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Old Dec 22nd 2017, 5:42 pm   #1
big b Male
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Default Riyadh - UK Money Transfer

Hi,

Could someone give me advice about transferring money to the UK?
At present I don't have a bank account and need to transfer money home.
What would be the most secure & cheapest method.

Thanks in advance, Big B
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Old Dec 22nd 2017, 6:38 pm   #2
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Default Re: Riyadh - UK Money Transfer

You do not have a bank account ? Is that because you do not have a Saudi Residence Permit ? (Iqama)

If you are on a Business Visa there can be problems in remitting money. You could try one of the remittance services like Al-Rajhi or Al Amoudi-. They MAY accept a passport, but you really should have an Iqama to do this.
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Old Dec 22nd 2017, 8:53 pm   #3
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Default Re: Riyadh - UK Money Transfer

Still waiting for my Iqama... hopefully I'll get it this week then I can sort out my phone/bank/driving licence etc.
9
I'm here on a work visa.

Is the bank the best/cheapest method of transfer? Or is Western Union (or the like) a better option?

I've heard of plusses and minuses for both methods.
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Old Dec 22nd 2017, 9:02 pm   #4
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Default Re: Riyadh - UK Money Transfer

Western Union is NOT a cheap option, unless things have changed in the last few years.

Open a bank account and remit through that. I would suggest that you do it regularly. Do not allow money to pile up in KSA. I have seen those who had problems with frozen bank accounts.

The banking system in KSA is modern. They are specially competent at doing foreign business

Last edited by scot47; Dec 22nd 2017 at 9:09 pm.
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Old Dec 22nd 2017, 9:21 pm   #5
big b Male
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Default Re: Riyadh - UK Money Transfer

Thank you for your information. Much appreciated.
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Old Dec 23rd 2017, 6:03 am   #6
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Default Re: Riyadh - UK Money Transfer

banks rip you off with the exchange rate even as they promise zero fees for the transfer and the convenience of doing it online.

The best rates are gained by transferring SAR out of the country to a SAR account run by an exchange broker in the UK. They then do the conversion at a stellar rate and transfer GBP to your UK account.

The only hurdle you may face is that Saudi bank staff may refuse to believe that they can transfer SAR out of the country. They can though, and you should encourage them to try and say you're willing to cover any fee that results from a bad transfer (there won't be one). Once they see it works, keep going back to the same branch where they are familiar with your "unorthodox" transfer and you should be fine.

I've been doing this for the last four years and have saved myself thousands of pounds over the bank's exchange rate.

PM me if you want more info.
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Old Dec 23rd 2017, 10:41 pm   #7
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Default Re: Riyadh - UK Money Transfer

Ah progress ! Such things were unheard of in my day - but then I am ancient and almost a contemporary of Harry St John Philby !
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