The Statistics Centre - Abu Dhabi (SCAD) signed an agreement with Network International, the leading enabler of digital commerce across the Middle East and Africa, as part of SCAD’s strategy to develop economic forecasts by analyzing consumer spending data for residents and tourists. The cooperation of the two parties involves the provision of information on consumer spending in Abu Dhabi leveraging Network International's robust technological infrastructure, which will enhance the Emirate's competitiveness and will paint a clearer picture of the current state of the local economy, regarding payments and economic performance.

His Excellency Ahmed Mahmoud Fikri, Director General of SCAD, said: "In view of the rapid economic changes taking place, it is necessary to build leading partnerships and find accurate and modern sources of data that will contribute to forecasting and planning decisions conducive to economic development." His Excellency also stressed that SCAD is keen to build these partnerships to strengthen the fields of statistics and data, which is regarded as a key national asset in our times and an enabler of the Abu Dhabi government’s future development and competitiveness."

Fikri explained that through this cooperation, SCAD will employ these techniques and modern models of statistics and analysis for timely and regular production of information. For example, it will be possible to produce monthly data and analyze the spending of different demographic groups in any region, market or sector, and for any commodity. In addition, it will be easy to track any change in spending patterns in the given data, which will provide other information and analysis that would allow SCAD to gain valuable insights into the future.

He noted that this agreement establishes  the principles for collaboration and information security in a manner that meets SCAD requirements and complements the emirate's vision towards the information age.

Ian Jiggens, President of Network International’s Advisory and Information Services business said: “As the leading enabler of digital commerce across the MEA, Network International has always supported the economic progress of the UAE. In line with this, we are excited to be providing SCAD with significant and timely payments data to support decision making for the advancement of the UAE’s future prosperity.  Consumer spending behaviour and patterns have changed substantially and in lasting ways as a result of the pandemic. Our partnership is intended to help the government make insights-driven decisions to chart new opportunities and enhance the competitive advantage of Abu Dhabi.”