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TGM UAE INSIGHT PULSE
Ramadan Mubarak

TGM UAE Ramadan Insights 2023

In the lead up to Ramadan 2023, TGM Research conducted a comprehensive international online survey to gain insight and deeper understanding into the behaviors and attitudes of Muslims in multiple countries, including UAE. The research aims to provide a comprehensive picture of consumer expectations and behaviors during Ramadan 2023 in UAE and shed light on the attitudes and experiences of those who will be observing this holy month.
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TGM 2023 Ramadan Insights in UAE

Population of UAE

UAE has a population of approximately 84 million people, making it one of the most populous countries in Europe and the Middle East. UAE is also a country with a diverse population, where the majority of its citizens identify as Muslim.

The official religion of the country is Islam, although there is also a significant minority of Christians, Jews, and other religious groups. UAE also has the largest count of Muslims believers Europe. Despite its predominantly Muslim character, UAE is a secular state that respects religious diversity and guarantees freedom of religion to its citizens.

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  • datareportal.com

    10.04 million

  • knoema.com

    87.5%

  • worldpopulationreview.com

    4.6 million

  • datareportal.com/reports/digital-2022-UAE

    9.94 million

  • datareportal.com/reports/digital-2022-UAE

    10.65 million

How Ramadan celebrated in UAE ?

The holy month of Ramadan is the holiest and most sacred month of the Emirati Islamic Hijri (lunar) calendar. This festival gives a throwback to simpler times and emphasizes the need for solid communal relationships and family values in today’s modern society, which is often described as more solitary and independent.

During this month, Muslims fast from dawn to dusk, abstaining from food, drink, and other physical needs. The fast is broken at sunset with a meal called Iftar. Other traditional practices during the celebration include:
- Suhoor, the pre-dawn meal.
- Tarawih Prayer is performed after the Isha prayer.
- Giving to charity, which is a crucial aspect of Ramadan.
- Decorating homes and public spaces with traditional ornaments like lanterns.
Family and friends usually gather for Iftar to have a traditional feast of dates and water followed by a hearty meal.

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2023 Ramadan around the country

How Ramadan celebrated in UAE ?

The holy month of Ramadan is the holiest and most sacred month of the Emirati Islamic Hijri (lunar) calendar. This festival gives a throwback to simpler times and emphasizes the need for solid communal relationships and family values in today’s modern society, which is often described as more solitary and independent.

During this month, Muslims fast from dawn to dusk, abstaining from food, drink, and other physical needs. The fast is broken at sunset with a meal called Iftar. Other traditional practices during the celebration include:
- Suhoor, the pre-dawn meal.
- Tarawih Prayer is performed after the Isha prayer.
- Giving to charity, which is a crucial aspect of Ramadan.
- Decorating homes and public spaces with traditional ornaments like lanterns.
Family and friends usually gather for Iftar to have a traditional feast of dates and water followed by a hearty meal.

Selected insights from the survey

Key highlights from the TGM Ramadan 2023 Insights in UAE

  • How is Ramadan in UAE going to look like this year?

    Ramadan is a momentous occasion celebrated by Muslims worldwide, which is evident with an astounding 98.8% of the Muslim population in UAE expected to participate in this year's festivities. Many Muslims utilize this holy month to cultivate self-discipline and self-control that can have a lasting impact on their lives. It is the most awaited season for 97% of Emirati respondents, who will also take out time to spend with their families. (95%).

    According to the survey, 62% of respondents across all age groups in the Middle East expressed a desire to prioritize both charitable activities and worship equally. The study also found that middle-aged adults are particularly active in traditional Ramadan practices such as worship, communal gatherings, and charitable work.

    The Holy month also signifies the spirit of giving, with 62% of UAE's Muslim population being enthusiastic about contributing to charities and supporting those in need, reflecting a culture of generosity and compassion.

    Muslims, who had been isolated earlier, are excited about the upcoming Ramadan, which will be an occasion to enjoy the community's traditions, warmth, and generosity. With only 7% of Muslims in UAE feeling that COVID-19 threat would affect their celebrations. This Ramadan will be a time of celebration and togetherness, highlighting the community's strength.

    Ramadan is not only a sacred month for Muslims worldwide, but it is also a profitable period for businesses, with an increasing number of brands seeking to associate themselves with this special month each year. The holy month presents an opportunity for brands to demonstrate their appreciation and reverence for the religious and cultural importance of Ramadan. Vimto is the most popular choice among F&B brands in UAE, followed by Nabil, Almarai, and Pepsi.
  • Food behaviors & habits in UAE during Ramadan 2023 Fasting

    Ramadan is a momentous occasion for Muslims, with fasting being a crucial component of the celebration. In UAE, the fast is observed by 98.8% of surveyed Muslims, making it the most prominent religious season that unites Muslim communities in their commitment to spiritual and compassionate practices. It's a time of year that Emirati Muslims eagerly anticipate, as it offers them an opportunity to connect with their faith and bond with loved ones through shared traditions.

    Increased budget for food expenses than the previous year As consumer prices continue to rise across the Middle East, a significant surge in food spending is anticipated this year. According to TGM Global 2023 Ramdan Surveys, 54% of Emirati respondents are planning to increase their expenditure on food and drinks compared to previous years. This trend could be attributed to the observed inflation in the region.

    Ramadan embraces convenience In UAE, cooking at home remains the most common way of consuming food during Ramadan, comprising 88% of meals. However, ordering food through mobile apps has also become the go-to method (36%), followed closely by online orders (27%). This shift towards pre-prepared foods enables busy families to participate in traditional Ramadan feasts, even if they don't have the time to cook."
  • How do people typically shop online?

    Mobile Devices Continue to Be Emirati Muslims' Best Friend During 2023 Ramadan Mobile devices have become indispensable for the Emirati Muslim community's observance of Ramadan. With the rising popularity of smartphones and social media, an increasing number of people are turning to digital platforms to access news, entertainment, and spiritual guidance during this sacred period.

    During Ramadan, more people are turning to mobile devices and digital platforms for their media consumption needs. This shift is attributed to the convenience, accessibility, and interactivity of digital platforms. 76% of respondents in UAE choose to spend more time using mobile devices during Ramadan, making it the dominant media form, surpassing all others, followed closely by messaging applications (68%). In contrast, traditional media channels such as radio are also used by (47%) of surveyed people during the observance. Despite the increasing attention towards digital media channels, traditional media still holds a crucial role during Ramadan. Therefore, to optimize the impact of marketing efforts, it is essential to consider both digital and traditional media channels to reach the target audience during this month.

    In UAE, social media plays an integral role in enabling Muslims to stay connected during Ramadan, with 90% utilizing it to send and receive greetings from loved ones and friends. Additionally, 87% of Emirati Muslims use social media to learn new things and improve their knowledge. This presents a significant opportunity for businesses as 60% of participants leverage social media during Ramadan to discover enticing deals and promotions for their shopping endeavors. As such, companies can release Ramadan-specific advertisements and offers tailored to Muslim shoppers' needs and preferences, thereby generating increased sales and customer loyalty during this crucial time.

    According to the TGM 2023 Ramadan Survey Results, 71% of respondents from UAE plan on using dedicated Islamic apps and websites during Ramadan. Quran is the most popular app for this purpose, with 13.8% of respondents saying that they use it. Muslim Pro comes in second place, with 9.4% of survey participants also using it. These findings underscore the growing importance of technology in the religious lives of Emirati Muslims, offering them easy access to resources such as prayer times, translations, and other tools that help them practice their faith in everyday life.
  • What are notable changes in Ramadan shopping patterns in UAE this year?

    Ramadan is a time to shop until you drop. The biggest shopping season in the Muslim world. Retailers often cater to this increased demand by offering special promotions and extending opening hours to accommodate those observing Ramadan. During the holy month, Consumers are more flexible and exhibit a greater willingness to try new products or support local businesses that align with their values. 78% of respondents in the Middle East are open to trying new brands during Ramadan shopping this year.

    Hunting for the best deals
    While Emiratis may be willing to experiment with new products, price, discounts and delivery are the main factors driving their purchasing decisions. TGM's 2023 Ramadan Survey for UAE revealed that 95% of surveyed shoppers prioritize affordability during this festive period. Promotions and speed of delivery also play a pivotal role in shaping their buying behavior, with 93% of respondents indicating its importance in making their final purchase decision.

    The gift that keeps on giving
    Ramadan gift-giving is an eagerly anticipated tradition, and this year's spending on gifts is expected to rise across The Middle East. Going along with this trend, 52% of surveyed Emiratis have revealed their intention to increase their gifting budget this Ramadan. An intriguing development has also been the emergence of Instagram and Facebook as popular social media channels for discovering new ideas and inspiration for Ramadan purchases, with 56% of shoppers using these platforms combined. This development highlights the increasing influence of digital media on consumer behavior in the UAE.

    Shopping Online vs. Offline
    Ramadan is widely regarded as an occasion for socializing with loved ones, and in-store shopping allows people to relish this experience together. Additionally, many individuals attach great importance to charitable acts and community support by patronizing local markets and small businesses instead of high-end malls and supermarkets. 37% of Emiratis have revealed that they will do most of their shopping in physical stores, and some online, while 37% of respondents also inclined towards shopping equally at physical stores and online.

    Covering Ramadan 2023 Expenses: Bank loan / Credit planning
    Ramadan is a time of increased spending for many Muslims, which has led to a surge in demand for personal loans from banks and financial institutions. According to the TGM 2023 Ramadan Survey, 23% of respondents in UAE seek loan options to support their Ramadan expenditure this year. And in the Middle East as a whole, approximately 25% of survey respondents reported plans to seek out loans.

Ramadan 2023 celebration

Ramadan is a momentous occasion celebrated by Muslims worldwide, which is evident with an astounding 98.8% of the Muslim population in UAE expected to participate in this year's festivities. Many Muslims utilize this holy month to cultivate self-discipline and self-control that can have a lasting impact on their lives. It is the most awaited season for 97% of Emirati respondents, who will also take out time to spend with their families. (95%).

According to the survey, 62% of respondents across all age groups in the Middle East expressed a desire to prioritize both charitable activities and worship equally. The study also found that middle-aged adults are particularly active in traditional Ramadan practices such as worship, communal gatherings, and charitable work.

The Holy month also signifies the spirit of giving, with 62% of UAE's Muslim population being enthusiastic about contributing to charities and supporting those in need, reflecting a culture of generosity and compassion.

Muslims, who had been isolated earlier, are excited about the upcoming Ramadan, which will be an occasion to enjoy the community's traditions, warmth, and generosity. With only 7% of Muslims in UAE feeling that COVID-19 threat would affect their celebrations. This Ramadan will be a time of celebration and togetherness, highlighting the community's strength.

Ramadan is not only a sacred month for Muslims worldwide, but it is also a profitable period for businesses, with an increasing number of brands seeking to associate themselves with this special month each year. The holy month presents an opportunity for brands to demonstrate their appreciation and reverence for the religious and cultural importance of Ramadan. Vimto is the most popular choice among F&B brands in UAE, followed by Nabil, Almarai, and Pepsi.

Ramadan and food habits

"Food behaviors & habits in UAE during Ramadan 2023 Fasting Ramadan is a momentous occasion for Muslims, with fasting being a crucial component of the celebration. In UAE, the fast is observed by 98.8% of surveyed Muslims, making it the most prominent religious season that unites Muslim communities in their commitment to spiritual and compassionate practices. It's a time of year that Emirati Muslims eagerly anticipate, as it offers them an opportunity to connect with their faith and bond with loved ones through shared traditions. Increased budget for food expenses than the previous year As consumer prices continue to rise across the Middle East, a significant surge in food spending is anticipated this year. According to TGM Global 2023 Ramdan Surveys, 54% of Emirati respondents are planning to increase their expenditure on food and drinks compared to previous years. This trend could be attributed to the observed inflation in the region. Ramadan embraces convenience In UAE, cooking at home remains the most common way of consuming food during Ramadan, comprising 88% of meals. However, ordering food through mobile apps has also become the go-to method (36%), followed closely by online orders (27%). This shift towards pre-prepared foods enables busy families to participate in traditional Ramadan feasts, even if they don't have the time to cook."

Media consumption over Ramadan

Mobile Devices Continue to Be Emirati Muslims' Best Friend During 2023 Ramadan Mobile devices have become indispensable for the Emirati Muslim community's observance of Ramadan. With the rising popularity of smartphones and social media, an increasing number of people are turning to digital platforms to access news, entertainment, and spiritual guidance during this sacred period.

During Ramadan, more people are turning to mobile devices and digital platforms for their media consumption needs. This shift is attributed to the convenience, accessibility, and interactivity of digital platforms. 76% of respondents in UAE choose to spend more time using mobile devices during Ramadan, making it the dominant media form, surpassing all others, followed closely by messaging applications (68%). In contrast, traditional media channels such as radio are also used by (47%) of surveyed people during the observance. Despite the increasing attention towards digital media channels, traditional media still holds a crucial role during Ramadan. Therefore, to optimize the impact of marketing efforts, it is essential to consider both digital and traditional media channels to reach the target audience during this month.

In UAE, social media plays an integral role in enabling Muslims to stay connected during Ramadan, with 90% utilizing it to send and receive greetings from loved ones and friends. Additionally, 87% of Emirati Muslims use social media to learn new things and improve their knowledge. This presents a significant opportunity for businesses as 60% of participants leverage social media during Ramadan to discover enticing deals and promotions for their shopping endeavors. As such, companies can release Ramadan-specific advertisements and offers tailored to Muslim shoppers' needs and preferences, thereby generating increased sales and customer loyalty during this crucial time.

According to the TGM 2023 Ramadan Survey Results, 71% of respondents from UAE plan on using dedicated Islamic apps and websites during Ramadan. Quran is the most popular app for this purpose, with 13.8% of respondents saying that they use it. Muslim Pro comes in second place, with 9.4% of survey participants also using it. These findings underscore the growing importance of technology in the religious lives of Emirati Muslims, offering them easy access to resources such as prayer times, translations, and other tools that help them practice their faith in everyday life.

2023 Ramadan and consumer spending

E-commerce has transformed the way that people shop in a number of ways. By comparing features, costs, and benefits, customers may use the internet to investigate items and decide whether they are actually worth the investment. E-commerce has also made shopping more convenient by allowing people to shop from anywhere with an internet connection and at any time, rather than being limited to traditional store hours.
The industry that appears to benefit the most from the growth of the E-commerce channel is fashion and apparel. In all surveyed countries, clothing and accessories are the most-purchased goods across all age groups. It is not only the female domain, both men and women claimed to make online purchases in this category most. For other categories, gender preferences reflect the overall shopping patterns for categories. The percentage of respondents who purchased electronics online was significantly higher for males (51%) than for women (29%). Meanwhile, women purchased more beauty and personal care products online, accounting for 54% and 51%, respectively.
What is noticeable, is the frequency of food and grocery: 40% of respondents worldwide claimed that they tend to make their food purchases online. While this category has traditionally been more challenging for e-commerce companies to crack, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a significant increase in online food and grocery shopping, and it is likely to continue to be a popular category in e-commerce.

Read the full report for UAE from the TGM 2023 Ramadan Global Survey

TGM UAE Ramadan Report 2023

Free report of the TGM UAE Ramadan Survey 2023.
Find it Interesting? Download our public UAE Ramadan Consumers Insights Report for free.
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What you will get
from the TGM Global Ramadan Report 2023?

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Comprehensive data on consumer trends and preferences during Ramadan across different regions, allowing a better understanding of consumer needs.

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Insights into consumer behavior which can help businesses develop more effective marketing strategies

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Results of worldwide independent survey of over 1 billion consumers in 15 countries, providing a broad and representative sample.

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Extensive data appendices to support the research’s findings and insights, dwelling deeper in the results. The Ramadan report with detailed information in UAE can be downloaded.

Table of contents

Ramadan 2023 celebration

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Ramadan 2023 brands

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Ramadan 2023 media consumption

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Explore food behaviors during Ramadan

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Embracing generosity: The significance of charitable giving during Ramadan

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Shopping and planning

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TGM Ramadan International Survey 2023

Language: English

Released: 03/2023

Pages: 77 with detailed references

Document: country xls tables with demographics, pdf report

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METHODOLOGY:
To understand the behaviors of people who observe Ramadan and/or who shop during this season, TGM commissioned survey 9,600+ adults between the 03rd and 18th of February 2023, just before Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr.
Approximately 750 interviews were completed in each of 14 countries participating. In UAE sample size was N=749. with sample being nationally representative of online adults ages 18-55 based on age, gender and region in that market.
ABOUT TGM:
TGM Research is an international technology-driven market research agency, which uses innovative digital ways to conduct surveys and market research in UAE. We deliver large-scale global projects across all business and consumer audiences. Our global team of consultants blends people expertise and technology experience to build insight solutions that help drive our clients’ incremental growth.