Network International (NI), the most comprehensive and preferred card solutions provider in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), JCB, a major global payment brand, and JCB International, JCB's international subsidiary, have announced that they signed an agreement to expand JCB card acceptance in the UAE.
In May 2007, NI will phase in opening its merchant network, which will soon enable JCB card members to have access to NI's 10,000 merchants nationwide.
"The arrangement with NI will bring significant increase in JCB card members' convenience in the UAE," said Kenji Seto, Senior Deputy President of JCB International. "Currently, the Middle East is one of the markets JCB considers most important in terms of card acceptance. Especially, the UAE is the center of attention of many JCB cardmembers, the majority of whose card members are based in Asia, from a tourism perspective. According to the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), about 60,000 Japanese travelers visited Dubai, the commercial capital city of the nation. It is striking to know that the growth marks almost 30% up compared to the same period of previous year."
Seto also referred that one of the reasons JCB signed an agreement with NI as one of its acquiring partners is NI's broad merchant network base of hotels, restaurants, and other entertainment facilities patronized by visitors to the region, including the world's tallest all suite hotel, 'Burj Al Arab', which is recognized as the landmark tower in this region by travelers from around the world. At present, NI has the largest merchant base in the UAE with over 10,000 merchant outlets, covering 40% of the country's total credit card merchants.
Abdulla Qassem, Chairman, Network International, paid particular attention to the strengthening of trade relations between the UAE and Japan. He said, "There are around 40 Japanese companies currently established in Dubai and approximately 100 in Jebel Ali Free Zone (Free Trade Zone in Dubai), and as such they intend to boost ties with the UAE in general and Dubai in particular. Considering that today Japan ranks among the leading trading partners with the UAE, the timing of this agreement is just perfect."