NRIs in UAE will soon be able to use UPI payments with local mobile number
Use your existing UPI app (PhonePe or Google Pay) for shopping in UAE. Picture used for illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Dubai: If you are an Indian tourist visiting the UAE, you can now use your existing UPI (Unified Payments Interface) app for shopping, dining, and exploring tourist attractions across the UAE.

This comes in handy if you are not always carrying cash or a physical credit card.

Indian tourists can make payments using their preferred UPI app, like PhonePe or Google Pay linked to their Indian bank account, just as they would in India. All transactions will be processed in Indian Rupees (INR), with the current currency exchange rate clearly displayed on the machine, at the time of payment.

Here’s how it works.

Is UPI accepted everywhere in the UAE?

The UPI transactions can only be conducted at Mashreq’s NEOPAY Terminals, which are available across many retail and dining outlets, and tourist attractions. NEOPAY is a fully owned subsidiary of Mashreqbank and it offers UPI QR payments in the UAE.

You can usually spot a sign on the checkout counter stating the shop or restaurant that accepts UPI payments.

This service is facilitated by a collaboration formed between Mashreq Bank and NPCI International Payments Limited (NIPL) in April 2024.


How can you use UPI payments in UAE?

In order to make payments using UPI, you need to activate ‘International UPI’ on PhonePe or GPay (Google Pay), by following these steps:

For Google Pay:

• Open the Google Pay app .
• Tap Scan QR code.
• Scan the international merchant’s QR code, which is either displayed on the check out counter or place your phone over the Point of Sale (POS) machine.
• Enter the amount in payable foreign currency.
• Select the bank account you want to use to pay the international merchant.
• The debit from this bank account is in Indian currency. It includes the foreign exchange conversion rate and applicable bank fee.
• Tap the ‘Activate UPI International’ button.

You can only activate international transactions for bank accounts that support UPI International. Important note - Activation for international transactions for a bank account expires after seven days, after which you can activate it again.

For PhonePe:

• Tap your profile picture on the PhonePe app home screen.
• Tap ‘International’ under the Payment Management section.
• Tap ‘Activate’ next to the bank account from which you want to make international UPI payments.
• Enter your UPI PIN.

Once you have activated this feature, you can continue to use your UPI for transactions in UAE.

Where else can I use UPI?
India’s UPI is also available in the following countries:
• France (e-commerce only)
• Bhutan
• Sri Lanka
• Nepal
• Singapore