Data from Network International indicates that card spending during the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) has continued to increase over the past 5 years, with spend volume increasing by 6.75 per cent in 2018 compared to 2017.
The study showed that since 2014, DSF spend has continued to rise despite global and regional economic headwinds. Spending using credit, debit, prepaid and other types of cards surged by 10.21 per cent in 2015 compared to the DSF of 2014, and has continued to rise, by 5.39 per cent in 2016, 10.76 per cent in 2017, and 6.75 per cent in the latest edition of DSF in 2018.
Domestic spenders accounted for nearly three quarters (73.09 per cent) of all DSF sales, up by nearly 8 per cent from 2014 (65.54 per cent). The volume of spending was equivalent to the average monthly amount they spend across the year.
American and Saudi consumers took up the second and third biggest share of all DSF spend in 2018 at 5.62 per cent and 4.34 per cent respectively. The United Kingdom, Russia and China, Kuwait, Germany, India and France, in descending order, made up the rest of the top non-UAE-issued cards during DSF.
"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," said Samer Soliman, managing director - Middle East, Network International.