Outward remittances from the UAE rose three per cent or Dh4.8 billion to Dh169.2 billion in 2018 compared to Dh164.4 billion in the previous year with more residents remitting money through exchange houses than banking channels.
According to the UAE Central Bank’s 2018 annual report, the outward personal remittances that were settled through the banks decreased from Dh42.7 billion in 2017 to Dh40.3 billion in 2018, declining by 5.6 per cent or Dh2.4 billion. Meanwhile, remittances sent through the exchange houses totalled Dh128.9 billion, an increase of six per cent or Dh7.3 billion when compared to 2017.
India continued to remain the top destination for remittances due to depreciation in rupee’s value against dirham and a large number of non-resident Indians working in the Emirates.
With Eid Al Fitr approaching, remittances to India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Egypt and other Muslim countries surge ahead of the holiday seasons.
Industry executives say that remittances grow around five per cent during Eid holidays.
“Usually, we see between four and eight per cent growth in remittances just before and during Eid, said Rajiv Raipancholia, Treasurer, Foreign Exchange Remittances Group (Ferg) and CEO of Orient Exchange.
With dirham going strong against the Asian currencies, analysts suggested that it was high time to remit funds. Raipancholia had suggested that NRIs should look at 19.50 to 19.75 rupee rate versus dirham to remit long-term investments which would be reasonable a good rate.
Indian nationals accounted for 27.5 per cent of the UAE’s population and 38.1 per cent of total remittance outflows. The next five most important countries in the share of outflows of personal remittances were Pakistan (9.5 per cent or Dh16 billion), Philippines (7.2 per cent or Dh12.2 billion), Egypt (5.3 per cent or Dh9 billion), and the USA (3.9 per cent or Dh6.6 billion).
A World Bank report in April had said that India retained its position as the world’s top recipient of remittances with overseas Indians sending a whopping $79 billion back home in 2018. Global remittances, which include flows to high-income countries, reached $689 billion in 2018, up from $633 billion in 2017.