Posted on July 09, 2016

Remittances from Qatar during Ramadan and Eid Al-Fitr jumped by up to 40 percent compared to the previous month. Exchange houses saw a large number of expatriates lining up to send money to their families back home. “We saw around 35-40 percent rise in remittances. “Ramadan is the best month for exchange houses in Qatar because maximum number of transactions in a year happen during the Holy Month,” said Shan Kamarudheen, Business Development Manager, City Express Money Transfer.

“Maximum number of transactions happened in the last 10 days of Ramadan,” he added. Many people were also seen sending money to others which showed that it was meant for zakat or Eid-related expenses, he said. “We saw 15-20 percent growth in remittances during Ramadan, which increased during the last days of the Holy Month,” said Zuber Abdul Rahman, Operations Manager, Al Zaman Exchange. “Majority of remitters were from Egypt, India, Pakistan, the Philippines, Nepal, Bangladesh, Morocco and Sri Lanka,” he added. Remittances rise during Ramadan as most Asian expatriates send money to their families to meet expenses during the Holy Month and for Eid. 

“Eid is an occasion when all our relatives come together to celebrate it. My family organises special gatherings on Eid for our family members and relatives,” said Indian Mohamed Khalid, who works for a construction firm. “I make it a point every Ramadan to send money to my family so that they can celebrate Eid with traditional fervour.” Exchange houses revised working hours during Ramadan and were open from 9am until midnight. Their branches at shopping malls were open for longer hours, to cope with the rush. Exchange houses also witnessed huge demand for foreign currencies as people are going abroad for vacation. 

Foreign currencies in high demand were the dollar, euro and pound sterling, followed by Saudi riyal and Emirati dirham. Demand for these currencies shows the destinations people are opting for vacation. Most Asian currencies did not see any volatility during Ramadan and were stable. Remittances from Qatar and GCC countries have continued to grow despite sharp drop in oil prices. Remittances from Saudi Arabia and Qatar, which account for around half of the total from the GCC, increased by seven percent through the third quarter of 2015, according to the ‘Migration and Remittances Recent Developments and Outlook’ report released recently. Total remittances by expatriates from Qatar was around $11.2bn in 2014. 

source: The Peninsula