Spending growth: Restaurants see 31 percent growth in total spend over the previous year; other high growth categories include consumer electronics (22%) and supermarkets (14%)
Spending volume: Fashion retail accounts for highest total spend volume of US$151.2 MN
Saudi Arabia and UK retain position as top spenders during DSF; Angola registers 97 percent surge in transaction volumes compared to 2014
Dubai, U.A.E.: 17 February, 2015 – According to statistics issued today by Visa (NYSE:V), the global leader in electronic payments, and official partner of Dubai’s leading retail event, the total Visa card spend in the first two weeks of the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) 2015, between 1 January to 15 January 2015, had risen by 12 percent compared to spend in the first two weeks of DSF 2014. The results were collected by the company’s payment processing platform, VisaNet, and include spend by both international visitors to the UAE and the Emirates’ residents during DSF, which this year marks its 20th anniversary.
In terms of total spending growth (international and domestic), restaurants were among the top categories at 31 percent, with Visa cardholders spending US$53.7 million this year, up from the US$40.9 million recorded in the same category at DSF 2014. Other high growth categories include consumer electronics at 22 percent, and supermarkets at 14 percent, with transaction volumes rising from US$30.5 million to US$37.2 million, and from US$107.6 to US$122.2, respectively.
Fashion retail ranked first in spending volumes, accounting for US$151.2 million of total international and domestic spending in the first two weeks of DSF 2015.
Visitors from Saudi Arabia and the UK once again emerged as the top spenders in the first two weeks of the 2015 festival, contributing US$35.18 million and US$29.98 million, respectively, to the UAE economy. This is up from US$27.29 million and US$27.74 million spent during the same sale period last year. Visa cardholders from Angola saw the biggest percentage increase in spending with a total of US$28.47 million spent in the first two weeks, registering a 97 percent growth in transaction volume over the previous year.
At a regional level, visitors from Middle Eastern and North African nations remain strong users of their Visa payment cards and spent a total of US$96.75 million during the first half of DSF. This was followed by Europe at US$72.69 million and Sub-Saharan Africa at US$54.36 million.
Marcello Baricordi, General Manager UAE and Global Accounts Lead at Visa Inc. MENA, said: “DSF 2015 has delivered promising results, with the rise in spending indicative of the phenomenal impact the event has on the economy. This demonstrates the enduring popularity of the world’s longest running festival of its kind as it celebrated its milestone 20th anniversary. One very interesting trend for this year has been to see the growing affluence of emerging markets in the Sub-Saharan region such as Angola that has almost doubled its spend on Visa cards in the first two weeks of DSF 2015, compared to the same period last year.”
Marking the 20-year celebration edition of DSF –“Journey of Celebrations” – Visa also rolled out its ‘Shop, Spin and Win’ promotion from 12 – 25 January 2015, which gave thousands of visitors and residents the chance to enhance their shopping experiences by transacting with Visa.
Visa has been a key sponsor of the region’s leading shopping and entertainment event since its inception in 1996. Committed to enhancing the electronic payments ecosystem in the UAE, in line with the country’s progressive smart initiatives, Visa is uniquely positioned to educate shoppers about the convenience and security of electronic payments, while simultaneously rewarding them with value added prizes.