Gulf stock markets announce Eid holiday closures

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Stock markets in several Gulf countries have announced closures for the Eid al-Fitr holiday, which marks the end of Ramadan. Kuwait's exchange is to close from Thursday, August 8, according to a bourse statement. It will re-open on August 11 if Eid is on Thursday or on August 12 if it falls on Friday, the statement said. Oman's stock exchange is due to close for the holidays on Wednesday and resume trading on August 11 if Eid falls on Thursday, or August 13 if it is on Friday. Stock exchanges in ...

Ramadan car promotions coincide with stock clearance

Monday, 5 August 2013

Automotive showrooms and dealerships in the Middle East roll out promotional offers and increase their advertising budgets during Ramadan. For the past few years, the holy month has also coincided with their end-of-season sales, as they get rid of old stock in preparation for new arrivals. “New models will come around October and November,” Mohammed Dajani, a marketing executive at a Dubai-based dealership, told Al Arabiya. “Around three years ago, offers and promotions were to ...

Syria’s first lady prepares Ramadan meals

Monday, 5 August 2013

Syria’s first lady Asma al-Assad participated in preparing Ramadan meals that were distributed to the needy and poor on Saturday. The occasion marked Laylat al-Qadr, the night when the Quran was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad, according to Islam. Photos published on the presidency’s Facebook page showed the first lady making fattoush, a Levantine salad, and kabsa, a dish of meat and rice. She participated in preparing the meals along with women from an orphanage, according to the ...

Withdrawals from Saudi ATMs hit $8.5bn over Ramadan

Monday, 5 August 2013

A total of SR32 billion ($8.5bn) was withdrawn from ATM machines tied to the Saudi Payments Network (SPAN) during Ramadan, according to a top banking official. Talat Hafiz, secretary-general of the Media and Banking Awareness Committee of Saudi Banks, said Ramadan sales have exceeded SR20 billion, which is an increase of 23 percent compared to the same period last year. Hafiz added that ATM machines have been in heavy use as Eid approaches. About 13,000 ATM machines are spread across Saudi ...

Pakistani TV host gives away babies on air for Ramadan

Friday, 2 August 2013

Determined to boost ratings this Ramadan, a Pakistani TV talk show host has been giving away babies live on air, British daily The Guardian reported on Thursday. Aamir Liaquat Hussain, one of Pakistan’s most famous television personalities, gave two abandoned baby girls to couples without children last month and plans to give away an infant boy this week. “If we didn’t find this baby, a cat or a dog would have eaten it,” Hussain said during one broadcast. His audience ...

Ramadan meal in India’s Kashmir turns into communal harmony

Friday, 2 August 2013

Muslims in northern India's Jammu and Kashmir state invited guests from various communities for an Iftar dinner - the evening meal at which Muslims break their daily Ramadan fast, setting an example of promoting communal amity. Kashmiris are well known for their hospitality and communal harmony all over the world and the holy month of Ramadan accentuates these traits. Among many traditions followed in the state one of the oldest traditions has been holding Iftar dinners (fast-breaking meal) ...

Japan PM hosts Ramadan dinner for Muslim nations

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe invited representatives from over 35 Muslim nations on Wednesday for an iftar dinner - at which Muslims break their daily Ramadan fast. The Japanese foreign ministry said the event hoped to promote mutual understanding between Japan and the Islamic world. Abe has visited Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Turkey in late April and early May, and said he would like to travel to more Muslim countries in the future. “Through my visits, I have ...

Egypt United? Well, at least the Ramadan advertisers think so

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

An Egyptian family gathers to eat at the table and lays a plate for a family member no longer among them. The caption reads: We never forget anyone. A teenage boy snubs a text message from his friends to spend time with his family at home. The caption reads: Let’s complete our gathering. A bearded man sits with a youth group, in what appears to be a protest, as they sing along together. The caption reads: We listen to one another. This year, scenes from popular Egyptian ad campaigns ...

TV viewing soars during Ramadan in Saudi Arabia

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

At least one in three people in Saudi Arabia watch 3 to 5 hours of television every day during Ramadan compared to an average of 2.7 hours throughout the rest of the year, according to the latest survey on Ramadan TV viewing habits conducted by OSN, the leading pay-TV network in the Middle East and North Africa. Underlining the spike in television consumption during Ramadan, 33 percent of respondents said they watch television for 3 to 5 hours daily compared to 18 percent who watch 5 to 7 hours ...

The spirit of Ramadan: Lebanon’s ‘Save the Grace’ hands out iftar meals

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

A video by the UNHCR shows volunteers from ‘Save the Grace’ hand out iftar meals every day to Syrian refugees during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. ‘Save the Grace,’ a non-government organization, provides food to over 50 families. Meals are prepared at Lebanese chain Dardachat restaurant. They include starters, main dishes, and traditional desserts. The Dardachat manager, Karim Tawil, believes helping the needy is a duty he must fulfill. “There is more need than ...

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