DUBAI - Dubai-based payments processor Network International said on Thursday spending in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was now above pre-pandemic levels, supported by the world fair Expo 2020 Dubai.

International and domestic spending volumes increased 104% and 17% respectively year on year in December, Network International said in a statement. It said the figures were 12% and 17% respectively above pre-pandemic levels.

International spending accounted for 42% of the total spend at Expo 2020 in December, up from 34% when the event began in October, it said.

Before the pandemic, consultancy EY forecast the Expo would over the course of its six months contribute 1.5% to the UAE's gross domestic product.

(Reporting by Hadeel Al Sayegh Editing by Mark Potter) ((; +971566883310;))