Stock Dirhams ATM cash currency
Foreign currency of almost any denomination can be exchanged in Dubai. Picture used for illustrative purposes. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Dubai: Exchange houses in Dubai are practically everywhere. You can find them in malls, hotels or at the airport.

Regardless of where you chose to go, converting your home country’s currency to dirhams is straightforward process, if you have the necessary documents with you.


Exchanging foreign currency in Dubai – how does it work?

Foreign currency of almost any denomination can be exchanged in Dubai, according to, the official tourism website of Dubai.

Although you can use your credit card, if it is internationally accepted, for paying for purchases in most places in Dubai, it’s always handy to have cash with you since there might be a few establishments that request you to pay by cash.

In Dubai, you can find licensed money exchange centres in these five places:

Dubai International Airport Terminal 1,2, and 3, and at Dubai World Central (DWC) Airport.
Public markets

Another piece of information tourists must keep in mind when exchanging currency, is that they must provide a form of identification. This can include a passport copy or their country’s national ID.

How do I find a currency exchange house?

While exchange houses are predominantly in public areas in Dubai, you may want to know where the closest exchange centre is to you in case you run into a situation where cash is the only form of payment.

Instead of physically looking for an exchange centre, use the 'Visit Dubai' mobile app, which helps tourists find the nearest exchange house by detecting their location. Here’s how you can use it:

1. First, download the app from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store.
2. Once you have downloaded the app, go to your phone’s settings, and allow the Visit Dubai app to access your location.
3. Create an account on the app by entering your full name, email address, and mobile number and creating a password. Alternatively. You can sign in with your Facebook, Twitter, or iCloud account.
4. Next, go to the app’s homepage, and tap on the ‘Currency’ option at the bottom of your mobile screen.
Since you have enabled access to your location, the app will now show you the nearby exchange houses.

The app also has a currency converter, which you can use to find out the estimated value of dirhams you will receive based on the amount of foreign currency you have. However, it is important to note that the currency converter on the app does not provide the exact amount you will receive, as it depends on the service charge of the exchange house. Currency rates also fluctuate. For current and up-to-date foreign exchange rates in the UAE, click here


Can tourists use ATMs to withdraw money?

You may also use an ATM, if your international bank has ATMs in the UAE. On the other hand, foreign credit cards and currency cards (forex cards) are also widely accepted by ATM machines in the UAE.

If you are using an international card, it is important to remember that you may get charged withdrawal and foreign currency exchange fees.