The fees for remitting money for expatriates from the UAE will rise by 15 percent, it was announced on Monday.

The Foreign Exchange and Remittance Group (FERG), representing the exchange houses in the UAE, said they received approval from the authorities to increase the fee by 15 per cent, which equates to Dh2.5.

The body said the fee hike will take place for remittance services provided through physical branches of the exchange houses. However, remittances offered via mobile apps will most likely remain unchanged or even reduced to maintain digital competitiveness.

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“This move ensures that exchange houses can sustain the delivery of high-quality services while addressing the changing regulatory requirements and associated operational costs, all of which were maintained without fee increases for the past five years,” said Mohammad A. Al Ansari, chairman of Ferg.

The UAE is one of the world’s largest remittance markets, with most of the remittances flowing to India, Egypt, Pakistan, Bangladesh, the Philippines and other Asian and Middle Eastern countries. The UAE also has one of the highest populations of foreign workers, accounting for nearly 85 per cent of the UAE’s population.

Ferg said this is the exchange houses' first fee adjustment in five years to meet related cost increases since the previous update.