Reduced work hours cost Dh21.3bn loss in GDP in Gulf

A new study suggests that the UAE loses an estimated Dh5.14 billion in GDP due to reduced daily work hours during Ramadan, as reported in Gulf News.
An estimated Dh8.81 billion loss alone in Saudi Arabia in terms of productivity during Ramadan. A six-hour working day during Ramadan witnessed falling productivity.
Overall, the six GCC countries lost a combined Dh21.3 billion in GDP. Estimates are based upon the last recorded annual GDP per country.

The survey is believed to be the first of its kind and may help workers and businesses find a mid way between personal and professional life during Ramadan. The study was conducted by Saudi-based firm Productive Muslim in partnership with New York-based Muslim business media firm Dinar Standard.

The study said that loss of productivity was not due to a lack of performance by workers who were observing Ramadan. Around 77 per cent of Muslim professionals said they make every attempt to maintain the same level of workload during Ramadan as they do during any other time of the year.
Simon Williams, chief economist Middle East and North Africa HSBC, told Gulf News that reduced work hours lead to fewer hours logged, leading to the potential for some businesses to witness reduced productivity.
"It's inevitable, the loss of productivity due to the fast and other factors as well," Williams said.
However, Williams also noted that there are increased spending patterns during Ramadan similar to holidays in other countries where worker productivity might decline slightly, but revenues increase.

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