If you’re planning a trip to Dubai, it’s essential to know the currency used in the country. The official currency of Dubai is the United Arab Emirates Dirham (AED). It’s abbreviated as DH or Dhs and has a fixed exchange rate of 3.67 AED to 1 USD. The Dirham is divided into smaller units called fils, each equaling 100 fils.
When exchanging your currency for dirhams, it’s crucial to do so at an authorized money exchange center or bank. Avoid exchanging money on the streets or from unauthorized dealers, as it can lead to fraud or receiving counterfeit notes.
Most malls and tourist areas have multiple exchange centers that operate seven days a week. While using credit cards is widely accepted in Dubai, carrying some cash for small purchases and tipping is still recommended.
Your Guide to Currency in Dubai
The History of the Dirham
The UAE Dirham was introduced in 1971, replacing the Qatar and Dubai Riyals. “Dirham” comes from the Greek word “drachma,” used as currency in ancient times. Initially, the Dirham was pegged to the US Dollar at a fixed rate of 3.6725 AED to 1 USD. However, in 1997, the UAE Central Bank introduced a new system where the Dirham was pegged to a basket of currencies, which includes the US Dollar, Euro, Japanese Yen, and UK Pound Sterling.
Exchanging Currency in Dubai
There are several options for exchanging currency in Dubai. You can do this at banks, exchange offices, or ATMs. Banks are generally considered the safest and most reliable option. However, exchange offices are widely available and may offer better rates. Comparing exchange rates before exchanging currency is essential, as some exchange offices may charge high commission fees.
Using Credit Cards in Dubai
Credit cards are widely accepted in Dubai, notably Visa and Mastercard. American Express is less commonly accepted. It is advisable to inform your bank of your travel plans to avoid any issues with using your card in Dubai. Many establishments, particularly hotels and restaurants, will add a 10-15% service charge to your bill.
Tipping in Dubai
Tipping is not mandatory in Dubai but is generally expected in certain circumstances. Tipping hotel staff, taxi drivers, and restaurant servers around 10-15% of the bill total is standard. Some establishments may include a service charge, so checking your bill before tipping is essential.
Using Cash USD
While the official currency of Dubai is the Dirham, USD is widely accepted in many establishments, particularly in tourist areas. However, carrying Dirham for small purchases and avoiding exchange rate issues is advisable.
Wide Accept Forms of Currency
As a global business hub, Dubai is used to dealing with multiple currencies. Most establishments will accept Dirham, USD, Visa, and Mastercard. However, it is essential to check with the establishment before purchasing.
Avoiding Currency Exchange Scams
While most currency exchange offices in Dubai are reputable, some may try to scam tourists by offering unfavourable rates or charging high commission fees. Doing your research before exchanging currency and comparing rates between different offices is essential. It would be best if you also were wary of exchanging money with strangers on the street.
Understanding the currency system in Dubai is essential for any traveller. While the Dirham is the official currency, USD is widely accepted in many establishments. It is necessary to compare exchange rates before exchanging money and to inform your bank of your travel plans if using credit cards. Tipping is generally expected in certain circumstances, and it is essential to avoid getting scammed at a currency exchange by researching and being cautious.
Your Guide to Currency in Dubai
- The History of the Dirham
- Exchanging Currency in Dubai
- Using Credit Cards in Dubai
- Tipping in Dubai
- Using Cash USD
- Wide accept forms of currency, Dirham, USD, Visa, Mastercard
- Avoiding Currency Exchange Scams