Packed with hot tourist spots and the best adventures to explore around the world, Dubai is the key destination for luxury tourism. Whether you are a shopaholic and adventurer trying to discover the cool tourist spots in Dubai you need cash, or credit cards, or any medium through which you can pay. So what do’s and don’ts of Dubai currency should you follow when taking a trip to Dubai.
When planning a trip anywhere in the world, its always best to have an idea of the currency and current exchange rate. This way you can start to figure out your budget, how much you are likely to speak, regardless of whether you are watching the pennies or not. So if coming from the USA, you will want to know the exchange rate of Dubai currency to the dollar, or to pound if coming from UK or change rate against the rupee if coming from India and so forth. These tips also apply for visiting any other part of UAE, ie, if you are wondering what is the best currency for Abu Dhabi, the below apply for Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Al Ain etc.
What Currency Is Used In Dubai?
As I have said above it is wise to know what currency is being used in Dubai. Dirham, short for DH or Dhs is the official currency of Dubai and the UAE. The Dirham first came into being in May 19733. The word dirham itself is derived from a word of the Ottoman Empire ‘dram’ meaning unit of mass which was derived from a Greek coin word, drachma- a common word for money during the Byzantine Empire.
There are 100 fils in a dirham and there are one, half and quarter coins. Dirhams come in notes of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000. So for example, if your meal costs you around AED24.06 then you will pay just AED24. If your meal costs AED24.66, then you will need to pay AED25. This was to clear out your confusion as meals and sometimes grocery items can cost in points.
What Currency Should You Take To Dubai On Vacation?
You can carry your local currency or your cards with you. To avoid confusion and hassle, always check for the currency rate for your local currency while taking your trip to Dubai. To avoid carrying heavy cash with you, it is feasible to say that large restaurants, hotels, and malls accept Master Card, Visa, and American Express.
You will be needing Dirhams for buying groceries at local shops, in Souks, and while taking a taxi ride. It is important to know that it is best to exchange only a small amount of cash in airports as money exchangers in airports can provide a rate slightly less than those in the cities. Though it is a feasible option, it could cost you more.
As a tourist, in my experience bringing pounds or dollars with you is best. I would recommend at a minimum £250 or $500, this way should you have any issue with cards during your first-day visit you can exchange some money while getting yourself sorted. Exchange enough money to get a taxi ride to your hotel. For that, you will be needing around AED500 to get to your hotel and for getting to the mall to get better exchange rates.
Note that for most of my trips to Dubai I used my card for most transactions. I used Uber a lot so that way I didn’t have to pay cash for taxis. Most restaurants I paid by card, in addition to the malls, and hotels. So, you really don’t need to bring so much cash with you. Again, just make sure your bank doesn’t charge too hefty a fee for each transaction.
Taking cash out of your ATM card
ATM’s in Dubai accept all Visa, Master Card, American Express and cashpoint cards. It’s quite feasible to ditch the cash and carry the cards. Therefore, to make it easy for tourists, Dubai offers the use of cards around the world in hotels, large restaurants, and malls. However, if you wish to plan to take the taxi or need to grab something from the local market (SOUK) you better have the local currency in hand. ATM machines all over Dubai accept your home country bank card but make sure you know how much your bank charges for an international fee as this could prove to be expensive for you.
Best Money Exchangers in Dubai
Dubai is a hub for tourists all around the world. Even though it is best to exchange money in Dollars or Pounds to Dirhams, you can exchange local currency from around the world as Dubai receives tourists round the year.
In Dubai, you can exchange your local currency and use services of banks, hotels, stand-alone money changers or currency exchange chains. To make sure your currency exchange is safely done with the best possible rates, it is best to go to popular outlets in malls and separate known branches in safe locations near your hotel.
To get the best exchange rates in Dubai, here are the top 5 branches you should know off. They provide the best exchange rates and their branches all over in every renown malls of Dubai
- Al Ansari Exchange: Al Ansari Exchange is the top Middle East Exchange company in the Arab world. This exchange company has over 170 branches in the UAE and has over 70 outlets in Dubai! It has outlets present in all renown malls and you can also find its branches while touring in Dubai-perhaps even one near your hotel!
- The Al Ansari Exchange is best known for providing tourists with the best exchange rates in dollars, pounds, and Euros. The services they provide include buying and selling foreign currencies, money transfer, bill payment and accepting travelers’ cheques.
- Al Roustamani International Exchange: This exchange company is the first foreign exchange company in Dubai. With over 16 outlets n Dubai, this exchange company also provides good rates for the exchange of your local currency in Dubai. It also provides services in money transfer and credit card payment.
- Al Fardan Exchange: One of the best money exchange companies in the UAE, Al Fradan Exchange company is quite well known as it is one of the oldest and the best money exchange companies in the UAE. With over 16 branches in Dubai, this exchange company offers foreign exchange, remittance, and many other financial services.
Dubai Airport Currency
I also shared a guide on Dubai Airport facilities, so what currency is used at Dubai airport? Best to have local currency at the airport but if you don’t have this readily available, there are places within the airport to exchange your currency from the country of origin to Dirham. The list of Bureau de Change at the airport can be found on the airport’s website. You can find malls, cafes, restaurants, spas and other places of leisure within the airport to make your transit, arrival or departure more comfortable.
How Much Does One Day In Dubai Cost
Whether you are a tourist on a budget or not, Dubai offers affordable living and expenses to tourists from all over the globe. To break it down for you an average day in Dubai costs around US$290 (AED 1064) per person a day. This cost includes nightly hotel costs too. One week per person costs around US$2030 (AED7,445). So if you are on a vacation with your spouse or a friend, the cost of two people will cost you around US$8140 (AED29,780). If you are traveling with your family, the cost of the tickets and living expenses with children is comparatively cheap, as you can share a room with your children if you are on a budget.
Money exchange in Dubai is never a hassle when you know all the tips and tricks to enjoying your time in Dubai. Exchange rates are usually the same all over Dubai but it is always better and safe to exchange your cash through well-known companies in Dubai.
Heading to Dubai? Also Read:
- Know The Dubai Dress Code Before Visiting
- How To Plan An Itinerary For Dubai
- Guide To The Best Areas To Stay In Dubai
- Cheap Ways To Visit Burj Al Arab
- Why Dubai Is A Perfect Winter Sun Destination
- The Best Desert Safari Tours
- How To Get To Abu Dhabi From Dubai
- Abu Dhabi Airport Guide
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