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Sat 30 Apr 2016 01:10 AM

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Middle East remittances said to exceed $120bn in 2015

Research by Xpress Money says remittances are rising rapidly among Arab nationals transferring money from the GCC

Middle East remittances said to exceed $120bn in 2015
construction workers, labour camp, labourers

The Middle East saw outward remittances of more than $120 billion during 2015, cementing its place as one of the top remittance hubs in the world, according to new research.

The study by money transfer brand Xpress Money indicated that remittances within the Middle East are rising rapidly, particularly with the Arab nationals transferring money from GCC countries to other Arab countries.

The research showed that not only are Arabs sending money more frequently, but the amounts tend to also be larger.

Of all Arab expatriates across multiple nationalities surveyed, 71 percent said that they send money back home, with 38 percent sending money home at least once a month, and another 32 percent sending money at least every 2-3 months.

On average, Arabs are also more likely to send more money home, with figures showing expat Arab remitters based in select GCC countries regularly transferring amounts in the $700-1,000 range.

Xpress Money said that while the $120 billion outward remittance figure for the Middle East includes destinations the world over, including prolific receivers in South/South East Asia, non-GCC Arab countries are rising on the list.

Xpress Money's COO Sudhesh Giriyan said: "The GCC is considered a vibrant job market and destination for Middle Eastern expatriate Arabs. They understand the culture and the language, and are well placed to take advantage of job opportunities created through trade, tourism, and large events such as the upcoming Expo2020.

"We are seeing this demographic increase not just in numbers but also spending power and the desire to remit money back home. And with the GCC job market staying largely secure, we expect these trends to continue and even accelerate."

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