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TGM KSA INSIGHT PULSE
Ramadan Mubarak

TGM Ramadan Insights in Saudi Arabia 2024

In the lead up to Ramadan 2024, 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 Saudi Arabia. The research aims to provide a comprehensive picture of consumer expectations and behaviors during Ramadan 2024 in Saudi Arabia and shed light on the attitudes and experiences of those who will be observing this holy month.
TGM Ramadan in KSA

About the country

Population of Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is a significant center for the global Muslim population, with the cities of Mecca and Medina being two of the most important religious sites in Islam. The country's population of approximately 37.31 million people (Worldometer, 2024) is overwhelmingly Muslim, and the annual Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca draws millions of Muslims from around the world each year. The country has experienced significant population growth over the past few decades, with an annual growth rate of approximately 1.4% (Worldometer, 2024). The population is concentrated in urban areas, with the largest city being Riyadh. As the birthplace of Islam, Saudi Arabia is a significant cultural and religious center, and the country's population has a strong connection to their faith and religious practices. 

Population of Saudi Arabia
  • worldometers.info

    37.31 million

  • worldometers.info

    83.7 %

  • worldpopulationreview.com

    31.5 million

  • datareportal.com

    36.84 million

  • datareportal.com

    35.10 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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Ramadan Celebration in Saudi Arabia

Ramadan 2024 around the country

Ramadan Celebration in Saudi Arabia

Ramadan is a time of great significance for Muslims in Saudi Arabia and is observed with great importance. Fasting is a key aspect of this month, and Muslims in Saudi Arabia abstain from food, drink, and other physical needs from dawn until dusk each day. At sunset, the fast is traditionally broken with a communal meal known as Iftar, which is often shared with family, friends, and those in need. In Saudi Arabia, mosques and other public areas are often set up to provide free Iftar meals to the community. The country's role as the center for Islam also plays an important role in Ramadan celebrations, with the cities of Mecca and Medina being two of the most important religious sites in Islam. Millions of Muslims from around the world travel to Saudi Arabia each year to perform the Umrah pilgrimage to Mecca, making it a time of great significance for the global Muslim community.

Selected insights from the survey

Key highlights from the TGM Ramadan Report in Saudi Arabia 2024

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

    In Saudi Arabia, Ramadan holds a special place in the hearts of its people, as evidenced by the overwhelming 98% who actively celebrate this sacred month every year. Amidst the hustle and bustle of daily life, Saudis prioritize spending time with loved ones, with 89% visiting friends and family in the local area. Additionally, a significant portion, particularly males at 62%, undertake journeys to reconnect with distant relatives and friends, highlighting the importance of maintaining social bonds during this auspicious time.

    One of the cherished aspects of Ramadan in Saudi Arabia is the preparation and sharing of traditional dishes, with 90% of respondents cooking at home for their friends and family members. Among the plethora of culinary delights, Samosa reigns as the favorite Ramadan dish, symbolizing the richness of Saudi cuisine and the spirit of togetherness that defines this festive period.

    While feasting and familial gatherings are central to Ramadan in Saudi Arabia, the spirit of giving holds equal significance. Despite allocating a substantial portion of their budget to food and drinks, 21% of Saudis prioritize charity, contributing to noble causes and supporting those in need. Furthermore, a notable 54% express their intention to increase their charitable contributions for the upcoming Ramadan, underscoring the generous and compassionate nature of the Saudi community during this holy month."

  • What eating trends are shaping Ramadan 2024 in Saudi Arabia?

    Ramadan Dining Trends in Saudi Arabia

    Delving into the eating habits during Ramadan in Saudi Arabia unveils a fascinating tapestry of culinary traditions and family customs, as illuminated by the TGM Ramadan Report in Saudi Arabia 2024. With approximately 47% of expenses allocated for food and drinks, it's evident that dining plays a central role in the observance of this sacred month. Despite economic fluctuations, the majority of Saudis express their intent to maintain similar spending patterns for food and drinks, emphasizing the enduring significance of traditional Ramadan feasts.

    A Blend of Home-Cooked Delights and Dining Out

    During Ramadan, Saudis embrace a mix of dining experiences, with 55% enjoying meals outside the home, including convenient pick-up options. However, the true essence of Ramadan dining lies in the warmth of family gatherings, with an overwhelming 97% preferring to share meals with loved ones at home. When it comes to meal preparation, 74% take pride in preparing the food themselves, infusing each dish with love and tradition. Nonetheless, 47% also opt for the convenience of having someone else prepare their meals, striking a balance between homemade authenticity and culinary convenience.

    Savoring Traditional Ramadan Fare

    Amidst the array of delectable dishes, the Samosa emerges as the undisputed favorite among Saudis during Ramadan. Alongside this beloved snack, Saudis relish other traditional delicacies such as Shorba, Soup, and Kabsa, each dish carrying its own cultural significance and culinary heritage. From the aromatic spices of Kabsa to the comforting warmth of Shorba, Ramadan dining in Saudi Arabia is a celebration of flavors and traditions that bring families together in shared joy and gratitude."

  • How are consumer preferences shaping up for Ramadan shopping in 2024 in Saudi Arabia?

    Consumer preferences for Ramadan shopping in 2024 in Saudi Arabia are undergoing notable shifts, as indicated by the insights gleaned from the TGM Ramadan report.

    Researching for Informed Purchases

    The data reveals a pronounced emphasis on meticulous planning and strategic purchasing behaviors among consumers during this auspicious time. With 81% of respondents expressing a penchant for researching what to buy, it's evident that consumers are investing significant time and effort into making informed decisions. This inclination underscores a growing trend towards conscientious consumption, wherein individuals are keen on aligning their purchases with their specific needs and preferences.

    Embracing Diverse Shopping Channels

    In terms of shopping destinations, the majority of respondents (40%) express a preference for conducting their Ramadan shopping predominantly in physical stores, supplemented by some online transactions. This hybrid approach underscores the enduring appeal of traditional retail outlets while acknowledging the growing influence of digital platforms in facilitating seamless shopping experiences. Furthermore, the timing of Ramadan shopping is marked by a concentrated effort among consumers, with the first week of March emerging as the preferred timeframe for procurement.

    Affordability and Convenience: Key Drivers in Shopping Decisions

    When making Ramadan shopping decisions, Saudi consumers prioritize several key factors. Price ranks highest, with 75% of respondents indicating it as a significant consideration. This underscores the importance of affordability in driving purchasing behavior during Ramadan. Additionally, discounts, speed of delivery, and range of delivery options also play crucial roles in shaping shopping decisions, reflecting a balanced approach that considers both cost-effectiveness and convenience. By carefully weighing these factors, Saudi shoppers aim to ensure a rewarding and enjoyable Ramadan shopping experience that meets their expectations and enhances their celebrations.

  • Are Saudi Arabian consumers expressing positivity or apprehension towards 2024?

    Reflecting on 2023: Strengthened Bonds and Personal Growth

    Looking back at the year 2023, Saudi consumers express overall satisfaction with various aspects of their lives. A significant majority, 75%, rate their relationships with family as good to extremely good, highlighting the importance of familial connections and unity in Saudi culture. Similarly, 61% report positive sentiments towards their friendships, indicating a strong social support system. Additionally, attention to mental health, career, and personal development is well observed, suggesting a holistic approach to well-being and growth among Saudi individuals during the past year.

    Elevated Expectations for 2024: A Brighter Outlook

    Despite the successes of 2023, Saudi consumers are eagerly looking forward to the year 2024 with heightened expectations. A notable 75% believe that 2024 will surpass its predecessor, reflecting a collective optimism for positive change and progress. As anticipation builds for the upcoming year, Saudi individuals express a range of emotions, with words like optimism, satisfaction, happiness, relief, excitement, and even worry dominating their thoughts. These sentiments signify a complex mix of hope, contentment, and anticipation for the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.

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.

Experience the spirit of Ramadan in Saudi Arabia with our insightful report

TGM Ramadan Report in Saudi Arabia 2024

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What you will get from
the TGM Ramadan Report in Saudi Arabia 2024?

TGM Ramadan Report in Saudi Arabia 2024
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Comprehensive data on consumer trends and preferences during Ramadan across Saudi Arabia, 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 an independent survey of 600 consumers asked in Saudi Arabia, providing a broad and representative sample.

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

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METHODOLOGY:
To understand the behaviors of people who observe Ramadan and/or who shop during this season, TGM commissioned a survey of 2,900+ adults between the 01st and 22nd of February 2024, just before Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr.
In Saudi Arabia, the sample size was N=600, representing online adults aged 18-40+ and selected to reflect the national demographics of age, gender, and region.
ABOUT TGM:
TGM Research is an international technology-driven market research agency, which uses innovative digital ways to conduct surveys and market research in Saudi Arabia. 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.