UAE travelers top region in World Cup spending

Travelers from the Middle East countries have spent $2.7 million in Brazil since the Fifa World Cup kicked off.

Until the group stage games, the UAE travelers spent the most from this region ($1.14m), and also ranked 30th in the list of global spenders at the World Cup, says the Visa Everywhere Travel Report for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil by Visa Inc.

The report, which analyzes travel data and spending through the use of Visa credit, debit and prepaid cards, found that some smaller Brazilian cities, which are hosting tournament games, realized some of the most significant increases in spending by international travelers.

After the UAE, Saudi Arabia secured 39th spot and Qatar 53rd. UAE travelers have spent $1.145 million, Saudi travelers $607,000 and visitors from the 2022 host nation Qatar have spent more than $317,000.

The figures represent an overall increase in spending of some 419 per cent by travelers from the region compared to the same period last year – well ahead of the global increase of 152 per cent and demonstrating the passion for football that exists within the Middle East region.

“The group stage of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil has shown that international tourism was strong well beyond the cities of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, as fans traveled throughout Brazil to support their teams. But what has been significant for us has been the enthusiasm shown by visitors from the Middle East region despite not having a team competing,” said Ihab Ayoub General Manager, ‎Middle East & North Africa at Visa.

“The fact that these games are bringing positive economic impact to regions of Brazil typically less visited by international travelers, is another sign of success for the tournament overall.”



Total spend by international travelers on Visa accounts through the Group Stage hit $188M. This represents a 152 percent increase year-over-year, and a 141 percent increase when compared to the $78m spent by travelers attending the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup during the same timeframe. The highest spending day in the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil was June 25, when travelers spent $17.4m in one day.

Visitors from the United States, followed by the United Kingdom, France, and Mexico represented the largest overall tourist spend in Brazil.  The most significant spending increases were seen from countries such as Australia (+835 per cent); Colombia (+765 per cent); Chile (+519 per cent) and Mexico (+396 per cent).