Remittances rise ahead of Eid

 26 Jul 2014 - 2:43

A file photo of people waiting to send money home at an exchange house in Qatar.

DOHA: Remittances from Qatar have surged 30 percent in the past few days compared to normal days due to Eid holidays.
Exchange houses are witnessing huge crowds of expats transferring money to their families back home to meet their Eid expenses. 
“We have seen around 30 percent rise in remittances in the last few days. Remittances are rising due to Eid Al Fitr as expats are sending money to their families to meet expenses,” said Zuber Abdul Rahman, Operations Manager, Al Zamam Exchange.
The surge is driven by early transfer of salaries by the government and private companies, with  more and more people queuing at exchange houses. 
To manage crowd, exchange houses have increased working hours and opened extra counters.
There is also huge demand for foreign currencies as people are going on vacation — US dollar, euro and sterling pound, followed by Saudi riyal, Emirati dirham.
Demand shows the countries people are going on vacation.
Bashar Al Wakafi, General Manager, Alfardan Exchange, said Eid Al Fitr is one of the main seasons during which exchange houses see huge crowds and extreme work pressure because expats want to send money home  for the festival.
Significant rise is seen in remittances to Asian and Arab countries. “Remittances to India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Egypt and Morocco have risen significantly,” Rahman said.
Wakafi said there is more demand for dollars, particularly from Egyptian and Jordanian teachers. This has led to a rise in money transfers by 30 percent.
Qataris are also visiting exchange houses for currencies for use their trips and majority are seeking US dollar. 
Demand for Saudi riyal and Emirati dirham is high because people are going to these countries to meet relatives and friends.
One of the customers, Rida Yousuf, said he was in the queue for one hour and still he could not send money to his family in Egypt. He said exchange houses should have taken steps in advance to manage crowd properly, reports Al Raya.  
Ehab Al Saduni, another customer, said he left the queue after waiting for an hour and went outside Doha to transfer money because of huge crowds in exchange houses in the city,