Arab economies boosted by expats

Remittances from Egyptian and Jordanian expats are playing a major role in their countries’ economies, according to new data, with more than $2 billion (Dhs7 billion) sent home last year.

Dubai-based Xpress Money highlighted World Bank figures showing just how valuable earnings made in the UAE and the MENA region are to the two Arab states.

In 2015, Egypt received an estimated $19.7 billion (Dhs72.3 billion) in remittances from across the world, of which $1.83 billion (Dhs6.7 billion) came from the UAE.

Meanwhile, Jordan received $3.8 billion (Dhs14 billion) from countries across the globe, with the UAE contributing $716 million (Dhs2.2 billion) to the total.
Remittances play an important part in both countries’ economies, contributing 6.8 per cent to Egypt’s GDP (by 2014 figures) and 10.4 per cent to Jordan’s GDP.

The UAE is home to about 300,000 Egyptians – the largest single expat Arab community. Xpress Money, which handles money exchange and remittances, said the influx is “spurring business opportunities, investments and a better quality of life”.

“The UAE is a very active hub for remittances to non-GCC countries in the MENA region”, said Xpress Money’s COO Sudhesh Giriyan.

“The country’s multinational mix and vibrant economy, creates opportunities for large expatriate Arab populations. Remittances from the UAE to countries in the MENA region and Asia have been growing year on year, and we are expecting it to accelerate as we approach 2020.”

Last month, the World Bank said that India retained its top spot as the country with the highest income from remittances, attracting about $69 billion (Dhs253 billion) in remittances.

Other large recipients in 2015 were China, with $64 billion, the Philippines ($28 billion), Mexico ($25 billion), and Nigeria ($21 billion).




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