Send money to UAE

Top 7 Money Transfer Providers

Exchange Rates as of 2018-02-20T17:29:52+00:00
97% Feefo Rating

Moneycorp

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Est. 1979

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Best Rate Guarantee

TorFX

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Est. 2004
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Currency Solutions

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OFX (prev. UKForex)

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Currencies Direct

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Smart Currency Exchange

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World First

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Est. 2004
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Frequently asked questions

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Summary

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has a dense network of both domestic and foreign bank branches, which makes overseas money transfers to the UAE and transferring money from the UAE relatively simple. The Emirati dirham (AED) can be freely exchanged into foreign currencies and there are few constraints on foreign capital flows.

UAE’s money transfer regulations

The governments anti-money laundering legislation imposes strict reporting guidelines for large wire transfers and requires that travellers entering the UAE must declare any currency of more than Dh100,000. Reporting requirements are much lighter for lower amounts.

The tax burden in the UAE is low, particularly for corporations located in the countrys free zones. There is no Value-Added Tax (VAT) or personal income tax on residents, though other taxes apply to foreign residents; for example, expatriates are required to pay a housing rental tax that is equivalent to 5% of total rental costs.

Outside of the countrys free zones, the environment is slightly more difficult with regard to capital account transfers, which include FDI and portfolio investment. Despite the countrys openness to FDI, authorities tend to favour domestic over foreign investment; for example, foreign ownership of land, and stocks in Emirati firms is restricted, with conditions varying across the seven emirates.

UAE’s regulatory authority

The Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates sets monetary, credit and banking policy for the UAE, monitors the health of the financial system and works to maintain price stability. Foreign exchange businesses, including banks and other institutions, must be licensed by the central bank. The bank monitors exchange providers capital, debt and operating conditions in order to protect consumers. Dubais main free zone, the Dubai International Financial Centre, is overseen by an independent authority, the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), that falls under the umbrella of the central bank.

Given the dominance of US dollar-denominated oil and gas exports in the countrys export basket, the Emirati dirham (AED) has been pegged to the US dollar (USD) since 2002, at AED3.6275/USD. Bank transactions may be carried out in USD, but they are subject to a 1% fee.

Economic background

The UAE is a federation of seven distinct emirates: Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm al-Quwain. Free movement of goods, persons and money is permitted between the emirates.

The UAE has emerged as a major global financial centre, anchored by Dubais 22 free zones. A number of multinational firms have established their headquarters in the UAE in order to take advantage of its conducive business environment, low tax burden and the absence of foreign exchange controls. In 2013, the UAE attracted some US$12bn in incoming foreign direct investment (FDI), roughly 40% of total FDI in the six-country Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

The UAE is also a popular destination for low-skilled migrant workers, particularly from Asia, and a number of organisations have emerged to handle the countrys large remittance flows. By 2013, roughly 80% of the UAEs 8.3m population were expatriates, with annual remittance outflows totalling US$12.3bn in 2012 according to the World Bank.

Currency

The the Emirati dirham (AED), is often abbreviated as DH or Dhs. One dirham consists of 100 cents, or fils. Coins are available in values of 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 fils and one dirham. The 1, 5 and 10 fils coins are relatively rare, and most amounts are rounded up to the nearest multiple of 25 fils. Banknotes are available in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1,000 dirham.

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