Coronavirus Pandemic

Covid-19: Remittances from UAE to India surge during latest wave

Waheed Abbas/Dubai
Filed on April 28, 2021

Exchange house waives charges on funds being remitted to PM Cares Fund

Remittances from the UAE to India have picked up since the outbreak of the latest Covid-19 wave, as people in India increase their dependency on NRIs working here in the UAE.

In addition, some of the local exchange houses are also supporting India by waiving charges on remittances being sent to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s PM Cares Fund for Covid-19. (Check out the latest gold/forex rates in UAE)

“There has been a noticeable increase in remittances being sent by our Indian customers to their families during India’s latest Covid-19 outbreak. Over the past few days, we have announced that we will waive all our charges to any funds being sent to the PM Cares Fund, which supports India’s fight against the virus,” said Hasan Fardan Al Fardan, CEO of Al Fardan Exchange.

Rashed A. Al Ansari, CEO, Al Ansari Exchange, said Indian expatriates in the UAE continue to send money to their families and relatives back home despite the current circumstances.

Read: Indian rupee surges to 20.2 against UAE dirham

“In fact, we have seen a sharp surge in India-bound remittances with the Indian rupee fluctuating against the dirham. Although the Indian rupee slightly recovered, it could continue to weaken again, with the devastating outbreak of a wave of the pandemic progressing, posing risks on the country’s economy... We are confident that remittances to India will increase, as Indian expats continue to support their families amid the health-related developments currently taking place,” said Al Ansari.

A representative of LuLu Exchange said remittance often picks pace during Ramadan and peaks towards the end of the Ramadan period. “This year too, we remain hopeful of the period recording an increase in remittance volumes to India. The current travel ban and lockdowns though may have a negative impact on segments such as foreign exchange. Overall, we feel it is too early to assess the situation and the first week of May will give a better idea,” he said.

Antony Jos, managing director or Joyalukkas Exchange, also reported a steady growth in remittances this month

“The current situation in India and the drop in economic activities might further weaken the rupee, where residents will take advantage of the same by remitting money,” he said.

Increase in remittances during Eid

Jos said weakening of rupee also helped in the growth of remittances during this holy month.

“Usually, we see a surge in remittances during Ramadan and the period nearing Eid, irrespective of the circumstances. It’s a period where expats transfer money to their loved ones in their home countries, and this trend continues every year.”

Rashed Al Ansari said the industry normally experiences an upward trend in money transfers from the UAE during Ramadan leading up to the Eid holidays.

“We are confident this trend will continue this year with a growth forecast of around five to 10 per cent during Ramadan and Eid Al Fitr, respectively. With regards to India, we believe money transfer volumes will experience a slightly higher growth rate considering the ongoing Covid-19 related lockdown as dependents in India are more likely to increase their dependency on resident expats working here in the UAE,” added Al Ansari.

Al Fardan said India is one of the key corridors for remittances.

“We expect a double-digit growth in remittances to India, considering the favourable currency rate, which is ongoing during this period.”

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