Ramadan consumers in UAE and KSA to celebrate in different ways

18 February 2024 Consultancy-me.com 2 min. read

The blessed month of Ramadan is soon among us. During the holy month, people around the GCC will be spending more on a variety of goods, although consumers in the UAE and Saudi Arabia have different priorities.

The holy month of Ramadan is the 9th month in the Islamic lunar calendar. It is a month of fasting, worship, service, communal gathering, and spiritual development.

This year, Ramadan is expected to begin at sundown on Sunday 10th March (the exact timing is based on the sighting of the moon), and last until Tuesday 9th April, when the celebratory days of Eid al-Fitr will commence.

Ramadan consumers in UAE and KSA to celebrate in different ways

Compared with last year, consumers in Saudi Arabia are going to spend more on going out during this year’s Ramadan, while those in the UAE will spend on hosting and making meals at home. That is according to analysis from Redseer Strategy Consultants.

The study from the consulting firm found that there is a growing trend in the UAE for Ramadan celebrations to take place indoors, focusing on intimate gatherings. In the KSA, on the other hand, consumers are keener on venturing out during the holy week, partly because of many new attractions in various Saudi cities.

The effect of the difference is that a larger percentage of consumers in the UAE are looking to spend on grocery products for Ramadan, while Saudi respondents said they would be more focused on buying clothing to look well dressed.

Ramadan consumers in UAE and KSA to celebrate in different ways

Saudi Arabia also has a somewhat larger number of respondents who said that they are looking to spend more this year than previous years. Most UAE respondents stated they would be spending more or less the same.

The UAE, considered a more mature market, is seeing more consumers prioritize affordability above all else. The authors note that “product variety, fast delivery, and quality are no longer significant differentiators among brands, as the market has equalized the playing field.”

In Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, the market is still going through growing pains to some extent, and the emphasis more on platform and experience related parameters. Many consumers in KSA noted that flexible payment offers was an attraction.

Ramadan is a major shopping occasion across the MENA region, not unlike other major holidays are in other parts of the world. This shopping season has been breaking records for several years in a row, including last year, though the record revenue was more due to inflation than to a major increase in consumer enthusiasm, according to a previous report.