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Ramadan 2021: Nearly 50% of UAE residents plan to give to charity during Holy Month

reporters@khaleejtimes.com Filed on April 6, 2021
KT Photo: Ryan Lim

Those surveyed said their expenditure on charity is likely to increase this year as compared to pre-pandemic times.

Nearly half of UAE residents who are looking forward to Ramadan this year (46%) intend to mark the Holy Month by giving to charity.

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What's more, out of over 1,000 people surveyed, Arab expats (56%) and married respondents with children (53%) were most likely to choose this as their preferred way of observing the Holy Month amidst the pandemic.

Almost as many as those who intend to make monetary contributions said they planned to donate food or essentials to the needy (43%). However, the survey was conducted before new guidelines came into force by the UAE government, which urge the public to pay zakat and make donations digitally in order to limit the spread of Covid-19.

As per the new guidelines around Ramadan, home visits and family gatherings are banned in the UAE, with families encouraged to gather online instead. Keeping in mind the current situation, almost a third (31%) intend to celebrate the Holy Month online with their loved ones.

Although many residents look forward to celebrating Iftar at home with their immediate family (44%), a quarter said they were planning to celebrate Iftars with extended family (25%) — a plan that may have to wait for Ramadan 2022 given current restrictions.

Slightly over a third (36%) would like to offer prayers at the mosque, which is currently allowed with some restraints.

Females as compared to their male counterparts were more keen to gather for Iftar (51% versus 41%). Men, on the other hand, were more likely to offer prayers at the mosque (40% versus 27%).

Even though there are fewer restrictions on shops and restaurants staying open, few plan to go shopping (21%) or eat at food courts or restaurants (16%) during Ramadan. Travelling to one’s hometown (12%) is not being considered by too many UAE residents this year.

In 2020, as Ramadan coincided with the spread of the pandemic, people stayed inside and spent a lot of time online. Fortunately, this year the market has opened up, giving an opportunity to business owners to revive sales.

When asked how their spending pattern is likely to change this Ramadan compared to pre-pandemic years, UAE residents claimed it is unlikely to change across most of the listed categories. This is especially true for spending on data plan/ internet, where 52% of the respondents said they will spend the same amount of money as they were before the pandemic hit the country.

Similarly, residents’ spending on food & beverage (51%) and medicines (50%) is also likely to remain the same as before. Household appliances is a category where consumers are evenly split, with 38% saying they will spend the same amount of money on these products but 35% intend to spend less on this category this year.

Meanwhile, purchase of fashion and electronic products or gadgets is likely to take a hit, with 43% and 39% respondents respectively saying they are likely to spend less on these categories this Ramadan.

The only area that is likely to see an uptick in spending is charity as two in five UAE residents (40%) plan to spend more than usual on donations this year.

Staff Reporter





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