What do Arab Gen Z-ers want during Ramadan?

By Jalaja Ramanunni 

Young Arabs now prioritise friendship over family gatherings. Activities such as gaming, sports and social media have taken precedence over traditional habits like watching movies and TV series, reveals a new study.

Dubai-based consumer intelligence company, Sila Insights, has released its latest study titled The Ramadan Shift. The study mapped nearly 2 million online conversations including Arabic tweets, Instagram posts and TikTok videos to discover how Ramadan is evolving through changes in demographics, media consumption and lifestyle choices.

These findings help brands and marketers get a pulse on what Gen Z-ers and millennials want by addressing changing lifestyle priorities in the region during Ramadan.

Gen Z longs for nostalgia

It is interesting to note that the youth look to the past, more than older generations. Nearly three-quarters of Gen Z-ers express nostalgia for Ramadan experiences of the past and long for a stronger sense of community and Ramadan traditions, the research uncovered. Meanwhile, less than thirty per cent of millennials expressed nostalgia for past Ramadans.

Friends take precedence

Habits are changing among youth in the UAE and KSA. Activities with friends are more popular than many other activities during Ramadan in these regions. There is a significant increase in friend-based activities like gaming, sports and tv with friends, with TV diminishing over time.

Financial pressure to keep up

Meanwhile, budgetary worries are high on older millennials; about eighty per cent them are concerned about financial pressures of celebrating Ramadan, such as the cost of dining out and gifting. A more social and digital world has put new pressure on people to ‘keep up’ while others feel pressures of economic uncertainties.

A common focus on spirituality

Despite differing priorities, both Gen Z-ers and millennials share a common passion for the values of Ramadan. More than two-thirds of their online conversations revolve around spirituality, with discussions about practices such as dua’a (informal prayers and supplications), religious obligations, and acts of charity such as zakat and fasting.

“The findings of our new study will help organisations and businesses connect more strongly with Gen Z-ers during the Ramadan season and guide tactical decisions such as media spending. When it comes to Millennials, they can address the financial responsibilities of celebrating Ramadan. But what really stands out, is the need to prioritise the quality of the Ramadan experience for all,” said Paul Kelly, CEO and Founder of Sila. He added, “Our goal is to make insights and marketing in the Arab world more effective with deep Arabic consumer intelligence and influence. This will bring real value to big data and support brands with actionable insight to drive their growth across the region and beyond.”