International visitors to the UAE during the Dubai Shopping Festival 2012 (DSF) broke their spending records compared to previous years, according to figures released today by Visa, one of the world’s leading electronic payments networks and lead sponsor of the region’s premier shopping event.

The results from Visa’s Visa Vue Travel Data showed that the total inbound Visa card spend in the UAE between the 5th of January and the 5th of February 2012, came to more than USD 497 million,compared to just over USD 406 million during the DSF 2011 period (20 January to 20 February, 2011) – equal to a year-on-year increase of 22%.

The event got off to a flying start from the very beginning, with spending for the first week hitting a high on the 6th of January, when USD 19 million was spent on overseas Visa cards. The good news for retailers is that spending continued at a positive pace right throughout the DSF period, with sales reaching a peak on the 29th January when they topped USD 20 million, over USD 5 million more than the USD 15.5 million average daily spend during overall the DSF 2012 period.

The statistics also revealed that cardholders from Russia, Saudi Arabia and the United States were the top-spending countries during the DSF 2012 period, contributing more than USD 122 million, USD 106 million and USD 92 million respectively to the UAE economy – with each showing significant increases in spend compared to the DSF 2011 period.

“Other retail” came out on top of the merchant category, with more than USD 171 million spent during the month-long event. “Lodging” (hotels and apartments) came in second place with over USD 112 million spent; while “remaining merchants,”‘other travel and entertainment’”and ‘”department stores” completed the top five spending segments, with over USD 89 million, USD 35 million and USD 17 million spent respectively.

“It’s great to see DSF 2012 having such a strong impact on the local economy, despite the current global financial challenges,” said Karim Beg, Head of Regional Marketing for Visa for Middle East and North Africa (MENA). “Over the years, DSF has really helped put the UAE on the map, attracting visitors from all over the world to take advantage of the great promotions on offer. This year’s success proves yet again the ongoing popularity of the shopping festival, and of the UAE as a leading international shopping destination.”

Visa has sponsored the leading shopping and entertainment event since its inauguration in 1996. As the official payment partner of DSF, Visa has the ideal platform to educate shoppers about the convenience and security of electronic payments while simultaneously rewarding them with value added prizes. As part of this year’s activity, Visa ran a series of promotions giving cardholders the unique opportunity to attend the upcoming London 2012 Olympic Games this coming summer.

 

2012

2011

Top 10 Inbound Spend Countries during DSF 2012

Total amount spent by Visa cardholders in UAE during DSF 2012

Total amount spent by Visa cardholders in UAE during DSF 2011

Year-on-year growth

1

4

Russian Federation

$ 122,606,546

$26,854,378

356.56%

2

5

Saudi Arabia

$ 106,408,232

$39,453,918

169.70%

3

1

United Kingdom

$ 92,744,208

$44,495,433

108.44%

4

3

China

$ 83,468,723

$41,694,483

100.19%

5

2

United States of America

$ 68,310,374

$29,381,218

132.50%

6

9

Angola

$ 36,575,234

$11,458,237

219.20%

7

7

India

$ 35,590,270

$16,815,993

111.65%

8

10

Kuwait

$ 27,545,658

$13,430,265

105.10%

9

8

France

$ 27,290,612

$13,648,656

99.95%

10

6

Kazakhstan

$ 24,507,991

$18,735,576

30.81%

 



 

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