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Tue 29 Jul 2014 10:07 AM

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MidEast visitors set to raise UK spending by 25% post-Ramadan

Data from card processing firm Worldpay suggests visitors from region will outspend all others over next few weeks

MidEast visitors set to raise UK spending by 25% post-Ramadan
Harrods department store in London. (Getty Images)

Visitors from the Middle East are forecast to increase their spending in the UK by 25 percent post-Ramadan, according to card processing firm Worldpay.

The start of Eid Al Fitr sees tourists from the region flock to the UK with Worldpay’s data showing that they are set to exceed by a quarter the £152.40 ($258.83) per transaction registered in August last year.

Last year, visitors from Qatar topped the list by spending an average of £288.17 on each trip to the till, the UK-based Retail Times reported.

This was followed by £199.87 spent by visitors from Saudi Arabia, £188.29 by UAE visitors and £189.41 by visitors from Bahrain.

In comparison, the average European tourist, making up the bulk of visitors to the UK, spent just £49 per sale in the same period last year, whilst US visitors spent £65.41.

Latest figures from Visit Britain shows the number of visitors from Gulf Cooperation Council countries from January to April this year was up 18 percent on the same period in 2013. Tourists from the UAE led the charge with 262,000 visitors in 2013, with Kuwait in second place with 110,000 visitors.

Dave Hobday, managing director, Worldpay UK, said in comments published by Retail Times: “Britain has some of the best shopping in the world and retailers need to wake up to the fact that the biggest spenders all come from abroad. There’s a Middle Eastern gold rush underway and millions of pounds are at stake as tourists from Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE flock to the UK to out-shop and outspend the rest."

Worldpay processed a total of more than £73.2m in payments from Middle Eastern shoppers in August 2013.

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