The currency in Dubai – The Dirham

By on June 8, 2013
Money in Dubai - Dirham Currency

When one is planning a trip to the Emirates they ask the question what is the currency in Dubai? It is called the Arab Emirate Dirham and is the official currency name in Dubai. The Dubai currency exchange rate fluctuates every day in relation to the dollar, pound, Euro and rupee. A money exchange in Dubai normally offers the best exchange rates. But currency in Dubai can also be exchanged at banks. Many of the money exchanges and banks are found in shopping malls. The banking system in Dubai is excellent with numerous foreign and local banks serving the citizens of the city. Any Dubai money converter website would tell you what the ongoing rate is.

The  Dubai currency is officially pegged to the United States Dollar. It normally fluctuates between three to four Dirhams making up a dollar. The notes of different denominations have different colors on them. The denomination of the note is written in both Arabic and English. The five Dirham note is in brown color, the ten Dirham note is green, the fifty Dirham note is dark blue and the hundred Dirham note is red. Each Dirham is divided into a hundred Fils. The thousand Dirham note is the highest denomination available in this currency. The falcon, which is a time honored symbol of Middle Eastern culture, is printed on the notes. This watermark also acts as a protection against the threat of forgery.

The UAE Dirham was incepted in 1973. Prior to that, the Qatari and Dubai Riyal was the standard currency of Dubai. Initially the currency was pegged to the IMF special drawing rights. It was only in 1997 that the currency was pegged against the greenback. The word Dirham is derived from a Greek word which means handful. The fils coins are not used very often and most shopkeepers expect the buyer to pay at least one Dirham. There is a very extensive banking system in the United Arab Emirates. This makes the use of credit cards and money changing very convenient. All the leading banks of the world have a presence in Dubai. Customers can also avail of Islamic Banking in financial institutions like Dubai Islamic Bank, Mashreq Bank and Noor Islamic Bank. Traditional banking hours are between Saturday and Wednesday. Friday is the weekly holiday in the emirates. The banks open early for business at eight in the morning and work all the way through to one in the afternoon. On Thursdays, they work from eight in the morning to twelve in the afternoon.

Finding an automated teller machine in the city is not difficult. They are everywhere. The common locations include railway stations, shopping malls, petrol stations and supermarkets. It is advisable for people not to exchange their money at the airports because the rates offered are not good. The rates offered at banks are slightly better. It is better to go to a professional money exchange to change foreign currency to local currency. Traveler’s cheques are also accepted by most hotels as well as various banks in the city. The currency in Dubai is easy to get hold of at Dubai International Airport or in any of the many shopping malls or bank facilities.

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