DUBAI: Ramadan is one of the most important times of the year for Muslims worldwide. In the Middle East in particular it is a time for giving gifts and shopping as people celebrate the holy month with their families and friends.
Facebook IQ, the insights and research division of Facebook parent company Meta, has revealed the results of a study conducted in partnership with YouGov during Ramadan 2021 in nine countries, including the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
It found that most consumers expect brands to be more charitable during the holy month, in the same way that individuals are expected to be. A majority of consumers in the UAE (71 percent) and the Kingdom (69 percent) said that brands should find ways to give something back to consumers and communities during the Ramadan season.
Moreover, 64 percent in the Emirates and 57 percent in Saudi Arabia said that they became more interested in a brand or its products after learning about its business practices during Ramadan. Consumers were not averse to advertising during the season, with an overwhelming 90 percent in the UAE and 85 percent in the Kingdom open to brands and businesses promoting goods on Facebook and Instagram during the month.
They did, however, have preferences about the kind of advertising content that brands deliver. Consumers in the UAE preferred content that is “real and authentic” (34 percent) or offers updates on the latest offers and discounts (33 percent).
In Saudi Arabia, consumers leaned more toward content they considered personally relevant (31 percent) or which was in keeping with the Ramadan season (30 percent), as well as that which they considered real and authentic (30 percent).
The study also found that consumers spent more on cross-border purchases during Ramadan last year than they did in previous years. About 64 percent of shoppers in the UAE said they get excited about trying new brands and products from abroad, and 55 percent were more likely to purchase from other countries during Ramadan and Eid if adverts highlighted these key occasions.
Fares Akkad, Meta’s regional director for the Middle East and North Africa, said: “The change in everyday habits (during Ramadan) leaves shoppers more open than usual to discovering new brands and products. This creates a unique opportunity for businesses to reach cross-border shoppers looking to discover products they’ll love.”