According to research released by Visa, international visitors to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) charged $4 billion to their cards last year, which is 28.7% more than in 2010. This came with a rise in transaction volumes by 22.7% to 15.6 million, while the average spent on a transaction increased 4.8% to $255.42. The top ten source markets collectively spent $2.4 billion, up 33% from the year before.
British holidaymakers spent the most in the UAE during their visits, at $489.5 million. This is 11% more than the year before, while the market retained its top spot. Transaction numbers rose 9.5% to 2.2 million. Despite this increase in transaction numbers and their amounts, the average spend per transaction only rose $3 – from $212 to $215. Significant increases in spending were seen for discount stores, quick serve restaurants and airlines.
The second biggest market for Visa in the UAE was Russia, with spending up 43.9% to $342.5 million. Transaction numbers increased 49.3% to 801,741, along with the average amount of transactions by 3.6% to $427.26. Russian holidaymakers spent the most on “other” items, accommodation and the merchants sector.
The US was the third top market for the company, with spending up 11.5% to $340.2 million. Transaction numbers rose 11.5% to 1.8 million, and the average spend was up 0.7% to $188.31. Most of this money was spent on accommodation, which rose 19.9% to $98.5 million.
In the Middle East region, travellers from Saudi Arabia were the biggest spenders for Visa in the UAE, up 73.8% to $325.3 million. Transaction numbers increased 80.2% to 1.1 million, but the average spend was down 3.6% to $292.26. The Saudi visitors spent the most on accommodation, which was up 80.1% to $127 million. This was followed by travel and entertainment, as well as “other” items.
The fifth biggest market for Visa in the UAE was China, with tourists spending 72.6% more, at $225.1 million. The average volume of transactions grew 29.1% to $700.48, and most of the money was used on “other” items, accommodation, and travel and entertainment. The rest of the top ten markets were (in order): Angola, Kuwait, India, France and Kazakhstan.
Visa UAE general manager Marcello Baricordi says that, as the largest retail electronic payments network in the world, they are in a unique position to give insight into where and how travellers are spending their money. Their processing network enables them to analyse data to identify tourism spending insights across the globe. They use these insights to deliver useful market data and intelligence to businesses so they can improve market strategies and product offerings to best attract holidaymakers and strengthen competition in the tourism industry.
Baricordi added that the results from this year were an interesting read, as established markets are still the biggest allure and developing nations are growing fast, looking for ways to spend their earnings. It’s also noticeable how Russia, the US and China are beginning to be more prominent. This comes as airlines like Emirates and flydubai expand their networks and travellers are visiting the UAE more to take advantage of a market for luxury goods, he added.
Author's Google+ page