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

Find the best exchange rates and affordable fees when you want to send money to the UAE from the United States.

When you need to get money to a loved one overseas, the last thing you want to have to deal with is navigating a potentially complicated and expensive process. Sending money from the United States to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) doesn’t have to be expensive. Compare the transfer fees and exchange rates of the many options available to you to get the most United Arab Emirates dirhams for your dollar.From bank transfers and online transactions to options that allow recipients to collect your funds within minutes, sending an international money transfer to the UAE is easy. However, do your research and shop around for the best available deal.

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  • Enjoy competitive exchange rates.
  • Get even better exchange rates with forward contracts and limit orders.
  • Receive weekly updates on market exchange rates.

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    Save money on your personal or business international money transfer today. Fill in the form and you’ll be contacted by a foreign exchange expert to have an obligation-free discussion about your options.

    With over 17 years of foreign exchange expertise and over $100 billion transferred, OFX can help with all your currency exchange needs, including:

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    Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Services Amount Received Description CTA Details
    USD 1,000 1 day USD 0.00 3.66 Online, Phone, Bank Account to Bank Account AED 18,300 Exclusive offer: $0 transfer fee
    No-limit transfers with competitive exchange rates for 100+ currencies.
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    1 day - - Online, Phone, Bank Account to Bank Account Exclusive exchange rate discounts
    No-maximum limit transfers with competitive exchange rates for 100+ currencies.
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    USD 100 3 - 5 days USD 5.00 3.656 Online, Phone AED 18,264 Transfer money into 20 currencies and schedule regular payments. $5 fee waived for transfers over $5,000. Go to site Show details
    USD 1 Within an hour - - Online, Bank Account to Bank Account, Cash Transfer Use promo code FREE to send your first transfer at no fee to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposit, cash pickup or mobile top-up. Go to site Show details

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    How do international money transfers work?

    An international money transfer allows you to send money to a recipient overseas. Generally, a transfer involves you providing funds to a bank or an independent transfer provider, which then sends the money to your recipient in another country — in this case, the UAE. This can be done in person, over the phone, through a mobile app or online. You can use cash, a credit or debit card, or transfer funds from your bank account, which will then either be deposited into your recipient’s bank account or mobile wallet, or made available as cash for them to pick up at a location in their country.

    Banks versus money transfer companies

    The UAE dirham (AED) is widely traded on global currency markets and, as such, your bank will have no trouble handling an international money transfer to the UAE for you. The problem, however, is that banks impose large fees (usually from around $25 to $50) and also offer quite poor exchange rates on overseas money transfers.

    Instead of sending through your bank and paying more than you have to, why not consider using a money transfer company? These providers are experts when it comes to sending money across international borders. They offer better rates and lower fees than a bank, and can guarantee secure and affordable money transfers.

    Case Study: Jenna Sends Money to the UAE

    Jenna’s husband Michael works in the oil industry in Dubai. With his birthday coming up, Jenna wants to send him a gift of $1,000 to spend as he wishes. Rather than pay the $50 transfer fee being offered by her bank, she decides to see if she can find a cheaper alternative with one of many online money transfer companies. She compares two to see which one offers the best deal.

    Money transfer company 1Money transfer company 2
    Exchange rate$1 USD = $3.672 AED$1 USD = $3.562 AED
    Transfer fee$5$14
    Transfer methodBank account depositBank account deposit
    Processing time2 business days1-2 business days
    Amount received (in AED)$3,672 AED$3,562

    As you can see, not only can Jenna send an extra $110 AED by using the first company, but she can also save $9 on transfer fee.

    How to compare transfer companies when transferring money to the UAE

    • Exchange rates. How do each company’s rates compare to those offered by other providers? Are they higher, lower or roughly the same when compared to the competition?
    • Fees. How much will you have to pay when you send a transfer? Can you avoid a transfer fee when you send a large amount of money?
    • Transfer methods. What options are available for making transfers: online, over the phone or at a branch? Is there a smartphone app available?
    • Transfer options. Can you lock in an ideal exchange rate now and transfer the money later, known as a forward contract? Does the institution offer limit orders, which allows you to take advantage of changing market conditions by executing the money transfer when a certain exchange rate is met? Can you schedule recurring payments?
    • Turnaround time. How long will it take for the funds you send to make it into your recipient’s bank account or wallet?
    • Minimum amount. Is there a minimum transfer limit you will have to meet?
    • Pickup methods. Will the funds be available for collection from a branch or will they be transferred straight into your recipient’s bank account?
    • Customer service. Are phone, email and/or online customer support offered?
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    Foreign exchange rates explained

    The exchange rate determines how much one country’s currency is worth in another currency. When a country’s currency is strong, it will yield more money when exchanging it in a country with a weak currency. For example, in December 2016, the U.S dollar was worth approximately 19 Mexican pesos. However, most countries’ exchange rates are flexible, which means it can change from moment to moment. Factors that influence the exchange rate include interest rates, economic stability and inflation.

    Options for sending money to the UAE from America

    • Bank transfers. You can safely and securely send funds from a U.S. bank account to an account in the UAE.
    • Online money transfer providers. There are plenty of trusted online money transfer companies that can send secure and affordable transactions.
    • Money transfer companies with cash pickup options. Consider companies that offer this service, such as Western Union, Ria and MoneyGram
    • Checks. International checks can be obtained from your bank and then mailed overseas.
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    Emergency cash transfers in the UAE

    There are certain circumstances when you may need to send an emergency transfer to the UAE — for example, maybe your son or daughter is stranded in the UAE and has run out of cash. Sending an emergency cash transfer is easy, but you should be aware of the fact that you’ll usually have to pay extra to get your funds there as soon as possible. Higher fees are usually charged, and sometimes lower exchange rates are offered as well. So check all the details of your transaction closely before you send your funds.

    Find a money transfer location near you

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    Tips for picking up cash in the UAE

    If you pick up cash from any transfer provider branch, either in the UAE or the U.S., take a few simple precautions to ensure that you and your money are safe and secure. Avoid any dangerous parts of town and make sure not to advertise the fact that you’re carrying around a large sum of cash. Ask a friend to come along with you, and as soon as you have the funds in your possession, deposit them in a safe place as quickly as possible.

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    How to send money to the UAE

    When you send an international money transfer, you will need to provide a range of details to the transfer provider, including:

    • Your name, address, contact information and valid photo ID.
    • Your beneficiary’s name, address and information, along with their bank account info if the funds will be deposited in their bank account.
    • How much money you’re sending, in what currency and which country you’re sending it to.

    Once you have completed your transaction, you will be given a tracking number. Make a note of this number so you can monitor the progress of your money transfer.

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