Dhabi: The prices of sweets and baking ingredients have risen sharply, despite the Ministry of Economy penalising 41 retailers last week for unjustified hike in prices during Ramadan.

Several bakeries admitted to a hike in prices of sweets, especially 'Eid cookies' or 'Kahk Al Eid' which are Dh5 more expensive than last year. Eid cookies mixed with nuts, cashew and almonds will cost Dh45 and Dh30 per kg for the ones stuffed with dates. Last year the prices for Eid cookies were Dh40 and Dh25 per kilo. They blamed rise on the increase in the cost of flour.

An Egyptian shopper, Huda Mohammad was looking for flour to complete the ingredients for baking homemade Eid cookies and told Gulf News that a 10kg sack of flour is the only option she found and costs Dh16.50 compared to Dh10 only two months ago. "Not only is the price higher, I can't even find good quality flour in the markets, there are no choices to select from anymore. An increase of more than Dh6 for a flour brand that's not even considered good quality is way beyond anyone's budget."

Jordanian mother of two girls and three boys, Feda Hussain will also bake Eid cookies at home and complained that there is an increase in prices in general, of clothing and of foodstuff.

"I prefer to bake my Eid cookies at home. First of all because I can make as much of them as I want. We are not going to be limited by the quantity and secondly because it is cheaper, even though costs for baking them have increased tremendously. My third reason is that they are fresh at home. Eid cookies you buy hardly taste good." She also complained that shopping for clothing has become expensive with many prices up by 15-20 per cent.

Myrna San Pedro from the Philippines who recently converted to Islam and has two children, also prefers baking at home due to high prices for ready made sweets such as baklava, basbosa and katayef. "It is much cheaper to bake at home than to buy ready made sweets. The katayef ingredients for instance used to cost Dh4.50 but is now for Dh6. Eid cookies are way expensive this year. It's so much cheaper to bake them at home." Jordanian Sports Trainer, Khader Khalil, had just finished his Eid grocery shopping.

"Prices of nuts and almonds increased by at least Dh3 per kilo in comparison to last year. Simple ingredients you need while baking at home are at least Dh3-4 more expensive and it all adds up to your budget at the end of the day. Even if we decide to bake our Eid sweets at home it will cost us more. All families are complaining regarding the ongoing hike in prices."

Aisha Slim from Kenya is relieved because she's already finished more than half her Eid shopping. Tunisian teacher AlAid Bowzizi believes that certain clothes are moderately cheap but does detect an increase in prices of foodstuff.

Umara Imran, Pakistan was doing her Eid shopping for clothes and shoes. She complained that there are not enough special prices before Eid. "I am shopping for shoes, clothes and jewellery and prices remain high."

Oman to mark Eid tomorrow

Oman announced that Eid Al Fitr falls on Saturday (October 13), without calling for Shawwal moon sighting, announced the London-based Asharq Al Awsat newspaper.

This is the first time the country is using astronomic calculations, which show that the moon will set before sunset on Thursday evening all over Oman, which means that it is impossible to see the moon on Thursday night.

Since it is scientifically impossible to see the Shawwal crescent on Thursday night, the Moon Sighting Committee announced that Friday would be the 30th of Ramadan, and Shawwal starts on Saturday.

Source: Gulf News

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