KUWAIT: The four-day Eid holidays are over and it’s back to work for everyone in Kuwait. Business was generally upbeat and the city’s restaurants were packed with customers during the Eid holidays. Kuwait Times visited various business establishments in Kuwait and asked about their general business assessment during Ramadan and the recent Eid holidays. While some multi-national business establishments are taking advantage of slow business during Ramadan, some small eateries have no reason to celebrate though.

Pastor Gil Bantugan, CPA and business consultant in a private firm in Kuwait City said all the business sectors during Ramadan are usually down but go up during Eid. “That is my personal opinion and I believe it’s the general perception throughout the Arab world during Ramadan and Eid,” he added. Restaurants and fashion sectors may be two affected businesses but are also two sectors reaping the best returns by the end of Ramadan. “They are perceived to be struggling businesses for obvious reasons. They can’t stay open during daytime and by night-time when they open, people would have eaten by then,” Bantugan said.

“The fashion business is also included, again for the simple reason that even though they are open during daytime, people are very conscious about avoiding a lavish lifestyle and hence shop less”. But these two sectors make up for the lost money during Eid as their sales are up post Ramadan. “Restaurants are the only place for entertainment in Kuwait so, they get the bigger slice of pie every Eid. Just imagine with so many restaurants we have in Kuwait, they were all packed with families and some of them have to wait in the queue just to get a table,” a restaurant manager opined.

Some hotels and casual dining restaurant staff usually get their annual vacation during Ramadan. “I was asked to stop working during the whole month of Ramadan in anticipation of a larger number of customers during Eid,” said Alex, a restaurant manager. The situation is the same in other businesses as they predicted slow business throughout Ramadan. “Now I am back and as expected, the last three days were the busiest days of my life,” a sales representative told this reporter.

In the fashion industry, business peaked just before the end of Ramadan. “It’s a tradition in the Arab world to wear something new during Eid. So the fashion industry sales are normally up even before the end of Ramadan,” said the owner of a fashion store in Salmiya. Sales in some supermarkets, especially in the food business, had also increased as home deliveries and catering businesses went up considerably.

While cosmetics and beauty-related business products were down during Ramadan, however, during the four-day Eid, she registered record high sales. “I think many want to be beautiful and treat themselves to spa treatments during Eid, so our business really steps up during Eid,” Fatima, a beauty salon expert mentioned.

By Ben Garcia, Staff Writer

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