Surge in average remittance during Ramadan and Eid reflects resilience of the Gulf economy, suggests new report

The average remittance amount to Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Ghana, saw double-digit percentage growth during the Holy Month and Eid


DUABI:  New research into remittances during the Holy Season has highlighted the UAE’s ability to bounce back from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

By analysing actual transfer data, NOW Money, the GCC’s first digital banking and payroll solution for low-income people, found a substantial increase in the average remittance made by essential workers from the UAE during the Holy Season.

As well as reflecting the resilience of the Gulf economy during the crisis, the NOW Money Holy Season Remittance Report also shows that the act of giving, which is so deeply rooted in Ramadan, remains strong. The average remittance amount to Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Ghana, saw double-digit percentage growth during the Holy Month and Eid.

Other key findings from the report, which compared the average remittance in AED during Ramadan and Eid 2021, with the average monthly remittance during the 11-months prior, show:

Key findings from the NOW Money report, show:

  • Average remittance amount to Pakistan increased the most: The average remittance from the UAE to Pakistan grew by 59% during the Holy Season. From the start of Ramadan 2021 to the end of Eid, 2021, the average remittance to Pakistan was AED 682.
  • Average remittance amount to India was the highest: The average remittance from the UAE to India during Ramadan and Eid was AED 744, the highest of the corridors analysed.
  • Significant increase in the average remittance to Sri Lanka: The average remittance per customer to Sri Lanka during the Holy Season was AED 655, compared to AED 473 during the 11-months prior.
  • Money transfer to the African corridor increased during the Holy Season: The average remittance amount to Ghana grew by 17% whilst the average remittance to Kenya increased by 6%.

Katharine Budd, co-founder of NOW Money, said: “Remittances from the UAE, especially those being sent to traditionally Muslim destinations, are usually expected to increase during the Holy Season. However, seeing a surge in the average amount of remittance, even as we continue to experience the repercussions of a global pandemic, has proved the resilience of both the economy and essential workers in the UAE”.

“The restriction of movement forced upon the region in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic accelerated digital as our consumers’ transaction channel of choice – habits which are likely to remain ingrained long after Coronavirus. Last year, engagement with the NOW Money app doubled as our customers sought the benefits of online services. Sending money home using our transfer marketplace offers customers competitive transfer fees, removes the need to travel to an exchange house and enables live tracking of transactions. For financial services, the pandemic has proven that digital solutions are more than a luxury, they are an urgent necessity.”

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