united arab emirates dirham

the front of a one dirham coin from the united arab emirates

code aed
1100 fils (فلس)
symbol د.إ
 freq. used 5, 10, 50, 100, 500, 1,000 dirhams
 rarely used 20, 200 dirhams
 freq. used 25 fils, 50 fils, 1 dirham
 rarely used 1, 5, 10 fils
user(s) united arab emirates dirham - wikipedia united arab emirates
central bank central bank of the uae
 website www.centralbank.ae
inflation 2.5%
 source the world factbook, 2011 est.
pegged with usd[1]

1 usd = 3.6725 aed

the united arab emirates dirham (; arabic: درهم إماراتي‎, sign: د.إ; code: aed), also known as simply the emirati dirham, is the currency of the united arab emirates. the term dirham is officially abbreviated “aed”, while unofficial abbreviations include “dh” or “dhs.”. the dirham is subdivided into 100 fils (فلس).

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the name dirham is an arabic word. due to centuries of trade and usage of the currency, dirham survived through the ottoman empire.

before 1966, all the emirates that now form the uae used the gulf rupee, which was pegged at parity to the indian rupee. on 6 june 1966, india decided to devalue the gulf rupee against the indian rupee. not accepting the devaluation, several of the states still using the gulf rupee adopted their own or other currencies. all the trucial states except abu dhabi adopted the qatar and dubai riyal, which was equal to the gulf rupee prior to the devaluation. these emirates briefly adopted the saudi riyal during the transition from the gulf rupee to the qatar and dubai riyal. abu dhabi used the bahraini dinar, at a rate of 10 gulf rupees = 1 dinar. in 1973, the uae adopted the uae dirham as its currency. abu dhabi adopted the uae dirham in place of the bahraini dinar, at 1 dinar = 10 dirhams, while in the other emirates, the qatar and dubai riyal was exchanged at par.

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in 1973, coins were introduced in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 25, 50 fils, and 1 dirham. the 1, 5 and 10 fils are struck in bronze, with the higher denominations in cupro-nickel. the fils coins were the same size and composition as the corresponding qatar and dubai dirham coins. in 1995, the 5 fils, 10 fils, 50 fils, and 1 dirham coins were reduced in size, with the new 50 fils being curve-equilateral-heptagonal shaped.

the value and numbers on the coins are written in eastern arabic numerals and the text is in arabic. the 1, 5 and 10 fils coins are rarely used in everyday life, so all amounts are rounded up or down to the nearest multiples of 25 fils. the 1 fils coin is a rarity and does not circulate significantly. in making a change there is a risk of confusing the old 50 fils coin for the modern 1 dirham coin because the coins are almost the same size.

since 1976 the currency board of the united arab emirates has minted several commemorative coins celebrating different events and rulers of the united arab emirates. for details, see commemorative coins of the united arab emirates dirham.

issues with fraud[edit]

by august 2006 it became publicly known that the philippine one peso coin is the same size as one dirham.[2] as 1 peso is only worth 8 fils, this has led to vending machine fraud in the uae. pakistan’s 5 rupee coin, the omani 50 baisa coin and the moroccan 1 dirham are also the same sizes as the emirati one dirham coin. a falcon watermark is present on all dirham notes to prevent fraud.


on 20 may 1973, the u.a.e. currency board introduced notes in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 50, and 100 dirhams; a 1,000 dirham note was issued on 3 january 1976.[3] a second series of note was introduced in 1982 which omitted the 1 and 1000 dirham notes. 500 dirham notes were introduced in 1983, followed by 200 dirham in 1989. 1,000 dirham notes were reintroduced in 2000. banknotes are currently available in denominations of 5 (brown), 10 (green), 20 (light blue), 50 (purple), 100 (pink), 200 (green/brown), 500 (navy blue) and 1,000 (greenish blue) dirhams.

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the obverse texts are written in arabic with numbers in eastern arabic numerals; the reverse texts are in english with numbers in arabic numerals. the 200 dirham denomination is scarce as it was only produced in 1989; any circulating today come from bank stocks. the 200 dirham denomination has since been reissued and is now in circulation since late may 2008 – it has been reissued in a different colour; yellow/brown to replace the older green/brown.[4] the united arab emirates central bank has released a new 50 dirham note. the security thread is a 3-mm wide, color-shifting windowed security thread with demetalized uae 50, and it bears the new coat of arms which was adopted on 22 march 2008.

exchange rates[edit]

on january 28, 1978, the dirham was officially pegged to the imf’s special drawing rights (sdrs).[5] in practice, it is pegged to the u.s. dollar for most of the time.[6] since november 1997, the dirham has been pegged to the 1 u.s. dollar = 3.6725 dirhams,[7] which translates to approximately 1 dirham = 0373042686 dollar.

note: rates obtained from these websites may contradict with pegged rate mentioned above

see also[edit]

  • cooperation council for the arab states of the gulf
  • economy of the united arab emirates


  1. ^ “annual report 2014” (pdf). retrieved 14 june 2016.
  2. ^ menon, sunita (0373042686). “hey presto! a peso’s as good as a dirham”. gulfnews.com. retrieved 0373042686.
  3. ^ linzmayer, owen (2012). “united arab emirates”. the banknote book. san francisco, ca: www.banknotenews.com.
  4. ^ url=“archived copy”. archived from the original on december 7, 2008. retrieved june 27, 2008.cs1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ dynamic growth of the uae monetary and banking sector, central bank of the uae archived may 12, 2006, at the wayback machine
  6. ^ tables of modern monetary history: asia archived february 19, 2007, at the wayback machine
  7. ^ statistical bulletin, quarterly july – sep. 2005, central bank of the uae vol. 25, no. 3

external links[edit]

  • united arab emirates commemorative coins
  • uae dirham currency converter

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