Qatar - Local businesses in Qatar are preparing for the post-Ramadan season with plans to introduce new products, expand operations, diversify businesses or move to better locations as the holy month of Ramadan and Eid celebrations come to a close.

“We had good business with sales hitting almost 100 percent during Ramadan,” Rajesh Shankar at a retail store at the Mall in Doha told The Peninsula yesterday. Sales in most retail businesses such as food and beverage, fabrics, gift items, home decors and garden equipment reached peak levels since the start of the holy month.

According to recent media reports sales across various sectors, especially gifts entertainment, fashion and sweets in many local markets and shopping malls had reached unprecedented levels in preparation for the three-day Islamic Eid Al Fitr celebration.

Many shops and malls went to the extent of keeping stores open till dawn to meet customer needs.

“We are looking at new ways to face the off-season as it is always the case in the post-Ramadan period where sales get back to normal. However, we have some new products and dishes lined up for the rest of the year,” said Suresh Jamaldeen, a salesman at the Century Restaurant at the Old Airport, Doha.

While some businesses consider launching new products and services for the off season there are others mulling moving into new locations that are more lucrative for business.

“We have been in the location for over ten years and it’s time to shift to a new place that has more visibility and business opportunities, ”said a grocery store operator at the Old Airport. However, souvenir shop operators at the Souq Waqif expressed satisfaction over round the year sales due to the visits of local and foreign tourists who prefer the location to shop, dine and relax at an outdoor café. “Visitors love paintings and photographs which is why I am so glad to provide them the best memories to take back home,” said Bilal Al Dori of Gallery Shanashel at Souq Waqif.

Retail businesses catering particularly to the tourist industry have been benefiting from the influx of travelers to the state since the start of the FIFA World Cup in 2022.

The tourism industry is said to gain from visitors expected for the Institute of Travel and Tourism (ITT) conference, Expo 2023 Doha Qatar, AFC Asian Cup 2023, Formula 1-Qatar Grand Prix, The Geneva International Motor Show which are some of the key events lined up for 2023. The state anticipates around five million visitors by the end of this year having notched 340,000 foreign travelers, a 295 percent year on year growth in the first month and 389,000 visitors in the second month this year recording a 406 percent increase from the same period last year.

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