Switch .com Best Exchange Rates .com Best Exchange Rates .com Best Exchange Rates

    Currency in the UAE AED - Things to know

    Foreign exchange guide to the UAE and the United Arab Emirates dirham


    What currency is used in the UAE?

    The official currency of the UAE (country code: AE) is the United Arab Emirates dirham, with symbol د.إ and currency code AED.

    Loading rates...


    Things to know about the United Arab Emirates dirham

    The name Dirham derives from the Greek word Drachmae, literally meaning "handful", through Latin. Due to centuries of old trade and usage of the currency, dirham survived through the Ottoman Empire.

    The United Arab Emirates dirham was introduced on 19 May 1973. It replaced the Qatar and Dubai riyal at par. The Qatar and Dubai riyal had circulated since 1966 in all of the emirates except Abu Dhabi, where the dirham replaced the Bahraini dinar at 1 dirham = 0.1 dinar.

    Before 1966, all the emirates that were to form the UAE used the Gulf rupee. As in Qatar, the emirates briefly adopted the Saudi riyal during the transition from the Gulf rupee to the Qatar and Dubai riyal.

    It is pegged to the U.S. dollar for most of the time. Since November 1997, the dirham has been pegged to the 1 U.S. dollar = 3.6725 dirhams, which translates to approximately 1 dirham = 0.272294 dollar.

    Due to the US dollar peg the dirham will always follow the dollar as USD appreciates or depreciates. However, keep in mind that it is not pegged to other major currencies such as the GBP or the EUR, meaning that its rate in comparison with other currencies will fluctuate every day.

    When you want to understand what affects the exchange rate between the AED and another currency, you need to understand what affects the exchange rate between the other currency and the Australian dollar.

    The UAE dirham banknotes and coins

    The physical currency consists of coins and banknotes. The coins come in denominations of 5 fils, 10 fils, 25 fils, and 50 fils. The banknotes come in denominations of 1 dirham, 5 dirhams, 10 dirhams, 20 dirhams, 50 dirhams, 100 dirhams, 200 dirhams, 500 dirhams, and 1,000 dirhams.

    The banknotes feature images of famous UAE historical figures, such as Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, and Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The design of the currency is constantly being updated, so the physical appearance of the coins and banknotes may vary slightly over time.

    An example United Arab Emirates dirham banknote


    Travel money for the UAE

    Save money and time by Ordering your United Arab Emirates dirham online from Travelex, you get better rates and can pick up the AED cash locally or even on travel day at the airport.

    Another popular option is to use a Pre-paid Travel Card. Your Debit/Credit Card provider will charge you 2% from market mid-rate, but your bank may also charge an extra 3% as an “Overseas Transaction Charge” plus “Overseas ATM” fees for withdrawing cash.

    For card purchases if offered a choice of currencies always select to Pay in United Arab Emirates dirham otherwise you may get much worst exchange rates.


    Travel Ideas and Money Tips for the UAE

    The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a country located in the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. It is a federal absolute monarchy composed of seven emirates: Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah, and Fujairah. The UAE has a population of around 9.5 million people, and the official language is Arabic. The country has a diverse and multicultural society, with a large expat population.

    The UAE is known for its modern and luxurious lifestyle, with world-class infrastructure, shopping malls, and hotels. The country is also home to a number of iconic landmarks, such as the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, and the Palm Jumeirah, an artificial island in the shape of a palm tree. The UAE has a hot desert climate, with temperatures reaching as high as 50°C in the summer months. The country is a popular tourist destination, with millions of visitors each year.

    Best things to do

    There are many things to do and see in the United Arab Emirates. Some suggestions for things to do in the UAE include:

    1. Visit the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building, in Dubai. You can go to the top of the building and get a panoramic view of the city.

    2. Go on a desert safari in Dubai or Abu Dhabi. You can ride a camel, go sandboarding, and watch a traditional dance performance.

    3. Visit the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, which is one of the largest mosques in the world. The mosque is known for its beautiful architecture and white marble exterior.

    4. Take a boat ride on the Dubai Creek and visit the Gold Souk, where you can see and buy gold jewelry.

    5. Go skiing at the Ski Dubai indoor ski resort, which is located in the Mall of the Emirates.

    6. Visit the Louvre Abu Dhabi, which is a museum that houses a collection of art, manuscripts, and other cultural artifacts from around the world.

    7. Go to the top of the observation deck at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel in Dubai to get a view of the Palm Jumeirah, a man-made island in the shape of a palm tree.

    8. Take a trip to the Al Ain oasis, which is a green oasis in the desert and home to a number of historical sites.

    9. Go scuba diving or snorkeling in the crystal clear waters off the coast of the UAE. There are many shipwrecks and coral reefs to explore.

    10. Visit the Fujairah Fort, a historic fort in the eastern part of the UAE that dates back to the 16th century.

    UAE laws travelers should note

    Travelers to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) should be aware of the local laws and customs to ensure that they have a safe and enjoyable trip. Here are a few laws and regulations that travelers should be aware of:

    1. The UAE has strict laws against drug possession and trafficking. Even small amounts of illegal drugs can result in severe punishment, including imprisonment and fines.

    2. Alcohol consumption is allowed in designated areas such as hotels, bars, and restaurants, but it is illegal to drink alcohol in public places or to be under the influence of alcohol in public.

    3. Public displays of affection, such as kissing or holding hands, are not allowed and can result in fines or imprisonment.

    4. The UAE has strict laws against sexual harassment and any form of discrimination based on gender, race, religion, or nationality.

    5. Photography of government buildings, military installations, and certain landmarks is not allowed.

    6. The UAE has strict laws against cybercrime, including online fraud, hacking, and the distribution of illegal or inappropriate content.

    7. It is illegal to import or use any kind of pornography in the UAE.

    8. It is illegal to engage in any kind of gambling in the UAE.

    9. The UAE has strict laws against the import and use of illegal drugs, including prescription drugs that have not been approved by the local authorities.

    10. It is important to respect local customs and traditions, including wearing modest clothing and avoiding offensive language or behavior.

    It is a good idea for travelers to familiarize themselves with the local laws and customs before visiting the UAE to ensure that they do not inadvertently break any laws.

    Entry criteria to note

    If you are travelling on a passport showing 'X' (indeterminate/intersex/unspecified) in the sex field, you will not be permitted to enter the United Arab Emirates

    You must declare cash money, including travellers cheques, above AED 100,000, or the equivalent in other currencies.


    USD/AED Market Data

    The below interactive chart displays the USD/AED change and UP📈 DOWN📉 trends over the past 1 Year.

    1 USD =
    3.6729We compare provider deals to this wholesale mid-market rate. Read more
      1 AED = 0.2723 USD   (Inverse rate)
    My Rates

    Manage My Rates   


    Frequently Asked Questions

    What currency should I use in the UAE?

    The domestic currency in the UAE is the United Arab Emirates dirham.

    What is the United Arab Emirates dirham currency code and symbol?

    The three letter currency code for the United Arab Emirates dirham is AED — symbol is د.إ.

    Which countries use the United Arab Emirates dirham?

    It is the domestic currency in    UAE.

    Is the United Arab Emirates dirham a closed currency?

    No, the United Arab Emirates dirham is freely available and convertible. See guide: What is a closed currency?

    What are equivalent amounts of USD and AED?

    Here are some popular conversion amounts for USD to AED (US dollar to United Arab Emirates dirham)*.

    $ 1 د.إ 3.6729
    $ 5 د.إ 18.36
    $ 10 د.إ 36.73
    $ 20 د.إ 73.46
    $ 50 د.إ 183.65
    $ 100 د.إ 367.29
    $ 250 د.إ 918.23
    $ 500 د.إ 1,836
    $ 1,000 د.إ 3,673
    $ 2,000 د.إ 7,346
    $ 5,000 د.إ 18,365
    $ 10,000 د.إ 36,729
    $ 20,000 د.إ 73,458
    $ 50,000 د.إ 183,645
    $ 100,000 د.إ 367,290
    $ 0.2723 د.إ 1
    $ 1.3615 د.إ 5
    $ 2.7230 د.إ 10
    $ 5.4460 د.إ 20
    $ 13.62 د.إ 50
    $ 27.23 د.إ 100
    $ 68.08 د.إ 250
    $ 136.15 د.إ 500
    $ 272.30 د.إ 1,000
    $ 544.60 د.إ 2,000
    $ 1,362 د.إ 5,000
    $ 2,723 د.إ 10,000
    $ 5,446 د.إ 20,000
    $ 13,615 د.إ 50,000
    $ 27,230 د.إ 100,000

    More amounts

    *Converted at the current USDAED interbank exchange rate. Calculate actual payout amounts for Send Money and Travel Money exchange rates.

    Send Money to the UAE - Best Rates

    To get a good (and fair) exchange rate when sending money to the UAE you need to find and compare exchange rates for International Money Transfers (IMTs).

    The available FX rates for sending money abroad can be very different to the mid-market (wholesale) rate which you see reported online and in the News.

    You should especially compare your own bank's exchange rates to those available from Money Transfer specialists to see how much you can save - we make that calculation easy in the below table.

    Get a better deal for foreign transfers to the UAE

    When sending money to the UAE it’s important to compare your bank’s rates & fees with those we have negotiated with our partner money transfer providers. To get a better deal you should follow these 4 simple steps :

    1. Open an account with a BER reviewed FX provider (id docs may be required)
    2. You specify the local or United Arab Emirates dirham amount you want to transfer
    3. Make a local currency domestic transfer for the requested amount to the provider's bank account in your country
    4. Once your funds are received by the provider the converted AED amount will be transfered to the recipient account you specify in the UAE.

    Use the above calculator to compare the exchange rates of FX specialist providers rates versus your bank's standard rates you can hopefully save around 5% and maybe more - end result is more United Arab Emirates dirham deposited into the recipient bank account and less margins and fees kept by the banks!


    Expat Money & Business Guide to the UAE

    Managing your money effectively while living and working abroad can be challenging, but there are several steps you can take to ensure that your finances are in order.

    By following these tips and managing your money effectively, you can reduce financial stress and enjoy your experience living or doing business in the UAE.

    Is the Emirati dirham freely exchangeable?

    Yes, the Emirati dirham (AED) is a freely exchangeable currency. It is pegged to the United States dollar (USD) at a fixed exchange rate of 1 AED to 0.272294 USD. This means that the value of the AED is fixed relative to the USD, and the exchange rate does not fluctuate.

    The Emirati dirham can be exchanged for other currencies at banks, currency exchange offices, and bureaux de change. It is also possible to exchange AED for other currencies online or through international money transfer services.

    The Emirati dirham is widely accepted in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and can be used to make purchases at most stores and restaurants. It is also accepted in a number of other countries in the Middle East and North Africa. However, it may be difficult to use AED in other parts of the world, and it is best to check with your bank or a currency exchange office before traveling.

    Can foreigners buy property in the UAE?

    Yes, foreigners are allowed to buy property in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). However, there are some restrictions and regulations that apply to property ownership by foreigners.

    In general, foreigners are allowed to buy property in the UAE, but they are not allowed to own land. Instead, they can only own the buildings and structures that are built on the land. This means that foreigners cannot own land outright, but they can lease land from the government for a period of up to 99 years.

    There are also some restrictions on the type of property that foreigners can buy. In some cases, foreigners are only allowed to buy property in designated areas, such as certain parts of Dubai and Abu Dhabi. In other cases, there may be restrictions on the type of property that foreigners can buy, such as apartments or villas.

    It is important to research the property market and understand the rules and regulations before buying property in the UAE. It is also recommended to seek legal advice and work with a real estate agent to ensure that the process goes smoothly.

    What's the expat life in UAE?

    The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has a large expat population, with expats making up a significant portion of the country's population. Expats in the UAE come from a variety of countries and cultures, and many are attracted to the country for its modern infrastructure, high standard of living, and tax-free income.

    Expats in the UAE often live in modern, well-equipped apartments or houses, and have access to a range of amenities and facilities, such as swimming pools, gyms, and supermarkets. The country has a wide range of international schools, making it an attractive destination for families with children.

    The UAE has a diverse and vibrant nightlife, with a range of restaurants, bars, and clubs catering to different tastes and budgets. Many expats in the UAE are also involved in various social and recreational activities, such as sports, hobbies, and volunteer work.

    However, expat life in the UAE can also have its challenges. The country has a hot desert climate, which can be difficult to adjust to for some people. In addition, the cost of living in the UAE can be high, especially in cities like Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Expats may also face cultural differences and may need to adapt to local customs and norms.

    Managing your finances in the UAE

    Here we list some key points for expats and businesses to consider when managing financial dealings in the UAE:

    1. Understand United Arab Emirates dirham currency exchange rates: Exchange rates can have a big impact on your finances, so it is important to keep an eye on the AED exchange rate and consider using a currency exchange service or a credit card that does not charge foreign transaction fees to get the best exchange rate.

    2. Use a local United Arab Emirates dirham bank account: A local AED bank account can make it easier for you to manage your finances and pay bills while you are in the UAE. It may also be more convenient to use a local AED bank account to make purchases and withdraw cash.

    3. Research local laws and regulations: It is important to understand the local laws and regulations that apply to financial transactions in the UAE. This can help you avoid legal issues and ensure that you are complying with local requirements.

    4. Consider the tax implications: It is important to understand the tax implications of living or doing business in the UAE. This can help you plan your finances and ensure that you are paying the correct amount of tax.

    5. Seek financial advice: If you are unsure of how to manage your finances in the UAE, it is a good idea to seek the advice of a financial professional who is familiar with the local financial system. This can help you make informed decisions and avoid financial pitfalls.


    More Country Guides (A-Z)