The holy month of Ramadan has started in UAE, Middle East and most of the countries around the world. It is the most important and special month for all Muslims. The month is completely different from the remaining 11 months of the year as Muslims refrain from eating, drinking, and smoking during day time. The month has an official status in almost all Muslim majority countries and the governments usually provide some relief to workers and prevent eating and drinking at public places to secure the sanctity of the month.
Like most of other Muslim countries, UAE also takes such measures in Ramadan. But the country is quite different from most of the other countries due to the presence of large number of non-Muslim foreigners as residents and tourists. The government provides different incentives for these residents and visitors.
It is usually assumed that Ramadan impacts negatively on different types of businesses in most of the Muslim countries due to the activities performed in Ramadan. It is considered that F&B (food and beverages) is the worst hit sector during Ramadan as Muslims avoid any type of food for most part of the day. Another sector that is considered to lose business during the month is the entertainment business. But that’s not the case in UAE especially.
The first reason that the F&B industry doesn’t suffer in UAE during Ramadan is the presence of large number of non-Muslim foreigners in the country. Even if the number of tourists decline in Ramadan, these permanent residents remain in the country. The only prohibition they face is that they can’t eat or drink in public places. There are separate places reserved for them in different malls and restaurants and they enjoy their normal meal inside these places. These non-Muslim residents also support entertainment and other such sectors during Ramadan that suffers due to low participation of majority of Muslims in UAE.
Secondly, Muslims are free to eat after sunset till the sahoor. During this time, there is lot of buying and selling of various foodstuffs. In fact, several businesses related to F&B sector achieves best profit during Ramadan not only in UAE but also in most of the other parts of Muslim world.
Even if few business sectors face problems during Ramadan, there are several others that gain profit as a result of Ramadan. As ending of Ramadan brings the joyful occasion of Eid-al-Fitr, a business related to clothing and ornaments acquire their peak profits at the end of Ramadan. It means the holy month provides the opportunities for several types of businesses to emerge and small businesses spread like mushrooms in Ramadan to take advantage of the opportunities available in the month of Ramadan.
Therefore, it is wrongly presumed that Ramadan slows down all types of business activities in UAE (and Muslim world). In fact, it gives new opportunities for several businesses. The only thing they need to do is to provide something relevant to lifestyle Ramadan. Companies also provide different incentives to their customers by taking advantage of the special month.
Therefore, businesses don’t need to panic at the start of Ramadan in UAE but they only need to change their strategy a bit and provide something according to the favor of people during this unique and special month for Muslims in UAE and other parts of the world.