How to send money to the United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Find the best exchange rates when you want to send money to the United Arab Emirates from Ireland.

Updated . What changed?

Fact checked

Digital money transfer specialists will almost always offer you more dirham for your euros than your local bank. Explore money sending options to transfer between Ireland and the United Arab Emirates to make sure you’re money is going to your recipient instead of to fees.

Compare international money transfers to UAE

Use the table to see how sending speeds, exchange rates and fees all come into play for your transfer to the UAE.

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Minimum Transfer Transfer Time Transfer Fee
TransferWise - Ireland
EUR 1
1-2 days
Varies
Azimo - Ireland
GBP 10
Instant
Varies
CurrencyFair - Ireland
EUR 5
1-2 days
Varies
WorldRemit - Ireland
EUR 1
Same day
Varies
XE Money Transfers - Ireland
EUR 1
Same day
EUR 0
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Compare up to 4 providers

How to send money to the United Arab Emirates online

Sign up and send money with a digital money transfer specialist in four steps:

  1. Sign up for an account. Pick a provider and sign up for a free online account using your contact information, proof of ID and your preferred payment method.
  2. Provide transfer details. Submit your recipient’s contact information and pick a delivery method. If you’re transferring to a bank, you’ll need your recipient’s UAE bank account details.
  3. Confirm transfer details. Double-check your payment method, expected fees and destination.
  4. Save your receipt. Record your receipt’s confirmation number to track the progress of your transfer to the United Arab Emirates. Some money transfer providers send a text or email when your transfer is complete.

What’s the best way to send money to the UAE?

Online money transfer providers typically offer the strongest exchange rates and lowest fees on money transfers to the UAE. Some offer transfers straight to UAE-based bank accounts, while others allow the money to be picked up in dirham in person. Banks, PayPal and other options are available but come with high fees, weak rates and longer turnaround times.

Blue icon representing money transfers Image: Infogram

Digital money transfer services

Companies like OFX and CurrencyTransfer specialise in foreign currencies, making them some of the most cost-effective transfers. Most offer transfers directly to your recipient’s UAE bank account, often in as little as a day or two.

Picture not described: BlueCoinsCashIcon_Infogram_94x62.png Image: Infogram

Cash transfers

Services like MoneyGram allow you to transfer cash for pickup at a local branch in the UAE — often in 15 minutes. While it’s a fast way to send money, you’ll pay for the convenience in weak exchange rates and high fees. If a cash pickup is necessary, look to digital services like WorldRemit or XE when possible.

Picture not described: BlueBankIcon_Infogram_62x56.png Image: Infogram

Banks

Dirham probably isn’t carried at your local bank. Even if your local bank can convert your euros into UAE dirham, beware of high fees and wide margins on the exchange rate compared to digital and other options.

Let’s crunch the numbers: Sending €1,000 to the UAE

Let’s say you need to send €1,000 to friends or family in the United Arab Emirates. Here’s what you might face as far as fees and exchange rates as of 17 May 2020.

Digital money transfer service Cash transfer Bank transfer
Fee €15 €1.90 €20 + additional correspondent bank fees
Exchange rate 1 EUR = 3.911 AED 1 EUR = 3.526 AED 1 EUR = 3.367 AED
Transfer speed 1-2 day Minutes 2-5 days
Amount received AED 3,852 AED 3,519 AED 3,299
Verdict
  • Best value
  • Fastest
  • Slowest and most expensive

The bank option ends up being both the slowest and gets the smallest amount of money to your recipient. If you go with the digital money transfer service, your recipient ends up with AED 550 more than the bank offers. If speed is crucial, a cash transfer can typically have your transfer to the United Arab Emirates in as little as 15 minutes but at a slightly weaker exchange rate.

How to get the most out of your money transfer to the UAE

Weigh costs and fees against convenience, and learn how to compare money transfer providers that send to the United Arab Emirates to meet your needs:

  • Exchange rates. The EUR-AED relationship fluctuates daily, so using a service that allows you to lock-in exchange prices may help you save money down the line if exchange rates take a turn for the worse in the future.
  • Transfer fees. Transferring money overseas nearly always requires fees, but they might be hidden in the exchange rate. When sending large amounts, it may be cheaper to pay a flat fee to secure a stronger exchange rate.
  • Transfer limits. How much you can send varies by company, and different amounts can attract higher or lower fees. Shop around for the best deal on the amount of AED you’re sending.
  • Turnaround. Transferring money through a local bank can take a business week or longer. If you need the funds delivered quickly, seek out a digital specialist that offers instant transfers to the UAE.
  • Maximum limits. When exchange rates are favourable, sending more money can save you money in the future. If you plan to send large amounts of money to the United Arab Emirates, be sure to pick a provider that won’t limit you.
  • Transfer methods. Whether you want money sent to a UAE bank account or picked up as cash at a local agent, narrow down a company that matches your preferred delivery method.

Emergency cash transfer to the UAE

When it’s more important to get your money to the UAE quickly, look for money transfer companies that support cash pickup in minutes. You can pay with a credit or debit card for fast pickup, but fees are higher than other methods.

How to send money to the UAE without a bank account

Cash transfer services can help you if you’re unbanked or marginally banked. If you don’t have a bank account, look for a local company that supports storefronts for cash payments. These services include agent locations in other countries that allow your recipient to pick up cash without a bank account.

UAE’s exchange rates explained

The exchange rate determines how much one country’s currency is worth in another country’s currency. When a country’s currency is strong, it yields more money when exchanging it in a country with a weaker currency. The UAE’s exchange rate often fluctuates when compared to the euro, so expect exchange rates today to be different than those you’ll see tomorrow. Factors that influence the exchange rate include interest rates, economic stability and inflation.

Track how the UAE dirham trades against the euro in our historical rate chart.

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Updated: 24 Nov 2020 10:02:51 UTC

Documents needed for sending to and receiving money in the United Arab Emirates

To send money to the UAE from Ireland, you’ll need government-issued ID and other documents, while documents needed to pick up money in the UAE may be different by company.

Documents to send money from Ireland

To send money from Ireland to the UAE, you’ll need documentation and details that include:

  • Identification. Most services require a driver’s licence, passport or other government-issued ID.
  • Payment method. Your service may accept credit or debit cards, cash, bank accounts or personal checks.
  • Recipient information. Submit your recipient’s name as it appears on their ID, along with their phone number, UAE bank account and routing number if sending to their bank.

Documents to receive money in the UAE

To pick up money in person, documentation can include:

  • Transfer number. The person sending you money can forward the transfer’s confirmation details — called a PIN, a MTCN, a reference number or a tracking number, depending on the company.
  • Government-issued ID. An Emirates ID that is issued by the Federal Authority For Identity and Citizenship may be required to pick up UAE dirham in person.
  • Amount sent. You may need to know how much was sent, usually within 10% of the total.
  • Sender’s information. Take along your sender’s full name, the sending country and their address, if known.

Bottom line

Sending your hard-earned money to the UAE shouldn’t cost a fortune. Compare transfer companies that specialise in foreign for the strongest rates, lowest fees and flexible delivery. Next time you need to make a transfer, take a look at our international money transfers page for the full lowdown.

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