Major Ramadan discounts to ease consumer burden amid concerns of rising prices

Millions look set to benefit from cost reductions throughout holy month


Union Coop.

(Photo by Reem Mohammed/The National)

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Leading retailers across the UAE have announced price reductions that are set to benefit millions of people during Ramadan.

The move aims to ease the financial burden on consumers amid concerns over rising prices.

Dubai resident Diana Izhaiman, 35, from Jordan, spoke about the financial challenges she faced during the holy month.

We made sure our community's needs are met without compromising on quality or affordability
Majid Al Junaid, Sharjah Co-operative Society chief executive

“Our expenses almost triple in Ramadan compared to other months of the year,” Ms Izhaiman said.

However, the mother of three finds solace in the efforts made by retailers to ease this burden.

“The discounts offered by several retailers make it less burdening for families like mine,” she said. "It's a relief to know we can celebrate the spirit of Ramadan without compromising on the essence of the holy month."

Mother of two Munawar Hamza, 48, agreed. “Ramadan means cooking more than one meal every day. While in other months it's fine to have leftovers, that's a no-no in Ramadan,” said Ms Hamza, who lives in Sharjah.

“For a family with an income like mine, the financial aspect of Ramadan could have been daunting.

“It would have been impossible to make it through the holy month if it was not for the discounted campaigns across different retailers and shops in the country."

What retailers are doing

Sharjah Co-operative Society is dedicating Dh35 million ($9.5 million) from its profits to subsidise prices on nearly 10,000 items, with an emphasis on essential food products.

It is part of its annual Ramadan Campaign to support the community through its 67 branches in Sharjah.

“We have listened to our customers’ feedback through our social media platforms and understand the concern about potential price increases during Ramadan,” said Majid Al Junaid, chief executive of Sharjah Co-operative Society.

“To alleviate these concerns, we are committed to reducing prices by up to 75 per cent on essential items.”

These include cooking oil, flour, rice and sugar.

“We made sure our community's needs are met without compromising on quality or affordability," he added.

Despite global supply chain pressures, a sufficient supply of products has been ensured, Mr Al Junaid said.

The campaign that started on February 22 also offers weekly deals on products outside the 10,000 items already discounted.

To accommodate the expected increase in footfall, which rose to 12 million shoppers last year, the society is preparing its workforce.

“We have ensured that 100 per cent of our staff are on a rotating schedule to efficiently manage stock distribution and customer service,” Mr Al Junaid said.

In Dubai, the Union Co-op is offering discounts of between 50 per cent and 75 per cent on various products, and freezing the prices of another 2,000 items.

Fourteen cars will be awarded in a raffle draw during the campaign.

Meanwhile, Carrefour has invested Dh50 million in its Prices Lower Than Last Year campaign, promising up to 50 per cent discounts on 5,000 products.

The cut-price items include daily essentials, fresh food, kitchen appliances and electronics.

Additionally, 15,000 boxes both small and large, priced at Dh50 and Dh100 across 125 shops, will be made available to customers to buy for donation either directly or through the Red Crescent.

“The campaign is focused on giving back to the community and assisting those in need during Ramadan,” said Bertrand Loumaye, UAE country manager at Majid Al Futtaim Retail.

“Our priority is to ensure customers can access healthy, nutritious and quality food at affordable prices.”

The price of 100 essential items, including staples such as rice, milk and oil, will be frozen throughout the month.

"Some discounted items will be sold for less than the production cost,” Mr Loumaye said. "We negotiate with our suppliers when we have the opportunity to get the price at a lower cost so we can pass that benefit to the customer."

He said AI technology played a key role in enhancing Carrefour's operational efficiency, from stock management to optimising delivery routes ensuring timely deliveries to customers.

"It has been correct at a 90 per cent rate, saving managers’ time from going in rounds to check for out-of-stock items,” he said.

He said a total expenditure of Dh70 million is set aside for the Ramadan campaign, including promotions and additional staffing needs, with Carrefour expecting a significant boost in sales. He expressed optimism about achieving a double-digit profit growth compared with last year.

“Ramadan is the biggest sale period, which typically sees a 20 per cent increase across all 125 stores compared to regular months," he added.

Updated: February 29, 2024, 8:12 AM