Cashless payments are growing faster than expected in UAE

29 Jul 2021

The United Arab Emirates is a country known for its forward-thinking, tech-savvy, pro-business approach.  Also, of course, for its love of shopping, and wider consumerism, on a grand scale.
So, maybe this is why cashless payments are gaining traction faster than previously anticipated across the UAE following the pandemic, according to officials.

UAE cashless summit

Speaking at the second Digipay Summit in Dubai, Abdulaziz Alnuaimi, Assistant Undersecretary at the UAE Ministry of Economy, said: “The increasing shift to digital payments is associated with the efficiency of the country’s infrastructure on regulatory framework and the reflection of the growing confidence among consumers and businesses in the UAE.
“In the United Arab Emirates, our visionary leaders have been supporting and encouraging both government agencies and corporations to digitise services, systems, and organisations even before the pandemic. Today, we're doubling down on what our leaders initiated long before a complete shutdown of the world.
“More than ever we are keen on adopting the latest and most advanced technological tools and software and attracting the brightest minds. The launch of UAE’s digital government strategy is to ensure that the UAE government is digitised by design. This strategy is set to integrate all capacities, structures and opportunities.”

Global reports

This accelerated transformation towards a cashless society that’s taking place in the UAE is also being picked up in several international studies.
For example, The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), has ranked the UAE as the third best country in the world when it comes to digital services’ adoption.
Meanwhile, The Cashless Countries report by, a UK-based price comparison website, ranks the UAE as the eighth most cashless society in the world. According to the report, the UAE is likely to become the first cashless country in the Middle East.  Canada, Hong Kong and Singapore are the leaders according to this research.
Elsewhere, according to a poll by Standard Chartered last year, almost two-thirds of people in the UAE, or 64 per cent, expect the country to become fully cashless by 2030.
The transition from banknotes and coins towards cards payments, contactless and e-wallets presents many advantages.
Cashless payments allow for quick and easy transactions and have no border friction when overseas, plus the creation of digital paper trails could help to reduce tax fraud and money laundering.
The UAE’s Ministry of Economy continues to support the government’s efforts to drive digital transformation and aid the country's transition towards a digital economy, said Alnuaimi.
The government is taking “concrete steps to establish a robust, digital economy” by capitalising on the benefits of digital transformation, he added. 

Dubai: fintech hub

It’s this approach from the top towards innovation that led deVere to establish a new digital finance hub in Dubai last year – yes, in the middle of a global pandemic!
Also, the Emirate is recognised as one of the world’s most important financial centres. Dubai will likely become one of the top 10 international financial hubs to rival and more assertively compete with others including London, New York and Hong Kong.
Dubai already has a helping hand in this sense, thanks to having an independent regulator and judicial system, pro-business government, global financial exchange, dynamic business community, many HNW individuals, world-class infrastructure, exceptional digital and telecommunications, English as the number one business language, along with the enviable location and time zone.