UAE expats expected to remit more money in Ramadan

UAE Exchange CEO expects another spike ahead of Eid to Pakistan, Philippines and India

UAE Exchange, an Abu Dhabi-based global currency exchange provider, is expecting remittances from the UAE to South Asian countries to increase sharply ahead of Eid.

Company chief executive officer Promoth Manghat told Arabian Business they expect a double-digit growth in remittances before Eid, a similar spike witnessed in the first week of Ramadan.

“The month of Ramadan generally witnesses a spike in remittances as people tend to send more money, especially in the first week. We experienced a double digit growth during the period,” he said.

“Similarly, we could experience a spike in remittances again in the last week. This would be primarily because of the Eid with the salary cycle happening to fall closer to it.”

While no remittance numbers were shared, the CEO revealed the top receivers of remittances were India, Pakistan, Philippines, Egypt and Bangladesh.

In May, Pakistani newspaper Dawn said remittances to Pakistan registered a spike during the opening days of Ramadan, but gave no details on total remittances received.

The World Bank, in a recent report, said though India retained its top spot as the world's largest remittance recipient, inflows fell by 8.9 percent to $62.7 billion (AED230bn) in 2016 from $68.9bn in 2015. 

Other countries making it to the top five list were China ($61bn), the Philippines ($29.9bn), Mexico ($28.5bn) and Pakistan ($19.8bn).

Total remittances to developing countries reached $429bn in 2016, falling 2.4 percent, from $440bn in 2015, the report said. Global remittances, which include flows to high-income countries, also contracted by 1.2 percent to $575bn in 2016, from $582bn in 2015, it added.

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