Real consumer spending in the UAE is projected to increase by 5% year over year. That rate of growth represents one of the highest rates globally, according to the Mastercard East Arabia Division’s Special Report, “Towards a Connected Future: Innovation Fueling Transformation”.

The report explores the impact of digital transformation across the financial services industry. It covers the East Arabia region that includes countries as diverse as the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman and Pakistan.

Mastercard’s divisional restructure: focuses on fast-tracking growth, strengthening stakeholder engagement

“This special report marks a positive outlook following the establishment of Mastercard’s East Arabia division. It is a clear indication of the incredible growth we see in this dynamic part of the world. Recognising the region’s immense potential, Mastercard’s recent divisional restructure is part of our refreshed organisational design. This focuses on fast-tracking growth, strengthening stakeholder engagement and enhancing our multi-rail capabilities in key markets,” said JK Khalil, Division President, East Arabia, Mastercard.

“With huge disparities in GDP, population, and size, it could be easy to overlook the commonalities between the region’s countries. The golden thread that connects them is an appetite for digital disruption driven by technology. These markets are all embracing a digital future, and a rise in fintech, bourgeoning SME landscapes and progressive governments are leading to a bright and connected tomorrow,” he added.

With insights from global and local Mastercard leadership, it maps the state of the evolving payments landscape in the region. And it examines the key themes shaping its future, from geopolitical and economic trends to shifts in consumer behaviour.

The report sets the scene with overall economic outlook for the rest of 2024 from the Mastercard Economics Institute. It highlights tourism as a bright spot, especially in the GCC region, one of the world’s fastest-growing destinations.

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The full report can be downloaded here.