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UAE’s Online Shopping Surge During Ramadan 2024: A Focus on Local Brands and Personalized Gifts

UAE's Online Shopping Surge During Ramadan 2024: A Focus on Local Brands and Personalized Gifts

This Ramadan season has brought an unprecedented boom in online shopping across the UAE, with an 84% increase in demand for local brands, signaling a significant shift towards personalized and authentic gifting choices. The UAE now leads the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region with the highest average online shopping basket value at $102, according to recent studies by Flowwow and Admitad.

Spike in Sales Across Diverse Categories

The festive period has particularly favored categories such as floristry, confectionery, and personalized gift items. Flowwow’s data reveals a 220% sales increase in original bouquet arrangements and a notable uptick in custom-designed cakes and personalized confectionery items, underscoring a growing preference for bespoke and thoughtful gifting.

Online orders and gross merchandise value (GMV) have seen a substantial rise, with the average order volume edging up from $34.5 to $35.3. The period has also witnessed remarkable growth in bookings for hotels (56%) and airline tickets (40%), alongside significant increases in the purchase of flowers, souvenirs, electronics, food delivery, and sporting goods.

The Rising Trend of Supporting Local and Personalized Gifts

Flowwow’s analysis highlights a 65% surge in online gift purchases from local brands during March 2024 alone, compared to the same period last year, and an 84% increase over non-festive periods. This trend not only supports local businesses but also aligns with the cultural tradition of giving meaningful gifts, further boosted by the digital evolution in shopping habits.

Experts predict the UAE’s online gifting market will continue to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19-20% from 2024 to 2028. This growth is attributed to the UAE’s diverse population, a strong cultural tradition of gift-giving, and the increasing reliance on digital platforms for shopping.

Observations from Admitad

Admitad’s comparison with last year’s data reveals a 15% increase in the number of purchases during Ramadan 2024. Although the total spending has remained stable, the trend towards making smaller, more frequent orders suggests a move towards more thoughtful purchasing behaviors. This shift is especially relevant as the Eid Al-Fitr holiday approaches, a time traditionally associated with gift-giving.

A Shift Towards Digital and Meaningful Gifting

Anna Gidirim, CEO of Admitad, noted, “As Ramadan merges tradition with modern shopping habits, more consumers are opting for online purchases, valuing the convenience and opportunity to support local artisans. The trend towards smaller, more meaningful purchases reflects a deeper engagement with the spirit of Ramadan.”

The UAE’s online shopping landscape during Ramadan 2024 illustrates a dynamic shift towards digital, personalized, and local shopping experiences. This trend is not only reshaping consumer behavior but also offering a significant boost to local businesses and artisans, highlighting the evolving nature of festive shopping in the digital age.

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