Friday 20 April 2018

Honeybee launches online mall for gift cards

Dubai, April 2, 2013

Honeybee Tech Ventures, a leading incubation platform, has launched the Middle East’s first online mall for gift cards, the company’s third online venture. features the region’s leading brands, with 22 retailers on board as of today, including Virgin Megastores, Boutique 1, VOX Cinemas and N.Bar, and more joining the family in the coming month.

Husain Makiya, co-founder, said: “In simple terms, we were looking for a way to meet a huge and growing market need; we were looking to solve a problem of convenience and immediacy for consumers when it came to gift giving.”

“From our experience and research, we started to find that gifting is seen by most people as a stressful activity. We thought that if we could take the pain away of shopping for a gift and delivering it, then we would be able to make many consumers happy, and have a successful business. aims to deliver this experience and make it a habitual one,” he added.

As a seller of gift cards that can be purchased online or using a mobile device, takes the convenience of a gift card one step further, by making it convenient for the gifter as well as the receiver.

Instead of having to navigate a busy mall to visit a retailer just to purchase a gift card, shoppers can now do this online, and all through one simple and user-friendly platform. Once received, gift cards are redeemable in person at the retailer, or on the retailer’s web-store.

“Furthermore, saves shoppers one more headache, by allowing them to spend exactly what they intend to. No more belated gifts, damaged or lost packages in the mail, or forgotten gifts at home,” explained Makiya.

Abed Bibi, co-founder,, said: “Today, the gift card industry globally is worth $100 billion. Dubai is a 'brave new consumer market' and is well poised to capitalize on this global trend. We are witnessing a retail boom in general, with double digit growth in e-commerce activity, and a fast growing digital consumer base that is online and mobile. This is the perfect environment for a digital consumer business of this kind.”

“Today, we are starting out in the UAE but within 12 months, we expect to be regional with Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Lebanon and Kuwait as our next frontiers. Since one of our strategies is to partner with major retail groups, we are able to sign up stores on a regional basis right from the start,” Bibi added.

“Although no research data exists for gift cards in the region, we know from our numerous interactions with major retailers in the region that it is certainly a high growth area of their business and we are already seeing some major players already beginning to invest more heavily in to it. In mature markets, successful gift cards programs can generally increase sales by 3 to 5 percent to retailers,” Bibi said. is the region’s first online platform for multi-brand and retailer gift cards, and has strategically partnered with handpicked, well-known and desired brands in order to remain top of mind with users, a statement said.

“Virgin Megastore partnering with gives our customers an easy and convenient way to purchase Virgin Megastore gift cards for loved ones online, anywhere, any time,” said Nisreen Shocair, president, Virgin Megastore Mena. is also ideal for cross-border gifting: non-Middle East residents wishing to send a gift to Middle East residents. It is also ideal for last-minute gifting, group gifting, weddings, graduations and other major occasions. makes gift cards personal and thoughtful, by allowing shoppers to select a retailer the receiver will like, but also allowing them to choose their own gift, the statement said.

“Many of our customers come to Boutique1 to buy gifts for friends or loved ones, and it is not often easy to pick something that agrees with their tastes. allows customers to purchase something from Boutique1, while the receiver can still enjoy the experience of choosing what they want! It’s really a great way to make gifting easier and more fun for both the gifter and receiver,” said Ziad Matta, CEO, Boutique1.

Makiya added: “We wanted to create a win-win-win business model, so it was important to make the platform as attractive to retail partners as it is for consumers. offers retailers an online presence and opportunity to sell through an eCommerce platform it can join virtually overnight with no setup costs.”

“Our monetization model is simple; we use a revenue share model for every gift card sold.  Our platform offers retailers a new sales channel as well as the opportunity to reach a new audience.” offers gift cards from retailers in the UAE across a variety of sectors: fashion, entertainment, electronics, beauty and wellbeing, with home interiors and kids’ interest to be added in the coming months. – TradeArabia News Service

Tags: Dubai | Virgin Megastore | mall |

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