International

Ease of Sending Money Home from UAE Costs More

Blue-collar workers express concern as foreign exchange institutions raise remittance fees, affecting expatriate communities

Dubai: The recent decision by foreign exchange institutions for a 15 % remittance fee increase in UAE by 15 per cent, equivalent to 2.5 dirhams, has dealt a severe blow to foreigners employed in the UAE. The Foreign Exchange and Remittance Group (FERG), representing these institutions, decided to raise the fee.

Clarifications provided by the companies indicate that the fee hike applies solely to remitting money abroad through foreign exchange branches. However, transactions will remain the same via mobile apps. FERG justified the fee adjustment by citing escalated operational expenses, noting that the fee rate had remained unchanged for the past five years.

The Impact on Indian Workers

Blue-collar worker Ali in Dubai expressed his regret, saying: “The recent increase in remittance fees has hit us hard.” Increased costs directly impact our families’ lives, as sending money home is our lifeblood. Making ends meet is already difficult for us, and this additional price will worsen things. Given our difficulties as foreign employees, we hope the authorities will reevaluate this ruling.”

India constitutes the largest group of repatriates from the UAE, according to 2022 estimates from the Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE). Among them, non-resident Malayalis form a significant portion. In 2022, Indians in the UAE sent home a staggering 4,443 crore dirhams (approximately one lakh crore rupees).

This accounts for 30.5 per cent of the total expatriate remittances from the UAE. Pakistan follows with a share of 12.2 per cent, while the Philippines ranks third with 8.4 per cent. In essence, these three countries receive half of the expatriate funds flowing out of the UAE, making them the most affected by the fee increase.

Alok Verma

Alok Verma is an accomplished International Reporter at IndiaFocus with a deep-seated passion for global affairs and cross-border stories. With an impressive track record in international journalism, Alok is dedicated… More »

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