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‘Make Dh1 karak again’: Dubai residents run for unusual cause, call for lower tea prices – News

KT Photos: Meher Dhanjal, Laraib Anwer

Published: Saturday January 6, 2024, 16:19

Last update: Saturday January 6, 2024, 18:09

If you were at Kite Beach on Saturday morning, you may have heard a group chanting, “Do karak Dh1 again!”

Adam Eddine, a 19-year-old Dubai resident, didn’t expect to go viral when he took to Instagram to announce a 24km run to advocate for a drop in the price of the beloved drink, which normally sells for Dh1.5 to Dh2. . in the United Arab Emirates. But a WhatsApp group formed for the cause quickly gained more than 300 members. Even the original video garnered over 348,000 views along with thousands of likes and comments. Look it here:

What started as a “personal challenge for 2024 with some friends” quickly catapulted into a small movement joined by residents from various walks of life.

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Around 25 people, all dressed in matching white t-shirts emblazoned with their slogan, gathered at 6.30am on Kite Beach, ready to run for this unusual cause.

“It is tradition that the karak costs 1 dirham,” said Youssef, a 17-year-old student, and his friend Ruben, who designed the event’s logo. Everyone gathered echoed a similar sentiment: this was a “fun” event.

Rubén (center-left) and Youssef (center-right) at the event.  KT Photo: Meher Dhanjal

Rubén (center-left) and Youssef (center-right) at the event. KT Photo: Meher Dhanjal

Medallion with logo for the participants (KT Photo: Meher Dhanjal)

Medallion with logo for the participants (KT Photo: Meher Dhanjal)

Adam’s father Sam and grandmother Safa were present to help the young man organize the event. Sam explained that when Adam was looking to organize the event after the overwhelming response he received, he thought “it was so silly it was funny.” He stressed that this is an event “to bring people together,” especially since so many young people “feel alone.”

Adam's grandmother, Safa, and father, Sam.  (KT Photo: Meher Dhanjal)

Adam’s grandmother, Safa, and father, Sam. (KT Photo: Meher Dhanjal)

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The event may have received a lot of in-person love; However, the video that was originally posted received a lot of criticism online.

Ibby VK, an artist and live performer in Dubai, disapproved of the move. Speaking to Khaleej Times, she said: “I thought this was all just another joke or trend, but apparently people are rushing to karak Dh1 again.”

Calling it “baffling,” he said most people who buy the hot drink in areas where prices are usually inflated can afford it. He urged residents to “support local small businesses and stop trying to destroy their livelihoods.”

Providing a new perspective, Seema Serigara, a small business owner and long-time resident of the UAE, said: “Karak has not always been 1 dirham. Thirty years ago, it cost 25 fils. So if we discuss the nostalgia, then it’s not like that.” “It doesn’t make sense. The prices of the items will surely increase over the years.”

Responding to the criticism, Eddine, who is also a radio host, said: “Some people feel that it is not appropriate with what is happening in the region to make a fun event. I am also very affected by what is happening. For a long time time “For people, this has been a welcome distraction in difficult times.”

He acknowledges that many believe that coffee shops should not be pressured to lower Karak prices. However, he added, “everyone is free to tip and support coffee shops based on their experience.”

What do UAE cafes think?

Karak prices vary in Dubai. The fanciest places can sell a cup for 11 dirhams. However, most cafes still sell the popular drink for 1.5 dirhams.

Mohammad Rafique (KT Photo: Laraib Anwer)

Mohammad Rafique (KT Photo: Laraib Anwer)

The Mashad restaurant in Abu Hail is one of the few that has maintained the price of 1 dirham per karak for more than 45 years. Commenting on price increases at other cafes, owner Ashraf acknowledged it was due to rising costs. “However, we never changed the price of Dh1 karak tea as people drink it no matter what.”

In this restaurant, the tea preparation never stops: such is the demand. “Although the shop closes at 1 a.m. and opens before Fajr prayer (around 5:30 a.m.), there is always work in the kitchen and chai (tea) cooking on the stove,” said Masood, a restaurant employee.

The King Chef restaurant in Al Quoz, on the other hand, is among those that have had to raise the price slightly to 1.5 dirhams. Supervisor Ashraf PM said they had to do so because of the cost of ingredients, which skyrocketed after Covid-19.

King Chef Restaurant (KT Photo: Meher Dhanjal)

King Chef Restaurant (KT Photo: Meher Dhanjal)

When informed about the ‘Karak race’, he said with a smile: “We don’t mind reducing prices if there is a drop in the cost of ingredients.”

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