Each United Arab Emirates Dirham (AED) is converted into one hundred fils. We will tell you the features of this currency and where you can exchange it if necessary.
History of AED
Since 1966, in every Arab emirate, except Abu Dhabi, the Qatari rial has been in circulation. On May 19, 1973, the dirham was put into circulation and coins of the following denominations were produced: 1, 5, 10, 25, and 50 fils, as well as 1 dirham. At the same time, coins of 1, 5 and 10 fils were made of bronze and the rest of cupronickel.
The name "dirham" was formed from the Greek concept "drachma"; it is translated as "handful".
- The first series of banknotes was issued in 1973, the next — in 1982, replacing the denominations of 1 and 1000 dirhams.
- Banknotes worth 500 dirhams came into use in 1983, then - 200 AED in 1989.
- 1000 dirham notes returned to circulation in 2000.
Today, coins with a value of 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 fils and 1 dirham, banknotes with denominations from 5 to 1000 AED, are actively operating. Since 1976, several collectable coins have also been minted, timed to coincide with important state events and heads of the country.
In early 1978, the dirham was attached to the IMF's Special Drawing Rights. In fact, it depends on the US dollar. The Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates is responsible for minting coins and issuing banknotes.
Several types of watermarks are used to combat counterfeiting, including the national emblem placed on the primary side of each banknote. In the UAE, any act considered an "insult" to the national symbol is regarded as a punishable crime; counterfeiting banknotes is no exception.
Symbolism on banknotes
Dirham banknotes feature unique symbols on the front and back, such as:
- 5 dirhams — The Blue Market in Sharjah, also known as the Central Market, is a large shopping centre with an 80,000 sq.m area. On the other side is the Imam Salem Al Mutawa Mosque.
- 10 dirhams is a traditional Middle Eastern dagger, or khanjar in Arabic that men historically used for hunting. It is now a popular collectable. On the other side is a palm tree, symbolizing food and hospitality.
- 20 dirhams is a sailboat dhow, a reminder of the pre-oil era in the UAE, when sailing and freediving, fishing and pearling, were the dominant occupations among men.
- 50 dirhams — the oryx antelope, which lives in the deserts and is also the national symbol of the UAE. Serves as a testament to the country's commitment to conserving native wildlife.
- 100 dirhams — Al-Fahidi Fort. Built in 1787, today, it serves as the Dubai Museum, where visitors can see various historical artefacts.
- 200 dirhams — the building of the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates.
- 500 dirhams — a falcon bird reminiscent of the national traditions of falconry.
- 1000 dirhams — Qasr Al Hosn, the oldest stone watchtower in Abu Dhabi.
The United Arab Emirates is a federation of seven regions: Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah, Dubai, Fujairah, and Umm Al Quwain. Before introducing the dirham, each emirate used the currency of the country closest to it. Now everyone, including tourists, uses the same currency, which is very convenient when travelling around the country.
Where to exchange AED cash
Visitors, of course, can use local exchangers, but if possible, you can use our website to find offices of online exchangers, where there can be a much more favourable rate.
In the same way, you can buy or sell cryptocurrency for AED cash and generally use the mass of available payment directions.