Middle East football fans prepare to enjoy and endure the World Cup

It is undoubtedly that the World cup will impact consumption habits anywhere in the world. As if we didn’t know it. Wall-to-wall television coverage of the World Cup in Brazil is sure to lead to many late nights for fans of the beautiful game all across MENA. And, no doubt, legions of bleary-eyed workers will struggle to make it through to the end of the following day. It’s a once-in-every-four-years ritual to be enjoyed and endured in equal measure.

The world cup will impact consumption habits

Middle East World Cup

Source: Telegraph.co.uk

Yes, everyone will be affected one way or another as the football tournament progresses to its inevitable conclusion on Sunday, July 13. No one will be immune, not the hard-pressed staff working in the marketing or financial sector; not the shop workers at the two At The Top boutiques atop the world’s tallest structure, the incredible Burj Khalifa in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates; nor the traders selling spices and natural pearls at Manama Souq in Bahrain’s capital city, Manama.

How is the World cup going to impact consumption habits?

As if by magic, along with the World Cup comes the inevitable survey into the staying power of the millions of football fans across the MENA region. Providing the hard evidence, as well as confirming what we’ve probably all figured out already, is GulfTalent, the leading online recruitment portal in the Middle East, remarking the creation of more workforce in 2015 for the world cup despite the fall in oil prices.

However, the company’s survey is a worthy one given the size of the sample, some 18,000 professionals based across 10 countries in the Middle East and employed in different industries. So it’s an impressive snapshot. Here are the headlines:

Half of all employees plan to stay up to watch late-night matches involving their favourite teams.

After watching late night matches, one-third of all employees will go to work tired, one in 10 will go to work late, and 3 percent will call in sick. One third of employees will spend some of their work time discussing matches with colleagues or watching highlights.

When comparing among different job categories, says GulfTalent, IT professionals were found more likely than others to come to work late or call in sick following a late night match. HR professionals in comparison were the most likely to take a day of annual leave, while marketing professionals were more likely to simply cut on their sleep and come to work tired.

What are the manager saying about this impact

According to GulfTalent, some employers expressed concern about the potential drop in productivity resulting from the games. One manager from an oil and gas company said, “I have 50 employees in my team. Most of them are football fans and this will really affect our productivity this month.”

Others were more relaxed or even optimistic about the impact of the games. Commenting on the issue, a manager from a leading Saudi catering firm said, “Staff productivity is highly dependent on emotions. We can properly transform these emotions during this time in a positive manner to increase productivity. So I would allow my staff time to watch their favourite matches.”

Team building

The survey found that managers who were themselves inclined to watch the games were more likely to give flexibility to their team to watch them.

Some managers said that they plan to use the World Cup as an opportunity for team building and would organise interesting competitions related to the World Cup in their office. For all these reason the world cup will have an enormous impact on the consumption habits of normal workers and consumers.


Jose is an avid business Blogger with a real passion for all things digital. He enjoys writing about the latest Business trends and successful business marketing strategies.

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