Businesses in the Middle East pins hopes on Ramadan rebound
By Rizwan Khatik - Wed Aug 17, 6:01 am
Businesses in the Middle East are betting that Ramadan, the high-grossing annual Muslim month of fasting and reflection, will be able to shake off any dip in spending due to the social unrest seen in parts of the region.
After the Arab world, mainly the oil-rich Gulf, was hit hard by the global financial crisis and local debt woes, its economies began recovering in 2010 until the arrival of the Arab Spring threw into doubt the sustainability of a recovery in countries such as Egypt and Bahrain. Governments have made up for dips in private spending by boosting their own funding of projects and infrastructure.
Ramadan, and the Eid holiday immediately after, has become an annual opportunity for businesses to ring up profits, and is in focus this year given the regional turmoil and its impact on spending.
“Post-Ramadan there is more economic activity. The month instills fresh energy into the system,” said Shaharayar Umar, marketing director at Dubai-based Pan Arab Research Center.