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Ramadan Mubarak

TGM Ramadan Insights in the UAE 2024

In the lead up to Ramadan 2024, TGM Research conducted a comprehensive international online survey to gain insights 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 2024 in UAE and shed light on the attitudes and experiences of those who will be observing this holy month.
TGM Ramadan UAE

About the country

Population of UAE

The UAE, located on the southeastern end of the Arabian Peninsula, is bordered by the Arabian Gulf to the north and west, and the Gulf of Oman to the southeast. With a population of over 9 million people, it is a vibrant hub of culture and commerce in the Middle East.

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.

Population of UAE

    9.57 million




    6.3 million


    9.46 million


    10.73 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 the UAE

Ramadan 2024 around the country

Ramadan Celebration in the 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 Report in the UAE 2024

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

    In the vibrant tapestry of Ramadan celebrations in the UAE, tradition intertwines with modernity, creating a unique cultural landscape that embodies the spirit of unity and generosity. According to the TGM Ramadan Report in the UAE 2024, a staggering 96% of respondents actively participate in Ramadan festivities each year, reflecting the deep-rooted significance of this sacred month in Emirati society.

    Central to the essence of Ramadan in the UAE is the cherished tradition of gathering with loved ones. An overwhelming 89% of respondents express their intent to visit friends and family in the area, fostering bonds of kinship and camaraderie. Additionally, while 55% of respondents typically embark on journeys to see distant relatives, it's notable that the rate among males is higher than females, underscoring the importance of familial connections during this auspicious time.

    Culinary delights play a pivotal role in UAE Ramadan traditions, with residents indulging in a rich tapestry of flavors and aromas. The top three favorite Ramadan dishes, as revealed by the report, include Samosa, Biryani, and Harees, offering a tantalizing glimpse into the diverse gastronomic landscape of the UAE during Ramadan.

    Moreover, Ramadan in the UAE is synonymous with acts of charity and benevolence. A significant 62% of respondents express their intention to increase their charitable contributions during Ramadan 2024, reflecting the spirit of compassion and empathy that permeates Emirati society during this holy month. Additionally, 49% of respondents indicate that they will maintain similar spending levels for transportation, highlighting a balance between traditional customs and practical considerations during Ramadan.

    As the UAE prepares to welcome Ramadan once again, the TGM Ramadan Report provides valuable insights into the evolving dynamics of this cherished occasion, illuminating the traditions, values, and aspirations that shape Ramadan celebrations in the Emirates.

  • What eating trends are shaping Ramadan 2024 in the UAE?

    As Ramadan approaches in the UAE, there's a notable emphasis on culinary traditions and family-oriented dining experiences. According to the TGM Ramadan Report in the UAE 2024, a significant 45% of Ramadan expenditures are allocated for food and drinks, indicating the central role that dining plays in the month-long festivities. Furthermore, a substantial 57% of respondents express their intention to increase spending on food and drinks, highlighting a desire to enhance culinary experiences during Ramadan.

    Home Cooking and Family Meals

    In line with the cultural significance of Ramadan, an overwhelming 92% of respondents in the UAE express their preference for cooking at home for friends and family members. This trend underscores the importance of homemade meals in fostering familial bonds and creating memorable moments during the holy month. Additionally, an impressive 97% of respondents indicate that they eat with their family members at home during Ramadan, further emphasizing the tradition of communal dining and togetherness.

    Personalized Culinary Creations

    When it comes to preparing food at home during Ramadan, a significant 79% of respondents prefer to prepare the food themselves. This preference for homemade dishes reflects a desire for personalized culinary creations and a commitment to preserving cultural recipes and traditions.

    Favorite Ramadan Dishes

    Among the plethora of dishes enjoyed during Ramadan in the UAE, the Samosa emerges as the top favorite, with 15% of respondents expressing a preference for this savory treat. In addition to Samosas, other popular Ramadan dishes include Biryani, Harees, Mahshi, and various rice-based dishes. These culinary preferences reflect the rich and diverse gastronomic heritage of the UAE, with each dish contributing to the tapestry of flavors enjoyed during Ramadan.

  • How are consumer preferences shaping up for Ramadan shopping in 2024 in the UAE?

    Research-Oriented Shopping Trends

    In the realm of Ramadan shopping in the UAE, there is a discernible trend towards more research-oriented purchasing behaviors. As revealed by the TGM Ramadan report for 2024, a notable proportion of consumers, particularly those aged over 30, are dedicating increased time to researching their purchases. This shift underscores a growing emphasis on informed decision-making and the desire for products that closely match individual preferences and needs.

    Dual Approach to Shopping Channels

    The landscape of Ramadan shopping in 2024 is characterized by a strong inclination towards omnichannel shopping habits. With 82% of respondents indicating a preference for spending more time shopping during Ramadan and Eid, both online and offline channels play crucial roles in catering to consumer needs. While a significant proportion (40%) still expects to conduct the majority of their Ramadan shopping in physical stores, young adults aged 18-29 exhibit a more balanced approach, equally distributing their shopping activities between offline and online channels. This shift highlights the necessity for retailers to establish a seamless omnichannel presence to meet the diverse preferences of consumers across different age groups.

    Timing of Ramadan Shopping Peaks

    A notable trend observed in the report is the timing of heightened Ramadan shopping activities. The majority of respondents, irrespective of age or gender, intend to conduct most of their shopping during the first week of March, just before Ramadan commences. This surge in shopping activity reflects a strategic approach by consumers to adequately prepare for the month-long festivities and observances associated with Ramadan.

    Discount-Driven Purchase Decisions

    When making Ramadan shopping decisions, consumers in the UAE prioritize certain factors over others. Discount emerges as the primary consideration, with a significant percentage of respondents expressing a notable level of concern. Price closely follows, with another substantial portion of consumers giving it considerable importance. Additionally, the speed of delivery or readiness for pickup emerges as a critical factor, indicating consumers' emphasis on efficiency and convenience in their shopping experiences.

  • Are UAE consumers expressing positivity or apprehension towards 2024?

    Positive Outlook: Optimism for the Year Ahead

    As we approach the year 2024, sentiments among respondents are overwhelmingly positive, with words like happiness, optimism, and satisfaction dominating their thoughts. A remarkable 79% express their belief that 2024 will surpass the previous year, reflecting a collective sense of hope and anticipation for the future. This optimistic outlook sets the stage for a promising and fulfilling year ahead.

    Strong Relationships: Key Indicators of Satisfaction

    When reflecting on the year 2023, respondents rate their relationships with family and friends as significant indicators of their satisfaction. With 70% rating their relationship with family and 59% rating their relationship with friends as good to extremely good, it's evident that strong connections with loved ones play a pivotal role in shaping consumer sentiments.

    Embracing Positivity: Cultivating Well-Being

    Beyond interpersonal relationships, respondents prioritize personal well-being and fulfillment in various aspects of their lives. With 58% rating their mental health positively, there's a clear emphasis on nurturing emotional and psychological well-being. Similarly, factors like career progression and personal development are deemed important, reflecting a commitment to holistic growth and self-improvement. This focus on positivity and growth sets a promising tone for navigating the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in the year 2024.

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 the UAE with our insightful report

TGM Ramadan Report in the UAE 2024

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

TGM Ramadan Report in the UAE 2024
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Comprehensive data on consumer trends and preferences during Ramadan across the UAE, 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 300 consumers asked in UAE, 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 the UAE can be downloaded.

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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 UAE, the sample size was N=300, representing online adults aged 18-40+ and selected to reflect the national demographics of age, gender, and region.
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.