Before talking about business we need to know Ramadan’s impact on business. Ramadan is, indeed, the holiest month that does not only reflect Muslims behavior all over the world; Ramadan is also influencing business in and out the Islamic world.
During Ramadan, Muslim employees change their behavior as they slow business down. Muslims are fasting sunset to sunrise which means less rest and less energy. Moreover, they tend to decrease the working hours during the holy month but yet they are not allowed to refill their energy by a sip of water or a cup of coffee, they totally do not eat, drink or smoke during the fasting hours every day of the month.
Levels of observations in Ramadan differ from country to another; In Saudi Arabia, employees at senior posts are not allowed to work less hours and are supposed to work the hours to carry on the business.
Ramadan is deeply affecting the business as Muslims do not eat, drink or smoke during it; Muslims stay up late to eat before the sunrise which means shorter sleeping hours.
As a result of the level of tiredness, there are no long meeting and sometimes some serious businesses decisions need to be postponed. In general, most key players tend to put such serious decisions on hold during the holy month.
So, we can say that Ramadan is a freeze on all business transactions. Accordingly, Ramadan sees increasing demand on consumer goods, especially food, as Muslim people tend to buy more quantities of food and food products for both main meals Iftar and Suhur.
We can also say that evening activities are increased after Iftar meal and prayer time, most Muslims spend time with their families at the Cafes’ which means an increasing activity in the cafe’s business and increasing need to cover these activities demands.
Cafes do a thriving business during the holy month, going to cafes to watch TV with your family and smoking shisha is a tradition in Ramadan.
This year, Ramadan is coming during the summer vacation which is an extra advantage for cafe business owners!
In most countries, restaurants will stay open during the day with a sign stating that food is served for only non-Muslims!
Ramadan is a big opportunity for traders, according to an estimate, the total turnover of the Eastern province market during last Ramadan was about SR 1.3 billion, and this year business is predicted to reach SR 1.8 billion.
Retails across the Middle East, and in the Gulf in particular, consider Ramadan as occasion to reveal their amazing promotions.
Most supermarkets, shopping malls, electronic shops, and furniture stores are also offering special promotions to grab customer’s attention so their business can boom in the holy month.
“The trend is already evident,” said one retailer. “We have been seeing increased sales since last week, and we could see they were essentially Ramadan purchases.”
With the necessity of a price control and the need of supervision, a Ministry of Commerce official in Jeddah was quoted as declaring that the ministry did its best to ensure that prices are reasonable.
“We went out and urged merchants not to take advantage of the month and increase the prices of popular Ramadan products,” he said. “And we do plan to monitor the market and send out teams of inspectors who will report back.”
Ramadan for the Muslims is similar to the Christmas time for Christians as the retail and entertainment business has a related scenario for both occasions.