With the holy month of Ramadan coming to an end, Qatar's local markets and shopping malls have projected an unprecedented and record expenditure rates across various sectors, especially gifts entertainment, fashion and sweets, in preparation for the three-day Islamic Eid Al Fitr celebration.
Amid a continuous surge in the number of shoppers, shopping malls across Doha extended their timings till longer hours in the night in a bid to meet their customers' needs. For these malls, the Ramadan and Eid Al Fitr seasons are golden opportunities for making profits and surging the volume of sales of various consumer goods.
Gifts, which include flowers, perfumes, chocolates and other items, are among the most important basic sectors that are positively affected by the advent of Eid Al Fitr. The entertainment sector, which includes restaurants, cinemas, and theme parks, attract customers during the festive period at record rates, and wins the lions share, especially with the introduction of various smart applications that facilitate e-purchasing and e-payment methods, in line with offers and promotional campaigns that attract more clients.
Economists expect that the demand for gifts will double and that for recreation will increase during the 11-day Eid holiday. Economist Fawaz Al Hajri said that Eid constitutes a season for the promotion and sale of commodities, thanks to the great demand that it witnesses for its various types and varieties. This includes a huge demand for restaurants, cafes, and the retail sector, particularly gifts making exceptional sales that compensate for the recession in the summer season as a result of traveling abroad, Al Hajri said.
Chairman of Qatar Consumers Complex Companies Ali Hassan Al Khalaf hailed the top-notch entertainment facilities nationwide, highlighting the State of Qatar's years-long efforts to meet the requirements of the local population, including nationals, residents and visitors. Al Khalaf added that Qatar has become a focus of attention and a tourist and entertainment destination for all age groups thanks to its infrastructure, mostly winter climate, diversity of markets and shopping malls, and Eid-associated festivities that attract the entertainment and gift sectors and boost their gains in this period.
Regarding his expectations for the volume of demand and sales in the two sectors, Al Khalaf said that Eid is an important religious occasion for Qataris and residents when their priorities and interests focus on personal adornment, exchange of gifts, feasts, and family gatherings. The local markets are usually active a week ahead of Eid in preparation for the requirements of visits and banquets, and in the afternoon of the first day of Eid Al Fitr, there will be huge demand for restaurants and places of entertainment such as cinemas and theme parks, he said, expecting good activity and movement compared to previous years.
Businessman Hassan Al Hakim attributed the great momentum and prosperity in the entertainment and gifts sectors to the doubling of the volume of Eidiyah (money given to children as gifts instead of presents to mark the occasion), which is exceeded to reach QR 2000 this year. These Eidiyahs collected from family and relatives contribute to increasing purchasing power, which is reflected positively on the performance of the two sectors, especially amid the strong advertising campaigns aimed at attracting and winning more Qatari customers and shoppers.
Meanwhile, Al Hakim pointed out the necessity of planning family budgets, and avoiding random spending and shopping, during the happy Eid holiday, to avoid debts that burden families and put them in inessential financial hardships.
Businessman Mansour Al Mansour expected a 50-percent increase in demand for the entertainment and gifts sectors during Eid Al Fitr compared to the rest of the year, expecting that the gift market will witness a recovery capitalizing on the customs, traditions and kinship ties that characterize Qatari society at these times.