Data from Network International, the UAE-based payment solutions provider, indicate that cards spending during the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) has continued to increase over the past five years.
Spending volume increased by 6.75 percent in 2018 compared to 2017, the study showed, adding that since 2014, DSF spends have continued to rise despite global and regional economic headwinds.
Spending using credit, debit, prepaid and other types of cards surged by 10.21 percent in 2015 compared to the DSF of 2014, and has continued to rise, by 5.39 percent in 2016, 10.76 percent in 2017.
The data showed that domestic spenders accounted for nearly three quarters of all DSF sales.
The volume of spending was equivalent to the average monthly amount they spend across the year, testifying to the stability of financial confidence in the country, Network International said in a statement.
American and Saudi consumers took up the second and third biggest share of all DSF spends in 2018 while shoppers from the United Kingdom, Russia and China, Kuwait, Germany, India and France made up the rest of the top non-UAE-issued cards during DSF.
Samer Soliman, managing director – Middle East, Network International, said: “Card payments during DSF maintain a longstanding trend of showing positive growth, indicating that Dubai continues to build on its positioning as the leading retail destination regionally as well as globally.
"As the government pushes its Smart Dubai initiative, consumers are increasingly choosing to make cashless spends, and based on historical figures, we expect this trend to remain positive going ahead, offering a lot of opportunity for banks and retailers alike.”
DSF has grown from 1.6 million shoppers during the first edition in 1996 to more than 50 million in 2018.
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