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Spending by UAE Visa cardholders increases by 18 per cent in 2013


Cardholders set market trends according to general manager of Visa MENA.

May 7, 2014 3:52 by

International spending by UAE Visa cardholders increased by 18 per cent in 2013; of which, one quarter was attributed to shopping, reveals the latest edition of the Visa Affluent Study, which was revealed at the Arabian Travel Market 2014, which is taking place until May 8 at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

Marcello Baricordi, general manager UAE and global accounts lead at Visa MENA, says: “UAE Visa cardholders spent $2.8 billion overseas in 2013, a 20 per cent rise when compared with 2012 figures, with Italy proving to be a popular destination and accounting for a 36 per cent increase in spend, followed by France, the UK and the US at 24 per cent, 23 per cent and 22 per cent, respectively.”

The Visa Affluent Study analysed both the inbound and outbound effect that the UAE has on the global tourism marketplace. Out of 300 surveyed individuals, 130 respondents generate a household income of between AED200,000 and AED300,000 per year, while the remaining generates more than AED300,000 per year.

The report adds that popular destinations for these affluent travellers are India, the US, the Maldives and France. Baricordi adds: “Three out of four of the UAE’s affluent customers are regularly setting aside more than 60 per cent of their monthly household incomes specifically for family travels and 50 per cent expects this to rise further in the next 12 months.”

The study also discussed where the money was being used during vacations. Twenty four per cent of the total sum was directed towards accommodation, which according to Visa Inc., is a five-star hotel for 50 per cent of affluent travellers. In addition, 14 per cent of all spending goes towards fashion retail and 11 per cent towards luxury retail.

“These travel-savvy, high-spending [consumers] of the Visa cardholder market are tourism trendsetters and their behaviours are a barometer for market performance in general,” concludes Baricordi.

Published first in AMEinfo

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