India was the top recipient of remittances from expatriates living and working in the UAE during the fourth quarter, data from the country’s monetary authority show.
Total remittances from the country meanwhile rose 2.2 percent to 164.3 billion dirhams in 2017 from 160.8 billion dirhams the previous year, the UAE Central said. About 121.66 billion dirhams of the aggregate amount were transacted through money exchanges, while the rest were coursed through other financial institutions.
For the fourth quarter alone, Indian expatriates sent 14.8 billion dirhams back home, which was about 34.2 percent of the total 43.2 billion dirhams in remitted from the UAE during the three-month period.
The money sent by non-resident Indians, who number by as much as 200 million worldwide, contribute 3.3 percent to the subcontinent’s gross national product and benefits over 800 million family members mostly dependent on overseas relatives for their household expenditures.
Pakistani expatriates meanwhile were the second-biggest remitters of money during the October-November stretch last year, with 4.1 billion dirhams sent back home or 7.1 percent of the total; followed by Filipinos at 7.1 percent; Americans at 5.9 percent; Egyptians at 5.5 percent; Britons at 4.2 percent and Bangladeshis at 3.6 percent or about 1.5 billion dirhams.
UAE authorities during the past years have been tightening rules and regulations on money transfer, by mandating financial institutions to register the details of anyone wiring or changing as little as Dh2,000, to stem money laundering efforts and non-formal remittance activities such as the halawa system.
Hawala is a trust-based remittance system, which is popular particularly among South Asian skilled workers, where one can send home monthly any amount – from as low 500 dirhams to as high as 5,000 dirhams – at lower fees compared with what exchange houses charge.
Loyal customers oftentimes also use the hawaladars, or money handlers, as banks by regularly remitting to them small amounts as deposits, which in turn would be summed up by the end of the month and then sent to their families.
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