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UAE remittance fee to rise 15% for first time in five years

Customers at UAE remittance company Al Ansari. The revised pricing remains is in line with the UN's sustainable developmental goals Al Ansari
Customers at UAE remittance company Al Ansari. The revised pricing remains is in line with the UN's sustainable developmental goals

UAE foreign exchange and remittance houses have received permission for a minimum increase of 15 percent, or AED2.50, for the first time in five years.

This is the first “optional” fee increase due to the evolving regulatory landscape and related cost increases, the UAE state-run Wam news agency reported, citing the Foreign Exchange and Remittance Group (Ferg).

The fee increase is expected for remittance services provided by physical branches. In contrast, remittances offered via mobile apps of exchange houses are most likely to remain unchanged.

The approval follows a detailed evaluation of expenses associated with upholding high service standards and complying with regulatory requirements.  

Despite the approved increase, the average remittance cost of sending $200 equivalent will stay at less than 3.5 percent, significantly below the global average of 6.2 percent in 2023, according to the World Bank’s remittance prices worldwide database. 

The revised pricing remains is in line with the United Nation’s sustainable developmental goals, which aim to eliminate remittance corridors with costs exceeding 5 percent by 2030.

In June 2023, Zahir Moghal, CEO of Abu Dhabi currency provider Delma Exchange said that the remittance and foreign exchange market in the UAE is “saturated” and will need consolidation as new businesses continue to emerge.

Remittance activity is driven by the UAE’s large population of expatriate workers, particularly from Asia and Africa.

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