“Lifestyle spending down but not out”

Published September 28th, 2009 - 10:01 GMT

Launching the new Dunia Diamond Credit Card in UAE, Executive Director and CEO Rajeev Kakar stresses the need to understand consumer needs and designing products that meet their aspirations.

Dunia Finance LLC, the Abu Dhabi based financial services company, poised to transform the landscape of financial services, recently launched an exclusive Diamond credit card targeting affluent consumers used to a discerning lifestyle. The credit card was developed around the “Add More” concept, as in today’s economic environment, the affluent cardholder has become increasingly sensitive about the kinds of rewards they expect from their card.

Lifestyle spending has been hit hard by the economic recession and figures released in the Bain and Company Luxury Market Update and published by Forbes clearly indicate that the sector has seen a steep downturn but is now stabilizing. The study states that the luxury market is closely tied with the stock market, and goes on to conclude that luxury spending will pick up again by 2011, with a full recovery anticipated by 2012.
Lifestyle spending habits have been transformed considerably by the global recession. One survey by Unity Marketing shows that more than 80% of affluent people today put much more consideration into their spending, prioritize and are more drawn to value and bargains. Furthermore, these changes are considered to be cultural, and are thus predicted to outlast the recession.

Need recognition
Explaining the rationale of launching the new Diamond Credit Card in the present scenario, Rajeev said: “We constantly talk to consumers and during formal and informal interactions, ask them what they want from us. In this process, we discovered that while affluent consumers may have curtailed their spending on lifestyle items, they are still keen to continue availing of benefits and value in the areas of hospitality, sporting and health activities, travel, and even fashion.”

In line with dunia’s customer centric approach, dunia has responded to customer needs through the exclusive diamond credit card which offers a bouquet of benefits like ‘Add More Leisure’ - which includes complimentary golf club and beach club access, and ‘Add More Fitness’ - which gives the member the privilege to enjoy access in health clubs, discounts at spas and healthy dining areas. The Diamond credit card is designed to cater to its elite members with the best offers and finest services in various segments - the more points they add to the card, the more they benefit from it.

“We hope to keep adding value to our customers by adding more benefits to our Dunia Diamond Credit Card to match their lifestyle and making the customer realize the real value they are getting, ” added Rajeev. “Add More was designed to cover all aspects of modern life, from leisure to wellness, travel to entertainment, shopping to dining… you name it! Most cards limit customers’ end use of their miles / points that they accumulate.  However, with the Dunia Diamond Credit Card, you have an almost endless list of possibilities.  ”

Consumer speak
Among affluent consumers, who expressed a need for more value on lifestyle purchases, there is a cross section of demographics, views and aspirations – with one thing in common: They wish to continue spending on a select list of products and services they consider necessary.

“I love golf, and although I am already a member of a golf club, occasionally I like to play at other clubs with my friends. Now I feel great that I have a card that gives me access to more than one golf club, and I can change the courses and friends that I play with“, explains Avi Bhojani, Group CEO, BPG Group.

“For me, Dunia’s Diamond Card is all about the personalised service and the wide variety of benefits which suit my lifestyle.  Traveling is my passion, and this card allows me to make the most out of the little time off I have” says Philip Lynch, CEO of Nomura Middle East and Africa.

“I have enjoyed using my Dunia Diamond Credit Card. Due to Ramadan, I have not been able to avail of all the fantastic offers I have received with my new card. I am looking forward to enjoying many benefits made available to me, through this Dunia Diamond Credit Card. All the retailers have been fascinated by this new card and its impressive design and looks! I have also enjoyed a very personal and friendly relationship with dunia…” says Shabnam Khan.

“Dunia is the perfect card for my lifestyle. It gives me exclusive dining privileges as well as beach and gym access.  I do not need to carry any other card in my wallet.  With all these true value adding privileges & benefits, my Dunia Diamond credit card is the only card I use now despite having several other cards in my wallet”, said Suleyman Sagiroglu, Regional Vice President at Chartis Memsa Insurance Company Ltd.

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