DOHA: There is a shortage of dollars at some exchange houses here as demand for the US currency has been soaring ahead of Eid Al Fitr holidays when most people travel overseas.
Eid holidays are for nine days, from tomorrow until August 4 in the government sector. Though there are fewer holidays for staff of private companies, most being expats, are also likely to travel.
Asked about the shortage, a senior official of a leading exchange house said there wasn’t shortage of the currency notes actually but stocks were being exhausted faster these days due to high demand.
Most people travelling overseas buy dollars as it is the easiest international currency for exchange.
Some exchange houses have put up notices on their entrances announcing that they had run out of dollars, especially small exchange firms that get limited stocks of the US currency.
Some exchange houses are cautious and rationing the sale of dollars. They aren’t selling as many dollars as demanded by a buyer to ensure equitable distribution by way of sales.
“We need to give at least some quantity to a buyer on demand. We can’t say ‘no we don’t have stocks’,” said an official from another exchange house.
He said many people coming to them to buy dollars are regular customers and so it isn’t a good business policy to say no to them.
Demand is from all segments of people, including citizens and expats — Westerners as well as Asians, people in high income brackets and those in lower -income groups.
There are families demanding dollars and there single workers, since people travelling to any part of the world, including destinations in Asia, prefer to carry dollars.