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Top 3 Money Transfer Providers for UAE to UK

Provider Amount Received Fee Exchange Rate Speed
TorFX TorFX GBP £2,127.92 No Fee 0.2128 1-3 days more...
OFX (UK) OFX (UK) GBP £2,123.63 No Fee 0.2124 1-3 days more...
Smart Currency Exchange Smart Currency Exchange GBP £2,107.98 23.31AED 0.2108 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

Summary

A strong bond has been established between the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), with a relationship going back many years. However, in recent decades the economic ties between the two nations have become particularly robust. With an estimated 240,000 Britons living in Dubai alone, UK expats make up for one of the largest Western 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, and much publicity floating around the UK about travel to Dubai.

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.

With British companies increasingly moving their business to the UAE, sending money from the UAE to the UK is a common occurrence, and could be costly without doing the research. By finding the right money transfer service, you can avoid some eye-watering fees.

Top 6 Money Transfer Providers

Latest prices for transferring money from UAE to UK
Exchange Rates as of 23 February 2024, 12:29

TorFX

Est. 2004

Excellent exchange rates | No transfer fees | Thousands of 5 star reviews 

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FXcompared Rating
Amount Received
GBP £2,127.92
AED 378.97
saved vs. banks

OFX (UK)

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 £2,123.63
AED 358.97
saved vs. banks

Smart Currency Exchange

Est. 2004
Smart is focused on helping clients to effectively and efficiently send and receive payments internationally
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Amount Received
GBP £2,107.98
AED 286.01
saved vs. banks

Currencies Direct

Est. 1996

Great exchange rates | Specialist services | No added fees, 24/7 transfers | Safe and secure

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Amount Received
GBP £2,127.92
AED 378.97
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Corpay^

Est. 2005

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

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FXcompared Rating
Amount Received
GBP £2,115.87
AED 322.77
saved vs. banks

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AED and GBP

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. Historically, the AED exchange rate shows a close connection to the price of oil, and for this reason, it has tended to be paired with the USD (US Dollars) and GBP (British Pound Sterling).

As such, the AED GBP exchange rate will fluctuate in line with market conditions in the petroleum sector. It being one of the most popularly traded currencies, the AED will typically be paired with the GBP, which makes the AED exchange rate to sterling a principal economic indicator.

Economic, trading and political relations

Unsurprisingly, the UK and the UAE have a very strong trading relationship which, in the four quarters to the end of Q2 2022, saw exports to the UAE from the UK totalling more than a massive £9bn: The UAE was the UK’s 12th largest trading partner in the world in 2021.

There are over 5,000 British companies operating in the UAE, including firms such as HSBC, Barclays Capital, Norton Rose, Thomson Reuters, Serco, and Clifford Chance. 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.

Additionally, as the UAE has positioned itself as a regional leader in the financial services industry, we have also seen an influx of professional service firms from the UK, further strengthening and diversifying the trade relationship between the two countries.

With such healthy UAE to UK trade relations, the two countries have also developed strong links in the defence and security sector, maintaining bilateral relations solidly.

Bank accounts and credit cards

Several UK-based banks are operating directly in the UAE, such as Barclays, Standard Chartered, and HSBC. Thankfully, opening an account with any of these providers is relatively straightforward; UK expats looking for AED to GBP conversion and the best way to send money from UAE to UK will need a residence visa to use the services.

Be warned, 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. Most banks are now open Monday to Saturday, but be sure to double check your local opening times.

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Top 6 Money Transfer Providers continued...

Moneycorp

Est. 1979

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

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Amount Received
GBP £2,084.16
AED 174.97
saved vs. banks

Visas and immigration

So what are the rules for staying in the UAE? 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. But be careful, as overstaying a visa can result in a fine.

Being organised is a must, as for British visitors to qualify for a visa, they 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.

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.

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

Tax laws in the UAE have changed in recent years, so it’s a good idea to keep up to date by checking the government website. While there is no personal income tax for individuals, as of 2018 general VAT is 5% (although tourists are eligible for VAT refunds).

The UK has a double taxation treaty with the UAE, meaning that you won’t be charged UK tax while working there. It would be wise to check all information is up to date and seek expert advice before making any big decisions.

Banking and money

Opening a bank account in the UAE is luckily a fairly simple and straightforward process. UK expats will have to present a residence visa. You should keep in mind that fees for banking services vary widely, though the Central Bank is working to standardise these across the banking sector. Most banks offer credit and debit cards, as well as savings accounts and car loans. While being used less frequently in the UK, 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.

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.


To find a money transfer provider to send money from UAE to UK, see our company comparison, here.

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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Latest Money Transfer News Articles for Middle East and Africa

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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.

FXcompared.com 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.