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Should you be sending money home?

Should you be sending money home?

Even as the economic slowdown continues, the exchange rates between the UAE dirham and currencies across the world are fluctuating. So which nationalities in the UAE are benefitting the most?

December 4, 2008 1:52 by

The British pound fell to its lowest level in almost three weeks versus the US dollar on Thursday, due mostly to forecasts that the Bank of England will reduce borrowing costs by 1 percentage point.

This means that the exchange rate for the pound against the UAE dirham has also fallen (as the dirham is pegged to the dollar). Which further means that Britons across the UAE will be (should be) sending their money back home swiftly. In numbers, this is what it means.

A year ago, on December 4, 2007, one pound cost you around 7.55 dirhams. In June this year, it became slightly cheaper at around 7.26 dirhams. On Thursday, the rate fell to around 5.33 dirhams.

But it’s not just the pound; several other currencies have also either risen or fallen in comparison to the dirham, making it profitable period for expatriates in the UAE.

According to Al Bayan, out of the total UAE population of 6.5 million people, 13.5 percent are Emirati, 12.7 percent are Arab expats, 36.5 percent comes from India, 12.7 percent come from Pakistan, 9.1 percent are Bangladeshi, 4.3 percent are Filipino, 1.6 percent comes from Sri Lanka, 1.5 percent are Iranians, 1.4 percent are from Nepal, 0.5 percent come from China, 2.1 percent comes from Europe and Australia and 0.6 percent from North America.

Let’s check out which community in the country has profited the most from the current economic crisis.

The majority in the country, the Indian community will be a happy one. One dirham gave them around 10.73 Indian rupees in December last year, and by June this year, it gave them 11.59 rupees. Today, they are earning around 13.55 rupees per dirham.

The next largest community in the UAE, the Pakistanis, will be happier still. One dirham equaled 16.68 Pakistani rupees in December last year, around 18.26 rupees in June this year, and currently equals 21.42 rupees.

The exchange rate between the dirham and the Bangladeshi Taka has remained more or less constant in comparison; it has risen slightly from 18.67 taka per dirham in December 2007 to 18.64 taka in June 2008, and currently stands at around 18.72 taka per dirham.

in the UAE will possibly be sending a lot of money in terms of remittances these days. While one dirham fetched them 11.45 pesos in December last year, and 11.88 pesos in June this year, it currently fetches them around 13.43 pesos.

For Sri Lankans, it’s been a bumpy year; in December 2007, one dirham equaled around 30.03 Sri Lankan rupees. It dropped to 29.28 rupees by June this year, but has risen to around 29.96 rupees of late.

The Iranians have also seen a great difference in the exchange rate since December last year, when the rate stood at around 2,538 rials per dirham. In June 2008, the rate fell to 2,501 rials per dirham, but it has shot up again, and currently one dirham equals around 2,758 rials.

The Chinese yuan renminbi has its currency decrease steadily since December last year; it went down from 2.01 per dirham to 1.89 yuan in June this year, and currently stands at 1.87 yuan per dirham.

The Lebanese in the UAE also have been seeing the same story. One dirham equaled 411 Lebanese pounds in December 2007, 409.26 pounds in June 2008, and currently equals 408.91 pounds.

Australians will (should) however be sending their money home now. While one dirham was equivalent to $0.31 in December last year, in June 2008 it equaled $0.28 per dirham, before dropping to around $0.42 per dirham on December 4.

For now, while it’s hard to say which community in the UAE has benefitted the most from the current situation, it seems that many families back home may be getting bigger gifts this New Year. –AN

All the exchange rates taken from conversion site XE.

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