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Let’s Talk UAE Remittances

July 4th, 2015

The UAE today, is one of the very few countries in the world that can boast of being multi-cultural and diverse, with a 9.44 million strong population. The country’s booming economy, increasing employment opportunities and a better quality of life, continue to attract thousands of migrants each year, who contribute significantly to this progressive economy.

11% local UAE nationals

An industry overview

Owing to the immense migration the country witnesses, it is not surprising that the country sees a significant growth in the remittance industry, year on year. The latest World Bank Report clearly indicates that the UAE has climbed its way up, to be included as the top 3 remittance sending countries in the world.

UAE contribution to remittances from Middle East

The customer

People, contributing to the booming UAE remittance market are widely classified into blue collar and white collar customers. Blue collar customers are those who remit regularly, month-on-month, to support their families, back in their home countries. This segment largely sends smaller amounts of money through International Money Transfer Operators at Exchange Houses, using the ‘Cash Pick up’ service. On the other hand, white collar customers are those who remit larger amounts of money occasionally, when the exchange rates are good or when he or she chooses to do so. A ‘Bank Account’ transfer service is generally opted for, by this section of customers, to send money.

Competitive money transfer market

Costs of sending money

The high costs that are associated with sending remittances have been a cause of concern for regulators, the world over. The UAE, however, has confronted this issue head-on and successfully worked towards lowering the costs of sending remittances from the country. The World Bank Report states that in the UAE, a customer pays around 6.6% to send USD 200 – an amount considered to be relatively lower as compared to many other countries in the world.

The future

The future of this industry looks bright in the wake of the country hosting global events and projects. Expo 2020, Etihad Rail and numerous other infrastructure development projects, are likely to give rise to plentiful job opportunities and further attract talent from across the globe. The Expo 2020, itself is estimated to create 2,77,000 jobs, over the next five years, which will have a direct impact on the remittance industry. Additionally, the UAE government is keenly focusing on advancement in technology and innovation, giving impetus to new mobile and electronic channels, which will further, positively boost the industry. Moreover, the attractive tourism sector also majorly contributes to this mushrooming remittance industry and will continue to do so

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