Visa, one of the world's biggest electronic payments companies, opened a new office in Dubai that will serve as the headquarters for about 90 countries in the Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (Cemea) region.
The 9,290-square-metre office in Dubai Internet City is designed to promote a hybrid working environment and will house up to 750 employees in the future, the company said on Monday.
The office will also have an innovation centre to advance the company's ambitions to tap into the fast-growing digital commerce industry in the region.
"The new space is a realisation of our vision of a workplace of the future – a place where our employees, clients and partners can seamlessly collaborate to create solutions, develop user experiences and share ideas – all with the goal of helping businesses, individuals and economies thrive," said Visa's Cemea region president Andrew Torre.
Online payment companies are continuing to grow as consumers increasingly transact online amid the pandemic.
The global payments industry posted its first contraction in 11 years last year but is on track to quickly return to its long-term growth trajectory, helped by the digitisation of consumer and commercial transactions, a recent McKinsey & Company report said.
The industry's losses in 2020 – largely due to the Covid-19 pandemic – will be recouped this year, putting revenue in a position to return to the range of 2019's record high and hit about $2.5 trillion by 2025, it said.
The innovation centre at Visa's Cemea headquarters spans 929 square metres and will feature experience zones covering connected homes, rapid transit, connected cars, cryptocurrency, retail concepts and airline lounges, as well as a small merchant bazaar.
The new space is also home to Cemea’s first Visa University campus, which will host a string of training and educational programmes for employees, clients and partners.
Mr Torre, who described the office as an "important milestone" for its operations in the Cemea region, said it is also designed to ensure the well-being of employees.
"We want to offer our employees the flexibility of a hybrid work model and have put the necessary infrastructure, technology and policies in place to support a work environment that allows for both on-site and remote working, and includes several health and safety solutions that will always place the health and safety of our employees and visitors as a priority," he said.
Visa beat estimates in its fiscal fourth quarter, with net revenue rising 29 per cent from a year ago to $6.6 billion.
Net income in the three months to the end of September was $3.6bn, or $1.65 per share, an increase of 68 per cent and 70 per cent, respectively, over the previous year.
The company also reported an increase in cryptocurrency transactions, with more than $1bn spent by Visa users on products and services through cryptocurrency-linked cards globally in the first half of 2021.