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Oman’s expat remittances vs GDP the highest in the region

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Remittances by expatriate workers in Oman reached RO 3.11 billion ($8.1 billion) in 2021, a 7.5% decrease compared to 2020 with RO 3.373 billion, according to a latest report by GCC-Stat. Remittances have been on a downward trend since 2015, when outflows hit a peak of RO 4.226 billion.

The UAE recorded the highest outflow of worker’s remittances in the GCC countries in 2021, with $ 47.5 billion, an increase of 9.7% compared to 2020. Saudi Arabia came in second with $39.8 billion, an increase of 15.9%. Kuwait with $18.3 billion with a 6.1% increase, followed by Qatar with $10.9 billion, an increase of 8.8%. Oman and Bahrain saw a decrease in expat remittances with a $8.1 billion, a decrease of 7.5% for Oman and $2.5 billion or 7.7% decrease for Bahrain .

In Oman, the RO 3.11 billion expat remittances amount to 9.5% — the highest in the region — of the ratio of worker’s remittances to Gross Domestic Product in 2021 (at current prices), the report said, citing bulletins issued by the central banks of the GCC for their balance of payments, after converting them to US dollars. Bahrain came in second with 6.5% of the ratio of worker’s remittances to Gross Domestic Product.

The slump in expat remittances is attributed to the impacts of the pandemic, which led to stagnant wages and a steep fall in the number of expatriates in Oman, according to a report by the Central Bank of Oman. A contracting economy attributable to the oil price collapse and the pandemic led to a 15.4 per cent decrease in the total size of the expatriate population in employment in the Sultanate of Oman in 2020, the apex bank stated.

The US dollar surge, caused by the Russia-Ukraine war earlier this year, brought some news to cheer for the expats here as one Omani rial fetches more in their local currencies.

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