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Money and currency in Dubai

Here you can learn everything about the currency of Dubai. Also the best way to change money and especially where you can do it most cheaply.

We also go over where you can pay anywhere with a credit card. With this article you save worries and money.

Arab Emirate Dirham (AED)

AED money in box

The name of the currency in Dubai and in the United Arab Emirates is AED (Arab Emirate Dirham). AED has 6 coins (Fils) and 8 bills.

The exchange rate of the Dirham is tied to the US Dollar and this is 3.67 AED for 1 US Dollar. The fixed rate is due to the trading of oil, otherwise the oil price would fluctuate too much.

Because most other currencies, such as EURO, are not fixedly linked to the Dollar, they go up and down in exchange rate.

Coins

There are a total of 6 coins of which only 1 Dirham and sometimes 50 Fils are used.

1 Dirham

1 Dirham

0.272 USD

50 Fils

50 Fils

0.136 USD

25 Fils

25 Fils

0.0681 USD

10 Fils

10 Fils

0.0272 USD

5 Fils

5 Fils

0.0136 USD

1 Fils

1 Fils

0.00272 USD

Bills

The currency also has eight bills from 5 to 1,000 Dirhams.

5 AED

5 Dirham - 1.36 USD

10 AED

10 Dirham - 2.72 USD

20 AED

20 Dirham - 5.45 USD

50 AED

50 Dirham - 13.61 USD

100 AED

100 Dirham - 27.23 USD

200 AED

200 Dirham - 54.45 USD

500 AED

500 Dirham - 136.13 USD

1000 AED

1000 Dirham - 272.26 USD

Arab Emirate Dirham
Money and currency in Dubai

What's the best way to pay?

Credit cards Dubai

Credit card

One of the safest and easiest ways to pay in Dubai is with a credit card.

Nowadays you can follow your transactions in an app at most financial institutions. Note that it's best to do all your payments in AED, this saves you the transaction costs.

Pay cash in Dubai

Cash

Although the safest way to pay with a credit card is, it is also a good idea to have cash with you.

For example, for a taxi ride, in most cases you will have to pay in cash. You can pay electronically in about 40% of the taxis in Dubai.

Apple pay in Dubai

Apple Pay

The emirate is known for always following the latest technologies. That is why it is already possible to pay with your smartphone in an incredible number of places via Apple Pay or other payment services via the smartphone. Note that the card on Apple Pay, for example, supports foreign payments.

Important!

If you want to pay with a credit card in Dubai it is important that you pay in Dirham and not in your own currency. In proportion you pay less exchange rates than you pay in your own currency. For each transaction with your credit card it is best to inform the retailer in advance that you want to pay in Dirham (AED).

What's the best way to pay?

ATM machines in Dubai

ATM machine DubaiATM machine Dubai

All over the place

In Dubai there are around 1000 ATMs where you can go with all possible credit cards such as Visa, Mastercard, American Express, ...

Sometimes it is also possible to use your national bank card to withdraw money. It is best to inquire with your bank before you leave.

A cash machine can be found within almost all public places within walking distance.

Exchange money in Dubai

Electronic payment is of course easy and safe, nevertheless it is always wise to take a reasonable amount of cash with you. If your bank card doesn't work or you want to give your favorite waiter, housekeeping or taxi driver a nice tip, you will need cash.

Al Ansari Exchange

The best way to change money in Dubai

The best way to change your own currency to Dirham is in Dubai itself and in most cases not in your own country! Banks and other financial institutions in your own country use an exchange rate that is generally far too expensive!

An example:

  • A financial institution in Belgium gave us an exchange rate of around 3.70, so if you want to change 500 Euro to Dirham you get 1.850 Dirham. Usually booking fees are added.
  • A financial institution (Exchange Al Ansari) in Dubai airport gave us an exchange rate of 4.15, so we got for the same 500 Euro 2.075 Dirham and we had to pay no booking fees!
    A difference of 225 Dirham or about 55 Euro more! A nice dinner with 2 at the Burj Khalifa extra! This example was applicable in January 2019.
Al Ansari ExchangeAl Ansari Exchange

Al Ansari Exchange

View all Al Ansari offices in Dubai and their most recent exchange rate on the Al Ansari website.

UAExchange officeUAExchange office

UAExchange

View all UAExchange offices in Dubai and their most recent exchange rates on the UAExchange website.

Exchange money in Dubai

Banks in Dubai

Dubai National Bank

If you want to exchange cash directly, you can perfectly do that in a bank in Dubai instead of a currency exchange office. They accept all major currencies such as Dollar, Pound, Euro,...

Banks and other public authorities are usually open from Sunday to Thursday and this from 7.30 am to 2.30 pm.

These opening times may vary during Ramadan.

The most famous banks in Dubai.

  • Emirates NBD
  • First Abu Dhabi Bank
  • Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank
  • Dubai Islamic Bank
  • Noor Bank
  • Commercial Bank of Dubai
Banks in Dubai

Conclusion & tips

Wisemen give tips about money and currency in DubaiWisemen give tips about money and currency in Dubai

Finally, we want to list all the important things that have to do with money, currency and paying in Dubai.

  • Exchange cash is best done in Dubai at an exchange office (Al Ansari or UAExchange) or an official bank. Changing money in your home country is almost always more expensive.
  • If your hotel or stay is not yet charged, you should do this with a credit card or cash in AED. At most hotels you can also pay in Euro, Dollar, Pound,... but then you will have to pay a lot of transaction costs to convert it to the local currency.
  • When you pay with a credit card in a shop or restaurant, it's best to do this in AED. Before you pay with a credit card you tell the seller that you want to pay in AED. This saves you transaction costs because you pay in the local currency. Paying with a credit card in your own currency is more expensive!
  • Always make sure you have cash with you. For example, in more than half of the taxis you cannot pay electronically.

Money and currency in Dubai

Conclusion & tips
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