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WATCH: Looking for a ’Lekker’ braai in the desert? The UAE is stocked with ’vleis’ for T20 World Cup

Published Oct 23, 2021


Dubai - No matter where in the world a South African goes, there will always be time for a "braai".

That much is particularly evident in the United Arab Emirates with its large South African expatriate population. A "lekker tjopie" is the universal South African language that transcends all boundaries.

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Douglas Casterlyn, who formerly worked in construction back home in Gqeberha, quickly realised that there was a tremendous demand for South African meat in Dubai, which gave birth to the "Lekker " butchery here in the UAE.

"I have been in Dubai for about 12 years. I used to work for PPC Cement and then I got head-hunted this side for a cement company. And then after 10 years I went back to my passion, which is meat," Casterlyn said.

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It not just the South Africans that enjoy the "Lekker" meat, but also the local Arab residents.

"We have a hugely diverse clientele but obviously there are plenty of South Africans that do come buy here. It is about 70 percent of South Africans but there are plenty of Arabs that buy from us too.

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"You can get everything here that you can get back home. We make our own Biltong and even liver spread which is something new to the UAE.

"Our specialty is our lamb. Everything is from South Africa. We have beautiful Texan steaks. We even supplied the Indian Premier League organizers with our meat recently."

It certainly seems the UAE is well-served with "vleis" and where the Proteas will be coming for their stock should they get over the line in their T20 World Cup opener against Australia on Saturday in Abu Dhabi.

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"Yeah, we all rooting for the Proteas. Our blood will always be green!


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