Visa marks 20-year collaboration with Dubai Shopping Festival

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  • A partner of Dubai’s leading retail event since it began in 1996, Visa strengthens commitment to enhance the electronic payments ecosystem in the region
  • 1.9 million Visa cards used for 9.8 million transactions during DSF 2014; International visitors spent US$578 million in UAE with Visa cards
  • Top 3 spend categories at DSF 2014 were Clothing, Retail and Lodging

dubai shopping festival Visa

Visa Inc., the global leader in electronic payments, will return as the official payment partner of the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) 2015, in a collaboration that has been running successfully since the inception of the event two decades ago.

As part of the 20th anniversary edition of DSF, which runs from 1 January to 1 February 2015, Visa will offer shoppers exclusive experiences at various retail outlets, while providing all cardholders with a convenient, secure and reliable payment platform.

Working in line with the vision of DSF to raise the profile of Dubai as a favoured international shopping destination, Visa has invested in bigger and better promotions that appeal to Visa cardholders in the UAE and countries and regions around the world, including China, India, Russia, and Africa. Visa is also supporting the DSF promotional activities of over 100 banks.

During DSF 2014, Visa successfully leveraged the combined power of shopping experiences with FIFA, driving increased Visa card usage through the month-long event. In the upcoming edition, shoppers using their Visa cards for purchases will be given opportunities to win a host of exciting prizes at a special activation at the popular retail establishment – the Dubai Mall.

Visa saw increased spending on cards at DSF 2014 with 1.9 million Visa cards being used for 9.8 million transactions during the event. This accounted for a total of US$1.5 billion – both domestically and internationally – in Visa card spend. In addition, results from the company’s Visa Vue Travel data service indicate that international visitors to the UAE spent US$578 million on their Visa cards over the month-long festival.

Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom emerged as the top source spenders at DSF 2014, contributing more than US$77 million and US$47 million, respectively, to the UAE economy.

The top three categories that Visa cardholders – both residents and visitors – chose to spend on during the event were clothing, retail and lodging.

Marcello Baricordi, General Manager UAE and Global Accounts Lead at Visa Inc. MENA, said: “We are proud of Visa’s longstanding partnership with the Dubai Shopping Festival that has helped put the UAE on the global map, attracting visitors from all over the world, including China, India, Russia, Africa and other regions, to take advantage of some fantastic promotions. Visa would like to congratulate the organizers of the event on their milestone 20th year anniversary.”

Baricordi added: “We saw impressive results during DSF 2014 in terms of Visa card usage. This reflects growing confidence in the retail sector in Dubai and the UAE as a whole, as well as significant increase in shoppers realizing the benefits of using Visa cards for retail purchases during the event. As part of DSF 2015, Visa will offer cardholders a host of exclusive offers which they can benefit from while enjoying the safety and security of transacting with Visa.”

Additionally, DSF shoppers can also benefit from technological innovations such as Visa payWave that enables contactless transactions by simply waving a Visa card over a secure reader at any Visa payWave enabled merchant location in Dubai. A large number of coffee shops, small retail outlets and supermarkets in Dubai accept Visa payWave payments, adding to the choice of easy and secure payment options that we offer our cardholders.

For added convenience, Visa cardholders in any part of the world can also access the Visa Explore mobile app that will serve as a single access point for all Visa offers and privileges available in Dubai, including dining, shopping and entertainment promotions during DSF 2015.

The Visa Explore mobile app, which can be downloaded from, comes with GEO fencing capabilities through which its ‘Nearby’ feature finds the best deals around consumers and conveniently displays them on the screen. Consumers can also access handy information like locating the nearest ATM through the app’s push notifications, and offer assistance in case of an emergency such as lost or stolen cards.

Visa has been a key sponsor of the region’s leading shopping and entertainment event since its inception in 1996. Committed to enhancing the electronic payments ecosystem in the UAE, in line with the country’s progressive smart initiatives, Visa is uniquely positioned to educate shoppers about the convenience and security of electronic payments, while simultaneously rewarding them with value added prizes.

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