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The business of Eid

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By Euronews
The business of Eid

<p>Hamas agreed to a 24-hour ceasefire in Gaza to allow for Palestinians and the Islamic world to celebrate the end of Ramadan in relative peace. The Eid-al-Fitr festival celebrates the breaking of the Ramadan fast with prayers, traditional ceremonies, and lots of food. The joyful festival is an important spiritual occasion, but it also has a real effect on the business world; as in all holiday seasons, there is a major spike in shopping and spending – forcing shopkeepers to work extra hours to keep up.</p> <p>According to dailymail.co.uk, Arab shoppers in London <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2708297/London-braced-Ramadan-rush-wealthy-Arabs-fly-Britain-escape-heat-spend-millions-stores-like-Harrods.html" rel="external">are expected to increase their spending</a> by over a quarter in the three days of the Eid-al-Fitr celebration. Using figures from Worldpay, dailymail reported that last year in August 2013, Middle Eastern visitors to London spent an average of of £152.40 on each transaction and visitors from Qatar spent £288.17 and experts are predicting a similar trend for this year. </p> <p>In Bangladesh the increase in spending for the holiday is enough to offset the value of the Bangladeshi currency, the taka. In order to keep the value of their currency stable, <a href="http://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2014/07/24/as-ramadan-remittances-pour-in-ahead-of-eid-bangladesh-central-bank-intervenes/" rel="external">The Bangladesh Central bank has started</a> buying US dollars. </p> <p>Airports are also busy as people travel home to spend the holiday with family. Eid week is predicted to be <a href="http://www.thenational.ae/business/industry-insights/aviation/eid-week-to-be-busiest-to-date-for-uae-airports" rel="external"> the busiest ever for United Arab Emirates’ airports</a>.</p> <p>Dawn.com predicts, based on last year’s spending trends of the equivalent of 55,73 Euros per person, that this year the market will see <a href="http://www.dawn.com/news/1121992/spike-in-eid-shopping" rel="external"> the equivalent of 10 billion Euros</a> in sales during the Eid-al-Fitr holiday season.</p>