Big-spending shopaholics descended on Dubai and slapped more than Dhs2.16 billion ($589 million) on their VISA cards during the recent month-long retail extravaganza, the payments giant has revealed.
That’s up 19 per cent on the $497 million shoppers put on their cards during the 2012 Dubai Shopping Festival.
In a positive first indication of the strength of sales at this year’s event, the card giant said that customers with overseas-issued cards racked up $153.35 million in the first week of the event.
And, in a new record, foreign visitors spent a huge $25 million in ONE DAY, January 4 – the first Friday of this year’s festival. Once again, Russian shoppers led the way. Visitors from the country topped last year’s festival spending league when it came to the amounts they paid using VISA cards – and they took top spot again this year.
The total spent on Russian cards soared by 31 per cent when compared to last year – rising from $61.3 million in 2012 to $82.2 million this year. The second and third spots in the table were also unchanged – with shoppers from Saudi Arabia in second place with a spend of $66.8 million and UK visitors swiping up $53 million.
American shoppers spent 32 per cent more this year to move up a position to fourth spot with a bill of $45.1 million. Likewise, Indian shoppers also spent an extra 32 per cent to climb to fifth place, having swiped a grand total of $23.6 million this year. Breaking down the figures further, VISA said that cards issued overseas were used to pay for $138 million of accommodation costs during the duration of DSF.
Foreign cardholders also spent a total of $13.7 million on electronics and over $11 million on flights. Marcello Baricordi, general manager for VISA in UAE, said yesterday: “The record VISA card usage during DSF 2013 reinforces the growing popularity of the retail extravaganza among international shoppers.”