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Spending habits—Where does your money go during this Holy Month?

Spending habits—Where does your money go during this Holy Month?

Kipp’s finds that 64 percent in the UAE and Saudi Arabia spend more money during Ramadan. So where does it all go? Eva Fernandes reports on exclusive research insights.

August 3, 2011 1:40 by



To the few non-fasting working professionals in the region, Ramadan may just mean shorter working hours, a slower work pace and a strict no consumption embargo. But for the majority fasting during the Holy month, Ramadan means much more. It means more family time, more TV time, more shopping time, more charity time, more fasting time, more gifting time and as far as Kipp’s money-minded ways are concerned, much more ways to spend. Which is why, we wanted to know just how exactly do fasting Muslims in the region spend their money during Ramadan?

And so in collaboration with our lovely friends over at YouGovSiraj we bring you some insights into the spending habits of the UAE and Saudi Arabia, as illustrated in the infographic below. Here are a couple of tidbits from the survey:

Insight #1: A no-brainer really, but worth a mention: both respondents in the UAE and Saudi say they spend more during Ramadan. What’s interesting is that while just over half of the UAE respondents (53 percent) say they spend more, well over 75 percent in Saudi say they spend more during Ramadan—of course, part of this this could be a result of the UAE’s more expansive expat population. And while buying groceries and food, top the shopping list for most, charity follows close, with 84 percent of in Saudi and 73 percent in UAE say they spend more time and money during Ramadan on and to charity.

Insight #2: Here’s something nifty: just under half of non-fasting UAE residents (49 percent) say they like to go out to restaurants and hotels for iftar even though they are not fasting. Not a big deal, right? Except when you consider it within the larger picture. When asked where they prefer to break their fast, 97 percent of those fasting say they preferred to break their fast at home or at the homes of family and friends. So get this: only a measly 2 percent of those fasting during Ramadan say they prefer to break their fasts at restaurants and hotels.

So what with the gigantic tents, special iftar offers going for as much as Dh290 at the Burj Al Arab, it really gets you thinking…who are the restaurants catering to after all?



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