UAE expats' money transfers hit $21.6bln in six months

Biggest recipients are India, Philippines, Pakistan

Image used for illustrative purpose. United Arab Emirates dirham.

Image used for illustrative purpose. United Arab Emirates dirham.

Getty Images

Remittances made by expatriates from the UAE reached 79.6 billion UAE dirhams ($21.6 billion) during the first half of the year, according to the latest data released by the UAE Central Bank.

A huge proportion of the cash outflows landed in the pockets of beneficiaries in India, the top-receiving country during the period, followed by the Philippines, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Egypt and the United States (US).

The remittances represent nearly half or 48.2 percent of the total money transferred by foreigners in the country last year, which reached 165 billion dirhams.

It’s not clear if the first-half year remittances have posted a decline, although  in its quarterly report, the central bank noted that outward personal remittances declined by 10.3 percent or 4.4 billion in the second quarter of the year, compared to the same period last year.

Transfers made through exchange houses also declined by 4.6 billion dirhams, while remittances through banks went up by 0.3 billion.

The World Bank had earlier projected global remittances to decline by about 20 percent this year due to the economic crisis caused by the pandemic.

The decline would be the sharpest in recent history and will be largely fuelled by a fall in wages and job losses among expatriates.

In the UAE, it was earlier forecast that hundreds of thousands of expatriates could lose their jobs this year due to the outbreak.

(Writing by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria)

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