UAE residents expect to send or receive more money in the next 12 months

  • 60% of customers consider family support as the main reason for transferring money abroad

Dubai: “The Gulf”
Research by Western Union shows that UAE nationals and residents can expect to spend more money abroad in the next 12 months. Exclusive data shows that 76% of consumers who send money and 75% of those who receive it expect to send and receive more money over the next year.
The study, which included more than a thousand citizens and residents of the UAE who send and receive money across borders, examined the reasons, how and when to transfer money abroad. The results support Western Union’s recently announced Evolve 2025 (E25) strategy, which combines digital financial services with accessible high-value retail center services.
Family support
60% of clients consider family support to be the main reason for transferring money abroad, followed by saving for the future for 11% of them. The UAE encompasses many cultures; Home to expats from more than 200 nationalities, it is considered one of the most competitive countries in terms of talent. It also includes residents of countries whose economies are the most dependent on remittances in the world.
One of the main factors in increasing the frequency and amount of remittances abroad is family sponsorship in the homeland. With the rising cost of living and international currency fluctuations putting additional pressure on personal financial resources, 74% of study participants said they need to transfer more money due to the high cost of living in their home country. And 71% said they take the opportunity to send more money when the value of the currency of the country to which the money is being transferred falls.
“Transferring money is often a personal decision,” said Jean-Claude Farah, head of Middle East and Asia Pacific at Western Union. Western Union data shows that support from loved ones and family is one of the most common causes. With the rising cost of living around the world and the increasingly difficult economic situation, it is obvious that supporting the family should be a priority when transferring money.
An attractive economic center
Farah added: “The continued attraction of this diverse group of nationalities is the best evidence of the UAE’s efforts to strengthen its position as a global partner and an attractive and influential economic hub. We believe that these continued efforts will enable the UAE to remain at the forefront as one of the largest exporters of remittances in the world. Our duty as an organization is to connect people with opportunity; Western Union has been supporting consumers in the UAE for almost 25 years and is fully committed to it. And as we navigate the path of development and growth in the coming years, we will continue to provide an environment that promotes financial inclusion and enables all societies in the country to achieve long-term economic success.”
Cultures and family ties influence the frequency and flow of money
Sending money after receiving a salary, regardless of economic conditions (34%), or the needs of the family in the home country (32%), is the most common factor of money transfer and transfer intensity. The Western Union study also sheds light on a third factor. Almost a quarter (21%) of consumers said they send money during festive occasions such as Ramadan, Christmas, New Year and Diwali, as well as other special occasions such as birthdays, graduations and anniversaries.
On the other hand, it is important to note that 37% of consumers who receive remittances in the UAE said: The intensity and amounts of remittances are greatly influenced by celebrations and other special occasions. It is more important than family needs (27%) or when the sender receives a salary (18%).
Farah continued, saying, “We understand that diverse populations have different needs, and the holiday season and special occasions are an example of this. Every year we witness an increase of about 6% in the volume of remittance transactions as these occasions approach. Western Union offers a range of digital channels and retail outlets to meet the diverse payment needs of millions of customers around the world. We are confident that the trust we have gained from consumers in the UAE and around the world enables us to help millions of people contribute to society.”
A technologically savvy segment of the population demands a range of options in the future
When it comes to how they send and receive money in the future, consumers want to have a variety of choices. A Western Union study shows that 42% currently send money across borders exclusively through digital channels. On the other hand, 46% would like to be able to choose how to send money in the future, be it cash or digital.
Remittance recipients were of the same opinion; While 43% currently receive money only through digital channels. In the future, 57% want to be able to choose between digital channels and retail centers when receiving their money.
As for those who don’t use digital channels, they said: The main barrier preventing them from sending or receiving money online is their preference for face-to-face interaction, followed by trust, with process or user experience.
Farah concluded: “The survey results show that while most consumers primarily prefer digital channels, many would like to be able to choose between digital channels and retail centers to suit their needs. Either way, trust in online services remains paramount, and we as an industry must work to help consumers overcome their fears. Our goal is to ensure that the financial needs of more people can be met, regardless of their geographic location, culture or economic status.”

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