Less than a month is left before the Muslim’s holy month of fasting begins. Though, the purpose of the month is physical, spiritual and material cleansing through abstinence from food and access.
However, before that comes the purging of the purses. It is the time to shop and delve in luxuries before the month of simplicity and abstinence starts.
The rich and the mega rich of the Arab soil head for offshore shopping sprees. They embark with a purpose to places like UK, France, US and even Turkey and Beirut.
Most of these shoppers are women, most garbed in black veils and many without them as well (when the modern Arab families travel abroad they make the most of the freedom) spending millions in a matter of days. They literally raid the most luxurious shopping malls and brand names and buy clothes, jewelry, lingerie, shoes and toys by the dozen.
They are not your average shoppers, they like something, they try it on for size; pay for it and leave-mostly with similar models of purchase in a variety of colors.
Women, regardless of their origin and nationality love shopping, but it would be no exaggeration to say that Arab women shop like no one. It is as if their lives depended on it. The reasons behind this are:
They have a ton of money and not much to do.
Their men like to keep them busy shopping to their hearts’ content and reveling in luxury as long as that keeps them out of their hair and asking for what the forbidden, i.e., freedom.
The women benefit from these sprees in more ways than one. Apart from getting their hands on the latest and the most sought after items of luxury and becoming the envy of all, they keep their husband’s finances in check. For, it is understood, that the day an Arab man has enough money to afford a new wife, he will.
Whatever the case may be, women in the Arab world create a bubble of economic boost when they leave home like this for the seasonal shopping sprees! Names like Harrods, Louis Vuitton, Cartier and Hermès are their favorites and no doubt these brands also not only welcome them, but anticipating their buying power, bring out merchandise especially to entice the Arab customers.
This year, UK is going to be a major beneficiary as the burka ban in France has diverted a large number of Arabs to London. Though Princess Maha Al-Sudairi’scase may be freshly lurking in the businessmen’s minds, they can be at rest as most of these seasonal buyers like to pay in cash.