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Published on : Tuesday, April 5, 2016
Visa, a global payments technology company, and Jumeirah Group, the global luxury hotel company, today signed a multi-year partnership agreement. As part of the partnership, Visa cardholders across the Middle East and North Africa will have access to a series of value-added cardholder benefits at Jumeirah properties which will be rolled out throughout the course of the agreement.
To celebrate the launch of the deal and the start of the summer season, all Visa cardholders globally will be able to receive a 25% discount on any hotel stay taking place between the 1st May to 30th September 2016 at Jumeriah properties in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait and the Maldives*.
Alison Broadhead, Chief Commercial Officer, Jumeirah Group commented: “The partnership with Visa provides significant potential for Jumeirah Group to reach key customer segments with targeted communications. With the scale of Visa’s network and its extensive analytical capabilities providing an accurate picture of the performance of specific customer groups, the partnership allows for better-informed decisions in our marketing and promotions. In short, we will be able to provide Visa customers with the offer they want, at the time they want it. The first such promotion offers Visa cardholders the opportunity to experience our 11 hotels in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait and the Maldives at truly exceptional prices. Future offers will include our hotels in London, Mallorca, Frankfurt, Turkey, Shanghai and Baku, and our restaurants around the world.”
Kamran Siddiqi, Visa Group Executive for Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, said: “We have seen from spend on our network that consumers in the region want luxury experiences, and are subsequently spending more on their vacations compared to other travelers around the world. We also know that travelers value the convenience, security and reliability that electronic payments offer, which makes a Visa card, whether carried in a wallet or loaded into a mobile device, the ideal companion for the modern, connected traveler. And now they have an added incentive to use their Visa cards at Jumeirah Group locations for a truly unique, high-end experience.”
Supporting the UAE’s economy
Tourism is a central pillar for the UAE’s economic growth and diversification, and this partnership will support the UAE’s tourism strategy by broadening Jumeirah Group offerings, while encouraging more use of electronic payments. A recent report by Moody’s found that a six percentage point increase in electronic payments usage in the UAE between 2011 and 2015 resulted in a 0.23% increase in GDP, adding some US$3,700,000,000 to the UAE’s GDP. In addition the study found that increased electronic payment usage created the equivalent to 14,170 jobs in the UAE each year of the period studied.
Visa data for 2015 show that the top corridors for inbound visitors to the UAE (based on Visa card spend) were the United Kingdom, United States, China, Russia, Qatar, Kuwait and Oman. Nigeria saw an incredible 440% increase in visitors using their Visa cards in the UAE in 2015. The data also show that one in two travelers from the Middle East prefer to use payments cards when they travel, and 29 percent of travelers globally said they would spend more if they are able to use cards more frequently and at more merchants.
According to Visa data, travelers have tended to use electronic payments for luxury or big-ticket items, making fine dining and accommodation at hotels a logical choice. However, in a sophisticated market like the UAE, cardholders are increasingly able to use electronic payments for everyday spend items. Lodging, fashion retail and luxury retail accounted for around 56% of total in-bound tourist spend on Visa cards in 2015. Meanwhile leisure goods (115%), appliance retail (78%) and entertainment (31%) showed the largest growth in 2015, which means that Visa cardholders were maintaining spend at top end merchants, while broadening out card usage into other non-luxury merchant categories.
In regards to overall spend at hotels, international visitors accounted for 56% of spend whilst local residents accounted for 44%, indicating that the UAE’s hotels enjoy strong domestic support as well as international patronage.
“It is insights such as this, as well as Visa’s global reach and network that makes us an ideal partner for a world-class luxury hotel group like Jumeirah looking to grow its business both in the UAE and around the world. We are looking forward to offering unique benefits to Jumeirah Group customers and, with Jumeirah, supporting the UAE’s economic aims” said Mr. Siddiqi.