Dubai: International and domestic spending in the UAE is now above pre-pandemic levels, mainly due to the Expo 2020 Dubai, according to UAE-based payments platform Network International.
Expo 2020 attracted nearly nine million visitors during its first three months, with 30 per cent of all visitors coming from outside the country. Network’s analysis shows that visitor spending increased significantly on their second visit, with domestic visitor spending increasing 17 per cent and international visitor spending increasing 4 per cent.
The company further added that international spending accounted for 42 per cent of the total spend across Expo 2020 in December, up from 34 per cent when the event began in October. On average, international visitors to the event spent 10 per cent of their total UAE trip spend at the venue, making it the third largest spend category following hotels and restaurants.
The majority of visitor spending at the event was on food and beverage, representing 58 per cent of the total spend in December, up from 40 per cent of spending in October, with an average non-ticketing spend per visitor of Dh295 for international visitors and Dh245 for domestic visitors. The biggest international spenders during the first three months were visitors from Saudi Arabia, US, and Russia.
During the first three months, the pavilions which received the highest amount of spending were Belgium, Saudi Arabia, France, Italy, and Japan, while the highest per capita spend took place in Italy, Germany, Japan, Spain, and Thailand pavilions, which generated an average spend of Dh209 per card. Peak spending typically took place around mealtimes, 2pm and 7pm, with Friday seeing the highest daily spend followed by Thursday and Saturday.