Expats sent a whopping $13 billion home in remittances last year, some 7.5 percent of the country’s 2011 Gross Domestic Product, a new Qatar Central Bank report states.
The 35th Annual Report contradicts an earlier paper released by the QCB a few months ago that estimated some $8.87 billion – or 5 percent of the GDP – were sent to expats’ home countries.
Expats account for 85 percent of Qatar’s population, which exceeded 1.7 million at the end of 2011 – its highest ever at the time. Remittances from Qatar, which grew 27 percent from 2010 to 2011, also appear to have hit an all-time high last year.
Where it went
According to the latest report, about 54 percent of the money went to Asian countries and 28 percent to Arab nations.
Of the 190 destinations that the money was sent, India, the Philippines and United States were the top three receiving countries. European nations accounted for 7.4 percent of the remittances, compared to 7.6 percent sent to the American region.
The other countries in the top 10, which made up 72 percent of 2011 remittances, included Egypt, the UAE, Nepal, Bangladesh, the United Kingdom, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
The vast majority of transactions were done via exchange houses, but it will be interesting to see, with the recent introduction of Qtel’s Mobile Money service, whether the option to transfer money through mobile phone changes that.
Here’s the full report:
Credit: Photo by Andrew Middleton