Currency in the UAE

Find out what currency is used in the UAE, tips and tricks for currency exchange in the UAE, and how you can save money on your visit with the Wise UAE dirham card.
Emirati UAE currency

What is the currency in the UAE?

The currency in the UAE is the UAE dirham. Each dirham is divided into 100 fils.

When you’re buying currency for the UAE, look out for the currency code AED. And once you’re in the UAE, you’ll see the symbol د.إ used to show prices.

You’ll find Emirati banknotes in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000 - although the 1000 AED note is seldom used.

Coins come in 1, 25 and 50.

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Use the Wise UAE dirham card to spend in Emirati currency.

The Wise UAE dirham travel money card lets you top up in your local currency, and switch to dirham to spend when you’re in the UAE. You’ll get the best rate for spending in Emirati dirham - and can also hold and spend 40+ other currencies with the same card.

Get your Wise travel money card online for free, to send and spend money around the world at the real exchange rate.

Simply top up your card and convert to the currency you need in real time using the Wise app.

You’ll always get the real exchange rate with no hidden costs, and you’ll avoid foreign transaction fees while withdrawing from ATMs abroad, paying in restaurants and shops, and buying your accommodation and flights.

Learn more about the Emirati dirham card

Emirati UAE currency card

Tips for exchanging currency in the UAE.

Familiarise yourself with the mid-market rate before your trip.
The mid-market rate is the true exchange rate - with no sneaky hidden fees. Use an online currency converter before your trip to get a feel for what your money is worth and make sure you get a fair rate when you buy your travel money.
Convert GBP to AED >
Choose to be charged in UAE currency when withdrawing from ATMs.
Being offered to pay in your own currency at an ATM is a sneaky trick and causes many travellers to pay more than they need to. Always choose to pay in the local currency - in this case, dirham - to cut your costs and get the best rates available.
Avoid changing currency at airports or hotels.
Currency exchange desks at airports and hotels often markup the exchange rates they use, and may charge hidden fees. Avoid this expensive option whenever you can.
Use the Wise debit card to spend in the UAE without rip-off fees.
Withdraw money, pay for meals in restaurants or spend in shops in UAE dirham, all at the real exchange rate with the Wise debit card.
Get your travel money card >

Spending money in the UAE.

Paying by credit or debit card in the UAE

Credit and debit cards are very widely accepted in the UAE.

ATMs in the UAE

You'll have no problem finding ATMs in shopping centres, transport hubs, hotels and supermarkets throughout the UAE.

To get the best deal when spending on card or withdrawing money in the UAE, don’t forget to use the Wise travel money card to avoid sneaky exchange rate markups and excessive fees.

spending money in the UAE

Emirati currency services.

Convert GBP to Emirati dirham

Use our currency converter to see how much your money is worth in Emirati dirham and familiarise yourself with the mid-market rate before your trip.

Send money to the UAE

Need to send GBP to the UAE? Use Wise for fast, low-cost, and secure online money transfers from the United Kingdom to the UAE.

See the best Emirati dirham exchange rates

Compare live Emirati dirham exchange rates and see how much you could save with Wise.

Emirati currency FAQs.

Get your Wise debit card and save on your trip to the UAE

Spend smart, save money. Avoid sneaky bank fees when travelling, with Wise.

Order your card now