Posted on May 10, 2019

Residents in Qatar will be able to shop for longer duration during Ramadan as the Ministry of Commerce and Industry announced that shopping malls, supermarkets, hypermarkets and other retail outlets can extend working hours throughout the holy month without obtaining prior approval. The Ministry said that malls and other retail outlets can remain open for 24 hours during Ramadan.

“From the beginning of Ramadan 1440 AH until the end of the holy month, all shopping mall and retail outlets (supermarkets, hypermarkets and others) could extend working hours to 24 hours per day,” said Ministry of Commerce and Industry in a statement, yesterday.

The Ministry urged all malls and retail outlets to clearly inform consumers of working hours and schedule. The initiative comes within the framework of the Ministry’s efforts to stimulate trade sectors. Throughout the holy month, shopping malls, retail outlets and restaurants attract a large number of people who visit these outlets and restaurants during their opening hours. Given the unique nature of Ramadan when time is divided between praying, working, commuting, and shopping among other preoccupations, the Ministry urged shopping malls and retail outlets to extend working hours and inform consumers of the new hours so they can better plan their schedule and choose a convenient time for shopping.

The Ministry’s initiative will have a positive impact on the retail sector in Qatar, said experts.  “This move is positive for customers and for malls. For customers, this step will give them more flexibility in shopping. Many customers prefer to do shopping after Taraweeh prayer. It will ease the rush for late night shopping as malls will be open for longer hours during night,” a senior official of Lulu Hypermarket told The Peninsula. Sale of items, mainly food items, surges during Ramadan because of organising iftar gathering with their relatives and friends. 

The initiative, which has been launched in cooperation with major shopping malls will remain applicable until the end of the holy month. According to the list issued yesterday by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, 503 items will be sold at reduced prices across the country during Ramadan. During Ramadan it is difficult for me and my family members for shopping because of fasting. In the evening we are mostly busy with iftar and prayers. We get time only after 10 pm after Taraweeh prayer. It is not easy to do shopping in couple of hours, if the malls are open only till midnight because of heavy rush. Extending the shopping hours will be very helpful for customers,”  Ibrahim Mohammed Hasan told The Peninsula.

source: The Peninsula