What is the currency of dubai?

HotbotBy HotBotUpdated: July 9, 2024

The Dirham: Official Currency of Dubai

Dubai, a vibrant and cosmopolitan city in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), uses the UAE Dirham as its official currency. The UAE Dirham is abbreviated as AED, which stands for Arab Emirates Dirham, and is often symbolized as "د.إ" or "Dhs."

Historical Background of the Dirham

The UAE Dirham was introduced on May 19, 1973, replacing the Qatar and Dubai Riyal, which was previously in use. The need for a unified currency arose after the formation of the UAE in 1971. The name 'Dirham' is derived from the Greek word 'Drachma,' reflecting the region's historical trade connections.

Denominations of the Dirham

The Dirham is subdivided into 100 fils. The currency is available in both coins and banknotes of various denominations.


The commonly used coins in Dubai are:

- 1 Dirham

- 50 Fils

- 25 Fils

Less frequently used coins include:

- 10 Fils

- 5 Fils

- 1 Fil


The banknotes come in the following denominations:

- 5 Dirhams

- 10 Dirhams

- 20 Dirhams

- 50 Dirhams

- 100 Dirhams

- 200 Dirhams

- 500 Dirhams

- 1,000 Dirhams

Design and Features of Dirham Banknotes

UAE Dirham banknotes are not only functional but also aesthetically pleasing. Each denomination features intricate designs that highlight the rich cultural heritage of the UAE. Common motifs include images of traditional architecture, historic forts, and landmarks such as the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and the Burj Khalifa.

Security Features

To prevent counterfeiting, Dirham banknotes incorporate several advanced security features:

- Holographic Strips

- Watermarks

- Security Threads

- Microprinting

- UV Ink

These features ensure the integrity and trustworthiness of the currency.

Exchange Rates and Purchasing Power

The UAE Dirham is pegged to the US Dollar at a rate of approximately 3.67 AED to 1 USD. This fixed exchange rate provides stability and predictability for both residents and tourists.

Currency Exchange

Currency exchange services are widely available throughout Dubai, especially in shopping malls, hotels, and dedicated exchange centers. Major global currencies such as the US Dollar, Euro, and British Pound can easily be exchanged for Dirhams.

Using the Dirham in Daily Life

In Dubai, the Dirham is used for all types of transactions, from small everyday purchases to significant business deals. Here are some common scenarios:


Whether in traditional souks or modern shopping malls, the Dirham is the standard currency for all retail transactions. Credit and debit cards are also widely accepted.


From street food vendors to fine dining restaurants, the Dirham is used to settle bills. Tipping, though not obligatory, is appreciated and usually done in Dirhams.


Public transportation, including buses, metros, and taxis, accept payment in Dirhams. The Nol card, a rechargeable smart card, is also used for metro and bus services.

Digital Payments and E-Wallets

With the rise of technology, digital payments have become increasingly popular in Dubai. E-wallets and payment apps such as Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and local options like PayBy and Etisalat Wallet are gaining traction. These platforms allow users to make transactions without the need for physical currency.

Banking and Financial Services

Dubai boasts a well-developed banking sector, offering a range of financial services. Banks provide facilities for currency exchange, international money transfers, and multi-currency accounts.


ATMs are widespread and accessible, allowing for easy withdrawal of Dirhams. Many ATMs accept international cards, making it convenient for tourists.

Credit and Debit Cards

Major credit and debit cards, including Visa, MasterCard, and American Express, are widely accepted in Dubai. Banks also offer cards that can be used for both local and international transactions.

Investment and Economic Impact

The stability of the Dirham plays a crucial role in Dubai's economy. The fixed exchange rate with the US Dollar attracts foreign investment and boosts confidence in the financial system.

Real Estate

The real estate sector in Dubai is a significant beneficiary of the stable Dirham. Foreign investors find it easier to invest in property without worrying about currency fluctuations.


Tourism, a cornerstone of Dubai's economy, thrives in part due to the stable and easily exchangeable Dirham. Tourists appreciate the straightforward currency system, which enhances their overall experience.

Interesting Facts and Trivia

- The UAE Dirham is not just used in Dubai but across all seven emirates of the UAE.

- The 1 Dirham coin features a traditional Dhow, a type of sailing vessel, symbolizing Dubai's maritime heritage.

- Some older Dirham coins and banknotes are sought after by collectors due to their historical significance.

Impact of the Dirham on Dubai's Global Standing

The Dirham is more than just a medium of exchange; it is a symbol of Dubai's economic resilience and global ambitions. The stability and reliability of the Dirham underpin Dubai's status as a global business hub, attracting entrepreneurs, investors, and tourists from around the world.

In this ever-evolving landscape, the Dirham stands as a testament to Dubai's commitment to progress and stability, offering a fascinating glimpse into the city's dynamic economic fabric. As you navigate the bustling markets, towering skyscrapers, and luxurious malls, the Dirham becomes a silent yet steadfast companion, embodying the spirit of a city that seamlessly blends tradition with modernity.

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