One of the largest shopping malls in the world, at last report, is nowhere near the United States. It is in fact in Dubai. For those who visit, a cornucopia of experiences await, and for those visiting from China, a greater surprise: Alipay has been there ahead of them, and is waiting to be used.
The Dubai Mall is home to over 1,300 shops, at last report, and a range of exhibits, events and entertainments that run the gamut from movie theaters to virtual reality displays to even a horror-themed attraction known as “Hysteria,” the first of its kind in the region.
Just bringing in Alipay, however, isn’t enough for the Dubai Mall to address its Chinese guests; it’s set to not only bring in new Guest Services staffers who are fluent in Chinese, but also add new mall guides that are presented in Chinese.
Thanks to the new addition, Chinese tourists will be able to use Alipay’s Discover function to find stores throughout the massive mall, and pay for their orders in renminbi using Alipay right at the cashier stand. Chinese visitors will also be able to pay for meals and experiences in a similar fashion.
Since over 764,000 Chinese tourists hit Dubai last year, according to word from Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, there’s every reason to bring Alipay to the Dubai Mall. Even if each tourist represented just $10 in extra revenue for Alipay, that would be another seven-figure shot in the arm.
Alipay’s worldwide expansion has been on a tear in recent months, with the payment platform showing up just about anywhere a Chinese tourist might have a passing fancy to go see. From various Southeast Asian nations to the United States and beyond, Alipay wants to be waiting where its customers want to go. That’s exactly the kind of planning that’s likely keeping it on top in China; being able to operate worldwide accommodates not only Chinese tourists, but also Chinese big spenders, who are likely the same people.
Addressing the Chinese tourist to such a degree only cements the notion that Alipay is the “big bucks” alternative in Chinese mobile payments. It’s playing to its strengths here, and will likely be able to ride this latest new venue to ever-improving profitability.