UAE: Digitalization Reshapes Eidiya Traditions

In the modern era of digitalization, the traditional practice of giving Eidiya to children during festive occasions is undergoing a significant transformation.

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Gone are the days when a small amount of money would suffice; today, children anticipate receiving high-tech gifts such as digital gift cards, iPhones, and even 24K gold notes.

In Middle Eastern Arab culture, seniors in the family or community offer financial gifts to younger members during the festivals of Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. This ritual is known as Eidiya, often referred to as Eidiyya or Eidhi. Dubai resident Hamda K talked about her predicament after her 10-year-old son asked for an iPhone for Eidiya. She made an effort to preserve the customs surrounding Eidiya, but she also wanted to avoid spoiling the joyous occasion by refusing her son's request.

Reflecting on her own childhood, Hamda reminisced about simpler times when receiving small denominations like Dh5 or Dh10 was considered a treasure. However, she now faces the challenge of adapting to her child's changing expectations while preserving cultural traditions.

Similarly, Eman Elshamsi from Abu Dhabi highlighted the increasing pressure, even among adults, to receive Eidiya. She recounted having to allocate a substantial budget solely for distributing Eidiya during the last Eid celebration. Amidst this evolving landscape, businesses are capitalizing on the demand for innovative Eidiya gifts. Dian Jewellery, for instance, introduced 24K gold note souvenirs adorned with Dubai's skyline, catering to those seeking unique and valuable Eidiya presents.

Digital gift cards have emerged as a popular choice among gift-givers like Madheeha Mohammed from Dubai. She transitioned from traditional cash gifts to digital gift cards, citing convenience and the excitement they bring to recipients, especially children who enjoy browsing for items they desire. The traditional practice of giving Eidiya is adapting to modern preferences and technological advancements, reflecting the dynamic nature of cultural traditions in today's digital age.

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