UAE is region’s top spender at Fifa World Cup

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UAE is region’s top spender at Fifa World Cup

Report says Visa cardholders from UAE spent $2.5m in 32 days

By Abdul Basit

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Published: Mon 21 Jul 2014, 12:48 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 6:56 AM

Fifa World Cup fever is over after Germany’s win but latest data revealed that fans from the UAE is on top in terms of highest spending among the Middle Eastern Visa cardholders.

Fans watching the World Cup final match at Emirates Golf Club. -KT photo by Grace Guino

Visa Inc., leader in global payments, on Saturday released its final Visa Everywhere Travel Report for the 2014 Fifa World Cup Brazil, which analyses travel data and cross-border spend on all Visa products, including credit, debit and prepaid payment cards.

The UAE ranked top in the region with 44 per cent of the total spending by the region’s Visa cardholders during the 32-day football tournament in Brazil. The country was also ranked the 27th largest spending nation in the report. Saudi Arabia and Qatar were ranked 47th and 49th respectively.

The survey results show that Middle East visitors spent more than $5.7 million during the tournament in Brazil. During the thirty-two days event, Visa cardholders from the UAE spent $2.5 million, Saudi Arabia spent $840,000 and Qatar spent $639,000. All countries witnessed triple-digit increases in international spend compared to the same period in 2013.

Fans from the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar made up 70 per cent of the total Middle Eastern spend from June 12 to July 13, 2014. This represents a 400 per cent increase in year-over-year spending by Middle Eastern visitors compared to the same period in 2013.

Visa account holders spent $380 million in Brazil during the 2014 Fifa World Cup, an international spend increase of 143 per cent. Visitors spent the most in lodging ($55.5 million), retail ($47.7 million) and restaurants ($40.5 million).

Visitors from the United States, United Kingdom, France, finalist Argentina, Mexico and Fifa World Cup champions Germany were the six top spending countries during the Fifa World Cup.

“The global attraction of the Fifa World Cup and the growing confidence and understanding of the convenience and security of electronic payments supported an influx of tourism spending in Brazil,” said Ihab Ayoub General Manager, Middle East and North Africa at Visa.

“As a proud sponsor of Fifa and the 2014 Fifa World Cup Brazil, Visa was able to partner with clients, merchants and financial institutions in Brazil to provide a safe, convenient and reliable payment infrastructure for our regional cardholders to enjoy their time in Brazil and add to the colour and passion of this hugely successful event,” added Ayoub.

Visa worked with partner organisations and service providers in Brazil to implement and manage the entire payment system infrastructure throughout all Fifa World Cup venues, including the deployment of more than 3,000 Visa contactless-enabled point-of-sale terminals and 75 ATMs.

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