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.
According to dailymail.co.uk, Arab shoppers in London are expected to increase their spending 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.
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, The Bangladesh Central bank has started buying US dollars.
Airports are also busy as people travel home to spend the holiday with family. Eid week is predicted to be the busiest ever for United Arab Emirates’ airports.
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 the equivalent of 10 billion Euros in sales during the Eid-al-Fitr holiday season.