People transfer money at UAE Exchange in Sharjah. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Dubai: Expatriates working in the UAE are sending home billions of dirhams more than they did last year, and one Asian country has emerged as the biggest recipient of remittances, official figures show.

Between January and September this year, foreign residents in the UAE sent Dh121.1 billion to their home countries or other recipients abroad.

Expatriates from India transferred the bulk of the cash home, with beneficiaries in the Asian country receiving Dh15.46 billion in remittances, representing more than a third (37.9 per cent) of the total outbound fund transfers.

The total remittances for the first nine months of the year is 2.1 per cent higher than the Dh118.6 billion cash that moved out of the UAE during the same period in 2016, news agency WAM reported, quoting figures from the UAE Central Bank.

In the last quarter alone, the amount of money forwarded by expatriates to their home countries climbed to Dh43.3 billion, an increase of 14.1 per cent from Dh37.9 billion during the same period last year.

Top beneficiaries of UAE remittances:


Dh15.46 billion


Dh10.53 billion


Dh8.1 billion


Dh5.8 billion

United States: 

Dh4.9 billion

United Kingdom:

Dh4.4 billion


Dh3.7 billion

After Indians, expatriates from Pakistan emerged as the second top remitter in the UAE. Pakistani beneficiaries received 8.7 per cent of the total remittances, followed by Filipinos in the third place with 6.7 per cent.A huge bulk of the funds were coursed through money transfer operators in the UAE, with exchange outlets transferring Dh31 billion between July and September.

Egyptians made up 4.8 per cent of the remittances received, while Americans accounted for 4.1 per cent and British 3.7 per cent.

Beneficiaries from Jordan were also among the top ten recipients, accounting for 3.1 per cent of the remittances, followed by Bengalis (2.9 per cent), Swiss nationals (2.4 per cent) and Lebanese (1.8 per cent).

Industry sources said UAE expatriates continued to remit more money home because they wanted to take advantage of the strong US dollar, to which the UAE dirham is pegged.

“The rise in remittances is a reflection of the growing UAE economy. UAE continues to be a preferred destination for expats who are looking for better job opportunities and good quality of life,” said Sudhesh Giriyan, COO of Xpress Money.

“Also, the depreciation of certain Asian currencies against a strong US dollar encouraged expats from these countries to send more money back home. Additionally, in recent years, UAE has strategically diversified its focus on developing its infrastructure, retail, technology industries, among others, to reduce dependence on oil – a move that has proven to be extremely beneficial for the economy while also attracting skilled talent from across the globe.”