UAE Financial Services Available To Visitors And Expats

by David Redmond on 30 Jul, 2012

Whether you’re moving to the UAE or simply heading there on business, there are plenty of fantastic financial services on offer to make your time in the UAE both enjoyable and easy. You can click here to find out more about low credit card rates or a no fee credit card but there are several other affordable financial options available. Many international credit cards are readily accepted at most outlets as a form of payment, however, cash is not only the easiest form of payment, but will also give you the best exchange rate.

The local currency in the UAE is the Dirham (AED) and comes in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000. In addition to the Dirham, coins called Fils are also used. There are 100 Fils to a Dirham and they come in denominations of 5, 10, 25, and 50, however the 5 and 10 are rarely used and most prices are rounded to the nearest 25 Fils.

Banks, moneychangers and currency specialists will generally offer you a much better rate than you’ll find at hotels or bureau de changes. There are currently no currency regulations in the UAE and almost all foreign currency can be readily exchanged with minimum hassle.

If you’re not particularly comfortable carrying around all your money, credit and debit cards are your next best choice of paying your way whilst in the UAE. ATMs are widely available in the cities, however, it is recommended that you check with your bank to ensure that your card will work in the UAE and whether or not you will be charged a transaction fee for using a foreign card.

Certain banks can provide cards specifically for use in the UAE. In addition to being able to pay for things easily and the ability to withdraw and transfer cash with no extra costs or interest, these cards can include other perks such as travel insurance, purchase protection and extended warranties. With the many benefits on offer, these cards are certainly the best option for those taking business trips to the UAE.

For expats, there are several large banks in the UAE that offer a variety of great accounts specifically for those moving to the country. One of the biggest advantages of these accounts for frequent visitors is being able to access your cash in UAE and your native currency, as well as other major denominations. In order to open an account in the UAE (just as in most countries) you will need to be able to provide proof of residence and a visa.

With a wide array of flexible financial services, money in the UAE is one less thing to worry about for those visiting or moving to the area.

About the Author

David Redmond


David Redmond is a Partner of Don Gilliard Finance Group. He is a fee-only, independent financial advisor and financial planner. For over 15 years, he has been helping individual investors and their families realize their investment goals.