Stock Ramadan Shopping
Ramadan shoppers at Al Qusais Lulu Hyper Market in Dubai. Picture used for illustrative purposes. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Dubai: Several Ramadan-related sales are underway, and set to continue into the month. UAE retailers have so far revealed offers of up to 70 per cent discounts ahead of the upcoming month of fasting.

However, looking beyond the adverts of bumper discount offers, what spending trends should UAE residents be on a lookout for, when taking advantage of cost effective means to spend their money. This is what we will analyse in detail.

Where will discounts last the entire month?

Although UAE buyers stock up on household items before Ramadan in a bid to avoid going out shopping for groceries during the month of fasting, residents still make use of the discounts that continue into the month.

Some retailers claim that spending during Ramadan represents 12 per cent to 20 per cent of their annual sales – marking a significant portion of annual revenue. LuLu Group, which had launched its pre-Ramadan sales called ‘Ahlan Ramadan’ at the start of this month, is offering between 20 and 35 per cent discount on groceries throughout the month.

Al Maya Group, which has 50-plus supermarket stores across the UAE, like several others, offers Ramadan promotions during the entire month – offering up to 25 per cent to 50 per cent discounts on products ranging from dates, butter, water, fruits, vegetables, frozen foods, bakery products and pasta.

Nesto Hypermarkets, SPAR, Megamart, and West Zone are among other retailers offering discounts for another week. Most of the special promotional offers at retail outlets are not just month specific, but get updated on a weekly basis as well.

Beneficial spending trends for retailers, buyers

Given that most discounts are offered across the board in most outlets, there is a need to identity which items will reap the most discounts and when is the best time to buy them. Also, it is beneficial to identify which medium – be it digitally or physically visiting the stores – will be beneficial to our readers.

A recent survey conducted by mobile video advertiser AdColony, which studied responses from people aged between 16 and 75, indicated what has historically been the shopping preferences of people based in the Middle East during the month of Ramadan.

Due to the pandemic, the analysis showed that the range and use of online delivery options has increased during Ramadan.

While 31 per cent of the participants state that they will choose home delivery options for their Ramadan purchases, 54 per cent of the respondents state that they will shop for clothes, 45 per cent shop grocery products followed by confectionery products with 36 per cent.

Around 67 per cent of the participants stated that their cosmetic expenses are increasing during Ramadan, while the cosmetics they bought the most were perfumes with 62 per cent, hair care products with 43 per cent, and followed by make-up and cosmetics products with 31 per cent, the AdColony study revealed.

While quality and pricing are highlighted as the most important priorities in shopping plans, more than half of the respondents state that product quality with 63 per cent and product pricing with 57 per cent are the most important factors while shopping for the month of Ramadan, the survey further showed.

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‘Price freeze’ puts a cap on inflation-related price surges in the UAE

‘Price freeze’ puts a cap on inflation-related price surges

With Ramadan beginning on Tuesday, the Ministry of Economy has announced a complete freeze on price hikes of commodities during month.

This measure will surely help consumers in the country as some traders seek to take undue advantage of the increased demand. With the government also assuring that sufficient stocks will be available, there will be no scope as well for hoarding as the authorities have announced regular inspections.

So, even if demand goes up and supplies’ charges increase, retailers ensure that essential goods won’t be affected. Thus, UAE shoppers can breathe easy without fearing undue price hikes.

Increase in inflation concerns worldwide

The move from UAE, which imports 90 per cent of its food and allows its economy ministry to control prices, comes as several other countries worldwide have come under inflationary pressures amid the global economy returning to pre-pandemic levels of functionality.

A month earlier global food prices climbed to the highest level in six years, according to a United Nations index. The surge has been driven by crops such as corn and soybeans, which are widely used to feed farm animals. That’s adding to food inflation worries for nations already strained after the coronavirus pandemic upended supply chains.

Inflation, which is a decrease in the purchasing power of money and reflected in a general increase in the prices of goods and services in an economy, lowers the value of cash. When inflation rises, consumers can purchase fewer goods, input prices go up, and revenues and profits go down.

Among a few other countries worldwide, the US and India are seeing evidence of inflation. As governments worldwide continued to inject billions to keep economies afloat, the cash injection will eventually reduce, leading to an extended period of higher interest rates and as a result, inflation.

Also read

How to save money grocery shopping in Dubai

When analysing the cost of poultry, seafood, fruits and vegetables, here are a few useful patterns that can assist a shopper in saving money in both the short run and even more so in the longer term.

Which months, weeks are best for grocery discounts?

While the prices do not differ starkly during most months of the year, as the government keeps a lid on costs and prevents any major price spikes from happening – when studying prices over the last nine months, the cost of food items stayed largely in check.

Although we are at the start of summer season, no noticeable changes in prices were observed, due to inflation or otherwise.

Which days are ideal for grocery discounts?

During the course of these months, it was observed to be cost effective to buy fresh chicken during the start of the week, especially most Mondays.

On the other hand the cost of seafood and vegetables were seen to be largely cheaper halfway through the week, and cost effective fruits could be ideally picked up towards the end of the week.

OnlineShopping e-grocery trends
How to save money grocery shopping in Dubai

Latest per-kilogram prices of every fish variant available in the market:

As of April 6, among fish variants, Seabass costs Dh36.9 per kilogram and Hamour was priced at Dh18.9. On the other hand, Kingfish was priced at Dh43.9, and Salmon was priced at Dh41.5. A kilo of SeaBream costs Dh26.3, while small-sized shrimp was currently cheaply priced at Dh29.

Latest per-kilogram prices of every variant of beef and lamb available in the market:

The price of beef and lamb, be it variants from Australia, India, Pakistan was priced as follows, as of Tuesday.

Among different varieties of beef, the variant from Australia cost Dh33 per kilogram, the type from India was priced at Dh28.3 and the kind that was locally produced was Dh49. On the other hand, when it came to lamb, the Australian variant now costs Dh42.9, the breed from India was priced at Dh35, the Pakistani variety costs Dh37.7, while a kilogram of the regional variety was Dh45.2.

Latest per-kilogram prices of every variant of fruits and vegetables available in the market:

When it comes to fruits the per kilo starting price of bananas are currently priced at Dh3.8, oranges are Dh3 and apples cost Dh4. On the other hand, prices pertaining to vegetables include - regional tomatoes costing Dh3, red onions at Dh1.5, potatoes at Dh1.5 and lettuce at Dh5. Also, the price of a kilogram of lemon is Dh4, while lime costs Dh5.3.