Foreign remittances decline in January by 7%

n 2016, a total of SR151.9 billion were transferred by expats, as compared to SR156.9 billion the previous year, thus representing a decline of 3 percent of around SR5 billion. (Reuters)
Updated 01 March 2017
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Foreign remittances decline in January by 7%

JEDDAH: Monthly foreign remittances have declined by 6.7 percent, down SR907 million ($24.18 million) from SR13.52 billion in December 2016 to SR12.61 billion in January.
An Al-Eqtisadiya report reveals that January remittances, despite having declined, still remained high as compared to average remittances over the previous 12-month period of SR11.75 billion.
Annual foreign remittances increased overall, the report reveals, by 4.86 percent (SR584 million) from SR12.03 billion in January 2016.
Remittances were highest on record in June 2015, with SR15.8 billion transferred abroad during the month, a positive difference of 20.3 percent or SR3.22 billion from January 2017. In July 2015, remittances reached the lowest point since February 2013, with only SR10.3 billon in remittances.
In 2016, a total of SR151.9 billion were transferred by expats, as compared to SR156.9 billion the previous year, thus representing a decline of 3 percent or around SR5 billion. This is the first annual decline after a consecutive 11-year streak of growth between 2005 and 2015.
As for transfers sent by Saudi citizens abroad, the report indicates a growth of 13.4 percent in January to reach SR4.95 billion, as compared to SR4.37 billion in December 2016. Transfers in January were highest since October 2016, when a
total of SR5.36 billion was transferred abroad by Saudi nationals. This represents a consecutive three-month increase in transfers abroad.
On an annual basis, however, transfers declined in January by around 8.5 percent from January 2016, when transfers amounted to SR5.41 billion.


UAE to loosen visa rules for investors and innovators

Updated 21 May 2018
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UAE to loosen visa rules for investors and innovators

  • UAE cabinet announces the launch of an integrated visa system to attract talent and talent in all vital sectors of the national economy
  • The Council also announced changes in the system of foreign ownership of companies in the country, which allows the acquisition of 100% of the global investors by the end of the year

DUBAI: The United Arab Emirates, home to financial hubs Abu Dhabi and Dubai, is loosening its residency laws and will grant long-term visas for up to 10 years to investors and highly-skilled professionals.
The 10-year residency visas will be granted to specialists in science, medicine and research, and to “exceptional students.” The state-run WAM news agency says the plan aims to attract global investment and innovators.
The UAE Cabinet approved the new rules on Sunday, saying plans are also on track to allow foreign investors 100 percent ownership of their UAE-based companies this year.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum affirmed that the UAE will remain a global incubator for exceptional talents and a permanent destination for international investors. “The UAE has been open, governed by tolerance and contributed to by all who live on its land.
“Our open environment, tolerant values, infrastructure and flexible legislation offer the best opportunities to attract international investment and exceptional talent in the UAE,” he said. “Our country is the land of opportunity, the best environment for realizing human dreams and unleashing their extraordinary potentials.”
The new regulations include raising the percentage of global investors’ ownership in companies to 100% by the end of the current year. He directed the Ministry of Economy in coordination with the concerned parties to implement the decision and follow up on its developments and submit a detailed study in the third quarter of this year.
The new regulations approved by the Council of Ministers and the authorities concerned have also set the procedures for implementing them to grant investors residence visas of up to ten years for them and all members of their families, as well as granting residency visas of up to ten years for specialized competencies in the medical, scientific, research and technical fields.
The new regulations also include visas for students studying in the country for five years and a 10-year residency for exceptional students.
Under current laws, foreign companies must have an Emirati owning 51 percent of the shares, unless the company operates in a free zone. Major brands Apple and Tesla are believed to be exceptions to the rule.