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Currency in Dubai – Info about the Dirham, ATMs and exchange rates

Currency in Dubai – Info about the Dirham, ATMs and exchange rates

Want to know more about the currency in Dubai? They use United Arab Emirates Dirham (AED), and here’s more info about ATMs, money and exchange rates before your trip.

I will also answer some of the most frequently asked questions about money and currency in Dubai.

Quick facts about the UAE Dirham (AED)

  • Name: United Arab Emirates Dirham.
  • Currency in: Dubai and the United Arab Emirates.
  • Date of introduction: 1973.
  • Denominations: 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 fils as well as 1 Dirham in coins. 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000 in notes.
  • Subunit: 100 fils (cents)
  • Abbreviation: د.إ
  • Currency code: AED

Currency in Dubai

Can you pay by card in Dubai?

Yes, VISA and Mastercard are widely accepted in Dubai, as well as American Express. However, there are still smaller shops and other places that don’t accept card payments, so it’s recommended to always carry some cash. 

Should you exchange money before your trip?

It’s generally better to exchange money in Dubai rather than in your home country, but there is really no need to exchange any money at all. Because you will get more value for your money by withdrawing money from a local ATM or pay by card where it’s possible. 

Just remember to bring a travel card with zero atm fees and 0% currency fees when paying with your card abroad. Most regular debit and credit cards have fees, but there are some cards without fees, made for frequent travelers. 

Exchange currency in Dubai

It’s easy to exchange money in Dubai and the banks and exchange offices typically hold larger sums of the major currencies than European countries and the US, simply to the fact that there are so many nationalities living and traveling to Dubai.

However, it’s usually not recommended to exchange currency in Dubai due to the poor rate you will be given. It’s much better to take out cash from a local ATM, or even better pay by card whenever possible, as long as you use a card without any fees abroad.

dubai currency

Money and ATMs in Dubai

Can you use Euros in Dubai?

No, Euros are not accepted as payment in Dubai. However, you can easily exchange them in hotels, banks and exchange bureaus, but the rate given will likely be much lower than the actual value.

Can you use US dollars in Dubai?

No, US dollars can’t be used in Dubai as payment. The only accepted currency in Dubai is the United Arab Emirates Dirham (AED). You can exchange dollars to AED if you want to, but it’s not recommended due to the poor exchange rate. 

How do the ATMs work in Dubai?

All of the ATMs in Dubai accept VISA and Mastercards, and they dispense Dirhams. When inserting a foreign card, the ATM will display information in English. Always remember to choose without conversion, and always be charged in the local currency. 

ATMs in Dubai don’t charge any fees for withdrawing cash. But your own bank will likely impose fees for withdrawing cash abroad, so make sure to bring a travel card such as Revolut to avoid atm fees and currency exchange fees. 

ATM in Dubai

Photo: Kamni Jethani /

Dubai Currency converter

If you have a smartphone, I recommend you to download the XE currency app to see Dubai currency conversion according to the daily market rates. Another option is to use the Revolut app and add the United Arab Emirates Dirham to your watchlist and see realtime updates of the currency in Dubai.

More about Dubai’s currency – AED

The United Arab Emirates Dirham is the currency of Dubai as well as the whole United Arab Emirates. Before its introduction in 1973, Dubai had a combined currency with Qatar, known as the Qatar and Dubai Riyal. 

The Dubai currency of today is not as old as US dollars or other major currencies in Europe, but thanks to the economic position of the Emirate, it has a good status and valuation around the world. The Emirate Dirham is given out by the central bank of the United Arab Emirates. 

On the notes, you can see East Arabic numbers as well as Arabic text. Nowadays, there is also a falcon as a watermark on the coins. This was introduced after discovering a fraud in 2006 where 1 Philippine peso was just as big as 1 dirham, which led to some people paying with Philippine pesos. 

The same thing happened with 5 Pakistani rupees, 1 Moroccan dirham as well as the 50 baisa coin from Oman. 

1 dirham - valuta i dubai

How much is 100 AED in other currencies?

  • 100 AED = 24 Euro
  • 100 AED = 27 USD
  • 100 AED = 36 CAD

Dubai currency in coins and notes:

  • Coins: 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 fils as well as 1 Dirham.
  • Banknotes: 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000 AED

United Arab emirates Dirham

Frequently asked questions about the currency in Dubai

Is it better to exchange money in Dubai?

Yes, it’s much better to exchange into Dirhams in Dubai than abroad. However, it’s still not recommended to exchange money due to poor exchange rates. It’s much better to use a card without atm fees and zero currency exchange fees. 

What is the currency in Dubai called?

The currency of Dubai is the United Arab Emirates Dirham (AED). 

How much cash can I carry to Dubai?

The limit of how much cash you can carry to Dubai is currently set to 1 million AED, but if you carry money or valuables that exceed AED 100,000 in value or equivalent in other currencies, you must sign a declaration form upon arrival. 

Can I use my debit card in Dubai?

Yes, debit cards from VISA and Mastercard are widely accepted in Dubai. Just make sure to check with your bank if they have restrictions abroad.

Can I use my credit card in Dubai?

Yes, credit cards are widely accepted in Dubai, and you can use it freely unless your bank has restrictions for usage abroad. 

Do Dubai taxis take credit cards?

Yes, all Dubai taxis accept payments by debit and credit cards. 

How can I send money to Dubai?

It’s recommended that you use Transferwise for sending money to Dubai. This will give you the lowest fees possible. 

What local banks are available in Dubai?

Emirates Islamic Bank, Dubai Islamic Bank, National Bank of Dubai, Commercial bank of Dubai, Barclays, Citibank, HSBC, Dubai Bank, and Standard Chartered bank just to mention a few banks in Dubai.

More reading from Dubai

Do you have more questions about the currency in Dubai? Leave a comment below!