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Tue 11 Sep 2018 10:14 AM

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Weak rupee means time is right to visit India, says UAE ambassador

In August, an Indian official forecast that the weakness of the Indian rupee will mean a 10 percent increase in inbound tourism

Weak rupee means time is right to visit India, says UAE ambassador
The weakening of the Indian rupee make the country an attractive destination for investors and tourists, according to Indian ambassador Navdeep Singh Suri.

The weakening of the Indian rupee make the country an attractive destination for investors and tourists, according to Indian ambassador Navdeep Singh Suri.

On Tuesday morning, the rupee stood at 72.39 to the dollar and 19.71 to the UAE dirham.

The previous day, the rupee closed at an all-time low of 72.45 to the dollar. Analysts have said that they expect to rupee to hit the 20 dirham mark over the course of the next few days.

Affordable destination

Speaking on the sidelines of a press conference announcing the upcoming Indian-UAE Partnership Summit (IUPS) in Dubai, ambassador Suri said that he expects the exchange rate makes India an increasingly attractive option for visitors from the UAE and the Gulf.

“It’s the right time to travel to India, absolutely,” he said. “India has suddenly become a much more affordable destination.”

With his remarks, Suri has become the latest Indian official to forecast that inflows of foreign tourists to India will increase because of the rupee’s weak exchange rate.

In August, Subhash Goyal, the chairman of the Tourism Committee of the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India, noted that the weakened rupee has made the country a “cheaper foreign destination” for travellers and predicted that inbound tourism will benefit by 10 percent.

A total of 10.18 million foreign tourists visited India in 2017, a 15.6 percent increase from the previous year. In April, Indian tourism officials in Dubai for the Arabian Travel Market noted that visitors from the GCC went up 10 percent the same year.

Multiple factors

Promoth Manghat, group CEO and executive director of Finablr said some of the major factors attributed to the ongoing weakening of the rupee included US-China trade war, rate hikes by the US Fed, economic turmoil in Turkey and Argentina, US sanction plan against Iran, rising oil prices, and India’s widening trade deficit. 

"With crude oil prices and global political conditions dictating the status of the Indian currency in the next few months, we foresee the Indian Rupee to further slide down in the last quarter of the year and giving expats another opportunity to remit more," Manghat said. 

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