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News in-depth: UAE travellers increasingly open to mobile contactless payments
9 Feb 2012

Travellers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are becoming increasingly open to mobile contactless payments, according to new research.

Amadeus, a transaction processor for the global travel and tourism industry, has published the results of a survey which shows that a growing number of holidaymakers visiting the region would now rather make e-money payments with their mobile phone rather than using cash or credit card.

Nearly a third (32 per cent) of respondents found it 'extremely appealing' to use a mobile with Near Field Communication technology for such transactions, compared to just 24 per cent of holidaymakers in the rest of the world.

Furthermore, 92 per cent of UAE travellers found mobile payments 'somewhat appealing', with this figure dropping to 78 per cent among respondents from the other countries surveyed.

The high number of mobile phones in the UAE is cited as a key reason for travellers' readiness to use mobile payments, with mobile market penetration having crossed the 200 per cent mark.

Furthermore, industry statistics show that the UAE is expected to achieve 100 per cent mobile broadband penetration in 2012, enabling travellers to pay for their goods with their mobile phone throughout the region.

Humayun Baig, regional market manager in charge of the UAE, Oman and Bahrain for Amadeus, claimed that the study highlights the shift in attitudes among visitors to the UAE.

He said: "Traveller needs are definitely seeing a dramatic change in the UAE with customers preferring advanced mobile applications and devices to conduct transactions.

"This reflects evolving changes in consumer lifestyle and travel requirements. The travel sector is also beginning to realise that the world is changing and travellers will increasingly expect intelligent information exchange."

Respondents from Brazil, China, Russia, Spain, the UK and the US were also surveyed for The From Chaos to Collaboration report.

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