Expat remittances in Saudi Arabia surge to highest levels in nearly 2 years

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March sees expat remittances in Saudi Arabia soar by 4%, reaching SR11.9 billion.

SAUDI ARABIA, May 11: Expatriates in Saudi Arabia sent home a record amount of money in March, reaching SR11.9 billion, according to official data released by the Saudi Central Bank. This marks the highest monthly remittance total in nearly two years, with a notable 4 percent increase compared to the same period last year.

The surge in remittances represents the most significant uptick since June 2022, as reported by the Saudi news website Akhbar24. Additionally, March saw a substantial month-on-month increase, with remittances rising by SR2.6 billion, or 28 percent, compared to February of the same year.

This increase comes after a downturn in February, where expatriate remittances dropped by 4 percent year-on-year, reaching approximately SR9.3 billion—the lowest monthly transfer amount since June 2019.

Saudi Arabia, known for its large expatriate population, has been implementing measures to boost employment opportunities for its citizens through initiatives like “Saudisation”. According to data from the Saudi General Authority for Statistics, released last May, the kingdom’s total population stands at 32.2 million, with foreigners accounting for around 41.5 percent, or 13.4 million.

Among expatriates in Saudi Arabia, Asian nationals from three countries comprise over 42 percent of the total foreign population. Bangladeshi nationals top the list with 2.1 million, making up approximately 15.08 percent of expatriates, followed by Indians with 1.88 million and Pakistanis with 1.81 million, according to census figures.

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