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Top 3 Money Transfer Providers for UAE to UK

Provider Amount Received Fee Exchange Rate Speed
Moneycorp Moneycorp GBP £1,926.68 No Fee 0.1927 1-3 days more...
OFX (UK) OFX (UK) GBP £1,945.91 No Fee 0.1946 more...
Global Reach (formerly FC Exchange) Global Reach (formerly FC Exchange) GBP £1,946.82 50.34AED 0.1947 1-3 days more...
Daniel Webber

FX Expertise and Experience

Daniel Webber

Founder & CEO, FXCompared

Daniel is one of the world experts on the money transfer sector. He is widely quoted across the industry with over 20 years of experience in the international finance world focused on international payments, technology, and the property sectors. More about Daniel.

Send money from UAE to UK

How to Transfer Money from UAE to UK

UAE to UK Guide


The United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have a relationship going back many years, however, in recent decades the economic ties between the two nations have become particularly robust. Currently, over 100,00 British citizens are living and working in the UAE, which represents one of the largest migrant groups in the country. Similarly, there is much mutual tourism between the two, with millions of British and Emirati citizens visiting each other’s country every year. As there are currently no restrictions between the two currencies, transferring money from UAE to UK is a relatively simple affair. If you are looking to make an AED to GBP exchange, however, you should be aware of the local laws in the UAE which can be quite restrictive and punitive.

Top 3 Money Transfer Providers

Latest prices for transferring money from UAE to UK
Exchange Rates as of 25 August 2021, 12:57


Est. 1979

One-off payments | Regular payments | Great rates | Safeguarded customer funds

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Amount Received
GBP £1,926.68
AED 157.97
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Est. 1998

OFX (previously UKForex in the UK), provides secure and speedy international money transfers to over 300,000 people in 55 currencies at better-than-bank rates

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Amount Received
GBP £1,945.91
AED 254.80
saved vs. banks

Global Reach (formerly FC Exchange)

Est. 2005

Great rates | One-off payments | Regular transfers | E-Money Institution | No fees for FXcompared customers

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Amount Received
GBP £1,946.82
AED 259.39
saved vs. banks

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The United Arab Emirates dirham, or the AED for short, is the official currency of the UAE. It has been in circulation since 1973 when it replaced the older royal currencies. The AED exchange rate history shows a close connection to the price of oil, and for this reason, it has tended to be paired with the USD and GBP. As such, the AED GBP exchange rate will fluctuate in line with market conditions in the petroleum sector. As one of the most popularly traded currencies, the AED will typically be paired with the GBP—the pound sterling—which makes the AED exchange rate to sterling a principal economic indicator.

Economic, trading and political relations

The UK and the UAE have a very strong trading relationship which, as of 2018, saw exports to the UAE from the UK totalling more than £10.5bn, with a trade surplus of more than £4bn. With such healthy UAE to UK trade relations, the two countries have also developed strong links in the defence and security sector, with both working closely to maintain peace in the Arabian Peninsula. Additionally, as the UAE has positioned itself as a regional leader in the financial services industry, we have also seen an influx of professional services firms from the UK, further strengthening and diversifying the trade relationship between the two countries.

Bank accounts and credit cards

Several UK-based banks are operating directly in the UAE, such as Barclays, Standard Chartered, HSBC, and RBS. Opening an account with any of these providers is relatively straightforward. UK ex-pats looking for AED to GBP conversion and the best way to send money from UAE to UK will need a residence visa to use of the services. Fees can vary significantly across the sector despite efforts by the central bank to standardise them. As such, it’s essential to shop around when looking for the best exchange rate for dirhams to pounds. Banks are open every day except Friday, and local restrictions mean that most transactions must be carried out in person at the branch.

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Visas and immigration

British nationals can visit and stay in the UAE for up to 30 days. A visa will be granted upon arrival at no cost. This visa can then be extended for another 30 days, after an application is submitted to the local consulate. Overstaying a visa can result in a fine. Diplomats and holders of official documents, inclusive of the Queen’s Messenger, do not need to have a visa to enter and stay in the UAE.

In order to qualify for a visa, British visitors must have valid return travel documents as well as a passport that is valid for at least six months after the time of their arrival. In order to qualify for a resident visa or work permit, an application must be submitted by a prospective employer.

A long stay visa costs GBP 200 and permits the holder to remain in the UAE for 90 days. Multiple-entry visas are popular with business travellers who frequent the UAE. These visas cost GBP 400 and are valid for six months and allow travellers to stay in the UAE for up to 14 days per visit.

Money transfer regulations in the UAE and UK

The UAE’s anti-money laundering legislation has strict guidelines for reporting on international money transfers that exceed AED 100,000. Anyone entering the country with over AED 100,000 must declare it to the relevant authorities. Although the UAE is well known for its openness to foreign direct investment, local authorities still favour domestic investments over those from foreign entities, especially where it concerns ownership of stock in UAE firms and land.

While the UK has a relatively free environment for remitting funds from dividends, royalties, interests, profits, patent fees, etc., those suspected of tax evasion may experience difficulties executing money transfers. Each UK bank has a department dedicated to anti-money laundering and is watchful of any transactions that exceed GBP 10,000.

Trade relations with the UAE

The UK and UAE enjoy a strong trade relationship. The UAE is the UK’s 12th largest trading partner in the world, with bilateral trade totalling GBP 12bn in 2013, according to UKTI. There are at least 4,000 UK-owned businesses operating in the UAE, including firms such as HSBC, Barclays Capital, Norton Rose, Thomson Reuters, Serco, and Clifford Chance.

The UAE is the UK’s 14th largest market for exports. In 2009, exports to the UAE from the UK amounted to over GBP 3.2bn, while imports from the UAE were valued at more than GBP 1bn. Power-generating equipment, transportation equipment, electrical goods, non-metallic mineral manufacture, telecommunications, interior and retail goods are some of the major goods exported from the UK to the UAE.

Defense and security relations between UK and UAE

The Armed Forces of the UK and UAE work closely to maintain peace in the Arabian Peninsula. Both countries signed a Defence Cooperation Accord in 1996. A Memorandum of Understanding signed by the two countries allows for UK forces to make use of air bases in the UAE. A number of UK servicemen work with UAE armed forces to help in training or advisory capacities.

Taxation in the UAE

The UAE is well known for being a tax-free area. There is no VAT, GST, or personal income tax. There are, however, taxes applied to liquor bought in particular restaurants or directly from outlets. Import duty is also applied to some items. The UK has no double taxation treaty with the UAE, and depending on the length of time spent in each country during the tax year, Britons working in the UAE may be subject to pay taxes on income earned in both countries.

Banking and money

There are several UK-based banks operating in the UAE. Barclays, Standard Chartered, HSBC, and RBS all offer personal and corporate financial services in the UAE. Opening a bank account in the UAE is a fairly simple and straightforward process. UK expats will have to present a residence visa. Fees for banking services vary widely, though the Central Bank is working to standardize these across the banking sector. Most banks offer credit and debit cards, as well as savings accounts and car loans. Internet banking is accessible but can be a bit rudimentary in some cases. Cheques are widely accepted and quite popular in the UAE. However, a bounced cheque can lead to severe issues in regard to debt, so it is important to be wary when using them.

Banks in the UAE are open every day except Friday. This can be quite convenient as most transactions have to be carried out at the bank’s branch. International banks such as HSBC can be helpful in opening offshore bank accounts, which are good options if you want to transfer money from the UK to the UAE.

Did you know?

Dubai currently has the largest and most developed financial services industry in the Middle Eastern region, with an unrivalled presence in the Islamic finance sector. With the opening up of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), the UAE has seen an influx of financial services firms from the UK and beyond, increasing its position as a leading player in the Middle Eastern financial services space.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Are the money transfer companies shown above safe to use?

Yes, all the companies are safe and fully-regulated money transfer services. Each are authorised and regulated by the relevant authority such as the Financial Conduct Authority(FCA) in the UK, FinCEN in the US, FinTRAC in Canada or ASIC in Australia.

How long does an international money transfer take?

Transfer times for funds will depend on where the money is being sent from, where it is being sent to, and the method used. Typically, bank transfers can take between a few hours to a few days. Debit and credit card payments are much quicker, although they can only be used for smaller amounts. You should check the relevant provider for more accurate times.

How do I use FXcompared?

Using the table above, check the rate comparisons and choose your provider based on the price offered, the speed of the transfer, and their overall rating. Once you have selected a provider, click the green button to be taken to their website where you can set up an account. Once you have fully verified and authenticated your account with the provider, you can then make a transfer.

What payments methods can I use to send money overseas?

The results shown above are typically for bank to bank transfers. You can usually transfer to your chosen provider using cash, debit or credit cards, as well as some digital and mobile wallets. Of these, bank transfers are the most popular method.

What if the price shown above isn’t exactly what I am offered when I try to transfer money?

The rates offered will fluctuate throughout the day to reflect real-time market rates. Additionally, some providers may offer different pricing depending on what method you intend to use to send the funds or how quickly you want it to be processed. FXcompared may also have special rates with certain providers. As prices can fluctuate so much, be sure to check and confirm the total cost with the provider before committing to transfer.

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All the providers listed are regulated by the relevant authority (e.g. the FCA in the UK, FinCEN in the US, ASIC in Australia) and have been vetted by FXcompared. is an fx money comparison site for international money transfer and to compare rates from currency brokers for sending money abroad. The website and the information provided is for informational purposes only and does not constitute an offer, solicitation or advice on any financial service or transaction. None of the information presented is intended to form the basis for any investment decision, and no specific recommendations are intended.  FXC Group Ltd and FX Compared Ltd does not provide any guarantees of any data from third parties listed on this website. FX compared Ltd expressly disclaims any and all responsibility for any direct or consequential loss or damage of any kind whatsoever arising directly or indirectly from (i) any error, omission or inaccuracy in any such information or (ii) any action resulting therefrom.