Bringing a small gift to a person’s home is a sign of respect, and it doesn’t need to cost a fortune
Were you taught to never go to someone’s house empty-handed? While this isn’t a rule per se, a hostess gift is still a nice gesture.
Now, your first thought may be to go the standard route with your gift. You could buy a bouquet of flowers, but they’ll feel guilty when it inevitably dies. Or a bottle of wine, but really, how unoriginal is that. A better option? One of these unique gift ideas that cost less than AED 100. Keep reading to see which one you should show up with.
Disclaimer: Availability and pricing of products may vary from when this article was published
1. Assorted Japanese Sponge Cakes (Castella)
Anything imported from Japan makes a great gift to take to someone’s house – especially if the gift is from the confectionery section. Treat your hosts to this super moist Japanese sponge cake that’s sold everywhere in Japan, from departmental stores, specialty sweet stores to convenience stores.
Castella cakes are now exclusively available at 1004 Gourmet and come in a gift pack with 3 assorted cakes.
Price: AED 78.75 for a pack of 3
Buy it from: 1004 Gourmet
2. Coffee cups from Silsal Design House
Silsal Design House is a local homeware brand with focus on beautifully designed products that are affordable and accessible. Silsal espresso cups make for elegant gifts that will leave a lasting impression on your hosts.
Price: AED 48 onwards
We recommend: Silsal Ghida Espresso Cup & Saucer (AED 69)
Buy it from: Virgin Megastore
3. Nama Chocolate by The Kakao Guy
The Kakao Guy stands for affordable indulgence. These Nama chocolates melt in your mouth and make for a great gift to take to someone’s home – especially if they have a sweet tooth.
Price: AED 35 onwards
We recommend: Milk Decadent Nama Chocolate, Mocha Nama Chocolate
Buy it from: The Kakao Guy online shop
4. Candle from Zara Home
Yes, they do scream “I didn’t know what to get you but wanted to bring you something,” but we’ve all been in situations where we have to buy a gift for someone we barely know. Candles are cliche but they make for a great “safe” gift.
Zara Home has an affordable collection that starts at AED 35/80 g.
Price: AED 35 onwards
We recommend: Black Vanilla, White Jasmine, Dark Amber
Buy it from: Zara Home retail store, Zara Home online
5. Kaya jam from Sooey’s Kaya
Sooey’s Kaya is the only local Kaya spread that you will find in Dubai. For the uninitiated, Kaya is a jam made with coconut milk, pandan leaves, eggs, and sugar. It is popular in Southeast Asia, mainly in Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand.
This is a great gift to give someone who enjoys gourmet indulgences at the breakfast table.
Price: AED 35 per jar
We recommend: Gift this with an assortment of artisanal bread
Buy it from: Kaffe Bloom, 1004 Gourmet
6. JBL Go 2 portable waterproof bluetooth speaker
JBL’s affordable Go 2 portable speaker is a great non-edible gift on the list. These speakers are waterproof and will be highly appreciated by people who are into outdoor and water activities.
Price: AED 80
Buy it from: Noon
7. Shisha accessories
If you’re going to someone’s home for shisha, a thoughtful last-minute gift is to pick up some flavors and accessories on your way. Even better if you can get your hands on some premium exotic flavors that your hosts might enjoy.
Price: AED 20 onwards
We recommend: Exotic flavors such as Paan, Blue mist, Kiwi mint, premium accessories such as coconut husk coal, coal burner
Buy it from: Bin Khumery, Satwa
8. Truffle products from The Truffle House
Truffle products come under “safe” gifts because who doesn’t like truffle?! Pick up a jar of truffle butter or truffle oil for hosts who enjoy cooking at home with premium gourmet ingredients.
Price: AED 50 onwards
We recommend: 2 Products Gift Box – Tagliatelle and White Truffle Sauce (AED 85)
Buy it from: Truffle House online shop
9. Fresh pasta kits from Eataly
This is a good gift for the lazy friend who’s hooked on food delivery apps. Eataly’s pizza and pasta kits are easy to prepare and taste exceptional.
Price: AED 20 onwards
We recommend: Ravioli Funghi Porcini (AED 20.80), Tagliatelle Al Pesto Meal Kit (AED 37)
Buy it from: El Grocer
10. Premium Artisan Tea
Premium artisan teas are carefully crafted to achieve nuanced, delicious blends that any tea drinker will enjoy. Whether your hosts are just discovering the world of tea or have been tea enthusiasts for decades, this gift is guaranteed to bring peace and enjoyment to their mornings, afternoons, or evenings.
Price: AED 40 onwards
We recommend: TWG, Vivel, Newby, Avantcha, Tchaba
11. Gift set from Lush
This is another gift to consider if you don’t know your hosts too well. Lush gift sets are well designed, packed, and wrapped, and let’s be honest, everyone loves Lush!
Price: AED 70 onwards
We recommend: Sweet Holidays (AED 70 for 2 products), Jurassic Spark (AED 95 for 2 products)
Buy it from: Lush online
12. Chilli sauce from Curious Elephant
Curious Elephant’s chilli oil and chilli sauce are locally produced in the UAE. Not only do they make for good gifts, but you also end up supporting a local business. P.S. the chilli sauce can be made vegan upon request.
Price: AED 50 per jar
We recommend: Vietnamese Chilli Sauce with Lemongrass and Garlic
Buy it from: Curious Elephant online
13. Dried flower arrangement
Fresh flower bouquets are nice but only until they’re fresh and alive. Have you considered gifting a dried flower arrangement instead? Generally, dried flowers last for 1-3 years and cost much lesser than regular flowers.
Price: AED 65 onwards
We recommend: Dried Lavender (AED 75)
Buy it from: Tribe Dubai
14. Assortment of dips from Vego Cafe
Pesto, Aglio Olio, Chunda… there is so much to choose from at Vego Cafe & Confectionery. While you’re at it, pick up some fresh breads to go with the dips.
Price: AED 10 each
We recommend: Pesto, Aglio Olio, Olive Tapenade
Buy it from: Vego Cafe & Confectionery
15. European cheese from Jones The Grocer
If there is one thing that we all can agree on, it’s cheese. Cheese is wonderful and can bring a smile on any cheese lover’s face.
Check out Jones The Grocer online for their extensive European cheese collection.
Price: AED 12/100g onwards
We recommend: Comte 18-24 months (AED 23.10/100g)
Buy it from: Jones the Grocer online
16. Truffles from Protein Bakeshop
If your hosts are health-conscious, Protein Bakeshop is an appropriate gift. Their truffles are made with clean ingredients and have extensive nutrition information listed at the back.
Price: AED 94.50 for 6-pack of each flavour
We recommend: Peanut Butter Truffles
Buy it from: Protein Bakeshop online
17. Ready-to-bake Viennoiseries from Prunelle
What a luxury it is to have a freshly baked croissants and danish pastries for breakfast! But let’s be honest, who really has the time to bake something that complex early in the morning? Maybe a professional pastry chef.
So if your hosts are not professional pastry chefs, consider gifting them ready-to-bake viennoiseries from Prunelle. All they need to do is pop it in a preheated oven while they prepare their morning coffee on the side.
Price: AED 48 onwards
We recommend: Assorted Danishes (AED 50 for 25 pieces)
Buy it from: Prunelle
18. The coffee they drink
For this one, there is a prerequisite of knowing what sort of coffee your hosts enjoy.
Do they have a Nespresso machine or a moka pot? Do they grind their beans at home or purchase ground beans? If you know their coffee drinking habits well, then getting them an exotic blend of coffee will be a gift greatly appreciated.
Price: AED 27 onwards
We recommend: Nespresso: Cocoa Truffle, Caramel Creme Brulee
19. Edible plants
Fruit trees, herbs, and edible plants make great gifts for people who love to cook at home. You can also go the extra mile and get them an indoor herb garden kit for them to cultivate their own produce.
Price: AED 5 onwards
We recommend: Basil, Rosemary, Thyme
Buy it from: Kibsons
20. Chocolates from Mirzam Chocolate Makers
Chocolate is the most universally gifted item for a reason. Everybody loves chocolate, especially if it’s from Mirzam Chocolate Makers where they focus on every aspect of chocolate making, from roasting their own beans to hand-wrapping each bar.
They also work with talented artists across the region to their create stunning chocolate bar wrappers that make for very impressive gifts.
Price: AED 100 for mini bars bundle of 10
Buy it from: Mirzam online
21. Artisan bread by Viking Bageri
Not many have had the experience to explore local baker Viking Bageri’s exceptional range of artisan baguettes. If your hosts are unfamiliar with his breads, pick up a couple of baguettes before you head to see them. Keep in mind, pick ups are only possible on Fridays and Saturdays.
Price: AED 20 per baguette
Buy it from: Viking Bageri online
22. Happiness box by House of Pops
Another homegrown brand on the list is House of Pops, a 100% vegan and refined sugar-free popsicle company based out of Dubai. These are nice to take for someone who’s on the health-conscious side but doesn’t mind a clean treat every now and then.
Price: AED 85 for 5 pops
Buy it from: Deliveroo
23. Anything from From The Love Of Bread
Dubai’s 100% organic sourdough bread bakery has more than sliced bread listed on their online store. A lovely gift to take to someone’s home is a whole wheat sourdough paired with their recommended cheese.
Price: AED 15 onwards
We recommend: Chocolate Chip Brioche (AED 40), Whole Wheat Sourdough Paired With Moliterno Al Tartufo (AED 75)
Buy it from: For The Love Of Bread online
24. Assorted Japanese baked goods from Yamanote Atelier
Yamanote Atelier is Dubai’s favorite Japanese bakery. They have a huge selection of pastries and baked savories that can be packed neatly in a box and enjoyed by your hosts the next day for breakfast.
Price: AED 12 onwards
We recommend: Rose Croissant (AED 15), Bread Loaf (AED 15), Burger Bun (AED 19), Hokkaido Pancake Mix Box (AED 89)
Buy it from: Deliveroo
25. The Everything Box from Crumb & Co
This local small-batch bakery went instantly viral last year with months of waiting to get the next slot of deliveries. Now, with their online store up and running, a batch of fluffy doughnuts from Crumb & Co can be delivered to you the next day for you to carry for your sugar-loving hosts.
Price: AED 90 for a box of 6 assorted flavors
Buy it from: Crumb & Co online
26. Korean Garlic Petal Bread from Rise & Dawn Bakery
Anything from Rise & Dawn Bakery is a sure shot hit, but what we recommend is their Korean Garlic Petal Bread – a soft bread roll filled with savory cream cheese and brushed with garlic-parsley sauce then double baked. Really, what’s not to like here!?
Price: AED 28 each
Buy it from: Rise & Dawn online
27. Fresh batch of cookies
If all else fails, get cookies. Check out our list of the 9 best cookies in Dubai by clicking here.
Price: AED 8 onwards per cookie
We recommend: Classic Cookies from Melange, Pistachoux Lotus Cinnamon Cookie