Nearly 80% UAE citizens prefer gift cards over a traditional gift: Survey

by Staff Reporter

Nearly eight out of 10 Emirati consumers (77%) stated a preference for a gift card over a traditional gift, with 64% indicating a stronger inclination for an eGift card (digital gift card) over a physical one.

YOUGotaGift, the leading marketplace for digital gift cards in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), partnered with YouGov, an international online research data and analytics technology group, to conduct an online survey with over 1,000 UAE respondents.

The survey reveals that nearly three out of five UAE consumers (62%) favoured receiving gift cards from a preferred brand over traditional gifts.

The survey also reiterated the growing adoption of gift cards in the country, highlighting that more than three out of five (66%) of UAE consumers have bought or received a gift card in the previous six months or more, with nearly four in 10 (39%) saying they purchased or received a gift card in the six months prior.

Husain Makiya, CEO, YOUGotaGift, said, “Gift cards have grown in popularity over the years, given their versatility, convenience, and ease of use among consumers and businesses alike. This new survey provides valuable insights into the evolving gift card preferences among UAE nationals and expatriates, demonstrating a strong preference for new-age digital gifting solutions that provide flexibility and freedom of choice.”

Perhaps one of the most compelling findings pertains to the corporate domain, where 68% of employed respondents indicated their preference for receiving gift cards rather than traditional corporate gifts from their employers. This revelation presents organisations with a well-timed avenue to explore innovative employee engagement, recognition, and rewards centred around gift card offerings.

“The UAE is home to a burgeoning youth population that is highly digitally savvy, bolstered by supportive government initiatives in the digital sphere. Organisations in the UAE must adapt to the country’s evolving rewarding patterns and preferences. Digital gift cards present an excellent avenue to drive innovative, engaging employee rewards programs that resonate with this tech-forward workforce,” added Makiya.

Nearly four out of five (77%) of Emirati employees said they prefer gift cards over conventional corporate rewards, compared to 67% of expatriates. This bias towards gift cards grows as employees climb the income ladder, with an average of 76% of employees earning over Dhs10,000 a month choosing a gift card over other traditional rewards.

The survey delved into various demographic segments, uncovering nuanced gift card preferences. It found that the appetite for gift cards was particularly pronounced among males (64%), married individuals (65%), and working professionals (64%).

Notably, the results underscore a robust appetite for gift cards across all age groups in the UAE, with a pronounced preference towards digital gift card (eGift card) solutions. More than half of UAE consumers (54%) said they prefer an eGift card to a physical one. In addition, younger consumers (between 18-44 years) showed a higher preference for eGift cards at 54%, compared to 51% of those over 45.

As the gift card industry continues its meteoric global expansion, fuelled by changing consumer preferences and the unparalleled convenience of digital solutions, YOUGotaGift stands at the forefront of this transformation.

A pioneering gifting solutions platform, YOUGotaGift empowers businesses and individuals alike to deliver memorable, personalised gifting experiences through its meticulously curated catalogue of digital and physical gift cards from prestigious brands across diverse markets regionally.

YOUGotaGift partnered with YouGov’s Omnibus to conduct the online survey across the UAE. It took place between February 20 and 27, 2024, with 1,004 respondents participating.

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