The UAE is comprised of seven emirates, including Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm al-Quwain. Government efforts to transform the economy through the development of a business environment that drives economic growth has contributed to the rise of the region as a finance, tourism and trade hub.
Between 2008 and 2012, prepaid cards posted a compounded annual growth rate of 13.33 percent, the largest share in the cards and payments industry, while debit cards grew by 8.19 percent and charge cards grew by 5.62 percent. Credit cards grew by 0.92 percent over the same period.
The prepaid card industry is expected to grow by 9.45 percent by 2017. Banks will respond to changing customer demands through new product offerings and increasingly popular card customization.
Contactless and NFC payments have also gained momentum in the UAE, and the online trade market has contributed to the growth of the region’s cards and payments industry.