Front of inflation galloping, free bread distributors appeared for the most needy in Dubai, wealthy Gulf emirate where millionaires, influencers and poor migrant workers rub shoulders.
The city, which imports almost all of its food products, has not escaped rising prices, a global trend exacerbated by the war in Ukraine.
In front of one of the ten distributors installed this week in supermarkets, Bigandar carefully observes the touch screen that allows him to choose between Arabic bread, sandwich bread or chapatis (Indian cakes).
The credit card reader is not used to pay, but to receive donations.
“A friend told me there was free bread, so I came,” this young Nepalese man, who did not want to give his full name, told AFP.
Like millions of Asian immigrants, he came to try his luck in the city of excess, located in the United Arab Emirates.
According to the Dubai Statistics Center, the food price index increased 8.75% in July, at an annual rate, while the cost of transport increased by more than 38%.
“The idea is to access disadvantaged families and workers, before they come to us,” explained Zeinab Juma Al Tamimi, director of the Dubai leader Mohamed Bin Rachid Al Maktoum’s foundation, at the origin of this initiative.
Anyone in need can get a four-pack of hot buns in less than two minutes, simply by “pressing a button,” he congratulates himself.
The United Arab Emirates, an oil-rich state, has a population of almost 10 million inhabitants, of which around 90% are foreigners, middle-class expatriates and mainly working poor from Asia and Africa.