Forbes Middle East’s list of the top exchange houses in the region has been revealed, with Al Ansari and LuLu Exchange bagging top honors. The methodology used for the listing, includes average monthly remittances, number of branches, services offered, geographical expansion, and recent innovations, among others.

The companies on the list represent six countries across the Middle East and some of them have expanded and opened offices or branches in foreign countries. The listed exchange houses help a large section of the labor force in the region, many of whom do not have bank accounts in either the Middle East or their home countries.

Other prominent exchange houses in the list include Bahrain Financing Company, Al Fardan Exchange, and Al Mulla International Exchange.

Home to over 300 exchange houses, the Middle East is a hub of the migrant economy, with the top five economies alone contributing to over $100 billion of remittance outflows last year. Exchange houses have traditionally played a huge role in supporting the need of expats to send money home, by offering a better exchange rate than banks, and through qualitative services made possible by the presence of kiosks and branches in malls and tourist destinations.

Apart from traditional services, some of the exchange houses on the list also offer value-added services such as payroll services, travel cards, and other financial products.

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