Visitor Spending in UAE Skyrockets to Dh 22.8 Billion

International tourist spending is on the rise in the UAE as visitors spent Dh22.8 billion with their Visa cards while visiting the nation last year in comparison to Dh21.7 billion in 2017, with Saudi Arabia, the UK, and the US becoming the largest spenders.

According to the latest UAE Travel Snapshot released by Visa on 22nd April, total spending by inbound Saudi tourists increased by 9% year-on-year basis to Dh4.8 billion from Dh4.4 billion, followed by Dh2.4 billion by US visitors and Dh2 billion from the UK tourists.

The other countries in the top 10 markets were China (Dh1.3 billion), Russia (Dh1.2 billion), Kuwait (Dh1.1 billion), India (Dh1 billion), Oman (Dh856 million), Bahrain (Dh371 million) and Australia (Dh364 million).

When compared to the previous year, the total number of Visa card transactions by visitors to the UAE also increased by 22%.

Transactions growing much rapidly than spending hint the UAE’s growing appeal as a foremost global destination for both mass and niche tourism. Regardless of UAE being expensive for international travellers, the UAE still remains an attractive tourist destination for international travellers.

In 2018, 15.8 million people visited Dubai and the Emirate was announced as the 6th most visited city while the UAE capital lured over 10 million visitors.

Spending by Russian visitors saw the quickest growth at 13% followed by Saudi Arabia (+9%), the US (+7%), China, India and Australia (+6%), the UK (+4%), and Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain (+3%).

Visa cardholders had spent about Dh9.2 billion on travel, Dh3.8 billion on fashion, apparel and accessories, Dh2 billion on luxury goods, Dh1.8 billion on restaurants, and Dh 959 million on leisure and entertainment.