Abu Dhabi: With the dawn of the crescent moon Ramadan descends upon Muslims but there are many economic impacts of Ramadan on the average expatriate.
The recent move by different government institutions to set a cap on prices during the month was welcomed by consumers here but most of them cast a sceptical shadow on whether the official efforts would succeed in keeping the price of consumable items at bay.
Yet, expatriates view Ramadan with some degree of cynicism. More food is consumed throughout this month than any other month which contradicts the message meant for the month of fasting.
Shopping carts line checkout counters in supermarkets across the country on a daily basis. Often certain commodities that would normally sell out in a week will disappear in a single day.
This gluttonous consumption is often a post-iftar topic in many households in the UAE.
Gulf News spoke to some consumers about their consumer habits during Ramadan.
Ahmad Maher, an Egyptian teacher, said: “There is an excessive consumption during Ramadan for many products. Most of which are thrown into dustbins.”
On the other hand, Qasim Mohammad, a Palestinian engineer, said that people during this month spend their salaries in the first ten days on banquets for their relatives and friends. This costs them a lot of money and most of the food is thrown away.
“What is cooked is more than what each person would consume. This badly affects one’s budget as he needs more than three to four months to recover from its repercussions,” he added.
Bashar Ali, a Jordanian pharmacist, told Gulf News: “This situation gets worse as it is attached by the end of the month with purchasing new clothes and toys for children to celebrate Eid Al Fitr.”
Last month, the Consumer Protection Department (CPD) fixed the prices of 1,650 basic commodities until the end of 2012 upon agreement with 320 sale outlets and cooperative societies.
No’man Ashour, a UAE based chief economist, told Gulf News: “In Ramadan, the consumption of Arabs and Muslims increases by more than 30 per cent.”
Ashour advised customers not to make rash and irrational purchases while fasting.