Customer buys Pound currency at UAE Exchange in Sharjah. The pound fell to a 31-year low after the Brexit vote. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/ Gulf News

Abu Dhabi/Dubai: The United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union may have triggered a rush to buy pounds in the United Arab Emirates.

Gulf News visited several currency exchanges in Abu Dhabi and Dubai on Friday afternoon with many reporting that they had run out of pounds

At Mall of the Emirates, the country’s second biggest shopping centre, six out of seven currency exchanges visited had either run out of pounds or had less than £500 by 5pm.

Mall of the Emirates’ Al Ansari Exchange, UAE Exchange and Wall Street exchange’s were all out of pounds as of 4.30pm, staff told Gulf News.

“No one is selling their pounds,” said a Wall Street exchange employee. “Tomorrow we will get some.”

Currency exchange companies told Gulf News there was no shortage in the availability of pounds though did say that that certain branches could be running low on the currency.

“The stock is available at the moment and if a branch has less currency we will replenish it,” Y. Sudhir Kumar Shetty, UAE Exchange president, told Gulf News. “As of now we don’t see any shortage of pound in the market and there is no panic.”

The pound fell to a 31-year low on Friday after it became clear the UK was voting to leave the EU. It remains unclear what the exact repercussions on the vote will be.

British citizens are one of the largest groups of western expats living in the UAE and the country is also a popular destination among UK holidaymakers.

Those living or visiting the UAE may want to exchange hard currency now over fears there could be shortages, however, there has been nothing so far to indicate that could happen.

Mohammad Al Ansari, managing director of Al Ansari Exchange, told Gulf News his branches can replenish currencies within 12 hours if there are any shortages.