DOHA: Workers’ remittances have almost doubled in the last five years helped by rising population. Total remittances from Qatar were $5.6bn in 2010 which nearly doubled to $10bn in 2014, according to the World Bank data.
“Qatar has been a very lucrative country for migration owing to the myriad infrastructure projects that are currently underway which have led to a boom in the demand for labour, both skilled and semi-skilled. With international events such as the Football World Cup 2022 coming up, the country will continue to be a thriving migration hub for people from all across the world,” Sudhesh Giriyan, COO, Xpress Money, a global money transfer company, told The Peninsula. “With nearly 70 percent of the Qatari population comprising of expats and migrants, it comes as no surprise that the remittance sector has seen an upward trend. The rise in remittances is directly proportional to the rise in the country’s population,” he added.
The growth of remittance sector is directly proportional to expats and migrants population. Qatar has witnessed sharp rise in the populations. Qatar’s population at the end of December 2010 was 1.6 million which surged to 2.2 million at the end of 2014.
“The largest volume of remittance comes from Indian expatriates while Nepalese, Filipino, Egyptian, Bandladeshi expatriates also send significant amount of money back to their countries,” said Zuber Abdul Rahman, Operations Manager, Al Zaman Exchange. Experts believe that Qatar’s remittance sector is likely to gain strength in coming years driven by huge infrastructures projects which require expatriates and workers.
“We believe that Qatar will be able to sustain growth for the next five to ten years. The infrastructure projects will continue to rise, creating more employment opportunities along with other ancillary sectors such as retail and hospitality also seeing an increase. In the recent past, even the migrant diaspora within Qatar has seen a diversity; while the dominant migrant population still continues to be of South Asian origin, there is a healthy number of Africans who are now based out of Qatar, which is balancing the diaspora cross section,” said Giriyan.
According to industry estimates there are around 22 exchange houses having around 70 branches helping expats to remit money back to their countries. Apart from exchange houses banks are also playing crucial role in Qatar’s remittance sector as they also offer remittance services. Growing remittance sector has helped exchange houses who have witnessed healthy growth in their business.
For Xpress Money, Qatar is the fastest growing country among all other countries in the GCC region, as far as remittances are concerned. “We have seen a 20 percent growth in the overall business in Qatar, and we believe that the growth momentum will continue in the medium term,” said Giriyan.