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Alipay+ debuts in Saudi Arabia, providing seamless mobile payments for global tourists, especially Asians, in line with the Middle East’s tourism resurgence.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Saudi Tourism Authority and Ant Group calls for the launch of Alipay+, a unified suite of international mobile payment and marketing solutions, in Saudi Arabia. With this move, Alipay+’s global coverage will be further expanded while also offering Asian travelers visiting the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and other destinations a smooth mobile payment experience.

As far as the global tourism comeback goes, the Middle East is in the lead. A UN World Tourism Organization report states that between January and July 2023, tourist arrivals in the region were 20% higher than pre-pandemic levels. Cross-border travel is increasing globally as well. As per the research, there were over 700 million tourists who traveled abroad between January and July of 2023.

With a one-time integration and minimal technological modification, Ant Group’s 2020 introduction of Alipay+ seeks to empower local businesses—particularly small and medium-sized enterprises—to accept a broad variety of mobile payment methods and connect with over 1.4 billion regional and worldwide customers. Currently, Alipay+ is accessible in more than 50 markets around Asia, Europe, and the Middle East that are not in China.

At the Saudi Tourism Authority, Choon Yang Quek, chief technology officer, said, “We are excited to work with Ant Group to explore introducing their industry-leading technology to Saudi.” Travelers visiting Saudi Arabia will benefit from a more smooth and integrated payment experience thanks to Alipay+, which allows them to use their accustomed home payment methods when visiting new locations. This project will promote stronger relations between Saudi Arabians and Chinese citizens while also assisting in the expansion of Saudi Arabia’s tourism industry.

mobile payment

Saudi Arabia MoU on AliPay+

Head of Ant Group’s Alipay+ cross-border mobile payment services and senior vice president Douglas Feagin stated: “We are thrilled to collaborate with the Saudi Tourism Authority to expand Alipay+ into a new market and promote foreign travel to Saudi Arabia.” We sincerely hope that our partnership will not only improve tourists’ travel experiences but also link Saudi companies with a larger global traveler base.

Travelers traveling across borders can benefit from a number of practical services offered by Alipay+ to further improve their travel experiences. There is no longer a requirement for cash transactions at a variety of establishments, including eateries, shops, lodging facilities, and tourist destinations, as guests may simply pay with their well-known home payment methods.

“This is great news for our tourism industry, as it will provide more convenience, familiarity, and security for Chinese travelers and other Asian tourists who prefer to use mobile payment methods,” stated Alhasan Aldabbagh, president of APAC markets at the Saudi Tourism Authority. We are confident that this partnership will further our goal of making Saudi Arabia a premier worldwide tourism destination and increase its appeal as a travel destination for tourists from around the world.

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