MasterCard has launched the Middle Eastern version of its global ‘Priceless Cities’ programme through the introduction of ‘Priceless Arabia’, a campaign targeting luxury consumers in the region.
Priceless Arabia is a digital platform that offers all the MasterCard holders access to exclusive luxury services and activities across the globe, primarily in the Middle East.
The campaign, which was launched in Dubai, will also provide users a range of basic discounts covering dining, entertainment, travel, attractions, sports and shopping.
Dining offers include buy-one-get-one-free meals and travel deals include 15 per cent off the Best Available Rate at Jumeirah’s UAE hotels before December 31.
“With its rich cultural heritage and booming tourism and travel sector, the Middle East is the ideal market to introduce our latest priceless cities campaign, which stresses the importance of memorable experiences rather than material things,” said Raghu Malhotra, division president, MENA, MasterCard.
The Priceless Cities programme has been launched in 26 cities so far including New York, London and Singapore. But unlike other regions, MasterCard has introduced a common programme for the MENA region as a whole.
Eslam Darwish, the head of marketing, MENA at MasterCard said that it is more viable from a business perspective to launch a common programme across the entire region than in individual cities.
“Priceless Arabia is what we refer to as the golden triangle where it is about driving opportunities for business in the region, adding value to all the merchants and increasing footfall through their doors, ultimately adding value to our cardholders,” said Darwish.
The launch of the new campaign comes at the heels of rising consumer expenditure in the region, especially through credit and debit cards.
Growth in the use of credit and debit cards in the MENA region added around $18 billion to the region’s economies over a four-year period, found a recent report released earlier this year.
The study, by Moody’s Analytics and Visa, found that increased use of electronic payment methods added over $10 billion to the GCC’s economy between 2008 and 2012.
In the UAE, a rise in the use of credit and debit cards added $4.2 billion to the country’s GDP while Saudi Arabia’s GDP saw a $4.7 billion rise.
Kuwait and Qatar saw more modest rises of $1.2 billion and $0.4 billion respectively.
The Middle East also commands a strong luxury market with Dubai having around 30 per cent of the luxury goods market in the region and an overwhelming 60 per cent of the market share in the UAE, according to a Bain & Company report earlier this year.
The report also said that the Middle East is growing at a steady pace in terms of its luxury goods consumption.