Some foreign-exchange companies had warned that anyone sending more than US$100 (Dh367) might face a transaction fee of Dh15.
Some foreign-exchange companies had warned that anyone sending more than US$100 (Dh367) might face a transaction fee of Dh15.

Fees scrapped for low-income Pakistanis remitting money from UAE



DUBAI // Pakistani expatriates on low wages will not have to pay fees when they send money home, after an agreement between their government and foreign exchanges in the UAE.

Some foreign-exchange companies had warned that anyone sending more than US$100 (Dh367) might face a transaction fee of Dh15 because of a dispute with the Pakistani government over millions of dirhams in unpaid rebates from last year.

"Our members have started to receive small amounts from the overdue rebates from the Pakistan government," said a spokeswoman for the Foreign Exchange and Remittance Group (Ferg) in Dubai.

"According to our members, they have started to receive payments up to September 2011, so at the moment we will wait and see what happens."

The disagreement involves foreign exchanges that signed up to the Pakistan remittance initiative.

Under that scheme, exchanges would not charge for remittance payments and in return the government would give them rebates.

But Pakistan was behind in payments for a year, meaning exchanges were owed millions of dirhams.

"We will now have a wait-and-see-approach regarding the rebates, so there is no immediate threat of fees being imposed on people wishing to send money back home to Pakistan," the Ferg spokeswoman said.

The release of the funds was met with relief from foreign exchanges in the UAE that are a part of the initiative.

"We have started to get payments in dribs and drabs, but it will still be overdue payments stretching back a year next month so we'll see how it goes," said Syed Ahmed, the executive director for Multinet Trust Exchange in Dubai.

"Hopefully the rebates continue to come through and that way we won't have to impose the extra charges."

Foreign exchanges had warned that adding fees for remittances would drive people to send money through illegal channels.

"We will act as a group with the other Ferg members and probably give it another six months to see how things are going," Mr Ahmed said.

"There is no deadline we have set to say that we must have the outstanding rebates paid or we will impose the fees."

Remittances play a crucial role in Pakistan's economy, with US$4 billion expected to be sent from the UAE by the end of this financial year.

"The embassy raised the matter with the concerned authorities in Pakistan who have assured the embassy that the process of settling the rebates is in the pipeline and would be resolved soon," said Jamil Ahmed Khan, the Pakistani ambassador to the UAE.

Statistics reported by Ferg show Pakistan expects remittances sent from the Arabian Gulf to hit $15bn at the end of the 2012-2013 financial year.

Last financial year, expatriates in the UAE sent home $2.84bn, with those in other Gulf countries sending a record $8bn.

Virtuzone GCC Sixes

Date and venue Friday and Saturday, ICC Academy, Dubai Sports City

Time Matches start at 9am

Groups

A Blighty Ducks, Darjeeling Colts, Darjeeling Social, Dubai Wombats; B Darjeeling Veterans, Kuwait Casuals, Loose Cannons, Savannah Lions; Awali Taverners, Darjeeling, Dromedary, Darjeeling Good Eggs

Results:

5pm: Maiden (PA) | Dh80,000 | 1,200 metres

Winner: Jabalini, Szczepan Mazur (jockey), Younis Kalbani (trainer)

5.30pm: UAE Arabian Derby (PA) | Prestige | Dh150,000 | 2,200m

Winner: Octave, Gerald Avranche, Abdallah Al Hammadi

6pm: Arabian Triple Crown Round 3 (PA) | Group 3 Dh300,000 | 2,200m

Winner: Harrab, Richard Mullen, Mohamed Ali

6.30pm: Emirates Championship (PA) | Group 1 | Dh1million | 2,200m

Winner: BF Mughader, Szczepan Mazur, Younis Al Kalbani

7pm: Abu Dhabi Championship (TB) | Group 3 | Dh380,000 | 2,200m

Winner: GM Hopkins, Patrick Cosgrave, Jaber Ramadhan

7.30pm: Wathba Stallions Cup (PA) | Conditions | Dh70,000 | 1,600m

Winner: AF La’Asae, Tadhg O’Shea, Ernst Oertel

A QUIET PLACE

Starring: Lupita Nyong'o, Joseph Quinn, Djimon Hounsou

Director: Michael Sarnoski

Rating: 4/5

Breaking News: The Remaking of Journalism and Why It Matters Now
Alan Rushbridger, Canongate

Points classification after Stage 4

1. Arnaud Demare (France / FDJ) 124

2. Marcel Kittel (Germany / Quick-Step) 81

3. Michael Matthews (Australia / Sunweb) 66

4. Andre Greipel (Germany / Lotto) 63

5. Alexander Kristoff (Norway / Katusha) 43

Getting there

Etihad Airways flies daily to the Maldives from Abu Dhabi. The journey takes four hours and return fares start from Dh3,995. Opt for the 3am flight and you’ll land at 6am, giving you the entire day to adjust to island time.  

Round trip speedboat transfers to the resort are bookable via Anantara and cost $265 per person.  

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
'Falling for Christmas'

Director: Janeen Damian

Stars: Lindsay Lohan, Chord Overstreet, Jack Wagner, Aliana Lohan

Rating: 1/5

Company Profile

Company name: Namara
Started: June 2022
Founder: Mohammed Alnamara
Based: Dubai
Sector: Microfinance
Current number of staff: 16
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Family offices

UAE Premiership

Results
Dubai Exiles 24-28 Jebel Ali Dragons
Abu Dhabi Harlequins 43-27 Dubai Hurricanes

Fixture
Friday, March 29, Abu Dhabi Harlequins v Jebel Ali Dragons, The Sevens, Dubai

Ziina users can donate to relief efforts in Beirut

Ziina users will be able to use the app to help relief efforts in Beirut, which has been left reeling after an August blast caused an estimated $15 billion in damage and left thousands homeless. Ziina has partnered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to raise money for the Lebanese capital, co-founder Faisal Toukan says. “As of October 1, the UNHCR has the first certified badge on Ziina and is automatically part of user's top friends' list during this campaign. Users can now donate any amount to the Beirut relief with two clicks. The money raised will go towards rebuilding houses for the families that were impacted by the explosion.”


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