Safely Send Money to the United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Information verified correct on March 29th, 2017

UAEFind 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.

Compare International Money Transfers

Rates last updated March 29th, 2017

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Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Services Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received
OFX International Money Transfers
Send safe... Send safe, no-limit transfers with no fees and competitive exchange rates.
USD 150 1 day
Rates are always
changing, click to check
your price today
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WorldRemit International Money Transfers
Use promo code FREE to ... Use promo code FREE to send your first transfer for no fee, to over 110 countries for bank-to-bank deposit, cash pickup or mobile top-up.
USD 1 Within an hour
OnlineCash Transfer
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changing, click to check
your price today
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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.

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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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