Business in Ramadan

Omneya Yousry, Tuesday 11 Apr 2023

Ramadan is a time of increased activity for many businesses, with many doing particularly well during the holy month

holy month domestic goods
holy month domestic goods


Retailers have taken advantage of the consumerism that may take place during Ramadan for a long time, since this is a period that crosses international boundaries and produces feelings of enthusiasm while maintaining one of sanctity. 

In the past, peoples would flock to neighborhood souks (markets) to buy fruit, juices, decorative abayas, high-quality dresses, trinkets, domestic goods, and other items before Ramadan began. Although the festive cheer is still present, there have been more signs of consumerism in recent years.

It is difficult to overlook how Ramadan has changed fashion and interior design, for example. According to recent research by Redseer, a new-age consumer-focused business and growth adviser, the top five reasons people shop during Ramadan are for cooking, home décor, clothing, and self-grooming. Home décor and fashion in particular have been taking centre stage.

A significant portion of consumer spending every year is on clothing, and Ramadan can increase that proportion. The onus is on retailers to make sure this burgeoning market segment stays on course and to take advantage of its opportunities. 

“Obviously, Ramadan affects the fashion business. People have more buying power at this time of the year. They want to find happiness and to break their routine for a period, so they need to be prepared for it. This is all the more the case as Ramadan is full of gatherings for Iftar and Sohour,” said Nourhan Gado, 32, a fashion influencer and stylist. 

“My advice is always to have one or two new pieces to add a new spirit at this time of year. It’s not necessary to follow fashion trends, and a woman should only pick what suits her, while ignoring the trends. She should stick to what matches her identity and what is affordable for her,” she added.

This year, people’s purchasing power has been affected by problems in the wider economy. “People are looking to buy pieces that will be useful during Ramadan and after it during the summer. It would be wasteful to buy expensive clothes and then only wear them a few times, especially as Ramadan next year will fall in a different season,” Gado said.

“I can tell the brands that are doing well, and they have seen great success this year.” 

Gado guides her followers on how to style different items commensurate with every taste and how to add the flavour of modesty that is so important to the local identity and the character of the holy month.

“For food bloggers and reviewers, the holy month of Ramadan is one of the main seasons when we get to shine and share more with our followers. They are more willing to cook homemade meals, so they will be waiting for recipe videos as well as new places to eat and reviews,” said Nesma Ayman, 30, the manager of the Mommy Eats blog. 

“Ramadan trends have become even more important since the Covid-19 pandemic, since people stayed at home in Ramadan and felt the need to decorate more and create special Ramadan vibes at home,” Ayman said.

“Social media has also been exerting more and more influence. This year, due to the bad economic situation many people have started to consider changing their mindsets and buying habits and prioritise more what they need. I try to give my followers what they need in terms of content, from easy homemade recipes they can depend on to honest places to shop or enjoy a meal with loved ones. I don’t follow trends: I only follow what I see as suitable for my followers.”

Clothing and textiles business owner Suhad Badreddin, 35, said that “Ramadan is the right time for creativity, innovation, and creating new ideas. It is important for people to follow trends in decorations and fabrics that suit the holy month, as it spreads joy and gives a new touch to their homes.”

“Of course, there is a difference in purchasing power this year because of high prices and the setting of priorities. My role is to adhere to the same quality in terms of materials and diversity, while emphasising moderation in prices to be suitable for all groups. We have something new to offer our customers every year, as we try to diversify ideas, fabrics, and materials.”

Homeware offers more options for experimentation during Ramadan than fashion. Customers often desire household goods with an Arabesque flair and like themed décor, elaborate serving trays, fine china, and silverware. They may stock up on fragrant candles, soft furnishings, and embroidered serviettes in addition to dinnerware for an elaborate Iftar 

Because choosing household goods is less personal than fashion, consumers are typically more price sensitive.

* A version of this article appears in print in the 13 April, 2023 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly

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