McDonald’s Rewards in the UAE

Paula Thomas, Chief Content Officer, Liquid Barcodes


While the UAE is not McDonald’s first international market to launch a Rewards programme, it was nonetheless exciting for me to see giant billboards recently here in my adopted home city of Dubai, announcing the arrival of the Mc Donald’s Rewards programme.

I’ve written several articles on how Mc Donald’s leverages a simple loyalty programme around the world but in most markets, it is purely focused on the high margin McCafé category.

Yet plenty of industry commentators in recent years have predicted that McDonald’s will eventually launch a programme that rewards purchases across their full food menu and which made the brand famous.

The launch of McDonald’s Rewards in the UAE does exactly this and it’s fascinating to watch the brand’s increasing adoption of both points and gamification to engage its customers.

In fact, Dubai has a long history of innovating for McDonald’s, as one of the first cities in the world to offer delivery in 2013, and in August 2020, it became the very first city to offer a McDonald’s pre-order service, so in this article, we look at their new loyalty proposition now available across the 160 Mc Donald’s restaurants that are locally owned and operated in the UAE.

McDonald’s Rewards app is clearly intended for international customers only for now

Clear, Consistent & Compelling

McDonald’s, to it credit, is laser focused on simplicity, developing clear concepts and a compelling creative execution for anything it launches.

McDonald’s Rewards is no exception, so here’s how it works:

  • A purely digital programme, McDonald’s UAE has launched its loyalty programme within the existing food delivery app.
  • Customers sign up to participate and scan their QR code either at the service counter in store, at the order kiosk, or at the drive-through, to earn their points. Home delivery orders are excluded from the programme currently, perhaps for operational reasons.
  • Customers earn 10 Mc Donald’s Rewards points for every dirham spent (approx 27 US cents).
  • There are no tiers within the programme.
  • Rewards start from an easily-accessible 200 points for an ice-cream sundae followed by a donut costing 600 points.
  • Based on the price to buy a donut, this indicates a reward rate of 8% (5 Dhs reward for 60 Dhs spend).
  • As might be expected, the Reward app promises ongoing personalised coupons, offers and discounts.
  • Points are valid for 12 months from the date they’re earned and are non transferable.
  • The home screen of the app also includes games promising “the more you play, the more you win”!

This short video helps explain McDonald’s Rewards in the UAE.

One final feature I really like with this programme is the option to “refer-a-friend” using Whatsapp. As the dominant messaging platform in this country, this channel is likely to drive considerably more responses than the SMS option also offered as shown below. It’s certainly an innovative touch!

McDonald’s UAE offers a “refer-a-friend” option on Whatsapp.

So, for anyone here in the UAE who enjoys McDonald’s, as well as those of us who enjoy watching loyalty programmes launch, grow and drive consumer behaviour, it’s an exciting time.

Recent reports on the US business again suggest it follow suit soon. We’ll be watching and reporting back to you as their loyalty strategy unfolds.

I’m lovin’ it 🙂

About Us:

Liquid Barcodes is a leading global loyalty and digital marketing technology company specialising in the convenience store and foodservice industries. Our proprietary cloud-based technology platform allow retailers to create and manage their digital marketing campaigns with a proprietary process we call the “customer connection cycle’ to engage, promote and reward customers activities in real-time across digital and media channels.

How we do it:

We have developed the most advanced loyalty and digital marketing technology platform specifically for convenience store and foodservice retailers globally.

Retailers use our self-service dashboard to create and manage loyalty driven marketing campaigns that increase purchases with their existing customers, as well as effectively target and acquire new customers through partners or paid media channels.

One core component of live loyalty is gamification. We have gamified branding, loyalty and promotions. We believe this approach is essential in order to get customers’ attention and ultimately truly engage them with repeatable actions thereby winning their loyalty.

Check out some of our exciting/proven results here:

About Me:

Paula Thomas

Chief Content Officer, Liquid Barcodes and Host of “Let’s Talk Loyalty” Podcast

With over twenty-five years marketing experience, I specialise in loyalty marketing articles and podcasts. In addition to working with Liquid Barcodes, my clients have included Telefonica O2 Priority, Three Mobile, Electric Ireland, Allied Irish Bank and The Entertainer Group (UAE), as well as Avios – the global points currency for some of the world’s top airlines. I am also a former judge for the Loyalty Magazine Awards and proud host of the “Let’s Talk Loyalty” podcast – the industry’s first podcast for loyalty marketing professionals.



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