Ramadan and Eid Al Fitr in UAE: How residents can cut unnecessary expenses this holy month

Common expenses include preparing home decorations, buying new clothes, and offering gifts when visiting family and friends


Waheed Abbas

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram


Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

Published: Thu 13 Apr 2023, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Thu 13 Apr 2023, 1:24 PM

During the holy month of Ramadan and Eid, the amount UAE residents spend on groceries and other items increases substantially, driven by impulsive buying, which pushes their budgets much higher.

Personal finance experts strongly advise consumers in the country to keep track of their finances, especially during festive months like Ramadan, in order to curb impulsive buying and prioritise their needs over their wants, so as to save more money and avoid unnecessary expenses.

It is believed that UAE consumers’ spending jumps by 20 per cent during Ramadan and Eid Fitr.

“We all have impulsive buying habits, especially when it comes to food, clothing, home decor, and gifts during Ramadan. To control it, it is important to make a shopping list beforehand and avoid visiting stores on an empty stomach.

In addition to this, delay your spending by a few days to stave off your impulsiveness. If you see something you like but don't need, delay your purchase for a day or two. This will give you time to think about whether you really need the item or if it is just an impulse purchase,” said Shivansh Rachit, founder and COO, Hedge & Sachs.

He urged shoppers to avoid using credit cards, as it can lead to impulsive buying and overspending, and instead, use cash or a debit card to make purchases.

Rupert J Connor, partner, Abacus Financial Consultants, said common expenses during Eid include preparing home decorations and buying new clothes as a sign of fresh beginnings, offering gifts when visiting family and friends, and giving to charity.

He advised residents that rather than going to the mall and looking for gifts, they should try exchanging homemade food or goods, or having a go at being creative and making gifts to give family and friends for Eid.

20 per cent more spending

Rachit revealed that on average, UAE residents spend nearly 20 per cent more during Ramadan as compared to other months – mainly on expensive iftaar and suhoor gatherings and gifting.

“While it's important to observe these traditions, it's also crucial to keep a check on your expenses", he explained. He warned that overspending on unnecessary items and people bulk-buying could lead to wastage – it also increases expenses, which could turn into debt and financial stress for residents.

“Residents tend to buy more than they need, and may be tempted by the various sales and discounts offered by retailers. Buy what is necessary, and in the necessary quantities. This will help you save more,” he said.

What residents say

M. Salim Zubair Ahmed, a Dubai resident, says he turns into an impulsive buyer during Ramadan, as they tend to prepare more meals for Iftaar and suhoor.

“I went to buy fruits from the supermarket last week, and I bought more than I should have. But I realised it later, after buying the fruits.”

Anam Noor, a Sharjah resident for over a decade, said she tries to be prudent by listing all the items that are required, and in what quantities. “This assures that I spend within my budget, whether it is Ramadan or not. Without planning and listing my needs, I’ll definitely surpass my budget,” she said.

How to cut unnecessary spending:

  • Plan and budget
  • Cook at home
  • Avoid expensive meals
  • Avoid ordering restaurant food
  • Allocate budget meals, activities and gifts
  • Look for deals/discounts for Eid gifts
  • Compare prices across different stores
  • Avoid Ramadan-themed decorations
  • Avoid attending lavish Iftar parties
  • Make shopping lists
  • Avoid using credit cards
  • Opt for prudent spending

Items where people spend more:

  • Food
  • Gifts
  • Decorations
  • Entertainment

Source: Hedge & Sachs, Abacus Financial Serviecs, KT Research,


More news from Ramadan 2023