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Saudi Tourists Spend Millions to Have Some Fun in Glitzy Dubai

Excerpt from Wall Street Journal

Sep 05, 2013 1:28 am

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Dubai’s nightlife continues to bring it business, just not always from the usual suspects.

— Eliza Ronalds-Hannon

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Tom Sespene  / Flickr

The Marina Yacht Club, in Dubai. Tom Sespene / Flickr


Showing that being boring has a measurable economic cost for Saudi Arabia, an annual tourism-spending overview by payments network operator Visa Inc. has spending by Saudi tourists surging 29 percent in glitzy Dubai and other spots in the United Arab Emirates last year.

Saudi tourists in the Emirates put $420 million on their Visa cards in 2012, jumping to third place in UAE spending…

“The irony is that Saudi Arabia looks across Dubai in a fairly disapproving way. But they love it, there’s no doubt about it,” said [Philip Wooller, regional director for STR Global.]

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