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United Arab Emirates

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Currency information

Code AED
Symbol د.إ
فلس25, فلس50, د.إ 1
د.إ 5, د.إ 10, د.إ 20, د.إ 50, د.إ 100, د.إ 200, د.إ 500, د.إ 1000

Welcome to The United Arab Emirates!

After seeing the magic of the seven United Arab Emirates, you’ll be convinced there’s a genie behind it. The silky smooth sand dunes of the Rub’ al Khali desert sit at their feet and innovative architecture compose their sci-fi skylines. Every moment spent in these modern and ancient cities  is mesmerising.

ATM Access

5/5 stars - There are plenty of ATMs at local banks, international airports, and in shopping malls – and there are a heck of  a lot of shopping malls


Not customary, but still quite common, especially in fine restaurants

Phone and Internet access

Free public Wi-Fi on beaches and hundreds of other places

Daily cost

The UAE wasn’t really made for budget travellers, so daily costs can add up.

Coffee:  AU$5.80 (cappuccino in Dubai)
Water:  AU$0.35 (600mL bottle)
Beer:  AU$12 (pint in a hotel bar)
Food:  AU$10 (takeaway Indian meal)
Taxi:  AU$12 (on a busy day)
Big Mac:  AU$4.90 (known as ‘bayj mak’)

Daily budget

Budget:  Around AU$80/day (2x cheap meals, mall snacks,   entry to Dubai Museum and Al Fahidi Fort)
Moderate:  Around AU$150/day (2x cheap meals, mall snacks,   train ticket and a ski in the Mall of the Emirates)
Luxury:  Around AU$200/day (2x restaurant meals, mall   snacks and entry to level 148 in the Burj Khalifa)

Safety rating

4/5 stars - With a low crime rate, the emirates are quite safe. But the roads can be a little dangerous (only a careful chicken makes it to the other side).

Travel Money Trivia

Latin hands  
Dirham comes from the Greek word Drachmae, meaning handful.
Fuloos me once…
Fil your pockets  with Fuloos (the  plural of fil).
Rainbow riches
Dirhams come in brown, green, turquoise, purple, red, orange, and blue.
Oh the Oryx
The Oryx features on the 50 fils coin as the national animal
Postcard notes
Find the best postcard moments of landmarks and artefacts on banknotes.

Let's talk money

The United Arab Emirates dirham originated in ancient Greece and held its value (even throughout the Ottoman Empire). The dirham is divided into 100 fils (just like our cents). The biggest difference is that their 20c coin is a 25 fils coin – which actually makes a lot of sense to have.

  • Bars tend to do generous ‘happy hours’
  • 1, 5 and 10 fils coins are rarely used
  • Notes get bigger with rising values
  • Notes have an English and Arabic side
  • A falcon watermark on notes prevents fraud
  • The UAE has made cheap water bottles mandatory
  • The 1 dirham coin is a similar size to other currencies (confusing vending machines)

Must do

Sheikh Zayed 
Grand Mosque  Walk through this magnificent mosque and marvel at hundreds of metres of heavenly architecture.
Camel safari   
Local guides don’t have to be human. Ride one of the local camels and experience the ancient desert sands.
Burj Khalifa
At the highest point of our must-dos is seeing the endless view from this monolithic skyscraper.
Dubai’s malls   
Ski in the Mall of the Emirates and find fish at Dubai Mall’s aquarium. Oh, and they might sell stuff too.
The Palm Jumeirah 
Travel to an island that’s out of this world and treat yourself to a high-end meal.

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Travel Money Oz has sought to ensure that the information is true and correct at the time of publication. Prices, details and services are subject to change without notice, and Travel Money Oz accepts no responsibility or liability for any such changes, including any loss resulting from any action taken or reliance made by you on any information provided. Daily Cost: All prices are approximations. Your costs may differ depending on where you go, where you shop, and their individual factors. Daily Budget: Costs are estimated per person and do not include accommodation.