Seamless UPI Payments for Indian Tourists and Residents


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Great news for Indian expats and tourists in the UAE! The beloved Unified Payments Interface (UPI) has arrived, offering a secure and convenient way to make payments across more than 60,000 outlets in the country.


This marks a significant development in the financial landscape of the UAE, catering to the large Indian population residing and visiting the region. With over 350 million active users and a staggering 14.04 billion transactions processed in May 2024 alone, UPI has revolutionized digital payments in India.

What is UPI?

Developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), UPI is a revolutionary payment system that allows users to:

  • Link multiple bank accounts to a single mobile application.
  • Make instant money transfers directly between accounts.
  • Utilize QR codes for secure and contactless payments at participating merchants.

Benefits for Indian Expats and Tourists in the UAE

The introduction of UPI in the UAE offers a multitude of advantages for Indian residents and visitors:

  • Convenience: Eliminate the hassle of carrying cash or converting currencies. Simply use your linked Indian bank account and a QR code for quick and secure transactions.
  • Familiarity: Enjoy the comfort of using a trusted payment system you’re already familiar with from back home.
  • Security: UPI transactions leverage the robust security infrastructure of Indian banks, ensuring peace of mind.
  • Widespread Acceptance: With over 60,000 outlets already on board, you’ll find UPI acceptance at a vast range of businesses, including:
    • Retail Stores
    • Restaurants and Cafes
    • Tourist Attractions
    • Malls (including Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates)
    • Supermarkets
    • Transportation Services

The rollout of UPI acceptance is expected to be progressive, gradually encompassing a wider range of businesses within the retail, hospitality, transport, and supermarket sectors.

A Win-Win Situation

This initiative is a win-win for both Indian expats and tourists in the UAE, as well as the UAE economy itself. Here’s why:

  • Simplified Transactions: UPI streamlines the payment process for Indian customers, boosting their spending power and contributing to the UAE’s tourism and retail sectors.
  • Enhanced Customer Experience: By offering a familiar and preferred payment option, businesses can attract and retain Indian customers, fostering customer loyalty.
  • Promotion of Digital Payments: The wider adoption of UPI in the UAE paves the way for further innovation in digital payment solutions across the region.

Quotes and Partnerships

The official launch of UPI in the UAE was announced at a recent event in Dubai. Key representatives included:

  • Network International: A leading force in digital commerce across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
  • NPCI International: The international arm of the National Payments Corporation of India, responsible for promoting UPI globally.
  • Mr. Satish Kumar Sivan: Consul General of India to the UAE.

Ritesh Shukla, CEO of NPCI International, highlighted the significance of the partnership:

“Our partnership with Network International will deepen UPI’s presence in the UAE. By growing UPI payment acceptance across merchants in the UAE, we are not only providing Indian travellers with a seamless and familiar payment experience but also promoting the use of innovative digital payment solutions internationally.”

Looking Ahead

The arrival of UPI in the UAE paves the way for a more integrated financial landscape, fostering stronger economic ties between India and the UAE. As UPI acceptance continues to expand, Indian expats and tourists can look forward to a more convenient and familiar way to manage their finances while enjoying all that the UAE has to offer.

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