Expats in the United Arab Emirates sent home roughly $1.36bn (Dhs 5bn) in the last week of Ramadan and over the Eid holiday, Al Ansari Exchange has estimated.
Remittances during Eid Al-Fitr soared by 20 per cent from the same time last year, said the Arabic daily Al Bayan.
Mohammed Ali Al Ansari, executive director of Al Ansari, one of the biggest exchange houses in the UAE, said this year’s public holiday saw a ‘huge growth’ in remittances, in particular those sent to Arab and Asian countries.
The daily average sent home by expats over the past week was three times the usual daily average registered at other times in the year, Al Ansari was quoted as saying.
The jump was attributed to an overall increase in incomes this year, region-wide economic uncertainty prompting high savings rates from expats, and the strong value of the dollar-pegged UAE dirham.
Last month’s Brexit vote would also have had an impact, Al Ansari said, as the value of the pound plummeted and British expats in Dubai rushed to send money home.
The pound tumbled dramatically following news of the Leave vote on June 24, initially to a level not seen since 1985. On results morning, it had plummeted 10 per cent, putting the sterling-dirham exchange rate at an all-time low of Dhs 4.8.
Expats make up over 80 per cent of the UAE’s population. Remittances last year stood at $23.88bn, according to figures from the UAE Central Bank.