If you were looking to use cash from back home in Dubai, you won’t have much luck. It’s pretty uncommon to pay for goods and services in Dubai with any currency other than the Dirham. However, international credit and debit cards, such as Visa and Mastercard, are widely accepted at retailers. ATMs are situated nearly everywhere, and foreign debit cards can usually be used in order to take out cash. You can also exchange cash at several locations.
Foreign visitors to Dubai can exchange their currency both at banks and currency exchanges.
When in Dubai, keep in mind that you’ll find the best rates if you’re exchanging from US dollars, as the AED is pegged to the dollar. So you’ll receive roughly the same rates (after factoring in added fees) when converting from dollars to dirhams.
Often, exchange places, especially at airports and hotels, will attempt to woo customers by advertising their favorite phrases: “0 fees” or “No commission”. But what you see usually isn’t what you get. If you do a quick Google search or use an online currency converter, you’ll discover that your money is worth much more than an exchange bureau or bank is offering you.
The real rate, based on daily trading that occurs at banks and large global financial markets, is referred to as the mid-market rate. This represents what your money is actually worth. Banks and exchange services, however, will often make up their own, much poorer exchange rate and then pocket the difference