The best way to send money to the United Arab Emirates depends on your payment method and transfer needs. OFX offers low fees on large transfers, while Ria is cheap for smaller transfers. Look to WorldRemit for fast delivery and MoneyGram for cash pickups. Compare a range of digital money specialists for better deals than you’ll find at your bank.
Compare international money transfers to UAE
Our table lets you compare the services you can use to send money abroad. Compare services on transfer speeds and fees, then click Go to site when you're ready to send.
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.
Digital money transfer services
Companies like OFX and CurrencyTransfer specialize 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.
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. Compare MoneyGram to digital services like WorldRemit or XE when possible to get the best deal.
Dirham probably aren’t carried at your local bank. Even if your local bank can convert your US dollars 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 March 11, 2020.
Digital money transfer service
$25 + additional correspondent bank fees
1 USD = 3.655 AED
1 USD = 3.655 AED
1 USD = 3.435 AED
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 306 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 for just a slightly higher fee.
How to send money to the United Arab Emirates online
Sign up and send money with a digital money transfer specialist in four steps:
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.
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.
Confirm transfer details. Double-check your payment method, expected fees and destination.
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.
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 USD-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 favorable, 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 US dollar, 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.
Sending your hard-earned money to the UAE shouldn’t cost a fortune. Compare transfer companies that specialize in foreign for the strongest rates, lowest fees and flexible delivery. For transfers to other countries, rely on our country specific guides the next time you need to make a transfer.
Zero fees on your first THREE money transfers
Send money with WorldRemit using the code '3FREE' and pay no fees on your first three money transfers
Zak Killermann is a writer at Finder who’s been specializing in cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology for four years — covering everything from ICO booms, crypto winters, memecoins and more. He’s mined and minted cryptocurrencies, and remembers the days when DOGE was just for fun. Zak’s focus is in breaking down technical concepts (like yellow papers) for the average folk to digest on their morning commute. Before diving into all things crypto, Zak contributed to Finder’s money transfers vertical.
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