Saudi remittances support Pakistan’s economic surge

Sudhesh Giriyan
Updated 03 September 2016

Saudi remittances support Pakistan’s economic surge

Pakistan’s record-breaking inward remittances of $19.9 billion for the 2016 fiscal year (FY 2016) are powered by contributions from Pakistani expatriates in Saudi Arabia.
The Kingdom has historically been Pakistan’s largest source of remittances, according to Xpress Money’s COO Sudhesh Giriyan.
Total remittances from Saudi Arabia to Pakistan for FY 2016 stood at $5.9 billion — almost 30 percent of Pakistan’s total remittances — as per the State Bank of Pakistan figures.
Remittances from Saudi Arabia to Pakistan for FY 2016 were also up 6 percent from the previous fiscal year. June 2016 alone saw Pakistanis in Saudi Arabia remit $582.84 million back home.
Xpress Money has been engaging with the Pakistani expatriate community in the country for years now. The brand offers transfers at zero cost to Pakistan from over 200 locations throughout the Kingdom.
“There is a strong Pakistani population of anywhere between 1.5 million to 2 million in Saudi Arabia, who actively send money home. We are very pleased to be the money transfer brand of choice for the expatriate Pakistani community in Saudi Arabia and show our appreciation through regular initiatives,” he added.
“For instance, we recently gave out 10-liter fuel coupons to all taxi drivers — mostly Pakistani — who remitted money with us. Xpress Money offers free and convenient money transfers for expatriate Pakistanis in the Kingdom and enable them to contribute positively to their country’s economic growth,” said Giriyan.
Global remittances contribute approximately 6.9 percent (as per World Bank) to Pakistan’s GDP, and are instrumental in powering the country’s recent economic growth.
Overseas remittances improve disposable income and quality of life, translating into business activity and infrastructural development. FY 2016 saw remittances from around the world exceeding government targets by 6.8 percent, according to State Bank of Pakistan figures.
Pakistan’s government sets its fiscal year from July 1 to June 30.


Debut Arabian Travel Market Virtual gets underway

Updated 03 June 2020

Debut Arabian Travel Market Virtual gets underway

Travel trade professionals from across the world have gathered online for the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) Virtual, a newly launched three-day event for the region’s tourism community.

The debut event, which runs from June 1 to 3, focuses on emerging trends, opportunities, and the challenges which are directly impacting the travel and tourism industry amid the COVID-19 global health pandemic.

Over the course of three days, ATM Virtual will feature comprehensive webinars, live conference sessions, round tables, speed networking events, and one-to-one meetings, as well as facilitating new connections and offering a wide range of online business opportunities.

Danielle Curtis, exhibition director ME, Arabian Travel Market (ATM), said: “Our debut event not only underscores ATM’s mission to support and guide the region’s vast travel and tourism industry during and beyond COVID-19, but it also demonstrates our commitment to delivering positive business and networking opportunities to the entire community, during even the most challenging times.

“With up to four live high-level sessions each day, industry experts will address a range of topics including a road map to recovery, tourism strategies for the future, the hotel landscape in a post-COVID-19 world, and the resilience of the travel industry, as well as exploring the ‘new normal’ that lies ahead, emerging travel technology and sustainability trends.”

In the opening session “A Conversation with Sir Tim Clark,” the president of Emirates Airline spoke to John Strickland about his time at the airline, its response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its plans for the future, as well as unveiling Emirates strategy, including planned fleet and network changes.

Another key event that took place on the first day was “OTAs and Distribution for Tours and Attractions Post-COVID,” hosted by Arival, a global research authority on the tours, activities and attractions sector.

The highlight of the second day was a live webinar “Bouncing Back: Tourism Strategies for the Future,” which saw industry experts including Fahd Hamidaddin, chief of investment, strategy and tourism marketing for the Ministry of Tourism Saudi Arabia, and Keith Tan, CEO, Singapore Tourism, discuss how the long-term tourism development strategies implemented by the region’s governments will become a catalyst for recovery when travel patterns adjust to the “new norm.”

Hamidaddin said: “As global travel restrictions ease, our focus is on ensuring that Saudi Arabia is ready to welcome visitors as soon as they are ready to travel. We are collaborating across the public and private sectors, to safeguard the well-being of visitors, while continuing to invest in high quality tourism experiences. Saudi Arabia offers endless appeal to the modern traveler. We are optimistic about the future of tourism in the Kingdom and we remain committed to our long-term targets.”