Currency Exchange in UAE

Page update - Sep 17, 2023

There is no strict currency control in the United Arab Emirates. Many stores and vendors in the markets accept dollars, pounds, euros, but the rate is not good for tourists. We recommend exchanging currency to the local dirhams, as it is more convenient.

On this page we will describe in detail all the nuances of currency exchange in the UAE. Read more about the UAE national currency (banknotes, coins, features) on the page "Money of the UAE".

What currency is better for the UAE

It is best to bring US Dollars. The UAE dirham exchange rate is pegged to the US dollar - 1 USD = 3,673 AED. Accordingly, it is very easy to navigate in numbers, no need to count anything and follow the situation on exchanges.

If your country's currency differs then no need to exchange in advance to dollars or dirhams. Just take your euros, pounds, etc with you to the UAE. You can exchange most any currency there, and the losses are low.

For example, at the day of update of this page (September 2023) the rate for Australian dollar to UAE dirham in exchange offices "Al Ansari" is 2,4 (buy) and 2,29 (sell). As you see, the spread (buy and sell difference) is only 4.6%. Don't worry, take your currency and exchange it in the UAE.

WARNING! In case of some currency unstable the exchange rate may be very bad. Or exchange may be unavailable at all. On the day of the update of this page you can see such a situation with the Russian ruble. Now, it is almost impossible to change rubles.

Main rule of changing US dollars

It goes like this:

- If the exchange rate of the dirham is higher than 3.6, then change with no doubts;

- If the exchange rate is between 3.5 and 3.6, then change small amounts for your daily expenses (taxi cab, metro from the airport, a snack or coffee in a cafe).

Rules of changing other currencies

Watch for the official rate and compare it with the rate in the exchange branch. If the difference is less than 2,5% then change with no doubts.

Actual official rates of UAE dirham

Exchange rates at 25.07.2024

1 UAE dirham = 0,2725 US dollar
1 UAE dirham = 0,2115 UK pound
1 UAE dirham = 0,2511 EURO
1 UAE dirham = 0,3766 CAN dollar
1 UAE dirham = 0,4163 AUS dollar
1 UAE dirham = 0,4619 NZ dollar
1 UAE dirham = 22,8400 IND rupee
1 UAE dirham = 0,2396 Swiss francs
1 UAE dirham = 1,9715 Chinese yuan
1 UAE dirham = 41,8650 Japanese yen

1 US dollar = 3,6697 UAE dirham
1 UK pound = 4,7281 UAE dirham
1 EURO = 3,9825 UAE dirham
1 CAN dollar = 2,6553 UAE dirham
1 AUS dollar = 2,4021 UAE dirham
1 NZ dollar = 2,1650 UAE dirham
1 IND rupee = 0,0438 UAE dirham
1 Swiss francs = 4,1736 UAE dirham
1 Chinese yuan = 0,5072 UAE dirham
1 Japanese yen = 0,0239 UAE dirham

Where to change money

Exchange offices can be found at airports, hotels, shopping malls, and just on the streets of cities. You can change money in banks. We will talk about each way in detail.

Exchange at the airport

In every international airport in the UAE there are currency exchange offices. The rate usually is not good: 3,5-3,6 dirhams for one US dollar and up to 5% losses for other currencies.

We advise to exchange a small amount for running expenses. When buying a ticket in the Dubai Metro, only dirhams are accepted. In a taxi cab in the Arab Emirates you can pay in dollars, pounds or euros, but you have to negotiate the exchange rate with the driver. They often ask to pay at a ratio of 3 dirhams to a dollar.

There is a way to change money in a Duty Free store. You have to buy something and ask for the change in dirhams. But watch the exchange rate in the store, it can be unprofitable.

Find your flight

Exchanging in banks

Exchanging money in a bank is profitable, but inconvenient. They always require documents for exchange. The banks are open from 8 (or 9) a.m. to 1 (or 2) p.m. Some banks are additionally open from 4pm to 6pm. On Friday banks do not work, it is a holy day for Muslims. On Saturdays and Sundays, they also do not work.

Working hours now are less, because since January 3, 2022 UAE switched to the new format of the working week, details in our page "Weekend in UAE".

Exchange at the hotel

The exchange rates at the hotel exchange offices are unprofitable: 3.5 to 3.6 dirhams per dollar. But this way is the most convenient, because you don't have to go anywhere, and the work schedule is from 8 am to 10 pm (usually).

Exchange offices in malls and on the street

Look for such offices by the signs "Money Exchange" or "Exchange". In shopping malls, the role of exchangers is played by bank branches, which are open from morning to evening. Exchange rates in exchange offices in shopping malls and on the street are the best.

Exchange offices offer a wide range of additional services. You can cash traveler's checks, accept Western Union transfers, make photocopies of documents, or buy a local SIM.

Attention! Commission!

In the UAE there are no clear rules or traditions of currency exchange. Some exchange offices charge commission, some do not. If there is a commission it may be fixed or be a percentage. As experience shows, many tourists look only at the exchange rate, and do not pay attention to other inscriptions.

To avoid unpleasant situations, it is better to use a proven method. Show the employee of the exchange office a bill (100 USD of euros is better to make it easier to count) and ask: "How much in dirhams?" He will show you the amount, usually by a calculator. Divide this amount by the value of your banknote (in our example, by 100) and you will get the real exchange rate.

This method works in all countries. Use it, you will not regret it.

More important points

Exchange offices are common in the UAE. There is no need to change a large amount at once, change the amount enough for a couple of days. Read our page "How much money to take in the UAE".

In theory there is no ban on taking UAE dirhams out of the country, except for the amount of 60,000 dirhams (read our review "What you may not take out of the UAE" for more details). But it would be very difficult to exchange them outside the UAE, they may serve only as a souvenir. We strongly recommend you to exchange all remaining dirhams for dollars, pounds or euros before departure home.

We wish you a pleasant experience in the UAE, and read our useful for tourists pages about this country (see the list of pages below).


Tips for Tourists in the UAE


What to Take for the UAE

What You Should Not Do in the UAE

To the UAE with Kids

Sharks in the UAE

Weather in the UAE by Month

Holidays in the UAE

Are Unmarried Young Women
Allowed to Enter the UAE?

All-Inclusive in the UAE

Power Sockets & Voltage in the UAE

Hotels in the UAE with Own Beach


The UAE - Info, Facts, Figures

What Language is Spoken in the UAE

Population and Citizens of the UAE

History of the UAE

Flag of the UAE

Friday and Weekend in the UAE

Ramadan in the UAE

Sheikh Zayed - Father of Nation

Sheikhs of the UAE


What to Bring from the UAE

What You Can and Not Bring In the UAE

What You Can and Not Take Out the UAE

VAT Refund in the UAE

Shopping in the UAE - Why is Cheap

Date Fruits in the UAE

Camel Milk and Dairy Products

Bakhoor and Oud


Money in the UAE - Emirati Dirham

Currency Exchange in the UAE

How Much Money to Take to the UAE

Food Prices in the UAE

Tourist Taxes in the UAE

Alcohol in the UAE

Cigarettes and Smoking in the UAE

Vape and iQos in the UAE


Dubai Metro - Fares and Map

Taxi in the UAE - Fares and Guide

NOL Transport Card Dubai

Dubai Tram

Dubai Monorail

Buses in the UAE


From Dubai Airport (DXB) to City

From Al Maktoum Airport (DWC) to City

From Abu Dhabi Airport (AUH) to City

From Sharjah Airport (SHJ) to City


From Dubai to Abu-Dhabi

Free Buses Dubai - Abu-Dhabi

From Sharjah to Dubai

From Ras Al-Khaimah to Dubai

From Ajman to Dubai

From Fujairah to Dubai

From Umm Al-Quwain to Dubai


Internet in the UAE

Cheap Calls from the UAE

Free SIM-card in Dubai

UAE Phone Codes




Bur Dubai

Dubai Marina



TOP Attractions in Dubai

Beaches in Dubai

Abu Dhabi

Al Ain

Yas Island

Beaches in Abu Dhabi


Beaches in Sharjah


Ras Al Khaimah

Umm Al Quwain



Best Attractions in the UAE

Free Attractions in the UAE


Burj Khalifa

Dubai Fountain

Excursions in Dubai

How to Save on Entertainment in Dubai


The Best in Dubai Mall

Dubai Aquarium

Candylicious in Dubai Mall

Waterfall in Dubai Mall


Gold Market in Dubai

Al Mamzar Beach and Park

Deira Clock Tower

City Centre Deira Mall


Burj Al Arab

Wild Wadi Water Park

Jumeirah Mosque

Dubai Marina Mall

Madinat Jumeirah

Jumeirah Beach



The Lost Chambers

Dolphin Bay

Palm Fountains

The View at the Palm






Ain Dubai

Madame Tussauds


The Dubai Frame

Dubai Dolphinarium

Al Fahidi Fort Museum

Museum of the Future


Global Village

Miracle Garden

Butterfly Garden

IMG Worlds of Adventure


Mall of the Emirates

Ski Dubai


Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Louvre Abu Dhabi

Emirates Palace

Observation Deck at 300

Sheikh Zayed Memorial

Heritage Village

Corniche Waterfront

Sir Bani Yas


Ferrari World

Formula Rossa

Galleria Ferrari

Warner Bros Park

Yas WaterWorld

Yas Marina & Formula 1

Yas Mall


Sharjah Fountains

Sharjah Aquarium

Museum of Islamic Civilization

Al Noor Mosque

Mega Mall


Ajman Fish Market

Ajman Fort and Museum

City Centre Ajman Mall


DreamLand Water Park


Emirati Cuisine - What to Taste © 2020-2024