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UAE biggest Gulf spender at the 2014 World Cup

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Spending increase of 419 per cent recorded by Middle Eastern travellers, reveals Visa report

July 7, 2014 3:23 by

UAE travellers have spent $1.14 million in Brazil since the 2014 football World Cup kicked off, using Visa cards.

This is according to the Visa Everywhere Travel Report for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil by Visa Inc., which also adds that, UAE travellers rank number 30 in the list of global spenders at the World Cup.

Saudi Arabian travellers, meanwhile, spent $607,000, taking the 39th place, followed by Qatari travellers that spent more than $317,000, securing the 53rd spot. All in all, Middle Eastern travellers have spent $2.7 million in Brazil.

The report, which analyses travel data and spending through the use of Visa credit, debit and prepaid cards, reveals that some smaller Brazilian cities, which are hosting tournament games, realised some of the most significant increases in spending by international travellers.

The figures represent an overall increase in spending of 419 per cent by Middle Eastern travellers, when compared with the same period last year and well ahead of the global increase of 152 per cent.

“The group stage of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil has shown that international tourism was strong well beyond the cities of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, as fans travelled throughout Brazil to support their teams. But what has been significant for us has been the enthusiasm shown by visitors from the Middle East, despite not having a team competing,” says Ihab Ayoub general manager ‎Middle East and North Africa at Visa Inc. “The fact that these games are bringing positive economic impact to regions of Brazil that are typically less visited by international travellers is another sign of success for the tournament overall.”

Total spending hits record levels

Total spend by international travellers using Visa cards throughout the group stage hit $188m. This represents a 152 per cent year-over-year increase and a 141 percent surge, when compared with the $78m spent by travellers attending the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup during the same timeframe.

The highest spending day in the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil was June 25, when travellers spent $17.4m in just one day. Visitors from the US, followed by the UK, France, and Mexico represented the largest overall tourist spend in Brazil.  The most significant spending increases were seen from countries such as Australia (+835 per cent), Colombia (+765 per cent), Chile (+519 per cent) and Mexico (+396 per cent).

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