Ramadan in the UAE

Thursday 8 June 2017

The British Centre for Business explain the impact of Ramadan on business and commerce

The Islamic Holy Month of Ramadan started on Saturday 27 May and will last until 25 June when Eid Al Fitr is celebrated.

Given that fasting during daylight hours is the most obvious manifestation of observing Ramadan, it still surprises me that food and drink sales actually spike during the month. It’s also good to know, as a child of the 1980s in the UK, that Vimto is a best seller in the Middle East region at this time too!

From a general business perspective, I always think that Ramadan is a good time for visiting the UAE. That’s especially the case this year as there’s no overlap with school and summer holidays. In general, people are here during Ramadan and whilst the business day’s timings are different (later start / earlier finish) and you’ve obviously got to be respectful of the rules around consumption in particular, it’s a good time to see contacts and business is most definitely still being done.

If you’re in the UAE or wider region in the next few weeks, you should try and go to ‘Iftar’ (the meal that breaks the fast at sunset); being invited to one by a business associate is a real honour.

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