You're likely to find a gift your host loves in our curated list of highly rated or recommended options. Image Credit: Shutterstock

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When invited for dinner, or dropping in on family and friends, do you hate turning up empty-handed? If so, you’re not alone.

Bringing along a thoughtful gift is a wonderful way of showing appreciation for your host. It’s both a message that signals ‘thank you for inviting me’, and an opportunity to shower loved ones with little gifts outside of special occasions, like birthdays or cultural festivals.

We spoke with residents, who shared both gifts they’ve bought for hosts and received when hosting, which stood out from the rest, for their thoughtfulness, practicality and, in some cases, whimsical quirkiness. Our curated list has a mix of options – both budget-friendly and premium options for when you want to make a real impact as a house guest.

Pick up your favourite, and head into summer prepared to offer your hosts the best thank-you gifts. Become an Amazon Prime member to get free, fast delivery.

1. Best Kitchen Gift: Yalucky Ceramic Tea, Coffee, Sugar Jars 

Everyone needs storage space, which is why ceramic canisters make for a versatile, practical gift for your host. Nikhath Noor, a mum of two based in Dubai, said: “Canisters are always a good gift for a host, as you can use it anywhere around the house for multiple storage. I like this set of three, since each jar comes with its own spoon and airtight lid.” The two-toned design give the jars a pleasant look, and since they’re made with food-grade ceramic, the containers can hold any food items, from sugar and coffee, to spices, pasta and nuts. Some reviewers even use the jars in their bathroom to hold earbuds or their toothbrushes and dental accessories.

2. Best Tableware: Calicage Ceramic Chopstick Rest (12-Pack) 

If your hosts love Asian food, they will treasure these chopstick rests by Calicage. Colourful and compelling cranes, with an origami-inspired design, make for lovely tableware. Their unglazed bottom lays flat and is non-slip, while their special active glazed top offers a smooth surface that’s easy to clean. They can even go in the dishwasher! Reviewers say they immediately add joy to any dining table, offering an artistic appeal that’s difficult not to appreciate.

3. Best for Tea Lovers: Hario Cha Cha Kyusu Maru Tea Pot 

A Japanese tea pot that’s garnered a huge social media following for its ease of use and minimalistic appeal, Hario Cha Cha Kyusu Maru is perfect for people who are known to regularly enjoy a cup of tea. In Japanese, Hario means ‘king of glass’. Although the teapot is entirely glass-made, it’s heat-proof, so users don’t have to worry about burning their fingers. It comes with a round-shaped knob on the lid that’s easy to hold, as well as a large tea strainer so that the tea leaves can expand easily. Its large, 700ml capacity means it’s ideal for up to four people. If your hosts love this gift, who knows? They might invite you back for a tea tasting!

4. Best for Bakers: Le Creuset Pie Bird 

Does your host love baking? Then they’ll appreciate Le Creuset’s whimsical Pie Bird. This ceramic bird acts as a vent for steam created during baking. It redirects the steam, preventing the pie crust from becoming soggy. Although they look adorable, the birds are hardy. They can resist temperatures ranging from -22°C to 260°C. Choose from different colours, like Marseille blue, Caribbean green, black and white.

5. Best Vase: Glasseam Clear Glass Bud Vases (Set of 4) 

Glasseam’s beautiful set of vases look lovely when clustered together or when placed in a row on a table. Made from borosilicate glass, their fluted design is likely to suit any style. Although the vases look quite expensive, they’re quite affordable, and durable too, since they don’t break easily. The tallest of these is 15cm high. Your host can place a single flower in each, or fill them up with blooms, for an elegant, refreshing décor update. Reviewers say the vases even look great when left empty.

6. Best Serveware: Godinger Dublin Chip and Dip Set 

This classic chip and dip set by Godinger is made from glass and showcases a diamond cut pattern. Its clever design includes a small dip bowl that rests right in the centre of the bigger bowl. This means your host doesn’t have to worry about bowls sliding around on heavy plates. They can just add in the contents and let their guests dig in! The entire piece is dishwasher safe. Reviewers say it has a luxe appeal and looks more expensive than it actually is. Many have used it for shrimp cocktails, chips and other snacks.

7. Best Glassware: Ichendorf Milano Animal Farm Tumblers 

Make giving and receiving gifts incredibly fun, with Ichendorf Milano’s Animal Farm collection of tumblers. These whimsical borosilicate tumblers are handmade in Italy, and feature an adorable animal poking out from their centre. There are hedgehogs, snails, cats, rabbits and more. Each time you visit, you can add to your host’s tumbler collection, or buy them an entire set in one go. Although dishwasher safe, the makers of these tumblers advise washing at low temperatures (ideally at 40°C).

8. Best for Condiments: Mud Pie Farmhouse Inspired Ceramic Salt and Pepper Caddy Set 

Mud Pie is known for its tongue-in-cheek designs and pun-heavy wordplay, so its salt and pepper caddy set is ideal for people who love to see the humour in all situations. Inspired by a farmhouse lifestyle, the set includes mini pitcher-shaped salt and pepper shakers, with debossed lettering, cork stoppers, and a distressed metal caddy rest. Reviewers find it to be full of charm, and many have bought it as a gift.

9. Best Candle Warmer: Suzla Candle Warmer Lamp 

Candles and incense often cause preventable fires. In fact, according to US-based Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema), candles cause 23,600 house fires annually in the US alone. So, when you gift a host a candle warmer lamp, you’re not just being courteous, but likely enhancing their safety. Suzla’s candle warmer gently heats flameless candles and melts them gradually. You can control the two soft halogen lamps in this device, since it has three brightness settings. There’s also a two-, four-, and eight-hour timer so you don’t have to worry about accidents or overheating the candle. The lamp itself has an elegant contemporary style that suits most modern homes.

10. Best Home Gift: Sakringt Rechargeable Table Lamps (2-Pack) 

Any table in your host’s home can transform into an elegant setting, thanks to Sakringt’s table lamps. They add light wherever needed, but in a stylish way, so they are great for dining tables, end tables, desks, or even the backyard table in the winter. Reviewers who find scented candles to be too strong or irritating, opt for these lamps to add warm ambience and elegance. The portable light is dimmable and has three colour temperatures (warm white, warm, and white light).

11. Best for Dog Owners: Hollypet Hide and Seek Squeaky Dog Puzzle 

Does your host’s dog greet you with enthusiasm every time you visit? Then perhaps your gift should be for the pup. Apparently, hidden squirrel puzzle toys are all the rage right now, for the sheer joy they induce from dogs who love to play. All you have to do is hide the squirrels in the wool log and watch as your host’s dog digs them out. Fair warning, though! Each squirrel comes with a squeaker, which is incredibly fun for pets, but likely not as fun for their owners.

12. Best Bath Gift: Casswell-Massey Trio of Fragrances Bath Soap Set 

You can’t go wrong with luxury bath soaps as a gift. Casswell-Massey’s soap bars may seem like something out of French queen Marie Antoinette’s toiletry case, but they smell just as good as they look. The soaps are fragranced with essences of flowers from the New York Botanical Garden (each purchase also directly supports the park’s work). They are triple-milled to last for a long time, contain glycerin to lock in moisture, and have a natural olive oil base that creates a rich lather even as it cleanses the skin. This set includes honeysuckle, gardenia and lilac scents, and comes in premium gift packaging.

13. Best for Skincare: Laneige Water Bank Blue Hyaluronic Hydration Set 

Introduce your host to Korean skincare with a Laneige water hyaluronic hydration set. This popular K-beauty skincare brand takes advantage of hyaluronic acid to bind moisture, and ease parched skin – something that’s a common skincare concern. In this set is a blue hyaluronic toner, which removes dirt and make-up. There’s also hyaluronic emulsion, which is a lightweight moisturiser that promises to deliver a deep dose of hydration. And last but not least, is the hyaluronic cream. It seals in the moisture from the toner, and keeps skin, plump, bouncy and hydrated.

14. Best Gift Card: e-Gift Card 

If nothing comes to mind, you can always opt for a gift card from Amazon. Rabab Khan, a Canadian event coordinator, said: “My go-to option, is the Amazon gift card because it allows the host to purchase something that they truly need at home, instead of receiving something that they would potentially never use.” You can alter the image on the gift card, customise the amount you’d like to send as a gift, and add a personal message so that they know who it’s from when they receive the card. The gift cards only expire 10 years from the date of issuance, so your host has plenty of time to use their gift.

Our recommendations are independently chosen by Gulf News editors. If you decide to shop through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission, as we are part of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.