Egyptian expats living in Saudi Arabia transferred around $8 billion in remittances to their home country last year, making them the largest contributor to their country’s economy, Egypt’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Mahmoud Auf, said on Friday.
Their remittances account for 60 percent of the total sent from Egyptians abroad, Auf said during a Ramadan festive event in Riyadh.
The remittances sent from Saudi Arabia are comparable to the revenue combined by both Egypt’s Suez Canal and the tourism sector which the ambassador said brings in about $5 billion each.
The ambassador said Egyptian-Saudi relations have been developing and becoming more established, contrary to what some claim.
Saudi Arabia which has long been wary of Islamists’ ascend to power in Egypt, was the first country the then newly elected President Mohammed Mursi visited.
He highlighted the kingdom’s exceptional support to the Egyptian economy in comparison to other countries; the kingdom has channeled $3.75 billion into Egyptian economy post the January 25 revolution that toppled President Hosni Mubarak last year.
The Egyptian community in Saudi Arabia has increased by about 150,000, he added.
Mursi’s son, a physician, lives in Saudi Arabia, and said in an interview that he wishes to stay in the kingdom despite his father’s position.