Young UAE Consumers Bring Spending Back, 81% Ready to Embrace Pre-Pandemic Shopping, Travel, and Holiday Experiences

Survey: Young UAE Consumers Bring Spending Back, 81% Ready to Embrace Pre-Pandemic Shopping, Travel, and Holiday Experiences

Sitecore’s Holiday Shopping Trends 2021 report shows 82% of UAE consumers buying bigger gifts and 76% planning trips of a lifetime

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, September 16, 2021 – Sitecore®, the global leader in digital experience management software, today released its Holiday Shopping Trends 2021 report exploring how consumers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) intend to celebrate, indulge, and recuperate this holiday season.

UAE residents are eager to resume their normal lives and make up for last year’s COVID-controlled holiday, with 81% of those age 25-34 saying they are ready to embrace pre-pandemic shopping, travel, and holiday experiences.

About four-fifths (82%) of UAE consumers surveyed plan to make bigger and more mindful holiday purchases this year, fueled in part by the fact that 72% of UAE consumers say they have more savings set aside for the holidays this year compared to last year.

Sitecore’s Holiday Shopping Trends 2021 report surfaces insights from consumers around holiday shopping, gift giving, spending, and sentiment. The data arms marketers in categories like retail, travel, automotive, and others with the intelligence they need to deliver winning experiences that satisfy the evolving tastes and demands of consumers.

“As 83 percent of consumers in the UAE are very clearly ready to move on from the pandemic, they are looking at Holiday 2021 as the beginning of the rest of their lives,” said Mohammed Alkhotani, Area Vice President – Middle East and Africa, Sitecore. “Our research shows pent-up demand and more savings than usual will result in younger consumers splurging on self-care and big-ticket items at the register, which is great news for those in retail, travel, and hospitality. It’s also heartening to see that 69 percent of UAE consumers want to support their local community, including locally-owned businesses. The industry will need to respond with more offerings from these businesses.”

  • UAE Shift in Perspective:
    • 76% of consumers would prefer experience gifts to “more stuff”
    • 76% of consumers are now planning “the trip of a lifetime”
    • 68% of consumers under the age of 44 said they are now more spontaneous, more social, and enjoying life more
  • Young UAE consumers bringing spending back:
    • 85% of those under the age of 44 stated that following their experiences during the pandemic they now “value travel and appreciate other cultures more”
  • UAE retailers could support more locally-owned businesses:
    • 94% of consumers believe it is essential that retailers offer more products from locally-owned businesses, but only 60% report seeing more locally-owned products when shopping
  • Buying local and being mindful with purchases is a priority for the UAE:
    • 69% of consumers are willing to pay more for locally made gifts
    • 63% of consumers are annoyed when they find a purchase was made in China, when they thought it was a local purchase
    • 92% of consumers stated that the pandemic has made them think more carefully about how they spend their money
  • In the UAE, self-care now includes self-gifting:
    • 43% of those buying a gift for themselves cite “therapy” as the main reason


About Sitecore’s Holiday Shopping Trends 2021 Report 

Sitecore conducted survey research among consumers and marketers about the 2021 holiday season, querying 327 respondents in the UAE who completed a 10-minute survey conducted July 14th-24th, 2021. Participants were recruited from an actively managed online panel and were incented using rewards points offered by their online panel. Consumer data was weighted to reflect the general population (age/gender/country). Marketer data was not weighted. A mix of company size and responsibility level is present in the survey responses. For more information, visit

About Sitecore

Sitecore delivers a digital experience platform that empowers the world’s smartest brands to build lifelong relationships with their customers. A highly decorated industry leader, Sitecore is the only company bringing together content, commerce, and data into one connected platform that delivers millions of digital experiences every day. Leading companies including American Express, ASOS, Kimberly-Clark, L’Oréal and Volvo Cars rely on Sitecore to provide more engaging, personalized experiences for their customers. Learn more at

Sitecore is a registered trademark of Sitecore Corporation A/S in the USA and other countries. All other brand names, product names or trademarks belong to their respective holders.

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