Planning your trip to the UAE
Holiday Budget Calculator
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!
About the currency
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.
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!).