Dubai Shopping Festival spending up 37 percent in 2011


Over USD 400 million spent on international Visa cards at the shopping festival this year

• Department stores record highest growth in merchant category

Visa, one of the world’s leading electronic payments networks and lead sponsor of the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) 2011, has reported a 37 percent increase in spending from overseas visitors compared to last year.

The total amount spent on internationally-issued Visa cards in the UAE came to just over US$ 406 million throughout the duration of the DSF, compared to US$297 million for the same period last year.

Department stores benefited the most from this increase, recording a 57 percent growth in spending over 2010, at $13.7 million. Retail outlets came out tops in the merchant category, with a total of $133.4 million, up 49 percent from last year. Accommodation (hotels and apartments) reported a 25 percent increase, at $90.6 million; while travel and entertainment also featured highly, with a total spend of just over $29 million, up 40 percent from last year.

The United Kingdom remains the top spending country, with visitors spending a total of $44.5 million through the duration of the DSF. China followed close behind at almost $42 million, up 109 percent from previous years; while Saudi Arabia reported a total spend of $39.4 million up 83 percent over last year.

Sunday 13 February 2011 recorded the highest spend by International Visa cardholders, raking in US$17.2 million in sales on that one day alone. On average, international visitors spent US$13.1 million every day during the DSF period.

Maysara Ghadban Traboulsi, Visa’s Head of Marketing Communications for MENA, said: “Over the years, the DSF has really helped to put the UAE on the map as a leading international shopping destination.

Visitors from all over the world come to Dubai to take advantage of the great promotions on offer, and these results are testament to the ongoing popularity of the shopping festival”.

Visa has sponsored the leading shopping and entertainment event since its inauguration in 1996. As the official payment partner of the DSF, Visa is the ideal platform to educate shoppers about the convenience and security of electronic payments while simultaneously rewarding them with value added prizes. This year, all Visa cardholders using their debit or credit cards during the DSF were automatically entered into a weekly draw to win a dream experience of their choice worth up to $15,000. Next week, Visa will be announcing the four lucky cardholders who went into the weekly draw, by using their Visa card during the month long festival, with a personalized dream holiday worth up too 15000USD

Source = Visa
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