Low-income remitters caught unawares

 29 Jul 2014 - 2:19

A holiday notice displayed at one of the exchange houses.

DOHA: Some exchange houses were closed yesterday on account of Eid Al Fitr, causing inconvenience to many people, especially expats with limited income.
They were annoyed with the closure of exchange houses as they wanted to send money home for Eid.
However, exchange houses said one-day closure was needed because their staff had worked continuously during Ramadan. Branches reopen on Tuesday.
“I got my salary on Saturday. I wanted to send money today (Monday) so that my family can celebrate Eid in India on Tuesday. With all exchange houses in Najma remaining shut today, I could not send money,” said a construction worker living in the area.
“Exchange houses should have announced Eid holidays in advance,” he said.
“All our branches were closed on Monday on account of Eid Al Fitr. For the past 10 days our staff had worked continuously. They deserved one-day holiday to relax and celebrate Eid with family members,” said a senior official of an exchange house.
“Exchange houses should have opened at least some of the branches so that we could have sent money to our family members. I came here by walking because there was no taxi available. All my efforts were in vain because of exchange houses are closed,” said another worker.
However, not all branches of exchange houses were closed on Monday as some worked in morning shift. Branches resume their work from today.
“From Tuesday all our branches will work as per normal schedule,” said Zuber Abdul Rahman, Operations Manager, Al Zaman Exchange.
Banks and financial institution remain closed, based on  a circular from Qatar Central Bank on holidays every year. Exchange houses use their discretion and decide working hours during Eid.