Overall card spending in UAE up by 14pc during Ramadan
Overall consumer spending in the UAE posted positive gains in June and July, with transactions through credit and debit cards during this year's Ramadan going up by 14 per cent from the same period last year, according to Network International, which processes more than half of all card payments across the country.
The overall increase is fueled largely by domestic, as well as international spending, each posting 17 per cent and seven per cent growth, respectively. It is also led by a surge in spending on restaurants, fashion, supermarkets and services.
David Mountain, chief commercial officer, Network International, said that the coinciding of the Islamic calendar with the traditionally quieter summer months has given rise to interesting variations in spends. "Domestic spend of locals and expatriates based in the UAE becomes par- ticularly important during these months."
Network International's findings were based on card spends in June 18 to July 16 and benchmarked against consumer expenditures in Ramadan 2014 (June 29-July 27). Cash transactions were not included in the study.
Based on card payments, visitors from North America topped the foreign card spending charts, accounting for seven per cent of the total transactions, while expenditures by those from the Gulf Cooperation Council ( GCC) region accounted for three per cent of the overall payments and the Nigerians, three per cent.
The rest of the visitors accounted for 15 per cent of the total spend, but they registered a decline in transactions, especially the Russians, down 30 per cent, the Chinese (down 22 per cent) and the Germans (down 8 per cent). "This seems to reflect the recent economic turmoil in all three countries," Network International said.