(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Orders for iftar meals served free in tents put up by charitable organisations are down almost 50 percent this Ramadan as compared to the fasting month last year, sources in the catering industry told this newspaper yesterday.
"I think it's because Ramadan is falling right in the middle of the long summer break this year when most people are out vacationing," said a source.
Charitable bodies spend huge sums every year and place orders for quality iftar meals with different catering companies.
A famous catering group which has several outlets across Doha said sales at their outlets were also down as a large number of people are on holiday abroad.
However, huge turnouts of low-income single workers were witnessed at several places where free 'iftar' meals were being served by charitable organisations on the first day of Ramadan here last evening.
An iftar tent organiser near Al Meera in Al Muntazah said that so huge was the turnout of people on the first day of the holy month that they fell short of iftar meal packets.
"We had to turn away many people since we didn't have enough stocks to distribute," said an official from the charitable body that organised the iftar tent.
"We have made it a point to bring more than 500 iftar meal packets tomorrow (today). Today we brought only 250 packets while the turnout was almost double," the official said.
According to him, a vast majority of those who came to the tent to break fast were low-income single workers and many of them were non-Muslims as well.