UAE remittances hit $1.36 billion over Eid

Daily average sent over past week was three times that for the rest of the year

Expats in the UAE sent home around $1.36 billion (AED5 billion) in the last week of Ramadan, Al Ansari Exchange has estimated.

Remittances during Eid Al-Fitr rose by 20 percent from the same time last year, Al Arabiya news channel reported, citing Arabic daily Al Bayan.

Mohammed Ali Al Ansari, executive director of Al Ansari, one of the largest exchange houses in the UAE, said this year’s Eid Al-Fitr had seen a “huge growth” in remittances, in particular to Arab and Asian countries.

The daily average sent home by expats over the past week was three times the usual daily average registered at other times in the year, Al Ansari was quoted as saying.

The jump was attributed to an overall increase in incomes this year, region-wide economic uncertainty prompting high savings rates from expats, and the strong value of the dollar-pegged UAE dirham.

Last month’s Brexit vote would also have had an impact, Al Ansari said, as the value of the pound plummeted and British expats in Dubai rushed to send money home.

Expats make up over 80 percent of the UAE’s population. Remittances last year stood at $23.88 billion, according to figure from the UAE Central Bank.

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