Saudi Riyal
An employee counts a handful of Saudi Riyal banknotes from the cash till of a mobile burger van on the side of a highway in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Image Credit: Bloomberg

Cairo: Remittances of expatriates working in Saudi Arabia dropped by 9.7 per cent to reach SR10.7 billion in August against SR11.9 billion in the same month last year, according to official Saudi figures.

However, on a monthly basis, the foreigners’ remittance from the kingdom last month rose by 1.3 per cent against those registered in July of this year, according to a Saudi Central Bank report.

Transfers by Saudi citizens to abroad in August showed a 22.5 per cent fall to reach SR4.9 billion against SR6.3 billion in August of 2022, the bank said.

The kingdom is home to a large community of migrant workers.

In recent years, Saudi Arabia has stepped up efforts to provide jobs to its citizens as part of an employment policy known as “Saudisation”.

Last May, the Saudi General Authority for Statistics, citing a recent census, put the kingdom’s total population at 32.2 million with foreigners making up around 13.4 million or 41.5 per cent.

Asian nationals from three countries accounted for over 42 per cent of the total foreigners in Saudi Arabia, according to the census figures.

Bangladeshi nationals took the lead with 2.1 million, or around 15.08 per cent of the overall expatriates in Saudi Arabia, followed by Indians with 1.88 million and Pakistanis with 1.81 million, a breakdown given by the Saudi state TV Al Ekhbariya showed.

Yemenis ranked the fourth in expatriate terms with 1.8 million followed by Egyptians with 1.4 million, Sudanese with 819,000, Filipinos with 725,000 and Syrians with 449,000.

The census also noted an increase of 8.2 million in the kingdom's overall population compared to a census conducted in 2010.