Abu Dhabi Currency
Abu Dhabi is one of the cities with the largest increase of foreign people visiting the area. Tourists from all over the world transit the UAE capital city for leisure or business. This has led to an increase in financial flexibility, prompting the authorities to create the appropriate facilities for currency exchange, money withdrawal and financial transactions. Therefore a vast array of possibilities to pay for products and services is now available. In order to have a better picture of the financial situation in Abu Dhabi, let’s have a closer view on the most popular payment methods, including card payment, Abu Dhabi currency and currency exchange.
General Information about Abu Dhabi Currency
The official Abu Dhabi currency is the dirham, abridged Dh or AED (Arab Emirates Dirham).The fils are subunits of the dirham. 100 fils make one dirham; however only two divisions lower than the standard dh (the 25 and 50 fils) are available as physical nominations in form of coins. The other coin, from the three circulating on the market, is the 1dh coin. All three coins are crafted in silvery metal, but differ in size and shape for easy recognition.
In form of banknotes, the Abu Dhabi currency is available in eight nominations: 5 dhs, 10 dhs, 20 dhs, 50 dhs, 100 dhs, 200 dhs, 500 dhs and 1,000dhs. The banknotes vary in color, while the text and value inscribed on them is both in Arabic and English, so that tourists will have an easier task in recognizing and using them accordingly. Apart from the official Abu Dhabi currency, part of the shops, hotels, markets and touristic attractions also accept foreign currencies. The most popular ones are the US dollar and the UK pound.
Currency Exchange Bureaus
Currency exchange bureaus are available in different parts of Abu Dhabi. Some of the most convenient ones are located inside the Abu Dhabi Airport and at the local hotels. However, good exchange rates can also be obtained at the bureaus sprinkled all over the town as well as in the major shopping areas, with prevalence in shopping malls.
Local banks have special desks for currency exchange which is usually open Saturday to Thursday, from 8 am to 1 pm, sometimes even later. Certain banks have established smaller offices in malls and offer currency exchange as well as other financial transactions until late in the evening.
The dirham is pegged in relation with the US dollar at the value of 3.67dhs per $1. All other currencies have variable values, therefore many people prefer to take US dollars with them and exchange them in the Abu Dhabi currency or use them as such where accepted. However, it is recommendable to check with your local bank for the best solution adapted to your budget and style of travelling.
The Abu Dhabi ATM network is rather extended, with ATMs in the touristic areas; in shopping malls are districts as well as in hotels and in restaurant and café areas. They accept most card types, including American Express, MasterCard, Maestro, VISA, Plus System, Global Access, Cirrus and Diners Club. These types of cards are also accepted for payment in shops, hotels, cafés and restaurants. However, before using the card, check the commissions and extra fees practiced by your local bank when converting money from your local currency in Abu Dhabi currency.
Abu Dhabi offers countless opportunities for tourists, business travelers and occasional visitors. The discerning traveler is lured to experience local flavors, to purchase high end merchandise, visit the attractions and have a taste of the local lifestyle. In order to enjoy everything that the UAE capital city has to offer, it is recommended to get cash, preferably dirhams. Yet, US dollars are also accepted in selected businesses. Still, there are great chances that the exchange rate would be slightly different than the official one listed for the Abu Dhabi currency. The card payments are also widely accepted, but before using them it is advisable to check for fees and commissions charged by the bank which has issued the card. Traveler checks are not so well received and may be denied in some locations.
Picture (source: http://www.atsnotes.com)