Ramadan in UAE: Retail, hospitality, travel sectors see surge in demand

Increased activity during Ramadan supports sustainable economic diversification efforts
Ramadan in UAE: Retail, hospitality, travel sectors see surge in demand
International flight bookings increased by 70.1 percent in February 2024 compared to February 2023

During the first few days of the holy month of Ramadan, major economic sectors in the UAE saw exceptional levels of momentum and activity, supporting the growth of the national economy. These sectors include the retail, hospitality, travel and tourism, and control and inspection sectors.

The increase in activity in these sectors enhances their contribution to economic growth. Moreover, they will be major contributors to sustainable economic diversification efforts in the next 50 years. In particular, the travel, aviation and hospitality sectors have surged on global indexes, confirming the UAE’s position as a tourism hub.

Hospitality boom

In the initial one-third of Ramadan, the hospitality sector in the UAE continued its growth momentum, driven by an increase in offers. The sector has attracted domestic tourists with a wide range of offers on accommodation and room rates.

During that time of the year, hotels seek to enhance their revenues and competitiveness by diversifying the services they offer, specifically in the food and beverage sector. Moreover, the food and beverage sector has also witnessed a significant increase in demand for reservations for iftar and suhoor meals.

The hospitality and tourism sector in the UAE also expects increased activity in the coming days until Eid Al Fitr. Besides, these sectors are likely to emerge as some of the most prominent sectors contributing to the national economy in the coming years.

Retail surge

The retail sector in the UAE also witnesses great activity during Ramadan with growth in sales and an increase in visitor numbers. The food and beverages, gold, phones, clothing, perfumes and electronic retail divisions saw a large demand from consumers ahead of Eid Al Fitr.

Moreover, offers and discounts in shopping centers during the first days of Ramadan contributed to the surge in shopping and commercial activity in the UAE.

Travel soars

Notably, travel and aviation traffic in the UAE has witnessed strong activity since the beginning of 2024 and is continuing its momentum in Ramadan. The sector witnessed an increase in demand for flights to Saudi Arabia. Moreover, it has witnessed an increase in demand for flight and hotel reservations in the UAE ahead of the holiday season. According to Wego, the online travel and reservations service, international flight reservations from the UAE increased by 70.1 percent in February 2024 compared to February 2023.

This year, Ramadan, Eid Al Fitr and spring break align. Therefore, the aviation sector expects a surge in flight bookings scheduled in the coming months. In addition, Eid Al Fitr in the UAE is expected to witness a jump in departing air traffic compared to last year.

Read: Sheikh Hamdan approves $10.9 billion worth of projects for Dubai government under PPP model

Control and inspection activity

The regulatory departments and authorities in the UAE have intensified their inspection campaigns in various sectors since the beginning of Ramadan. That is to ensure compliance with health controls and requirements. The inspection teams are focusing on the extent to which food establishments meet the standards and their level of conformity with the UAE’s standards. Hence, the UAE intensifies inspection campaigns during Ramadan to enhance the quality and sustainability of public health.

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