UAE Dirham_flag

UAE Dirham

The official currency of the United Arab Emirates is the UAE Dirham, commonly abbreviated as AED. The Central Bank of the UAE manages it. The currency code is AED, and the symbol is د.إ.

The UAE Dirham was introduced on May 19, 1973, replacing the Qatar and Dubai riyal at par, following the formation of the United Arab Emirates in 1971. It is divided into 100 fils and is pegged to the US dollar for stability.



Exchange rate regime:Pegged to USD

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UAE's Monetary Policy


The Central Bank of the UAE, founded in 1980, is tasked with directing monetary, credit, and banking policy, plus ensuring bank and monetary stability. The Central Bank's key policy is maintaining the fixed exchange rate of the Dirham against the US dollar, a policy in place since 1997, at a rate of 1 USD = 3.6725 AED. This peg to the US dollar provides predictability in international trade and stability in the financial system.


Each Dirham is subdivided into 100 fils. The currency includes several coin and banknote denominations. Coins come in 1, 5, 10, 25, 50 fils, and 1 Dirham. Banknotes are available in 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, and 1000 Dirhams.


Banknotes have a unique and intricate design, reflecting the UAE's culture, history, and achievements. For instance, the obverse side shows the UAE's coat of arms, a falcon (a national symbol), and inscriptions in Arabic, while the reverse side features prominent landmarks, like the Central Bank's headquarters, and English inscriptions.


Experts often regard the UAE's monetary policy, particularly its fixed exchange rate regime, as a significant factor in the country's economic stability. By pegging the Dirham to the US dollar, the UAE provides a predictable environment for international businesses and investors. However, it also ties the UAE's monetary conditions to the Federal Reserve's monetary policy. During periods of US dollar strength, this can result in tighter monetary conditions in the UAE.


The Central Bank of the UAE has a robust set of regulations to oversee operations involving the Dirham. It ensures currency stability, sets rules on issuance and exchange, and provides guidelines for financial institutions to prevent money laundering and financial terrorism. The Bank also monitors foreign exchange operations to prevent speculative trading that could impact the Dirham's stability.

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Important information

Payments in AED to the UAE

Key considerations to bear in mind


Payment instructions should contain the beneficiary's IBAN, name, and address.


Payment Processing Time

The time taken for a payment to reach the recipient's bank account can vary. Domestic transfers within the UAE are typically processed quickly, while international transfers may take a few business days. Consider the processing time when planning your payment to ensure timely delivery. The iBanFirst Payment Tracker can help you track those payments, and ensure a smooth and efficient payment experience.


Fees and Charges

Banks and financial institutions may apply fees and charges when processing international payments. These fees can vary, so it is advisable to check with your bank to understand the charges associated with your transaction. Check out iBanFirst’s Savings Calculator to estimate how much you could save on your next international payment.

Keep in mind

Bank holidays

The UAE observes several public holidays throughout the year, many of which are based on the Islamic lunar calendar and thus vary each year. These holidays are essential cultural elements, impacting business operations, including those related to currency and banking. Notable holidays include:



New Year's Day



Commemoration Day

Eid Al Fitr

Marking the end of Ramadan

UAE National Day

2-3 December, celebrating the UAE's formation in 1971

Arafat Day

Eid Al Adha

Feast of Sacrifice

Islamic New Year

Prophet Muhammad's Birthday


Currency Reference Guide

Get the full currency reference guide, updated by the iBanFirst currency market experts.

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