• Sentimental spending up in UAE 72 per cent over the past ten years –
  • Flowers blooming and booming with spend up 982 per cent over past decade –
  • Online shopping at an all-time high, up 188 per cent since 2011 –
  • Home-cooked meals, restaurant DIY kits and movie marathons set to be this year’s top romantic experiences

11 February 2021, Dubai – Sentimental shoppers are investing more than ever before around Valentine’s Day with spending increasing by 72 per cent over the past decade, according to the annual Mastercard Love Index. However, this year home is where the heart is as couples are planning to spend the day — and their money — differently.

The annual Mastercard report offers a deep dive into spending habits and trends around the most romantic day of the year by analyzing purchases across the globe. Romantics in UAE are spending 90 per cent more on gifts and experiences than they were ten years ago.

Spends on traditional Valentine’s treats also increased over the past decade, with flowers up 982 per cent followed by jewelry spending up by 17 per cent.

However, as most of the world still faces lockdown limitations, restaurant DIY kits, park walks, home-cooked meals and movie marathons are set to be the top ways couples will bring romantic experiences home this year.

Online shopping has grown steadily over the past decade and is at an all-time high – with a 188 per cent increase in the number of online transactions in the Valentine’s Day period over the past ten years. Furthermore, contactless transactions have also shown a significant growth from last year, with the volume of contactless payments growing by 136 per cent in 2020 as compared to the same period in 2019.  Many will shop online for Valentine’s Day gifts this year, whilst some will show their love for local, purchasing bouquets and gifts from neighborhood businesses.

“Over the last 10 years, The Mastercard Love Index has been providing rich data into consumer shopping trends and behavior during the most romantic time of the year. While 2020 has been an exception in many ways, it is heartening to see that UAE shoppers still want to splurge on their loved ones on Valentine’s day.” said Girish Nanda, Country Manager – UAE & Pakistan, Mastercard. “One trend that continues to remain at the forefront is the clear shift towards online shopping which has nearly doubled over this decade. Mastercard along with its strategic partners are committed to simplifying the eCommerce experience for the country’s consumers, making it all the more rewarding to shop for your dear ones on this special day.”