The currency in Dubai and the United Arab Emirates is the Dirham. Notes come in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 dirhams. There are 1 dirham and 50 and 25 fils coins in common circulation. Generally, it’s good to carry 100 dirham notes and lower values for day-to-day transactions.
The best places to change foreign currency and traveller’s cheques into dirhams, however, are the numerous exchanges found in malls and souks, which keep shop hours. Hotels may exchange cash and traveller’s cheques at non-competitive rates for guests.
Major international credit and debit cards are accepted in large shops, restaurants and hotels. When shopping in souks, it’s better to bargain for the best price with cash. Carry cash with you when you are travelling in Dubai city, but do not carry too much to avoid getting undue attention.
Speak to the foreign exchange department at SOTC to get the best rates before your Dubai holiday.
One of the safest cities of the Middle East for tourists, Dubai is popularly known as the City of Gold. The vibrant, cosmopolitan city, one among the seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the city of man-made marvels, is the melting pot of the rich culture of the East and the West. The best time to visit Dubai is during the months from November to April. If you are planning to travel to Dubai, check out with your tour planner on Dubai tour packages and the places to visit in Dubai before the trip initiates.
It is considered to have been established as a small fishing village at the start of the 18th century. Since the early part of the 20th century, Dubai has remained an important hub for regional and international trade and witnessed a boom in tourism, trade, real estate, investments, infrastructure development, aviation et al.
Commonly abbreviated as Dhs or DH, Dubai’s currency name is Dirham. It is officially denoted as AED whose extended form is Arab Emirate Dirham. It is also often called Emirati Dirham or Dubai Dirham. This currency is also the currency of the rest of the Emirates. Now in 1 Dubai Dirham or 1 AED, there are 100 fils. Though 1000 Emirati Dirham currency notes are rarely used, currency notes with denominations in the order of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000 AED are available in the market of Dubai. One Dubai Dirham roughly equals 19.45 Indian Rupees whereas one US dollar roughly equals 3.67 AED and one UK Pound sterling totals around 4.80 AED. For one Euro, it is around 4.05 Emirati Dirham.
The history of Dubai currency dates back to the 1970s. On December 2, 1971, United Arab Emirates, comprising six Emirates namely Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujiarah, Sharjah, Umm Al Quwain, came into being. The seventh Emirate, Ras al Khaimah joined hands with the six Emirates in 1972. It was after a year later that UAE Dirham as a currency was issued. In the denominations of 1, 5, 10, 50, 100, the first Dirham currency notes were issued. The 1000 denomination Dubai Dirham came three years later. The first set of Dubai Dirham currency notes was discontinued by UAE Central Bank in 1982 and the fresh set of currency notes bearing falcon watermark, the year of print and several historical landmarks from each emirate was issued.
It is always better to exchange rupees for Dubai money at the banks or departure airport before travelling to UAE although Dubai Dirham is not among the most common currencies available and there are fair chances that it should be available at any big airport. However, if one doesn’t have time to do that before the travel, nothing to worry about. The cosmopolitan city has many currency exchange outlets to offer. You might get the best available rates if you change from US dollars as Dubai currency is pegged to the US dollar. That means you will get near about the same rates while exchanging from US dollars to Dirhams, accounts fees and charges inclusive.
The value rises and falls as per the US dollars during the exchange of any other currency to Dirhams. In order to avert being charged astronomically, keep a tab on the ongoing mid-market rate. You may use an online currency converter easily available on Google. Moreover, you can check with your own bank if it has got any tie-up with the local banks of Dubai.
In recent times, there has been a prolific upsurge in the digital payments as compared to cash in the UAE, with the rise in technological advancements. The cashless transaction approach is being preferred by customers, particularly the younger generation, and business deals are also being accomplished by the same mode. Toeing the footsteps of most of the nations across the globe of being enlisted as a smart nation, UAE aims to become a cashless economy owing to the convenient, fast and economic mode of digital transaction.
Mobile payments and digital wallet services have gained momentum. However, with the rise in digital transactions, a significant upsurge has been noticed in fraud and data theft. In order to curb that, cyber security and fraud prevention measures have been upscaled and heavy investments are being made by banks along with technology providers to keep the situation much under control.
Tipping in itself is a complicated and confusing etiquette. However, when it comes to tipping in Dubai, there is no hard and fast rule for that though it is customary to leave a token of gratuity if you are happy with the services. For example, the taxi driver being extremely polite while helping with your luggage; or the smart waitress at the restaurant has served your coffee perfectly, you may want to tip. Normally, an average of 5 to 10% tip of your total billing is expected.