Cross-Border Gifting on the Rise with Digital Gift Card in the UAE

People from 140 countries send gifts digitally to their loved ones in the UAE and YOUGotaGift’s HappyYOU Card remains the top pick.

Dubai, UAE – XX June 2023: From early on in life, gifts hold a special place in our hearts. Whether it’s a birthday celebration, a heartfelt “thank you”, or a grand milestone, they are the ultimate way to convey our emotions. While gifting has always been a historic tradition that surpassed cultural borders and generations, today it also surpasses geographical borders, according to the latest data from YOUGotaGift. Thanks to technological breakthroughs and the evolution of the digital economy it is now possible to send gifts to every corner of the planet, delivered instantly, in the form of digital gift cards.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) are currently experiencing a rise in cross-border gifting, reflecting the growing phenomenon of international gift exchanges. Across the globe, there are 140 countries actively sending gifts to the UAE, whereas 76 countries participate in gifting towards KSA. 

Naturally, certain countries contribute the most to this trend. When it comes to gifting towards UAE residents, the top countries include the United Kingdom, the USA, Saudi Arabia, and India. As for the countries gifting to the KSA, the UAE, Kuwait, the USA, and India comprise the top four. These findings emphasize the growing interconnectivity and cross-cultural ties that define modern global society. Family and friends are, of course, a big reason why cross-border gifting is becoming more popular. Both the UAE and KSA are attracting foreign talent with their bold transformation plans, and their thriving, opportunity-rich employment markets.

Birthdays and expressions of gratitude are the two most important personal gift exchange occasions in the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Gift cards have also become a popular way to say “thank you” to friends, family, and colleagues, since they provide the recipient with the unmatched flexibility of choosing from thousands of gifts. Aside from personal occasions, we also have a tradition of exchanging gifts during certain times of the year. Christmas is the most popular season for gifting in the UAE, reflecting the region’s cultural diversity. In the KSA, gifting is inextricably linked with key religious and cultural celebrations, such as Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, which emerge as the top seasonal gift exchange occasions.

“In today’s globalized world, people are increasingly dispersed and working remotely. This means that traditional gifting methods, such as sending physical gift cards in the mail, are no longer as practical or reliable. Digital gift cards, on the other hand, are a perfect solution for modern gifting. They can be sent instantly to recipients anywhere in the world, and they never have to worry about them getting lost or damaged in the mail,” said Husain Makiya, Co-Founder and CEO at YOUGotaGift. “In addition to being more convenient, digital gift cards are also more sustainable. They eliminate the need for paper and plastic, and they can be redeemed online or in-store, which reduces the need for transportation.”

The most popular kind of cross-border gifts sent to the United Arab Emirates are as varied as the country’s residents. The top categories include hypermarkets, online stores, malls, and games, which appeal to a wide range of tastes and interests. In comparison, the most popular categories in Saudi Arabia are online stores, hypermarkets, and fashion-related gifts. Interestingly, the high popularity of hypermarkets and online store gift cards in both countries illustrates the evolution of cross-border transactions for family support into a new form of digital currency. Digital gift cards are one of the most convenient methods to send a certain amount of money to family members, readily available for the recipients to spend at their own convenience.

Regardless of the occasion or season, the HappyYOU Card remains the cross-border gift card of choice in the UAE and KSA. Developed and supported by YOUGotaGift, the leading marketplace for digital gift cards in the Middle East, the HappyYOU Card provides recipients with access to over 700 brands across hypermarkets, online shopping, malls, groceries, fashion, electronics, food delivery, digital entertainment, travel, kids, spas, and much more. With a straightforward purchase process, instant delivery, and ability to be redeemed both online and in-store, the HappyYOU Card is the ultimate gift for any and every occasion.

About YOUGotaGift

YOUGotaGift is the leading marketplace for digital gift cards, and the partner of choice for consumers and businesses in MENA.

Founded in 2013, YOUGotaGift is transforming prepaid cards into Branded Currency, driving customer acquisition, enhancing engagement, and fostering loyalty. With over 700 partner brands and 2,000 corporate clients, including major loyalty programs, YOUGotaGift delivers unparalleled consumer experiences and merchant solutions.

With over a decade of expertise, YOUGotaGift is the trusted partner for leading regional businesses, seamlessly delivering its gift cards through a suite of digital channels, including its website (, mobile apps on iOS and Android, APIs, and other enterprise solutions. It has also developed the region’s first multi-brand digital gift card – the HappyYOU Card – that offers freedom of choice for its users. 

Backed by deep domain knowledge and state-of-the-art technology, YOUGotaGift is pioneering the Branded Currency market and continuously expanding its tech stack to meet emerging demands in the MENA region, and unlock the full potential of Branded Currency. With value-creation at its core, YOUGotaGift’s innovative solutions and industry leadership will drive business growth and success.


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