Retail spending in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region during Ramadan in 2023 is expected to reach $66 billion, according to new research, with inflation contributing to the growth rather than consumer enthusiasm.   

Spending is forecast to increase from $61 billion in 2022, after it fell to a low of $46 billion in 2020 and grew to $57 billion in 2021.   

Research by Redseer Consulting showed that planned purchases will rise by 14% during Ramadan this year, while spending on cooking at home is set to fall 50% on last year. Spending on gifts will rise by 44%, as will spending on get-togethers by 33%.   

The levels of enthusiasm about Ramadan shopping in the UAE this year are also equal with last year, according to responses to the survey, while respondents in Saudi Arabia said they are less enthusiastic about shopping during the holy month.   

Respondents in the UAE said that when shopping online, deals and promotion and fast delivery are the most important, while in Saudi Arabia, free shipping is the most important during the month.    

Respondents are more enthusiastic about spending on fashion, dining out and domestic travel, but they are less likely to spend on consumer-packaged goods and furniture than last year, Redseer found.   

The likelihood of spending on real estate and cars is at the same level as 2022, the research found.   

 (Writing by Imogen Lillywhite; editing by Cleofe Maceda)