Budget planning tool
Punch in your holiday deets below to use crowd-sourced Numbeo data* to help you plan your spending money.
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Pick up locally
With over 140 convenient store locations across Australia, you can securely pick up your United Arab Emirates Dirham with no hassles.
The Enchanting United Arab Emirates
Are you drawn to the city-sized malls, indoor ski slopes and lavish beach resorts of Dubai and Abu Dhabi? Excited by the idea of camel rides and sandboarding sessions in the desert? Want to be awed by majestic mosques and palaces? The United Arab Emirates await!
Famed for its glittering skyscrapers and desert scenery, the UAE offers a unique blend of contemporary opulence and ancient culture. Beyond the manmade wonders of Abu Dhabi and Dubai, this destination is also teeming with history, art and stunning natural landscapes. From the vast sand dunes of the Rub’ Al-Khali desert to the Sharjah region’s artistic heritage, every emirate has its own unique allure.
The dirham is the official currency of the UAE. It gets its name from the Greek word "Drachmae", which means "handful". Introduced in 1973, it replaced the Qatar and Dubai riyal. No matter which region you’re planning to visit, AED dirhams are accepted throughout each of the UAE’s 7 emirates.
Holiday Budget Calculator for United Arab Emirates
We get it, doing your holiday budget is a snore fest. It's important though, so we've made it super easy for you to do now. Just punch in your holiday deets and we'll combine destination spend data with our exchange rates so you know how much to take. Easy peasy budget donesy!
Coins and notes
Similarly to the Australian dollar, the AED dirham is made up of 100 fils (fils are like the UAE’s version of cents). Dirham notes come in 8 different denominations: $5AED, $10AED, $20AED, $50AED, $100AED, $200AED, $500AED and $1,000AED.
There are also 1c*, 5c, 10c, 25c and 50c coins, as well as a 1 dirham coin. When travelling in the UAE, try to keep coins and small notes on hand as it can be tricky to get change from 500 and 1000 dirham notes.
*The 1c coin isn’t widely circulated, making it something of a rarity.
The AUD to AED dirham rate history chart above provides an overview of the exchange rate between the two currencies and reveals how the rate stacks up today compared to past trends. Simply adjust the date range to see trends from 1 month to 1 year. This snapshot of AUD to AED history can tell you if now’s a good time to book a trip to the UAE. Alternatively, sign up to receive currency alerts so you don’t miss your ideal rate.
Facts about the currency
- In Arabic, the plural of fils is fuloos – so 1 dirham is made up of 100 fuloos (as if getting used to a new currency wasn’t already confusing enough!).
- Before the AED was introduced, Abu Dhabi used the Bahraini dinar as its currency.
- Banknotes feature images of landmarks, Emirati scenes or traditional artefacts or emblems of the UAE, such as the Zayed Sports City and the ancient fort in Al Ain.
- AED coins have text and numerals denoted in Arabic.
- In Dubai, don't expect to spend too many dirhams between the hours of 1pm and 4pm, as many of the stores and souks take their lunch break during this time (must be nice getting such a generous lunchbreak!).