According to Visa’s latest report, the luxury segment in the MENA region continues to remain resilient in the face of global economic challenges including low oil prices and weakening currencies like the Russian rouble and the Chinese yuan.
The report analyzes domestic and international (known as cross-border) data spend on all Visa products during the holiday period across 32 merchant sectors, including fashion and electronics retail, travel and hospitality, telecommunications, hospitals and financial institutions.
The top five categories for cardholder spends across the MENA region during the Holy Month in 2015 are fashion retail, ATM cash, supermarkets, luxury goods retail and general department store purchases, with spends amounting to $9.3 billion in one month alone (June – July 2015).
Mainly, the findings reveal that shoppers from the UAE, KSA, Qatar, Kuwait and Oman drive sales across the MENA region during the Holy Month. Other merchant categories included government services, construction services, airlines, accommodation and auto services.
Ihab Ayoub, general manager MENA at Visa, says in a press statement: “Luxury and fashion retail have traditionally been the mainstay of merchant spends during the Holy Month and the findings from the report clearly reinforce this trend. Further, the shift to electronic payments continues to drive growth, supported by the adoption of e-payments by many governments in the region. In the UAE alone, we recorded spends of $2.9bn over a single month, with Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and the USA emerging as the top source markets in 2015.”