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Top 3 Money Transfer Providers for Saudi Arabia to UK

Provider Amount Received Fee Exchange Rate Speed
Smart Currency Exchange Smart Currency Exchange GBP £2,145.83 22.90SAR 0.2146 1-3 days more...
Moneycorp Moneycorp GBP £2,121.49 No Fee 0.2121 1-3 days more...
Currency Solutions Currency Solutions GBP £2,151.77 45.80SAR 0.2152 1-3 days more...
FXcompared Country Guides
Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabias currency, the Saudi riyal, is pegged to the US dollar (USD), and the exchange rate has been fixed at 3 Read More
There are no exchange controls in the UK for the pound sterling (GBP), and transferring money to the UK and sending money from the UK is very easy Read More

Send money from Saudi Arabia to UK

Top 4 Money Transfer Providers

Latest prices for transferring money from Saudi Arabia to UK
Exchange Rates as of 20 March 2023, 09:45

Smart Currency Exchange

Est. 2004
Smart is focused on helping clients to effectively and efficiently send and receive payments internationally
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Amount Received
GBP £2,145.83
SAR ﷼ 287.90
saved vs. banks


Est. 1979

One-off payments | Regular payments | Great rates | Safeguarded customer funds

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Amount Received
GBP £2,121.49
SAR ﷼ 176.46
saved vs. banks

Currency Solutions

Est. 2003

Currency exchange specialists ranking No.1 on Trustpilot for the past two years

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Amount Received
GBP £2,151.77
SAR ﷼ 315.12
saved vs. banks


Est. 2005
Established in 2005, RationalFX helps individuals and businesses achieve significant savings on international payments
More InfoLess Info
Amount Received
GBP £2,146.81
SAR ﷼ 292.41
saved vs. banks

How to Transfer Money from Saudi Arabia to UK

Saudi Arabia to UK Guide


Throughout their long, closely linked histories, Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom (UK) have enjoyed a close, fruitful trading relationship. They are particularly close allies in the areas of economics, politics and defence, with Saudi Arabia proving to be a key strategic partner in the Middle East and Arabian Gulf regions. In recent years, thousands of expatriate workers have moved to Saudi Arabia for employment opportunities, which has caused cross-border money flows between the two countries.


Although previously, the Saudi Arabian currency was administered by the UK government under its colonial administration, since it became independent, it has adopted and issued its own currency; the Saudi Arabia riyal – or SAR. The SAR is currently pegged to the value of the USD and its price will be heavily influenced by the price of oil. With thousands of UK expatriates living and working in Saudi Arabia in a variety of sectors, money transfers between the two countries have significantly increased in volume in recent years.

Economic, trading and political relations

Saudi Arabia is the UK’s largest trading partner in the Middle East region. Its economic ties are mainly found in the energy sector, though Saudi Arabia is an increasingly important destination for exports of professional services from the UK. These relations include hundreds of bilateral trade ventures, with the total value of these being in the billions. In recent years, Saudi Arabia has also been a significant importer of arms and defences systems produced in the UK.

Bank accounts and credit cards

Opening a bank account in the UK will significantly speed up international money transfers from Saudi Arabia to the UK. As a modern banking system with a well-established global network, this is relatively easy to do in the UK. Saudi applicants will have to present a proof of income or employment, proof of address in the UK, and a valid passport. Another good option for those looking to make regular transfers of SAR from Saudi Arabia to the UK is to open a foreign denomination account with your UK bank. This will allow you to send and hold SAR without the need to convert it.

Did you know?

Like many other currencies in the Arabian Gulf region, the SAR is pegged to the USD. The two currencies were officially tied to each other under the terms of the IMF special drawing rights in 1986, and in 2003, the currency value was fixed at 3.75 riyals to 1 USD.

Visas and immigration

Saudi nationals require a visa to visit, work, or study in the UK. The type of visa needed depends on the purpose of the visit. A general visit visa is required for short visits and tourism. These visas are usually valid for up to three months at a time. A family visit visa is necessary for those visiting the UK with a spouse or other family members.

Tier 2 visas are required in order to be employed in the UK and require that the applicant be sponsored by a UK-based company. Applicants must have specialist skills in a particular field to be considered. Those with a temporary or short term job from a qualifying UK company must apply for a Tier 5 temporary work visa.

A Tier 4 visa is necessary for applicants who wish to study at a UK college or university. In order to qualify, applicants must present a Confirmation of Acceptance from an accredited educational institution in the UK.

There are several other types of visas for different categories of visitors. These include visas for business representatives from foreign countries, domestic workers who will be employed in private households, seamen on contract, and various others. The average processing time for a UK visa is three weeks. In some cases, spouses and dependents are able to accompany the main applicant to the UK. It is also possible for spouses to be employed during their stay, however, this is not the case with all visa types, including student visas and Tier 5 visas. More information on visa requirements and allowances can be found on the UK Government website.

Studying in the UK

Saudi students will be subject to international student fees if they enroll in any of the UK’s universities or colleges. International student fees can be quite expensive in the UK, especially at the post graduate level. According to the University of Southampton, the average amount for undergraduate students can range from GBP £14,660 to as much as GBP £38,315. Costs are even higher for graduate studies.

In addition to tuition, cost of living in the UK is relatively high, roughly GBP £7,000 per semester. Those on a student visa are permitted to work part time, up to 20 hours per week during the semester and full time during breaks to help meet expenses.

Trade relations

Saudi Arabia is the UK’s largest trading partner in the Middle East. In 2012 exports to Saudi Arabia from the UK totaled GBP £3.076bn, while imports from Saudi Arabia totaled approximately GBP £0.927bn. These amounts are not inclusive of exports of services from the UK, which totaled an estimated USD $3bn.

After the US, the UK is the largest international investor in Saudi Arabia. With over 200 bilateral ventures, total investments amount to about USD $17.5bn annually. Saudi Arabia is regarded as a high growth market by the UK Trade and Investment body. Both countries are working to diversify the Saudi economy so that expands beyond its dependence on oil and gas and embraces liberal economic reforms.

Banking and money

Opening a UK bank account will facilitate money transfers from Saudi Arabia to the UK. It is easy to open a bank account in the UK, which has an advanced banking system with both local and international banks. Saudi applicants will have to present proof of income or employment, evidence of a UK address, and a valid passport to open a UK bank account.

Many UK banks will allow account holders to open accounts in foreign denominations, the most common of which are in euros or US dollars.

Tax regulations in the UK

The UK tax system is fairly complex. As a Saudi national living or working in the region, it is advisable to enlist the services of a local tax professional. The tax year in the UK runs from April 6 to April 5 of the following year. This may impact the timing of money transfers from Saudi Arabia to the UK.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are the money transfer companies shown above safe to use?

Yes, all the companies are safe and fully-regulated money transfer services. Each are authorised and regulated by the relevant authority such as the Financial Conduct Authority(FCA) in the UK, FinCEN in the US, FinTRAC in Canada or ASIC in Australia.

How long does an international money transfer take?

The speed of delivery will depend on where the money is being from and to and how you are sending and receiving the money. Transfers sent using bank to bank transfers can depend take anywhere from minutes to days and you should check the time estimates from the relevant provider. Debit and credit card payments sometimes allow for faster transfers for smaller amounts.

How do I use FXcompared?

First review the comparison results (such as for a table above) for a given amount of money sending from Saudi Arabia to UK. Then select a provider based on factors such as price, speed, their rating and click the green button to be taken to their website. From there, you can register and sign up for an account. Once you have done that and the provider has verified your identity to ensure the money can be send safely, you will be ready to transfer money.

What payments methods can I use to send money overseas?

The results shown above are typically for bank to bank transfers. It is possible via some providers to pay in your funds for the transfer via cash, debit or credit cards as well but this is usually reserved for smaller amounts. Some providers also give you different options for how the money will be received - to a bank account (most common), to a debit card, to cash or to a digital or mobile wallet.

What if the price shown above isn’t exactly what I am offered when I try to transfer money?

There can be a number of reasons why the final price you are offered may be different to that shown in the table above. Exchange rates between two currencies change all the time and is the most common reason. Additionally, some providers offer different pricing depending what method you are using to send funds or how the funds will be received. Others may offer you a premium service for faster payments. In some cases FXcompared has a special rate with a provider and this is reserved for first time customers who sign up to the provider starting from FXcompared’s website. As prices do change often, be sure to confirm the total cost with the provider before transferring money.

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