Volkswagen's 'Reflections Enroute' raises Ramadan's bar

The Volkswagen Middle East “Reflections Enroute” which commenced during Ramadan and will conclude this week in April, aimed at promoting introspection and mindfulness, has recorded impressive results.Aligning with the spiritual values of the holy month, the campaign highlights and encourages introspection during Ramadan commutes. The series of twelve 50-second episodes invites viewers on a contemplative journey of self-discovery focusing on humanity, authenticity, and overcoming challenges.The campaign, which brings Volkswagen's values of Humanity, Authenticity, Emotion, and Accessibility to the forefront, achieved a phenomenal 64% view rate on YouTube by March end, exceeding the industry benchmark by an impressive 84%. Instagram view rates reached 22%, surpassing the benchmark by 60%, highlighting the transformative impact of content that strikes a chord with viewers and tackles themes relevant to their values.Scripted by renowned life coach Shazia Hussain, the videos feature familiar voices in the region, including para-athlete, content creator, and Volkswagen brand ambassador Zainab Al-Eqabi. These videos prompt viewers to reflect on their values and life aspirations.

Surge in ME mobile app downloads purchases during Ramadan: AppsFlyer

As regional brands compete fiercely to earn a coveted spot on users’ smartphones, new research from AppsFlyer has revealed that the country’s mobile marketers would be wise to concentrate their efforts in and around the Holy Month.In analysing key mobile app trends through Ramadan, and comparing these to the weeks leading up to the Holy Month, AppsFlyer’s research showed that in the Middle East, non-organic instals (NOIs) — those driven by marketing campaigns — of mobile apps were up by 27% this year, which is even more pronounced than the 21% spike observed during Ramadan 2023.“We have been analysing mobile app behaviours through the Holy Month for several years now and the ‘Ramadan Effect’ is abundantly apparent. During this time, consumers have limited time to reach physical shopping destinations before iftar and mobile shopping sees a surge as a result. Marketers can leverage this behaviour by creating targeted campaigns that offer deals on essential Ramadan items and increase engagement by creating content that highlights the significance of Ramadan and how their products can enhance the experience. By creating targeted e-commerce campaigns, brands can drive sales and revenue during this period,” said Sue Azari, Industry Lead - eCommerce, AppsFlyer.UAE Leads Surge in App Installs while Finance Apps Skyrocket by 384% During Ramadan in the Middle EastIn its YoY comparison, AppsFlyer found that the UAE in particular drove this positive trend, with NOIs in the country surging an incredible 164% this Ramadan. As in previous years, AppsFlyer’s researchers analysed trends in specific app categories including finance, food delivery, and eCommerce (shopping). This year, the performance of finance apps was especially impressive with the category showing a 384% spike in total instals compared to Ramadan last year. “In the Middle East, through the Holy Month this year, we saw a significant surge in financial app adoption, signalling a shift towards sophisticated investment trends. As competition intensifies, companies must innovate to stay ahead in the app industry,” said Otávio Tranchesi, Industry Lead - Finance, at AppsFlyer.Remarketing conversions — app spending driven by campaigns that aim to re-engage users that have already downloaded an organisation’s app — was also well pronounced for financial apps for which this metric grew a staggering 39%. Similarly, food delivery apps resonated well with UAE consumers, recording a 169% spike this Ramadan in NOI, while the eCommerce category also showed respectable 27% increases.Capitalizing on Ramadan Effect by Embracing Customer Retention StrategiesAzari was quick to emphasise the need for UAE brands that have benefitted from the Ramadan Effect to now work diligently to consolidate their gains. Just this year, AppsFlyer showed that UAE consumers are easily disenchanted by the mobile applications offered by brands, with the majority (56.44%) of Android apps being uninstalled within just a month of being downloaded.“Companies must solidify their gains by retaining the hard-won customers through continuous engagement efforts. This will mean delivering outstanding customer experiences to reinforce the current user base and extending marketing and engagement strategies across email, SMS, and push notifications. Personalising experiences will also be key to enhancing engagement, fostering loyalty, and generating increased value for customers,” said Azari.

Sharjah Ramadan Festival 2024 records AED 400mln sales with a growth rate of 25%

The Sharjah Ramadan Festival 2024, which concluded its 34th edition last night, Saturday, has been hailed a major success in revitalizing the retail sector and commercial activity across the emirate's markets.The 37-day extravaganza delivered unparalleled shopping experiences to Sharjah’s residents and visitors, encompassing a wide range of malls, commercial centers, and entertainment destinations across various cities and regions in the emirate.The festival's alluring offers, promotions, and substantial discounts were complemented by a series of entertainment programmes and activities, spreading festive cheer and fun-filled ambience throughout the holy month of Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr.Organised by the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI), this year’s festival exceeded sales volume expectations, generating approximately AED 400 million and achieving a growth rate of 25 percent.The Sharjah Ramadan Festival 2024 successfully drew visitors and families from within and outside the emirate, offering them massive discounts, that go up to 75 percent off, across a wide variety of products and merchandise presented by exhibitors, including both local and international brands.The festival witnessed during Eid Al Fitr a strong momentum and a huge influx of visitors, who flocked to the major shopping centers and various participating destinations and were lured by the diverse entertainment programmes and festive shopping experiences.Attendees eagerly engaged in raffle draws held throughout the festival’s pavilions, where they won valuable prizes and shopping vouchers, worth up to AED 1 million, presented by the Sharjah Chamber in collaboration with the participating shopping centers.Furthermore, an extensive range of lucrative offers was showcased within the festival, encompassing destinations, hotels, and distinguished tourist attractions.HE Mohammad Ahmed Amin Al-Awadi, director-general of SCCI, emphasised the Chamber's commitment to helping the Sharjah Ramadan Festival achieve tremendous success. This success has further cemented the festival’s leading position as one of the foremost commercial and entertainment events in the region.He underscored the SCCI’s sponsorship of shopping promotions as part of its strategy to stimulate and diversify the emirate's economy, promote innovative branding practices, and bolster support for local businesses and entrepreneurs.For his part, Abdul Aziz Al Shamsi, Assistant Director-General for Communication and Business Sector at SCCI, noted that the robust visitor turnout and the satisfaction expressed by participating centers and retail outlets across the emirate indicate the tangible outcomes manifested in the record-breaking sales achieved by the festival. This achievement serves as a catalyst for the chamber’s intensified efforts to uphold the event's stature and enrich its capacity and allure to attract Sharjah’s visitors and residents.Meanwhile, Ibrahim Rashid Al-Jarwan, director of economic relations and marketing at SCCI, and general coordinator of the festival, attributed the festival’s tremendous success to the collaborative efforts and partnerships with strategic partners, major sponsors, governmental entities, and the private sector.Crediting the efforts and contributions of participating businesses, local and international brands, as well as local productive families, in achieving fruitful outcomes, Al-Jarwan asserted that such coordination efforts allowed shopping centers and markets to offer diverse and rich entertainment programs, including traditional heritage-inspired activities catering to various segments of visitors across diverse cities and regions of the emirate.The Sharjah Ramadan Festival 2024, which ran from March 8th to April 13th, successfully drew a massive crowd from the emirate’s residents and visitors, who enjoyed the event’s engaging activities and its captivating surprises, including purchase vouchers and special offers in the world of shopping.The festival committee and shopping centers allocated purchase vouchers totaling approximately one million dirhams, distributed in two installments.The first installment, distributed during Ramadan, included a variety of prizes and purchase vouchers for the public and shoppers, amounting to around AED 350,000, sponsored by the Sharjah Chamber in collaboration with Sharjah Broadcasting Authority, whereas the second installment, distributed during the Eid al-Fitr, amounted to AED 650,000.Under the festival umbrella, enticing offers attracted shoppers and facilitated the procurement of Ramadan and Eid essentials at competitive prices.Notably, the 'Ramadan Nights' exhibition at Expo Centre Sharjah, a cornerstone event of the Sharjah Ramadan Festival, attracted a substantial audience of shoppers.Similarly, the “Souq Al Freej" market, an integral component of the festival, showcased a diverse array of promotional offers on local products and brands, featuring the entrepreneurial endeavors of local producers alongside retail establishments, complemented by an array of entertainment and heritage activities. predicts online shopping boom in Saudi Arabia this Ramadan

Saudi Arabia is expected to see a surge in online shopping across various sectors during Ramadan 2024, according to a recent report by This trend highlights the growing trust in the kingdom's digital payment ecosystem.Key Takeaways:High-growth categories: The report predicts significant growth in online transactions for services, food stores, apparel, and hospitality during Ramadan.Growing trust: cites a 22% increase in digital payments across all categories during Ramadan 2023, reflecting a rise in consumer confidence towards online shopping.Last year's trends: The data shows a significant increase in online transactions for food stores (94%), apparel (76%), hospitality (49%), and airlines (42%) during Ramadan 2023 compared to the previous year.Remo Giovanni Abbondandolo, General Manager for MENA at, attributes this growth to the increasing trust in digital payment platforms and the evolving digital payments landscape in Saudi Arabia.Abbondandolo highlights the role of rapid digitalization in boosting online spending and the efforts of payment service providers in catering to the evolving needs of merchants.A recent study indicates a 46% rise in spending sentiment among Saudi consumers in 2024 compared to 2023, suggesting a greater interest in Ramadan shopping events.Overall, the report suggests a positive outlook for e-commerce in Saudi Arabia during Ramadan 2024, driven by growing trust in online payments and a shift towards digital shopping predicts online shopping boom in Saudi Arabia this Ramadan

Saudi Arabia is expected to see a surge in online shopping across various sectors during Ramadan 2024, according to a recent report by This trend highlights the growing trust in the kingdom's digital payment ecosystem.Key Takeaways:High-growth categories: The report predicts significant growth in online transactions for services, food stores, apparel, and hospitality during Ramadan.Growing trust: cites a 22% increase in digital payments across all categories during Ramadan 2023, reflecting a rise in consumer confidence towards online shopping.Last year's trends: The data shows a significant increase in online transactions for food stores (94%), apparel (76%), hospitality (49%), and airlines (42%) during Ramadan 2023 compared to the previous year.Remo Giovanni Abbondandolo, General Manager for MENA at, attributes this growth to the increasing trust in digital payment platforms and the evolving digital payments landscape in Saudi Arabia.Abbondandolo highlights the role of rapid digitalization in boosting online spending and the efforts of payment service providers in catering to the evolving needs of merchants.A recent study indicates a 46% rise in spending sentiment among Saudi consumers in 2024 compared to 2023, suggesting a greater interest in Ramadan shopping events.Overall, the report suggests a positive outlook for e-commerce in Saudi Arabia during Ramadan 2024, driven by growing trust in online payments and a shift towards digital shopping.

Yango maps survey: 50%+ Dubai residents move more during Ramadan

With Eid celebrations on the horizon, Yango Maps, a navigation app made with Dubai in mind, conducted a survey to see how the Holy Month changes navigation habits in the city. The goal of the survey was to keep in touch with user needs in a constantly evolving environment and propose useful features relevant for this time of the year.The survey found that 52% of residents travel more during Ramadan than at any other time of the year. For many, this is a period for spending time and connecting with loved ones. And when it comes to selecting the mode of transport for their movement around the city, the majority opt for driving, while one in three users prefer public transport or taxis. Half of the residents noted that at this time of active travel, the most important considerations before setting off are safety, travel time, and the availability of air-conditioned spaces along the route. Responding to the users' needs, the app recently added new route options called "comfortable routes." When temperatures rise, the app displays additional directions that go through covered areas and air-conditioned bus stops. Additionally, during the month of Ramadan, over 70% of residents spend more time with family, exploring new places, and almost a half of residents (48%) tend to eat outside their home more often than at other times of the year. Taking this into account, Yango Maps offers a special Ramadan guide with a wealth of restaurants and cafes for a memorable Iftar menu: from traditional cuisine to inventive international dishes.Findings also confirmed that shopping continues to be a key activity for many in Dubai during Ramadan, with 61% of people agreeing that they tend to shop more often. The majority of shoppers do so offline, and three in five strive to discover new brands and find the best deals. The most popular shopping centers Yango Maps users visit are the Dubai Mall, the Mall of the Emirates, and the Dubai Marina Mall. To ensure a more convenient experience for users, Yango Maps plans routes straight to parking zones near such popular destinations.

Majid Al Futtaim launches ‘From City Centre to Gaza’ campaign

Majid Al Futtaim, the leading shopping mall, communities, retail and leisure pioneer across the Middle East, Africa and Asia, has unveiled a humanitarian campaign ‘From City Centre to Gaza’ with a host of initiatives aimed at giving back and supporting distressed communities in Gaza this Ramadan and Eid.Taking place at various City Centre malls across the UAE in coordination with several leading NGOs and charitable organizations in the country, the campaign stems from Majid Al Futtaim’s commitment to providing continued support to communities in Gaza through humanitarian initiatives. The activities under the ‘From City Centre to Gaza’ campaign include:Kaak El Eid Charity Sale: Visitors of City Centre Mirdif can bite into delicious Kaak El Eid cookies (traditional biscuits baked during Eid) served by the iconic Palestinian restaurant Mama’esh. All proceeds from the sale will be donated to provide pediatric medical assistance to children with physical disabilities from Gaza through the Al Jalila Foundation.When: April 5 Time: 7:00pm to 12:00amWhere: City Centre MirdifTarahum - for Gaza: A brilliant evening bazaar laden with products related to Palestine awaits visitors at this special initiative supporting the UAE relief campaign, Tarahum - for Gaza. All proceeds from the sale of the items will be donated to Emirates Red Crescent to provide emergency food assistance to people in Gaza.When: April 6Time: 7:00pm to 12:00amWhere: The Plaza at City Centre Al ZahiaMedia Contact:Sarah

Stirring success: Qadreya Al Awadhi's journey from stocks to Bumblebee Food

At just 16 years old, Qadreya Al Awadhi embarked on her journey into the world of stock investing, guided by her father's wisdom. Recognizing the accessibility and potential for lucrative returns in the stock market, she utilized her earnings of 150K AED to sow the seeds of her entrepreneurial dreams. Now, after more than a decade later, Qadreya stands as a testament to perseverance and innovation, having cultivated her initial investment into the flourishing enterprise known as Bumblebee. Specializing in ready-made frozen meal plans tailored for infants and toddlers, her company has not only garnered commercial success but has also earned the esteemed recognition of the United Nations Women'sQadreya's vision for Bumblebee was inspired by her desire to provide nutritious and delectable meals, fostering a healthy and sustainable relationship with food for the youngest members of society.Hailing from Dubai, Qadreya pursued her academic career in finance at Zayed University before obtaining a Master's degree in International Business from The University of Wollongong. Despite her entrepreneurial pursuits, she also maintains a full-time position at one of the world's largest financial institutions, showcasing her dedication and versatility. Acknowledging her lack of experience in the food and beverage industry, Qadreya pursued culinary education to grasp the fundamental principles of nutrition, ensuring informed decision-making in meal composition. Additionally, she enlisted the expertise of Yasmin Haddad, a seasoned pediatric nutritionist and chef to curate menus tailored to meet the nutritional needs of growing children.In this interview with Adgully Middle East, Qadreya Al Awadhi, the founder of Bumblebee Food, delves into the innovative marketing strategies adopted by brands during the Holy month of Ramadan, underscoring her commitment to continuous growth and adaptation in the ever-evolving landscape of entrepreneurship.How are the brands in the Middle East tailoring their marketing strategies/campaigns to resonate with the cultural nuances and significance of Ramadan?Numerous brands utilize social media as a key component of their marketing strategy. For instance, some highlight families coming together for iftar and using their products. To provide further context, certain food and beverage retailers incorporate dishes featuring dates and employ Islamic-themed packaging, while restaurants may offer iftar and suhoor buffets. Furniture retailers would offer decorations with crescents, lights, Arabic calligraphy, and such. Events hosted during the month usually have a segment focusing on Ramadan’s importance and impact.  Can you discuss specific examples of how you are incorporating traditional elements of Ramadan into your exclusive collections or marketing campaigns?As a kids’ food business, we are focused on the health of children during this month. Many mothers, especially working mothers, do not have the time to cook multiple meals when they are fasting so this is when Bumblebee helps. With Bumblebee, the meals are packed with nutrition that your child needs, and it only takes minutes to prepare. Of course, we also incorporate some dates into our dishes as well such as date pudding, date brownies and date cookies. Our marketing campaign specifically targets easing the mealtime preparation burden for mothers during this month. In what ways are brands leveraging social media influencers and digital platforms to connect with consumers during Ramadan, while maintaining authenticity and respect for the occasion?Brands use social media influencers to advertise their products and host Suhoor Nights where the venue is usually a majlis. The influencers usually wear traditional dresses and post content promoting the brand to their followers. This allows brands to continue their marketing efforts while still respecting the religious month.  What challenges do brands face in balancing commercial objectives with the need to honour the spiritual and cultural aspects of Ramadan, and how are they navigating these challenges?It is important to remember that Ramadan is a religious month where concepts such as donations, helping the needy, and strengthening spiritual and family bonds all encouraged. Brands could incorporate donations and help the needy as part of their CSR activities. Some brands focus too much on the aesthetics of Ramadan rather than making an impactful change. For instance, brands could donate food to the needy, join the government’s philanthropic campaigns, or even allocate a certain percentage of sales to charities that align with their own company objectives.

Aramex delivers a call to peace with Ramadan video campaign

Aramex, a leading global provider of comprehensive logistics and transportation solutions, has launched a special video campaign for Ramadan centered around an undelivered parcel destined for Gaza. This campaign highlights a message of peace and togetherness as part of Aramex’s commitment to promoting global harmony.Focused on the word Salam or peace in Arabic, the campaign video depicts a parcel that is being sent by a Palestinian citizen living abroad to his family back home in Gaza, which is held back in a storage room midway through its journey, until either a ceasefire or peace agreement is in place, or the borders are opened up and parcels can be delivered to Gaza.The moving film is directed at people from all over the world who wish for peace in the world, and ends with a call to action to send a message of peace via the website On this dedicated site, people can record a short video message and say the word ‘Salam’ – in solidarity with the campaign’s theme of promoting peace and harmony in Gaza and around the world.Commenting on the initiative, Mike Rich, Group CMO at Aramex, said: "We were struck by a poignant question: What do you do when you cannot deliver a parcel to places like Gaza, especially in the holy month of Ramadan? The answer that resonated deeply was 'Salam' or 'Peace'—a message that transcends borders and speaks to the heart, provides reassurance to all communities, and holds out hope for the future. At the center of our complex and ever-growing operations at Aramex is our pursuit of Delivering Good and helping communities. Social responsibility has always been a vital part of our strategic focus, and we are proud to launch this campaign and demonstrate the power of one word—peace—that can truly make a difference to our collective future. This is a campaign that is very close to our hearts and driven by Aramex’s mission to deliver a better future to all communities, and I am confident that this will resonate in the hearts and minds of people across geographies."The Ramadan video campaign underpins Aramex's keenness to leverage its market-leading reach and goodwill within the region and beyond to support local and global efforts in promoting messages of peace.

Waterfront Market offers unique shopping and culinary experiences for Ramadan

The Waterfront Market in Dubai, the city's premier hub for fresh produce, warmly welcomes both locals and tourists to immerse themselves in the essence of Ramadan. During the holy month, the Waterfront Market will transform into a festive culinary haven, presenting an unparalleled selection of fresh ingredients, offered at unbeatable prices for Ramadan preparations.In the spirit of the season, the Waterfront Market will be adorned with festive décor, both indoors and outdoors, creating an authentic Ramadan atmosphere. The venue’s promenade, a picturesque setting for iftar, will be beautifully illuminated, providing guests with an opportunity to open their fast with breathtaking views of the waterfront. The ambience is designed to enhance the iftar experience, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the tranquility and reflection that Ramadan embodies.Recognising the importance of convenience for its customers, the Waterfront Market will operate 24/7, just as it does throughout the year, ensuring that everyone can shop for their essentials at any hour, adding to the ease of preparing for iftar and suhoor. From fresh seafood, meat, and poultry to dry goods, spices, and an extensive variety of fruits and vegetables, the market is a one-stop destination catering to all Ramadan culinary needs.Adding to the Ramadan experience, the Waterfront Market invites guests to explore the latest recipe book by Chef Chris, available to download for free on the website. This collection of recipes is designed to inspire and assist in preparing delicious, and proposes delicious home-cooked iftar meals that cater to diverse tastes and preferences.As Dubai’s premier fresh food market, the Waterfront Market is committed to offering a wholesome and enriching shopping experience. It stands as a testament to the vibrant culinary culture of the UAE, inviting everyone to partake in the joy of Ramadan preparations and celebrations.

Amazon Alexa offers localized experiences tailored for UAE customers in Ramadan

Dubai, UAE: With Ramadan underway, Amazon Alexa is set to make daily spiritual practices and rituals easier and more accessible. From finding the right recipe for iftar or listening to your favorite qari, Alexa is here to support during this most special time of the year.Alexa’s spirituality features are among the most used by customers in UAE and KSA, with audio streaming, which includes Quran recitations, being the second-most popular domain. In 2023, Surat Al Baqara was the most requested surah with Maher Al Muaiqly being the most sought-after qari. Amazon Alexa remains committed to focus on hyper local customer interests, culture, and traditions during the Holy Month in 2024.Amazon Alexa has recently released the Echo Show 5 (3rd Generation) in KSA and UAE, which thanks to the 5.5” HD display screen provides an additional layer of support to customers during Ramadan. Customers can follow Quran recitations and recipes on the screen while being narrated by Alexa, and manage smart home devices by simply tapping on the screen.Here are the top five ways Alexa can help customers with their daily practices during the Holy Month:Set up daily routinesAmazon Alexa can help customers create routines through the Holy Month. For example, they can set a recurring routine for the suhoor and morning prayer time, where Alexa sets an alarm to go off for suhoor time, while adjusting the AC temperature and turn on the lights at low brightness to help the household wake up, then recite the Quran in preparation for the morning prayer, and finally set another alarm with the Adhan sound when imsak time starts.Ask Alexa for the ‘Deed of the Day’, or daily Dua’aCustomers can ask Alexa to provide daily suggestions for acts of kindness that they can practice through the ‘Deed of the Day’ feature. Alexa can also share daily dua’a for every day of the month, as well as eight stories about the Prophets and other thematic spirituality events, such as “The Lantern”, “Coffee Cup”, and “Moon”, along with three Ramadan-themed stories.Listen to your favorite qariIn addition to location-based iftar and imsak time reminders, Alexa can help customers listen to their favorite qari recite the Quran, and read what is being recited on the screen of Echo Show devices. Additionally, customers can tune into their local stations during the day and live-stream Ramadan radio programs, including spiritual, cultural, and local news content. Iftar meal recipes at your fingertipsPlanning an iftar for friends and family is simple with Amazon Alexa. Using simple voice commands, users can access a wide range of delicious and healthy meals to break their fast. Amazon Alexa also offers iftar meal recipe walk-through on Echo Show devices.Make family gatherings more funA big part of the Holy Month is connecting with families and loved ones. Alexa offers families fun activities that help strengthen their bonds including Fawazeer Ramadan. When using the Fawazeer Ramadan feature, customers can ask Alexa for a riddle, Alexa then says the riddle, waits, and then gives the answer. With Amazon Alexa's Ramadan features, customers can enjoy an educational experience and connect with their family, friends, and loved ones while making their daily spiritual practices and rituals easier and more accessible.Ramadan Discounts in’s Ramadan discounts are underway, with discounted prices for Echo and Kindle devices up to 48%. Echo Dot (5th Gen) is available at AED 130, while Echo Dot with Clock (5th Gen) is now priced at AED 170. The Echo Pop is also available at AED 79.99. As for Kindle Paperwhite, the 16GB edition is priced at AED 499, and the Paperwhite Signature Edition is available at AED 599.For customers seeking ease of mind while away visiting family, Amazon is offering up to 40% discounts on the Alexa-enabled Ring cameras in the UAE until the 14th of March. The Ring Spotlight Camera and Battery retails for AED 749; Ring Stick Up Battery for AED 239; Ring Video Doorbell Wired for AED 149; and Ring Video Doorbell 2nd Generation for just AED 279.---

Ramadan radiance: Nancy Ozbek on Times Square Center's marketing initiatives

Nancy Ozbek, General Manager of Times Square Center in Dubai, has spearheaded the remarkable transformation of this community-focused mall into a premier retail and family-experience destination along the Sheikh Zayed Road. Under her leadership, Times Square Center has witnessed phenomenal growth and has become synonymous with innovation and inclusivity.In essence, Nancy Ozbek embodies the spirit of Times Square Center's transformation—a visionary leader dedicated to creating a space where innovation, diversity, and community converge to offer an unparalleled shopping and leisure experience.In an exclusive Interview with Adgully Middle East, Nancy Ozbek shares the mall’s marketing strategies and how they are incorporating traditions, during the holy month of Ramadan.How are the brands in the Middle East tailoring their marketing strategies / campaigns to resonate with the cultural nuances and significance of Ramadan?Generally, brands tailor their marketing strategies aligning with the cultural significance of the season. At Times Square Center, a community destination, we recognize the importance of Ramadan and place a strong emphasis on people, experience, and emotions. We focus on creating campaigns that resonate with the cultural nuances and significance of the holy month, incorporating themes of unity, family, and cultural reflection into our messaging. This approach allows us to connect with the community on a deeper level.Can you discuss specific examples of how you are incorporating traditional elements of Ramadan into your exclusive collections or marketing campaigns?We ensure that the mall's on-ground decor and offered activities are thoughtfully tailored to enhance the Ramadan experience. This involves creating a festive and culturally immersive atmosphere that resonates with the spirit of the season. Furthermore, we actively encourage our retailers to infuse their offerings with cultural symbolism. This includes inspiring them to create special editions that draw inspiration from traditional Ramadan motifs, colors, or materials. In what ways are brands leveraging social media influencers and digital platforms to connect with consumers during Ramadan, while maintaining authenticity and respect for the occasion?Times Square Center is leveraging social media influencers and digital platforms strategically, collaborating with influencers who align with the values of Ramadan and Times Square Center, we can create content that resonates with the audience. Social media platforms become avenues for sharing relatable stories, fostering engagement, and promoting products in a way that is culturally sensitive.What challenges do brands face in balancing commercial objectives with the need to honour the spiritual and cultural aspects of Ramadan, and how are they navigating these challengesOur years of dedicated effort in understanding our audience have equipped us to adeptly respond to the unique challenges posed by Ramadan. These challenges often necessitate adjustments to our regular offerings, such as refraining from upbeat activities during the day, reevaluating the types of shows traditionally presented, addressing low footfall during the fasting period, and acknowledging the conscious restraint some shoppers may feel about splurging during Ramadan.Our approach revolves around thoughtful actions guided by a comprehensive strategy that places a high priority on cultural sensitivity. Within our community, brands actively strive to strike a balance by seamlessly integrating their marketing messages with a profound respect for the spiritual significance of the month. This commitment takes shape through various initiatives, including supporting charitable causes, fostering community engagement, and ensuring that promotional activities align harmoniously with the values upheld during Ramadan.

Bitget launches Ramadan Campaign For Middle East Region

Bitget, the world's leading cryptocurrency exchange and Web3 company, has launched a Ramadan campaign to celebrate the holy month with its Arabic speaking audience. The campaign kick starting today will run throughout the month ending on Eid. This includes daily token giveaways along with the chance to win airpods, headsets, laptop, smartwatch and more.To make this program inclusive, Bitget will be donating $1 towards charity for each winner during the campaign timeline. Users who follow BitgetMENA on Twitter can utilize #BitgetRamadanChallenge to get noticed and win exciting rewards. Giveaways will be settled every Saturday and requires users to complete a set of challenges to be eligible for the event."Middle east and North African regions have increased its crypto adoption drastically in recent times. At Bitget we plan to leverage our resources to strengthen this growth. With regional specific campaigns, language support, crypto conversion and trading choices, we've tailored our app for our MENA users. The region is bound to grow and increase its adoption, and we're here to fuel it," says Vugar Usi Zade, COO at BitgetIn addition to the Ramadan campaign, Bitget is planning a MENA meetup tour to drive crypto awareness and provide assistance for new people in crypto. This will be elaborated further with more programs under Blockchain4Her and Blockchain4Youth, a combination of $20M funds dedicated to enable education around the emerging space. This is certainly not the first time Bitget is making moves in middle east as a market. Previously, it announced its plan of expanding in the region and driving growth for its MENA users. Bitget has launched its app and website in Arabic and provides multiple levels of regional friendly banking options as well as seamless user infrastructure to navigate the complex ecosystem.A recent Bitget survey of a cross-regional crypto investors revealed that over 80% of MENA investors consider the halving to have a significant price impact, while the recent Bitcoin’s bull run to renew its all-time high value was anticipated by 88% of investors — more than in any other region.This extreme optimism is most pronounced in comparison to the survey’s other participants, as MENA investors were the most willing to increase their crypto holdings, with 82% reporting affirmatively. In contrast, the global average didn’t exceed 70%. Only 4% of the regional investors support the opposite bearish sentiment. This proves widespread crypto adoption in the region, Bitget plans to enhance and accelerate this growth in the coming months.

Lacoste celebrates Ramadan with a message of unity

Lacoste has unveiled its Ramadan campaign, weaving a message of inclusivity, diversity, and unity into the very fabric of the holy month. This year's theme, "Do You Speak Lacoste?", isn't just about clothing – it's a celebration of connection. The campaign features four talented individuals from across the Middle East:Mohammed Habtoor (Dubai): A public personality who embodies the spirit of embracing differences.Abdulla Al Kaabi (Dubai): A film director who sees creativity as a bridge between cultures.Ibrahim Al Baker (Qatar): A visual artist who finds resonance in the campaign's cultural tapestry.Farah Assaad (Kuwait): A creative director who draws inspiration from the collection's blend of tradition and modernity.Through stunning visuals, the campaign showcases Lacoste's Ramadan collection, "Do You Speak Lacoste?". This exclusive line, pre-launched in the Middle East, draws inspiration from Lacoste's heritage – the iconic crocodile logo and patents by René Lacoste (polo collar, tennis racket, etc.). It's a collection that reflects not only the spirit of Ramadan but also the essence of Lacoste itself: a brand that transcends language and unites people through shared values.The campaign goes beyond words. By bringing together these diverse talents, Lacoste emphasizes the beauty of different backgrounds and seamless integration, a message that resonates particularly strong during Ramadan, a time for community and togetherness.Abdulla Al Kaabi said: "This Lacoste Ramadan campaign, blending tradition with contemporary elegance, echoes my belief in creativity's power to unite and inspire."Farah Assaad said: “Representing Kuwait in this campaign has been a source of pride for me, and it aligns perfectly with the ethos of my daily life, where I find power in diversity and inclusivity. In this collaboration, i have found a connection between the spirit of Ramadan and Lacoste as a brand, as it allowed me to dive deeper into the brand’s creative and inventive elegance in their pieces, which allows you to play and dare, and serves as an inspiration to create your own goals.”

Dubai Holding unveils ‘Gift It Forward’

Dubai: Dubai Holding, a diversified global investment company with investments in 31 countries, today launched Gift It Forward, a Ramadan initiative organised in partnership with the Community Development Authority (CDA).Supporting the national #RamadanInDubai campaign, Gift It Forward will revitalise thousands of new items and products into distinctive, one-of-a-kind gifts, which will be distributed to over 8,000 blue-collar workers, as well as 500 low-income families supported by CDA.In collaboration with Dubai Holding Entertainment, Dubai Holding Real Estate, Dubai Holding Asset Management, Dubai Holding Hospitality Assets, Jumeirah Group, Dubai Community Management, TECOM Group, as well as supporting partners Azadea and Apparel Group and execution partner Goumbook, volunteers will assemble, package and distribute the new inventory items collected from Dubai Holding portfolio companies and partner retail brands. The items include clothing, stationery, books and accessories, among many others.In line with the Dubai Holding Sustainability Strategy, the repurposing of items into gifts for blue-collar workers and low-income families not only helps to reduce waste, but also reinforces the importance of mindful consumption with the value of giving.Huda Buhumaid, Chief Impact Officer, Dubai Holding, said: “Through Gift It Forward, an initiative that integrates environmental stewardship with social responsibility, we want to enrich the lives of those who work around the clock to ensure the essential services of our communities run seamlessly, while also encouraging the adoption of sustainable behaviours in line with our sustainability agenda. We believe that instilling the values of giving, community and responsibility, both within the Group and across the UAE, will create a socially and environmentally conscious generation, which will in turn undoubtedly contribute towards shaping a better tomorrow.”“Underscoring our long-standing belief that partnership and collective action are essential to achieve positive impact, this initiative will see hundreds of volunteers from across Dubai Holding’s businesses, CDA, Azadea and Apparel Group, participate in a series of volunteering events to assemble and deliver these gifts to blue-collar workers and low-income families across the UAE,” concluded Buhumaid.Huraiz Al-Murr bin Huraiz, CEO of Social Care & Development Sector in the Community Development Authority, added: “Gift It Forward embodies our commitment to elevate social engagement, perfectly aligning with the Holy Month’s core values of kindness and compassion. An array of carefully selected gifts will be distributed to more than 700 children, aiming to not only spread joy but also to foster a culture of giving and solidarity.”“Our collaboration with Dubai Holding is designed to bolster community empowerment and seeks to unlock further possibilities for broadening the reach of the Community Development Authority’s initiatives throughout the community,” Bin Huraiz added.The Gift It Forward initiative will commence on the first day of Ramadan and extend throughout the Holy Month, offering family-friendly volunteering options along the way. In addition, Dubai Holding's destinations, attractions and communities, including Global Village, Al Khawaneej Walk, Riverland Dubai, Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR) and Boxpark Dubai, are commemorating Ramadan with a rich array of events and activities, including competitions, special decorations, late-night openings, Ramadan art exhibitions and stunning weekend fireworks.Continuing its robust community outreach and philanthropic efforts, this initiative builds on a series of impactful campaigns aimed at fostering a culture of giving and social responsibility. These include Dubai Holding’s partnership with the UN World Food Programme for the A Meal for a Brighter Tomorrow initiative and the contribution to the 1 Billion Meals Endowment campaign in Ramadan 2023, in addition to the ongoing partnership with the Dubai Blood Donation Centre to help promote health and wellbeing and the award-winning Life Goals campaign launched last year to boost financial literacy among blue-collar workers.

TikTok and KSA’s Telfaz 11 launch first-ever episodic branded content

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: TikTok announced a partnership with Telfaz 11, a creative media studio from Saudi Arabia specializing in local entertainment content, to debut the first-ever episodic branded content series produced exclusively for TikTok. This partnership ushers in a new era of native Saudi-first branded entertainment for audiences across the region, and presents advertisers with a fresh opportunity to reach diverse audiences.This Ramadan, Telfaz 11 will introduce two captivating shows tailored exclusively for TikTok viewers. These series will natively integrate advertisers into the heart of weekly Ramadan episodes, while delivering immersive experiences that prioritize entertainment and celebrate Saudi culture. The two shows span across different themes, ensuring that there’s something for everyone to enjoy. One of the shows invites TikTok users to embark on an adventure alongside two agents that take on daring missions in each episode. Meanwhile, the other show promises laughter and social reflections as Em Salah, an elder Saudi woman, humorously dissects trends and culture, and discusses the next generation of Saudi voices.The partnership highlights TikTok's continued evolution into a premier entertainment destination, showcasing engaging content that resonates with diverse audiences. Through these exclusive series, TikTok demonstrates its commitment to providing users with high-quality, locally-produced entertainment throughout the Ramadan season.Shadi Kandil, General Manager, Global Business Solutions, Middle East, Turkey, Africa, Central and South Asia, TikTok said: "TikTok is an entertainment-first platform. It's where content and community come together to create immersive experiences that engage and entertain audiences, driving meaningful business impact. Our partnership with Telfaz 11 brings best-in-class publishers to the platform to produce locally relevant content that our community will enjoy, allowing advertisers to natively engage with audiences on a deeper level during the month of Ramadan." For advertisers, this partnership presents an exciting opportunity to redefine their Ramadan marketing approach and connect with audiences in an authentic, engaging, and intimate way. In many ways, it combines TikTok's community-building and storytelling capabilities with Telfaz 11's creative expertise at the intersection of innovation."We are always looking to adapt our content format in ways that reach different audiences,” said Alaa Faden, CEO at Telfaz 11. "Through these shows we aim to deliver compelling narratives that entertain, inspire, and resonate with TikTok's diverse communities."

Vibrant Ramadan Celebrations Unfold on Hudayriyat Island

This Ramadan, Hudayriyat Island invites residents and visitors to celebrate cultural heritage, spirituality, and community bonding with activities designed to highlight the beauty of the Holy Month.  Friday Delights:·      Hakawati (Storytelling): Unwind and be captivated by tales of old as a Hakawati weaves enchanting stories.·      Solo Oud Show:  Indulge yourself in the soulful melodies of the Oud, performed live by a talented Oud player, setting the perfect ambiance for a serene Friday evening.·      Cultural Bazaar: Explore the Friday bazaar featuring traditional abayas, intricate henna designs, and vibrant face painting. Saturday Sensations:·      Tarabish Band Show: Get ready for a musical journey with the Tarabish band, offering a lively performance that resonates with the joyous spirit of Saturday.·      Solo Qanoon Performance: Experience the melodic brilliance of the Qanoon in a performance that showcases the rich musical heritage of the region.·      Cultural Bazaar: Immerse yourself in the Saturday bazaar, featuring elegant abayas, delightful Logaimat, and exquisite henna artistry, creating a sensory feast for all. Live Ramadan in the Traditional Souk:We invite everyone to experience the heart of Ramadan at the traditional souk, where the spirit of the season comes alive through various activities and cultural showcases. Dates: Every Friday and Saturday during RamadanTimings: 8:00pm to 1:00am on Friday and Saturday Location: Entertainment Area and Bazaar – Hudayriyat Island

Al Ghandi Auto Reveals Exclusive Ramadan Deals for Cadillac's Luxury Line-Up

Al Ghandi Auto has today revealed attractive limited time offers for the Holy month of Ramadan. The UAE community can leverage the benefits applicable across the luxurious line-up of sedans and SUVs throughout the blessed month, all the way until the end of Eid al Fitr. Honoring the most anticipated month in the year for many, Al Ghandi Auto is bringing the joy of luxury driving to more aspiring automotive enthusiasts, through flexible payment plans, benefits and discounts.  Mark Jenkins, CEO at Al Ghandi Auto commented “Ramadan is a special time of the year for our UAE community, as we all come together to reflect, connect, and rejuvenate. We are passionate about giving back to our valued customers, and our yearly offers during the blessed month has become a tradition that we embrace. We look forward to creating memorable moments during this special time and seeing more of the luxurious Cadillac line-up on the UAE roads”. Al Ghandi Auto’s customers in the UAE are one step closer to driving home with ultimate luxury as upon purchasing the sophisticated CT4, classy CT5, or any SUV ranging from the XT4, XT5, XT6 or Escalade, they will also leave the showroom with a complementary registration and tinting.This Ramadan, the UAE community can avail the iconic Escalade with flexible payment plan, over three years with 0% interest*. Additionally, buyers will be eligible to Cadillac Premium Care Plus program, which includes five-year warranty, maintenance as well as road-side assistance. During Ramadan only, an addition of five-year unlimited mileage extended warranty** will be give out on certain model trims. The Cadillac Premium Care Plus program can also be leveraged upon the purchase of other Cadillac models including the head turning CT4 and CT5. Customers can avail these offers when visiting Al Ghandi Auto showrooms in Dubai. Alternatively, those who prefer to make their purchase from the comfort of their homes, can simply head to Cadillac’s innovative online showroom, Shop.Click.Drive., where the same offers will apply.Offers are valid from 1-March-2024 till 30-April-2024.Note to editors: The extent of benefits the customer receives depends on the selected models. Customers can reach out for more information.*Terms and conditions apply. Interest and term vary per model year. **Valid only on Escalade model year 2023.

From Iftar feasts to mobile games: Capturing hearts and minds during Ramadan

During Ramadan, brands engage in fierce competition, striving to outdo each other with innovative and captivating content. This presents a significant challenge for marketing strategists and advertising agencies who must distinguish themselves amidst the clamor of others vying for their audience's attention.Ramadan is a critical period marked by heightened competition. So, we do everything possible to make our customers rule this market with qualitative content reflecting the sacredness of the month. Companies create campaigns that incorporate family, community, and charity events, along with various discounts and promotions. During Ramadan, both media outlets and brands actively promote content-sharing on social media related to Ramadan and engage in charitable activities. But during this period, greater importance is placed on respecting religious sentiments and cultural values to ensure that the content of the marketing messages blends in with the spirit of Ramadan while promoting unity and goodwill within society.Iftar gatherings remain a prominent cultural tradition in Saudi Arabia, particularly during the Holy month of Ramadan. It's noticeable that people's leisure time tends to increase during this time, often leading to more visits to malls. Additionally, there's a noticeable trend of increased nighttime outings, and a wider array of entertainment and leisure activities available during the night. A recent study has revealed that consumer shopping intentions in the KSA market for Ramadan are forecasted to increase by 44% this year compared to the previous year. This rate of growth is projected to apply to other sectors as well, with entertainment at 44%, grocery shopping at 51%, foreign trips at 35%, staycation at 42%, and food delivery at 39%.The Ramadan season provides an excellent opportunity for storytelling through videos, especially in collaboration with creators. According to Google, 65% of shoppers or observers increase their video-watching time during Ramadan and Eid. Moreover, 59% show a greater inclination towards trusting a brand that partners with an authentic creator.According to Ipsos data, approximately 97% of local and Arab residents in KSA tend to watch television daily, with women being particularly inclined. During Ramadan, viewers consume content for an average of five hours and twenty-three minutes per day, which is 16 minutes more compared to non-Ramadan times. Nearly four-fifths of people use SVODs, with Shahid VIP and Netflix being among the most popular channels.During Ramadan, there is an increased opportunity for brands to target the gaming community, as previous studies indicate that audiences turn to their mobile devices, particularly gaming, for entertainment during this holy month. With reduced working hours and schools on vacation, people find themselves with more leisure time. Research conducted by adcolony and GWI during Ramadan revealed that 50% of respondents in KSA spend 1-3 hours online on their smartphones, with 48% of them dedicating 30 minutes to 2 hours daily to playing mobile games during the holy month. The most preferred time for gaming is between 12 pm to 6 pm, resulting in individuals spending between 15 to 60 hours playing mobile games over the course of Ramadan.

Al Ghurair Centre unveils Ramadan offers and special deals

Dubai: Al Ghurair Centre, Dubai’s first shopping centre, is gearing up to celebrate the Holy Month of Ramadan with a host of exclusive offers and special deals for shoppers running from March 6 to April 14 across various retailers.Al Ghurair Centre offers discount offer in fashion, entertainment, food and beverages, electronics and beauty retailers.ShopFashion enthusiasts can indulge with Springfield offering up to 70 per cent off on a large selection of clothing. Meanwhile, at the Liverpool FC store, fans can score big with 40 per cent off selected items, including coveted hoodies, jackets and more. Additionally, Matalan invites shoppers to embrace their dedicated Ramadan collection with a buy one get one free offer, while Nishat Linen presents a 25 to 50 per cent off on selected items, ensuring that every wardrobe is adorned with elegance and style.For those with a penchant for electronics, Emax is offering a 40 per cent discount on top-selling gadgets, while Home Box invites shoppers seeking to elevate their living spaces to enjoy a part-sale on selected items. Daiso Japan is also presenting the largest Ramadan collection boasting over 3,000 items, with prices starting at just Dh 5.Additionally, those with an eye for style can indulge in exclusive offers at Titan Eye+, with discounts of up to 25 per cent off on frames and sunglasses. As an added bonus, customers can partake in a delightful gifting campaign featuring a Ramadan-inspired combo gift box that includes any watch or sunglasses of their choice.Beauty enthusiasts are in for a treat, with Flormar presenting part-sale discounts between 25 – 30 per cent on a wide range of products, while Bath & Body Works entices with multiple buy one get one free offers, gift set discounts and daily deal promotions. Moreover, shoppers can receive a complimentary Yehwadam Premium Gift set worth Dhs 200 from The Face Shop when they spend over Dhs 500.PlayFor entertainment seekers, Qrew offers thrilling discounts of up to 30 per cent on billiards, PS5, and table tennis gaming. GLITCH, the ultimate indoor active game park, extends a special invitation to all visitors during the Holy month of Ramadan with a monthly membership deal priced at just Dh299, equivalent to Dh10 per day. GLITCH-lovers can relish unlimited access to immersive games and activities. Additionally, visitors can take advantage of special bowling offers priced at AED 29 per person on weekdays and AED 39 per person on weekends.DineCustomers dining at Al Ghurair Centre are in luck as many restaurant favourites are rolling out exciting dine-in offers in celebration of the holy month. Dennys promises a complete dine-in experience with a Ramadan Set Menu priced at Dhs 69, featuring tantalizing starters, main dishes, and desserts. While Jollibee’s Ramadan Festive Feast offer is not to be missed with in-store meals starting at just Dhs 30 from March 8 to April 12. Wings lovers can take advantage of Wingstop’s dine-in offer of Dhs 2 classic wings during the first two weeks of Ramadan from 5 pm to 8 pm. Additionally, El Gato and Crunchyee are joining in the Ramadan spirit with exclusive offers to savour a delectable array of dishes, from rice and chicken to crispy fries and indulgent sweet churros, there is an option to satisfy every palate.Michael Beverly, Executive Vice President at Al Ghurair Mall, said: "As the Holy Month descends upon the county, we are proud to announce that various retailers across Al Ghurair Centre are engaging in providing our customers with a diverse selection of offers, tailored to meet consumers different needs and preferences. Our goal is to ensure that every visit to Al Ghurair Centre during this sacred month is memorable and met with excitement and joy.”

GoDaddy offers tips to boost sales for Saudi entrepreneurs during Ramadan

GoDaddy has shared insight to help empower Saudi business owners during the holy month of Ramadan. This guide is designed to assist entrepreneurs in effectively promoting their products and services, acknowledging the shifts in consumer habits that occur during Ramadan. By leveraging these insights, online business owners could foster potential business growth throughout Ramadan.Highlighting the significance of understanding shifts in consumer habits during Ramadan, Selina Bieber, Vice President for International Markets at GoDaddy said: “Understanding consumer changes is crucial as businesses navigate the unique sales opportunities during Ramadan. By tailoring their approach to align with cultural nuances and evolving consumer preferences, businesses have the opportunity to flourish.”  Below are 5 consumer changes often seen during Ramadan, and some tips from GoDaddy for Saudi entrepreneurs and small business owners to help drive business during Ramadan:1. Increase in Online Shopping: With shorter working hours during Ramadan, shoppers have limited time to reach physical shopping destinations before iftar, the meal that breaks the fast. Thus, online shopping experiences a surge during Ramadan in Saudi Arabia. According to a survey by Google in 2022, e-commerce sales in the Middle East increased by 61% during Ramadan, with clothing and electronics being the most popular categories.This offers a great chance for businesses to enhance their online presence by engaging their target audience using storytelling techniques, visually appealing content by using easy content creation tools like GoDaddy Studio, and interactive campaigns on social media platforms. Entrepreneurs can further enhance customer engagement by incorporating interactive competitions, quizzes, or challenges centered around Ramadan themes. Moreover, exploring AI-powered tools, such as GoDaddy's AI prompt library, can fuel their creativity and help generate innovative ideas. Employing this blend of strategies not only can boost brand visibility and encourage sales but can also foster a sense of community engagement. 2. Shift in Timings: Due to changed working hours in Ramadan, consumers are mostly online and shopping between 11 AM and 6 PM and then again from 11 PM to 3 AM, with the highest peak being between 2 PM and 3 PM, which is the time just before people leave their offices. This change in shopping timings provides online businesses with specific timeframes to better target their audiences on social media platforms using visually appealing content and popular hashtags (such as #ramadankareem or #ramadan2024). This strategic approach can significantly enhance brand visibility while driving greater interest in purchasing. 3. Increase in Consumers’ Acceptance of New Products: Consumers are more receptive in Ramadan to trying new products and supporting local businesses. In the Kingdom, 86% of respondents express interest in exploring new brands during their Ramadan shopping spree. This is a great opportunity for businesses to present unique products, exclusive Ramadan-themed offers, or even customized Ramadan packages. This approach taps into the festive spirit, encouraging consumers to make timely purchases.4. Bargain Hunting: Despite the openness to novelty, the most significant factors that influence consumers’ purchasing decisions continue to be price and discounts. TGM 2023 Ramadan Insights in the Kingdom has shown that (44%) of Saudi shoppers prioritize affordability during this period, with discounts also playing a crucial role in influencing their buying behavior (32%). Tailored promotions and limited-edition Ramadan collections can attract attention and drive sales, catering to the needs and desires of consumers during this month. Email Marketing is a cost-effective way to communicate your exclusive offers to customers. With GoDaddy’s Email Marketing tools, you can maintain a prominent presence in your audience's minds by crafting personalized email campaigns and compelling content, fostering meaningful connections with your customer base.5. Socially Conscious Consumption: Ramadan is a month of generosity and giving. This increased focus on charitable giving influences consumer behavior, as people may be more inclined to support businesses that are involved in charitable initiatives or donate a portion of their sales to charitable causes. As a business owner, you should integrate your generous CSR activities into your marketing lan as this can attract a broad sector of the audience. As Ramadan continues to evolve and shape consumer habits, entrepreneurs need to remain agile and responsive to these shifts. By leveraging insights into these five key trends revealed by GoDaddy, Saudi entrepreneurs can adapt their strategies to meet the evolving needs and preferences of consumers during this significant time. With proactive planning and a keen understanding of consumer behavior, entrepreneurs can navigate the complexities of Ramadan with confidence, ultimately building stronger connections with their audience and driving sustainable growth in their ventures.

Yango Play unveils exclusive Ramadan content line-up

Yango Play, the first AI-powered super app that combines video streaming, music, mini-games, has unveiled exclusive Arabic content across the MENA region this Ramadan. Yango Play offers a diverse range of content: from heartwarming family sagas and comedies to the biggest Arabic historical series from the different parts of MENA region.Yango Play's lineup showcases the rich diversity and talent of the Arab world, bringing regional stories and creativity to the global entertainment scene. The lineup proudly presents the first Yango Play Original Saudi Production — Sakf El Waled. Here’s a sneak peek into a diverse range of Arabic content from the MENA region that Yango Play has to offer this Ramadan.Ramadan exclusive series The AssassinsFeaturing a stellar cast including Karim Abdel Aziz, Fathy Abdelwahab, and Nicolas Mouawad, is one of the most eagerly anticipated and high-budgeted Egyptian series ever produced. This epic drama delves into the enigmatic world of the 11th-century military order, The Assassins, notorious for its stealth and influence that spanned over three centuries, leaving a remarkable mark on global history and culture - from notorious Marco Polo’s 13th century book to the biggest gaming franchise Assassin’s Creed. The Assassins promises a rich narrative tapestry that explores the complex dynamics of power and loyalty, and showcases the beauty of landscapes of 4 different countries where shooting took place.Sakf El WaledAbdullah Al-Arak, the acclaimed director of the biggest Saudi box-office hit Sattar enters Ramadan show rush with hyperlocal comedy starring Khaled Abed El Aziz, Abdel Aziz El Mobadel, Khairieh Abu Laban, Tarek Al Harbi and Ziad Al Amiri. Each of the episodes will leave you in stitches as an extended family navigates the challenges of living with a demanding father, who expects his rules to be followed. He imposes a single condition on his children: anyone seeking marriage must reside under his roof, leading to a myriad of dramatic and comedic tales.Nazret HobFull of true love, though gripping thriller starring Syrian actor Bassel Khaiat and Lebanese actress Carmen Bsaibes, scripted by Rafi Wahbi, and directed by Husam Ali, proves that sometimes twin flame blossoms under unlikely circumstances. After Bahr heroically saves Kamar from a car accident, their connection deepens, hinting at a profound bond. However, external pressures threaten to sever their ties, from Kamar's father, a politician involved in the upcoming election, and her fiancé's negative allegations against Bahr. This drama intricately weaves romance with political intrigue, promising viewers a rich, emotional journey. Beit El RifaeyStarring Amir Karara, Ahmed Rezk, and Sayed Ragab, the series provides a mix of action and drama within a rich, social context. Written by Peter Mimi and directed by Ahmed Nader Galal, the series explores the life of Mahmoud El Refaie, a wealthy and popular figure in the Nazlet Al-Simman area, who harbours a secret life involved in the illegal trade of antiquities. His son Yassin rejects the business and has to save his reputable family from a dark secret and conflicts. This narrative delves into themes of duplicity and morality, combining serious themes with suspenseful action, set against the backdrop of Egypt's rich cultural heritage. Revive Your HeartThis is the perfect title to watch with your kids during Ramadan and especially at Iftar time. These animation tales inspire and uplift the whole family. Produced by the creators of "The Stories from Quran," based on the bestseller of Dr. Wassim Habbal, this series explores the teachings of Muhammadiyah’s ethics, promoting compassion, honesty, generosity, and love. Salah Abdallah, Mohammed Mamdouh, Jannah Osama, Heidi Abdul-khaliq, Syed Rumi among others gave their voices to the characters of this Ramadan show. To complement your spiritual journey Yango Play provides a selection of Holy Quran recitations and Faith Journey playlists. Yango Play users can also find a selection of handpicked playlists featuring soundtracks from popular Ramadan series in addition to our vast music library featuring top tracks from leading music talents in the MENA region.Stay tuned for these exclusive premieres by Yango Play and enjoy seamless access across multiple devices including Smartphones, TVs and Apple Vision Pro, emerging as your ultimate personalised entertainment companion for your family. Explore this streaming haven during Ramadan by downloading Yango Play now from Google PlayStore or iOS App Store and enjoy an exclusive 60-day free trial, during the Holy Month followed by a paid plan for AED 29.99 per month in the UAE and SAR 29.99 per month in KSA.

Resonating with Ramadan: Thomas Gateff on culturally-sensitive branding

Today marks the launch of an engaging series on AdGully Middle East: exclusive Ramadan-related interviews with industry stakeholders as we approach the auspicious occasion of Ramadan.In today’s interview, we have Thomas Gateff, Co-Founder & Managing Partner at M2L Concepts, who discusses how brands in the Middle East are tailoring their marketing strategies to resonate with the cultural nuances and significance of Ramadan. Gateff emphasizes the importance of authenticity and respect in engaging with consumers during this sacred time, highlighting examples from M2L Concepts' Ramadan District Season 2. He also explores how brands are leveraging digital platforms while maintaining cultural sensitivity and discusses the challenges of balancing commercial objectives with honoring the spiritual aspects of Ramadan.How are brands in the Middle East tailoring their marketing strategies/campaigns to resonate with the cultural nuances and significance of Ramadan?Brands are increasingly crafting their strategies and campaigns to align with the cultural nuances and significance of Ramadan, an occasion that embodies a multitude of values such as spirituality, community, familial bonds, and charitable giving. Understanding and respecting these elements is crucial for any business to genuinely connect with audiences on a deeper level during this sacred time.During this time, campaigns often revolve around themes such as family unity, community support, and acts of kindness. These narratives find expression through various channels, including markets like the Ramadan District Season 2, advertisements, and partnerships with community organisations.When engaging with consumers, businesses should place a priority on authenticity and respect for the occasion. Messages must be crafted to resonate with Ramadan's values without appearing opportunistic or insincere. Whether through experiential activations, digital campaigns, or markets, brands are increasingly recognising the importance of resonating with consumers in a meaningful and culturally sensitive manner.Can you discuss specific examples of how you are incorporating traditional elements of Ramadan into your exclusive services?In our Ramadan District Season 2, we're continuing to deepen our commitment to honouring the traditional elements of Ramadan while creating immersive and engaging experiences for communities and brands. One way we're doing this is through our meticulous curation of the market. We're focusing on authentic Middle Eastern design elements, carefully selecting décor that not only reflects the region's rich heritage but also creates an ambiance that resonates with the spirit of Ramadan. From intricate lanterns to vibrant textiles, every detail is thoughtfully chosen to transport visitors to the heart of Middle Eastern culture.Moreover, we're amplifying the cultural experience by featuring businesses specializing in traditional arts such as henna designs and calligraphy. These artisans not only showcase their skills but also provide visitors with the opportunity to engage firsthand with these timeless traditions. In addition to cultural immersion, we're ensuring that our events cater to families by offering a diverse range of activities suitable for all ages.Drawing from the success of our previous endeavours, such as the Ramadan Majlis, FIFA World Cup activities, and Winter District, which collectively attracted over 40,000 visitors, we're leveraging our expertise to provide immersive experiences, and create unforgettable moments that resonate with our audience long after Ramadan ends.In what ways are brands leveraging digital platforms to connect with consumers during Ramadan, while maintaining authenticity and respect for the occasion?Leveraging digital platforms allows brands to reach a wide audience while also providing opportunities for interactive and engaging content that reflects the spirit of Ramadan. Moreover, the UAE's digital landscape is highly advanced, with a 99% digital penetration rate and active internet usage, makes it an ideal environment for brands to connect with consumers. One key strategy is the use of social media to deliver tailored messages across different sectors like retail, leisure, hospitality, and cultural events. Additionally, brands have been using digital platforms to educate and engage consumers about Ramadan traditions. This not only helps in building brand loyalty but also promotes cultural understanding among consumers.What challenges do brands face in balancing commercial objectives with the need to honour the spiritual and cultural aspects of Ramadan, and how are they navigating these challenges?One of the primary hurdles is ensuring respect for the religious observance without appearing exploitative. Brands must avoid over-the-top sales tactics and instead focus on meaningful engagement that aligns with the spiritual aspects of the month. Understanding the cultural nuances of Ramadan is equally crucial. Thorough research and consultation with local experts can help brands craft marketing campaigns that are respectful and resonate with the target audience. Moreover, teaming up with local and regional businesses lends credibility to a brand's efforts and demonstrates a commitment to understanding and supporting the community's needs and values. Overall, successfully navigating the intersection of commercial objectives and cultural sensitivity requires a thoughtful and respectful approach that prioritises genuine engagement with the community.

STARZPLAY records nearly 70% increase in viewership during Ramadan 2023

Dubai: Ramadan entertainment continues to be in high demand and has driven growth in viewership during the Holy Month,  according to a recent viewership analysis by STARZPLAY, one of the region’s top 3 subscription video on demand services.The platform witnessed a remarkable increase in viewership across the GCC markets with nearly a 70% increase in unique users compared to Ramadan 2022. UAE witnessed the maximum increase in viewership, a 62% increase in unique users in 2023 vis-à-vis Ramadan in 2022 while the rest of the GCC recorded nearly a 60% increase in unique users.Over the years, in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, Ramadan has typically seen increased TV consumption and a visible shift in viewership towards Arabic content. This year too, the top performing shows in the region included Serou Al Batea, Al Moasses Osman, Kashf Mestaagel, Bab Al Hara and Harb. Drama continued to be the top performing genre while comedy satires and cookery shows remained a popular choice for viewers.  Tony Saab, Senior Vice President of Content and Strategic Partnerships, STARZPLAY added: “Ramadan is a month of family gatherings and celebrations with friends and families and a time where viewers consume a greater amount of entertainment content. Over the last few years STARZPLAY has witnessed a significant increase in streaming during the Holy Month and this year was no different. Our platform recorded nearly a 70% uplift in consumption vis-à-vis last year which is a clear indication of the increase in demand of video streaming consumption across the MENA region. The Ramadan viewership figures evidently indicate the appetite for Arabic language content in the region and therefore an opportunity for streaming services like ours to deliver even more original Arabic content.”During the Holy Month, STARZPLAY also witnessed over a 50% increase in new sign-ups compared to Ramadan 2022, which is a testament of the platform’s compelling content roster to meet the demand for streaming in the region. The young consumers are driving subscription growth and STARZPLAY has been at the helm to deliver diverse, as well as quality, content to its audiences, with a strong focus on producing Arabic original content.With thousands of hours of premium content including blockbuster movies, exclusive TV shows, kids’ content, Arabic series, as well as varied content via add-on channels, STARZPLAY is the number one player in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The service is available in 19 countries across the MENA for fans to enjoy quality content anytime, anywhere, and from any device.

Pre-dawn smartphone usage affects download speeds in Ramadan

Jeddah: A recent technical report confirmed that the activity of Internet users’ changes during the month of Ramadan in Muslim-majority countries, as activity peaks between 3 a.m. to 6 a.m. before suhoor (pre-dawn meal) and dawn prayers (Fajr), and slows down before Iftar time after 12 noon till 3 p.m.According to the Opensignal report, Saudi Arabia was found with the most significant variation in the average download speed of data on 4G Internet networks during Ramadan, as the pre-dawn activity of internet users increased, which resulted in a 25% decrease in data download speed over the previous month. (read the full report here: conducted an analysis to determine the impact of changes in people's behaviour during Ramadan on mobile Internet experiences in five Muslim-majority countries: Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Egypt, Indonesia, and Malaysia.When comparing the difference in network experiences between Ramadan and the month before it, the company discovered that these countries experienced more changes during Ramadan than other countries, as data download speed decreased by more than 15% during the pre-dawn period due to increased network congestion.Pre-dawn Internet usage grew in Muslim-majority Saudi Arabia (93%) and Pakistan (96%), which led to a decrease in the average download speed of data by 25% and 21.3% respectively, compared to the previous month, the report indicated.Owing to their last meal before the start of fasting, a large number of people remain awake increasing network traffic, which slows down the download speed.The report revealed a similar change in data download in Egypt with a 90% Muslim population and Indonesia (87%) where it decreased by 18.5% and 16.7% respectively. Even in Malaysia with 64% of the population, the speed was found to have decreased by 15.7% from 3 a.m. to 6 a.m.The report concludes that during Ramadan, the lifestyles of many people change dramatically, and changes in the mobile experience in Muslim-majority countries indicate that a large percentage of people change their daily routine during this month, as Muslims prefer to spend Ramadan in Worship and carry out his religious responsibilities.

Ramadan shoppers vulnerable to email fraud

Dubai: Leading cybersecurity and compliance company, Proofpoint, has released research which shows that only 65% of the top 20 retailers in the Middle East have implemented the minimum level of DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance) protection, meaning 35% are taking no steps to prevent malicious actors spoofing their domain. Worryingly, only 6 out of the top 20 (30%) have the strictest and recommended DMARC policy (‘reject’) in place, meaning 70% are not proactively blocking fraudulent emails from reaching consumers.With the onset of Ramadan and discount sales, consumers are expected to spend a record breaking $66 billion on retail in the MENA region this year. Millions of shoppers will continue to scour the internet for not only the best Ramadan offers available but will also be inundated with emails promising deals that are too good to miss. Cybercriminals on the prowl often create tempting clickbait for unexpecting consumers and capitalise on the increase in email communication from retailers to trick shoppers with fraudulent emails.DMARC is an email validation protocol designed to protect domain names from being misused by cybercriminals. It is the best way for organizations to protect email traffic against phishing and other fraudulent activity. DMARC authenticates the sender’s identity before allowing the message to reach its intended designation. ‘Reject’ is the strictest and recommended level of DMARC protection, a setting and policy that blocks fraudulent emails from reaching their intended target.Emile Abou Saleh, Regional Director, Middle East & Africa at Proofpoint, said: “The retail sector in the Middle East continues to remain as vibrant as ever, with statistics showing that profits from grocery, apparel and electronics retail in the GCC are exceeding the global industry average. In fact, consumer spending in KSA was the highest in the region at over $16bn. With this high traffic of retail activity, Middle East retailers must protect their customers and brand from email fraud.”Emile added: “Email is the vector of choice for cybercriminals and the retail industry remains a key target. Organizations in all sectors should look to deploy authentication protocols, such as DMARC, to shore up their email fraud defences.”Proofpoint recommends consumers follow the below top tips to remain safe online while shopping for seasonal bargains: Use strong passwords:  Do not reuse the same password twice. Consider using a password manager to make your online experience seamless, whilst staying safe. Use multi-factor authentication for an added layer of security. Watch out for “lookalike” sites: Attackers create “lookalike” sites imitating familiar brands. These fraudulent sites may sell counterfeit (or non-existent) goods, be infected with malware, or steal money or credentials.Dodge Potential Phishing and Smishing Attacks: Phishing emails lead to unsafe websites that gather personal data, like credentials and credit card data. Watch out for SMS phishing too —aka ‘smishing’ — or messages through social media.Don’t click on links: Go directly to the source of the advertised deal by typing a known website address directly into your browser. For special offer codes, enter them at the checkout to see if they are legitimate.Verify Before You Buy: Fraudulent ads, websites, and mobile apps can be hard to spot. When downloading a new app or visiting an unfamiliar site, take time to read online reviews and any customer complaints.

Volkswagen Abu Dhabi and Al Ain launch Ramadan offers across all showrooms

Abu Dhabi And Al Ain – Volkswagen Abu Dhabi and Al Ain launch Ramadan offers ahead of the holy month across all showrooms. Available across a range of models, customers can expect to enjoy a five-year unlimited mileage warranty, five-year free service plan, five-year Roadside Assistance and free registration and insurance for the first year. Models on offer include the Golf GTI, Tiguan and 7-seater Teramont. Monthly price points start as low as AED2,490 for the Golf GTI, AED1,755 for the Tiguan and AED2,430 for the Teramont.Models on offer include:Golf GTI: the iconic hot hatch in its eighth-generation boasts thrilling power with more sport, sophisticated design and digital innovation. The enhanced reactivity and handling promises driving pleasure.Golf R: the most powerful Golf R to ever launch with 235kW / 320HP and capable of accelerating to 100km/h in 4.8 seconds, the all-new Golf R delivers an adrenaline packed experience with 4MOTION all-wheel drive and sports-tuned suspension.Teramont: a firm best-seller, the 7-seater offers ample space, ultimate comfort, functionality and connectivity for the whole family. 2,741 litres of boot space enables countless adventures with 3-zone climate control and easy 3rd row access. Tiguan: the dynamic SUV with progressive design is equipped with intelligent technology for a comfortable drive and uncompromised functionality and connectivity.

Ramadan and Eid Al-Fitr impact in retail sales and consumer spending

According to a study conducted by Toluna, a leading provider of market research and consumer insights, the United Arab Emirates market has projected higher expenditure estimates for the Holy Month of Ramadan and Eid Al-Fitr in 2023 compared to 2022.As per the study, consumer shopping intention in the UAE for the upcoming period will increase by 33% this year compared to last year. The increase can be seen across all sectors, including entertainment (up by 25% from last year), and groceries (up by 23%), socializing (up by 24%), traveling abroad (up by 21%), staycation (up by 28%), food delivery (up by 28%), and cosmetics (up by 28%).The survey shows that the majority of respondents, 91%, plan to give Eid presents this year, with children (64%), parents (52%), and friends (45%) being the primary recipients. Specifically, 39% of respondents plan to increase their spending on Eid gifts, 48% aim to make the occasion more special this year to compensate for the pandemic years and to treat themselves and their loved ones. 41% noted that prices are higher this year, and as a consequence they plan on spending more on gifts, and 33% intend to give gifts to more people this year.Sweets, toys, cash, and perfumes ranked high on the list of most popular Eid gifts for family members: sweets, dates, and chocolates (57%), cash money (Al Ayadi-48%), toys and games (37%), and perfumes (48%), followed by cosmetics and beauty products (28%), and fashion clothing (42%).Additionally, the poll found that purchasing for fashion, toys, and games is migrating to e-commerce, with 100% planning to do more shopping for these items online during the Holy Month this year; 36% of respondents shop online multiple times each week, mostly for fashion, toys, and games.Consumer expectations regarding brands during RamadanWhen asked which factors influenced their decision to purchase during Ramadan, 53% chose deals and promotions above price (56%). According to the study, consumers would like to see brands be more generous during the Holy Month, with 49% wanting to see better promotions and special deals; for example, (67%) would like to receive product discounts when purchasing car insurance, and (56%) are interested in free gift vouchers. Although 59% anticipate banks to give discounts on shopping during Ramadan, 49% expect discounts on dining out and 43% on delivery.Moreover, 42% preferred brand advertising to be inspired by the spirit of the month and focused on charity and donations, while 41% preferred brand marketing to be centered on positive values. "We saw a considerable rise in plans to spend, with customers prioritizing purchases connected to food, apparel, and gifts for their loved ones," said George Akkaoui Enterprise Account Director, Toluna MEA , commenting on the survey’s findings. “During Ramadan, brands must understand the cultural importance of the month and customize their marketing activities accordingly. By giving unique discounts, promotions, and producing content that is aligned with the spirit of the season content, organizations may engage with customers on a deeper level and embed brands in the community, since the impact they make during this Holy Month can have a long-term influence on customer loyalty".

Meta annual study reveals behavioral insights on UAE observers & shoppers

Ramadan is a global moment observed by almost two billion people. Falling on the ninth month of the lunar Islamic calendar, it’s a time widely associated with fasting, prayer, and reflection - culminating with the celebratory feast of Eid.To better understand the behaviours of people who observe Ramadan and who shop for this season, Meta has released the results of its annual global consumer research titled “Meta Ramadan Moment Study”. The study was conducted in partnership with YouGov during Ramadan 2022 with over 18,000 adults in 12 countries, including the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.At its core, Ramadan is a time for community and kindness. It’s the single kindest moment on Meta technologies, with over 7.8M interactions containing the word “kindness” taking place on Facebook on the final day of Ramadan last year.On Instagram, there were over 13.4M interactions mentioning togetherness, connection and community during the month-long period, while 91% of surveyed shoppers or observers in the UAE said they like to see content that promotes community and togetherness across both Facebook and Instagram during Ramadan and Eid; in addition to 81% of shoppers or observers in the UAE participated in charitable activities during Ramadan and Eid.Fares Akkad, Meta’s regional director for the Middle East and North Africa, commented: “As a seasonal moment, the focus on unity and kinship during Ramadan is unmatched. For marketers, this creates an opportunity to connect with audiences through positive, emotionally-rich messaging.”Here are three tips for businesses to create meaningful connection this Ramadan: Connecting through brand storytelling There are more ways than ever to create meaningful connections this Ramadan. With brand storytelling tools - such as Reels, in-stream video, branded content, and augmented reality - businesses can bring communities together through rich and immersive experiences. 58% of shoppers or observers in the UAE said they felt more connected to a brand after seeing Ramadan or Eid content on Facebook or Instagram.The influence of creators in discovery on social media has grown over the past three Ramadan seasons. Creators are a trusted gateway to inspire audiences and align with Ramadan values. 58% of shoppers or observers in the UAE are more likely to trust a brand that partners with a trustworthy creator.Personalising connection with Discovery CommerceAs shoppers are exploring different product categories during Ramadan than the rest of the year, they are increasingly looking for personalised recommendations to help navigate their purchasing decisions. 71% of shoppers or observers in the UAE agree it’s easier to complete their Ramadan shopping with personalised product and gift suggestions.Strengthening connection with business messagingConversations are a powerful gateway to connection and commerce, especially during Ramadan. For many, instant messaging provides a more accessible way to communicate with businesses, 67% of shoppers or observers in the UAE feel more connected to a brand through instant messaging during Ramadan and Eid.Beyond providing a more accessible customer experience, business messaging can also be a significant commerce enabler during high-traffic times. It provides a quick and easy route to address any queries or concerns, helping take customers from consideration to purchase in minutes.