What money in the United Arab Emirates
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The currency of the United Arab Emirates is the "Dirham of the United Arab Emirates", the junior monetary unit is "Fils". 1 dirham UAE = 100 fillets of the UAE. On the currency of the Arab Emirates, let's talk in detail in this article.
Symbols and symbols
The official designation of the UAE dirham according to ISO 4217 is AED. In documents and on the scoreboard in banks and exchangers, this is the most common sign.
On the price tags in stores, cafes and restaurants write "DH", "Dh" or "Dhs".
In English sources there is the phrase "Emirati Dirham", which is literally translated as "Emirati Dirham".
The dirham and filsa also have Arabic designations (see pictures below). Fortunately for tourists, in large cities they do not occur, they are occasionally found only in small settlements.
| Fils designation in Arabic |
Current rate of UAE dirhams
The rate of the dirham is tied to the US dollar rate.
1 AED = 0.272294 USD.
1 USD = 3.6725 AED.
Naturally, the courses in relation to the euro, the ruble and other currencies are floating. See the current exchange rates in the table below.
| Exchange rates for: January 24, 2013 |
1 UAE Dirham = 15.344 Russian rubles
1 UAE Dirham = 0.272 US dollars
1 UAE Dirham = 0.220 euros
1 Russian ruble = 0.065 United Arab Emirates Dirham
1 US dollar = 3.673 United Arab Emirates Dirham
1 euro = 4.547 United Arab Emirates Dirham
Features for tourists
- Prices in the UAE are rounded to 25 fils;
- Coins 10, 5 and 1 fils are officially in circulation, although they are rare. Coin 1 fils has already become a rarity. If you get these coins as a change, then they can not take them in other stores. Take it as a souvenir from the UAE ;
- In 2012-2014, 25, 50 fils and 1 dirham coins were minted from nickel-coated steel, previously they were made of copper-nickel alloy. Old and new coins are slightly different in weight and size, do not be surprised by this.
- On coins, the denomination is written only in Indo-Arabic numerals, there are no numbers familiar to us. It is easy to learn Indo-Arabic numerals: 1 - stick, 5 - circle, 0 - point, 10 - stick and point, 50 - circle and point. A brief instruction on the picture on the left.
- On banknotes, the denomination is written in Indo-Arabic numerals on one side and the numbers that are familiar to us on the other. We always advise you to turn banknotes with the usual figures when counting money. Always look at the numbers, the color scheme for some bills is very similar.
- The coin of 50 fils of the old release (in circulation was from 1973 to 1989) was by weight and size identical to the modern coin 1 dirham. With this, there are cases of deception of tourists. Fortunately, the money of the 1973 sample is almost never met.
- In the Arab Emirates, there is the concept of "tourist dirham". This is not money, but a special fee for tourists. In Abu Dhabi it is 15 dirhams UAE per room per day. In Dubai - from 7 to 20 dirhams UAE per room per night (depends on the number of stars at the hotel).
How and where to change money
By law, trade in the Arab Emirates is carried out in dirhams. In fact, many traders and restaurants accept dollars and euros, but at a terrible rate. In order not to overpay, it is better to exchange dollars and euros for dirhams.
Read our detailed article " Currency Exchange in the United Arab Emirates ".
How much to take money for a holiday in the UAE
The UAE is one of the richest countries in the world. According to the World Bank's rating (from 2016) in terms of GDP per capita, the country ranks 5th in the world (72,500 USD per person). Despite this, prices in shops, cafes and restaurants in the United Arab Emirates are quite acceptable, the Russian tourist is quite "affordable".
Read our article " How much money to take in the Arab Emirates ".
History of money in the UAE
Until the middle of the 20th century, "sovereigns of the British Empire", "thalers of Maria Theresa" and "Indian rupees" were used in the territories of the modern United Arab Emirates. In those days, the Arabs of the Persian Gulf did not need to have their own monetary system.
In 1959, the British and Indians issued a special currency for the Persian Gulf "rupee of the Persian Gulf" ("Gulf rupee"), designed to regulate the circulation of money in the region. The rupee of the Persian Gulf was equated with the Indian rupee. Even outwardly there was no difference, only the letter "Z" in the room featured two bills. See the photo, click on the photo to enlarge.
In the 60's, the Indian rupee fell rapidly. The wars of India with China in 1962 and Pakistan in 1965 led to India's budget deficit, the rate of the rupee fell more than twofold.
The countries of the Persian Gulf did not like this situation, they began to switch to other currencies. The emirates first tried the Saudi real, but later switched to the Qatar real and the Dubai real (in fact, one currency, only with different names). The emirate of Abu Dhabi moved to the Bahraini dinar.
In 1971, the emirates united in a single state - the United Arab Emirates. The new country needed its own currency. The currency "Dirham of the United Arab Emirates" was put into circulation on May 19, 1973 and is used until the present moment without major changes.
Since 1978, the dirham has been tied to the international monetary unit "Special Drawing Rights" (SDRs). In 1997, the dirham was tied to the US dollar at the rate of 1 USD = 3,6725 AED.
The name "Dirham"
The name "dirham" comes from the name of the Greek money - "drachma". Coins drachma were used throughout the Byzantine Empire, including in Palestine, from where the Greeks actively traded with the Arabs. In the 7th century, the "Dirham" became the currency of the Arab Caliphate and spread widely from Spain to Pakistan. Even in Russia they find treasures with dirhams. Subsequently, the name remained in many regions of the Ottoman Empire.
Now in the world, two national currencies are called the word "dirham" - these are the dirham of the UAE and the Moroccan dirham . The name is used for junior units in Libya (1 Libyan dinar = 1000 Libyan dirhams), Qatar (1 Qatari rial = 100 Qatar dirhams) and Jordan (1 Jordanian dinar = 10 Jordanian dirhams).
Coins of Dirham and Fils UAE
In 1973 coins 1, 5, 10, 25, 50 fils and 1 dirham were issued. Since that moment, almost nothing has changed, except that 1, 5 and 10 fils are almost never found in circulation.
The obverse shows a coffee pot "dalla", very popular in the countries of the Persian Gulf. Preparing coffee in dalla is a complex and culturally important ritual. Under the coffeepot you can see the year of coinage on the Gregorian and Islamic calendars.
On the reverse is written the face value of the coin by the Indo-Arabian figure and the inscription "UNITED ARAB EMIRATES" and the name of the UAE in Arabic. Next, we will not talk about the reverse of coins, they are the same type.
Weight: 6,1 gr. Diameter: 24 mm. Material: Nickel plated steel. The form is round.
Until 1989, the coin 1 dirham was similar in design, but weighed 11.3 grams and was 28.5 millimeters in diameter.
The obverse depicts oil rigs - the main source of wealth of the UAE.
Weight: 4,4 gr. Diameter: 21 mm. Material: Nickel plated steel. The shape is a smoothed hexagon.
Until 1989, this coin was minted round in shape and was larger - 6.57 grams and 24.85 millimeters in diameter.
The obverse shows a gazelle.
Weight: 3.48 gr. Diameter: 20 mm. Material: Nickel plated steel. The form is round.
The obverse shows a boat.
Weight: 3 gr. Diameter: 18.5 mm. Material: bronze. The form is round.
The obverse depicts a fish.
Weight: 2.2 g. Diameter: 16.5 mm. Material: bronze. The form is round.
The obverse shows palm trees.
Weight: 1.5 gr. Diameter: 15 mm. Material: bronze. The form is round.
In August 2006 it became common knowledge that the coin 1 Philippine peso by weight and size almost coincides with the coin 1 Dirham of the UAE. At that time, 1 Philippine peso cost only 8 fillets of the UAE. There have been cases of fraud with vending machines, because in the UAE, many natives of the Philippines live and work. Later it turned out that the coins of 5 Pakistani rupees, 50 Omani bys and 1 Moroccan dirham also have almost the same size.
UAE dirhams banknotes
In the United Arab Emirates, banknotes of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 dirhams are used. Another 1000 dirhams banknote is very rare, it is intended for interbank use.
All banknotes are protected by a watermark in the form of a falcon.
On the color scale, some banknotes are very similar, once again we encourage readers to be vigilant, always look at the numbers, not the color.
Denomination of 5 dirhams
This note is dedicated to the emirate of Sharjah . On the front side is the central market of Sharjah. On the back of the mosque is Imam Salem Al-Mutawa.
The size: 145 x 67 mm.
Denomination of 10 dirhams
On the front side there is a Hanjar - this is the famous Arabic dagger. The fact that the dagger is shown in the scabbard shows the peaceful nature of the UAE policy. On the back there is a date palm and a grove of trees.
The size: 147 x 62 mm.
Denomination of 20 dirhams
On the front side is the yacht and golf club Dubai Creek. At the rear, the traditional dhow boat.
Size: 149 x 63 mm.
Denomination of 50 dirhams
On the front side there is an image of the Oryx (an animal from the family of saber-ogly antelopes). At the rear fort of Al Jahili in the city of Al Ain .
The size: 151 x 64 mm.
Denomination of 100 dirhams
This banknote is dedicated to the emirate of Dubai . On the front side is the fort of Al-Fahidi in the emirate of Dubai. At the rear of the World Trade Center building in Dubai.
The size: 155 x 66mm.
Denomination of 200 dirhams
This banknote is dedicated to the emirate of Abu Dhabi . The front of the building shows the building of the Shariah Court and the Zayed Sport City Stadium. At the rear building of the Central Bank at the Corniche embankment .
The size: 157 x 67 mm.
Denomination of 500 dirhams
On the front side is a falcon. At the rear of the Jumeirah mosque in Dubai.
The size: 159 x 68 mm.
Denomination of 1000 dirhams
On the front side is the Fort Al Hosn - the former residence of the emirs of Abu Dhabi, now a museum. On the back skyscrapers of Abu Dhabi along the Corniche promenade.
The size: 163 x 70 mm.
Export of coins and banknotes of dirhams from the UAE
Coins and banknotes are allowed to be exported outside the country, there are only restrictions on the volume. Details can be found in our article " What can not and can be exported from the UAE ".
Commemorative coins in the United Arab Emirates have been issued since 1976. The first such coin was issued in honor of 5 years from the creation of the UAE, it is made of gold, weight - 20 grams. Since then, more than 60 commemorative coins of the UAE dirham have been issued, most of them gold and silver.
In the UAE in free circulation are about 10 types of commemorative coins made of base metal. It is rather difficult to meet them, if you suddenly get lucky, then leave yourself such a coin as a souvenir. Especially notable is the coin "I LOVE UAE", in the photo on the right, click on the photo to enlarge.
The most famous commemorative coin is dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the first oil extraction in the UAE.
An interesting fact is that the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates does not state how many copies commemorative coins are issued. Usually, this is 250 000 copies. The cost of such coins on e-bay is from 2 to 10 dollars.
The last published non-precious commemorative coin is dedicated to the day of the proclamation of Crown Prince Abu Dhabi - Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum. The coin was released in 2015, although the crown prince Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum became in 2008. Probably, this has some hidden political meaning.
Successful communication with the money of the Arab Emirates, and read our interesting and useful articles for tourists about this country ( links below ).
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Alexander - GlavRed site
The currency can be exchanged in banks. Not all bank offices provide such a service. In Russia, not all branches of banks change their currency. There are offices for legal entities, there are branches that deal only with loans or only mortgages. And the Emirates are all the same. Perhaps you just were not lucky with the department.
Are coins of the penultimate issue accepted for payment in the UAE, or are they withdrawn from circulation? Thank you in advance for your response.
Alexander - GlavRed site
As far as I remember, the change of coins occurred in 1995. And this is on coins of 50 fils and 1 dirham. Old coins now on E-bay are four times more expensive than the nominal. Better leave it to yourself.