Expat remittances from Qatar soar to nearly $7bn

Statistics authority figures show 33% rise in money sent home in 2009 - report.

SENDING POWER: Remittances from Qatar have increased dramatically due to an influx of expat workers.

SENDING POWER: Remittances from Qatar have increased dramatically due to an influx of expat workers.

Expat worker remittances leaving Qatar rose to more than QR25bn ($7bn) last year as the foreign workforce continued to grow.

Latest figures released by the Qatar Central Bank (QCB), showed Qatar’s population grew to more than 1.63 million last year, driven by the influx of expat workers.

Remittances in 2008 amounted to QR19.03bn when the country’s population was estimated at a little more than 1.55 million, Gulf Times reported, citing figures published by the country's statistics authority.

Between 2008 and 2009 alone, workers’ remittances grew 33.3 percent, according to central bank figures, the paper added.

The figures also said that in the five years between 2005 and 2009, foreign workers remitted almost QR86bn (approx $24bn).

Earlier this month, a new report by Euromonitor International said Qatar's population was predicted to grow by a third in the next 20 years, driven by a continuing influx of expat workers needed for the Gulf state's burgeoning industries.

In 2030, the population is set to reach 2.4 million, an increase of 32.8 percent from 2010, the report added.

The study said immigration would account for about 74 percent of the net increase in Qatar’s total population over the next two decades.

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