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How To Send Money Internationally From The United Arab Emirates in 2022

How To Send Money Internationally From The United Arab Emirates in 2022 – that will be the topic of today’s article.

Nothing written here should be considered as financial advice, nor a solicitation to invest. 

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It is usually better to “kill two birds with one stone” and invest as an expat, rather than send money home to buy shares or a house.


How To Send Money Internationally—There are numerous options to make foreign money transfers in the UAE, ranging from online banking to cash remittances. Here’s everything you need to know about it.

Outward remittances from the UAE have far-reaching repercussions due to the UAE’s huge expat population. Families in India, the Philippines, the United Kingdom, and the United States are benefiting from this, according to the UAE Central Bank. As a result, the UAE’s international money transfer sector is tremendously established. Banks, exchange houses, and digital transfer services, as well as more informal – and illegal – routes, all operate within the country.

This comprehensive guide will teach you all you need to know about international money transfers in the United Arab Emirates.

How To Send Money Internationally From The United Arab Emirates in 2022

According to the World Bank’s Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development, expats make up nearly 90% of the UAE’s population, so it’s no surprise that the Middle Eastern country is the second-largest sender of remittances to other countries. According to Central Bank figures, outward personal remittances totaled AED169.2 billion (about $46.06 billion) in 2018, up 3% from the previous year. Indian expats sent 34.2 percent of total remittances in the last quarter of 2018, followed by Pakistanis and Filipinos.

There are more than a half-dozen options to send money from the UAE, including international money transfers from your bank account to the receiving party’s account, online payments through third-party services, and cash services at local exchange houses. It’s a good idea to conduct your research before making international money transfers in the UAE, since you could be handing away a lot of money in the form of exorbitant fees.

Despite the fact that the UAE has a wide range of legal means to transfer money, there are a number of unofficial services available, such as classic hawala and hundi contracts. While the Central Bank has endeavoured in the past to register some of these brokers, many firms operate under the radar, putting your money at risk. When sending money overseas, it’s important to remember to examine a transfer system’s licence and request an official receipt.

To summarise, you should examine exchange rates, transfer costs, and processing periods depending on where you want to send money to make an informed decision.

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How To Send Money Internationally From The United Arab Emirates in 2022 3

In The United Arab Emirates, Online International Money Transfer Services Are Available

In the United Arab Emirates, a number of internet services now offer international money transfers. Wise’s entry into the Abu Dhabi market in 2019 significantly enlarged the market. International platforms such as PayPal, CurrencyFair, or Moneycorp, which allow clients to receive dirhams in their abroad bank accounts, are among the other worldwide firms facilitating international payments in the UAE.

Meanwhile, local firms such as Now Money and Denarii Cash have sprung up around the country. Denarii Cash aims to provide services in 2020, while the former caters to unbanked expats via its smartphone app. With global firms like Azimo expressing interest in the market, the sector is expected to become even more congested.

In general, using online services to make international payments in the UAE is far more cost-effective, often up to eight times cheaper. Typically, such businesses charge an advance fee and transfer money at the interbank rate. Transfers are completed in minutes, while certain businesses may take longer.

Using Banks For Money Transfers

In the UAE, all licenced banks allow international money transfers. Bank transfers are still one of the most popular ways for expats to send money home due to their ease and convenience. Furthermore, whether using online or mobile banking, account holders can complete a transaction from their account in minutes.

When sent through a standard bank account, however, foreign money transfers in the UAE are significantly more expensive. This is due to the fact that banks determine their own exchange rates, which are not the same as the interbank rates displayed on xe.com or Google.

Remittances may also be subject to a service fee charged by the bank. Several banks in the UAE do not charge upfront service costs for transfers in the destination country’s local currency due to ties with correspondent partners in other countries. Customers, on the other hand, will rarely find bank rates to be in their advantage. To put it another way, you are paying a higher price for ease.

Traditional Bank Services For International Money Transfers

Some expats prefer to do financial operations in person. If that’s the case, simply go to your nearest branch and fill out a form provided by the teller. You have the option of paying cash or having the money deducted directly from your account.

However, as compared to international payments made in the UAE via online or phone banking, physical visits to a bank may entail greater service charges.

Mobile Or Internet Banking Are Used To Make International Money Transfers

When you use mobile banking in the United Arab Emirates to send money overseas, it’s quick and easy. Simply log into your internet banking account or start the app. Then go to the international money transfer section. It’s worth noting that most banks offer both domestic and international transfers.

Before you can make a transfer, you may need to create a new payee. Simply follow the instructions after that. Also, keep the recipient’s account information ready.

A bank employee may call you to confirm the details if it’s your first time conducting international money transfers in the UAE. Indeed, such practises are swiftly becoming the norm among the country’s largest financial institutions.

How To Accept International Payments To Your Bank Account In The UAE

Simply supply the sender with your full name, bank details, and account number to receive an international money transfer in the UAE. The IBAN format is used to standardise UAE bank account numbers, which consist of 23 characters beginning with the letters AE.

Transfers by wire

In the UAE, over 75% of expats use wire transfer services to make foreign money transfers. They send money abroad through one of the 125 money exchanges or cash houses, which use the SWIFT banking network, or through international wire transfer providers like Western Union or MoneyGram. In the fourth quarter of 2018, over AED30.4 billion in remittances were wired through exchange houses, compared to AED9.5 billion transmitted through banks.

Across the UAE, such exchange houses are commonly found in malls and on main roadways. Companies like Al Fardan Exchange, Al Ansari, Al Rostamani Exchange, LuLu Exchange, UAE Exchange, GCC Exchange, and Wall St Exchange should be on your radar. According to World Bank data, such companies typically offer a better deal than banks: the total average costs of sending $500 (Dh1,835) from the UAE to India, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Egypt were 1.53 percent, 1.28 percent, 1.34 percent, and 1.94 percent, respectively, in the third quarter of 2019.

Using an exchange house to make foreign payments in the UAE is safe and simple. However, you must have the money in cash to get the best rate and the quickest transactions.

In the UAE, how do you make a wire transfer

Simply stroll into the business, complete a form, and pay over the money. You’ll be required to present a government-issued picture ID, usually your Emirates ID – or your passport if you don’t have one. You’ll need to include the recipient’s full name and address as well. You’ll be handed a receipt with a Money Transfer Control Number, which the recipient must fill out on a separate form when picking up the funds. The transfer takes only a few minutes on average, however it could take longer depending on the country to where you are sending money. In most cases, you may trace your transfer online.

International money transfers from your credit card are normally possible in the UAE, although they can take up to five business days. However, using a debit or credit card for certain services, such as Western Union and MoneyGram, might reduce the time it takes to transmit money.

Finally, it’s worth noting that dedicated services like Remit2India handle transactions faster than ordinary players.

Foreign exchange dealers in the United Arab Emirates

In the United Arab Emirates, a number of foreign exchange brokers operate, and expats can rely on them for better currency rates. When making international money transfers in the UAE, there are several variables to consider when evaluating a currency broker. Regulatory clearances (from the UAE Central Bank, Dubai International Financial Centre, or Abu Dhabi Global Market, as well as international authorities in your home country), international money transfer charges in the UAE, trustworthiness, customer service, and online tracking are just a few examples.

Making a few phone calls and asking around might save you a lot of money on foreign exchange rates. The foreign currency industry is fiercely competitive, and some companies will advertise interbank exchange rates to entice you, only to tack on extra fees or boost their profits later. As a result, seek an estimate ahead of time and inquire about any connected international money transfer fees in the UAE.

After you’ve decided on a currency broker, you’ll need to open an account with them. Copies of your passport and residency visa are required. You can start trading online as soon as your account is set up. To begin, select your currency pair and examine the spread or conversion rate. Because such rates fluctuate greatly, you’ll want to wait.

Lock in your transfer conversion rates and send the money to your FX broker once you’ve gotten the rate you desire. Within one or two business days, the funds will be sent to the recipient’s bank account. You must have all of the beneficiary’s information, including their bank account number and SWIFT/IBAN number.

When Sending Money Internationally, There Are A Few Things To Keep In Mind

When sending or receiving foreign money in the UAE, expats must consider a variety of issues. For example, based on different organisations’ local affiliations, you’ll need to consider international money transfer charges in the UAE, convenience, and licences, as well as the country you’re sending money to. Here are some things to think about.


When making foreign payments in the UAE, you will always have to pay a premium. This could be in the form of a one-time fee or reflected in the exchange rate. The exchange firm makes money on your transaction if you are not offered the interbank rate. As a result, compare international money transfer costs in the UAE by shopping around.

Rates Of Exchange

Because currency markets are active 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, rates vary constantly. Currency conversion rates, on the other hand, can vary dramatically based on the provider’s internal policies. The interbank rate is typically used by forex brokers, whereas banks and exchange houses set their own rates.

Methods Of Payment

Cash, a bank instruction, or a credit card are all options for international money transfers in the UAE. Furthermore, the majority of transfers may be completed via smartphone apps.

Methods Of Collection

In most cases, international payments can be made to recipients’ bank accounts in the UAE. Many exchange houses, on the other hand, offer cash delivery in exchange for a secure Money Transfer Control Number.

Time To Transfer

Consider the transfer’s time. Rates fluctuate depending on a variety of circumstances, but sending money internationally around a festival may be more expensive. Furthermore, urgent transactions may necessitate a higher fee or the usage of an online service to ensure that your money gets where it needs to go as quickly as possible. If you can wait a little longer, you might be able to select a lower, alternative option, or you might be offered a different pricing.

Customer Service Is Important

Because foreign currency markets are operating 24 hours a day, you should expect the same level of customer care.

How Long Does It Take To Send Money Internationally In The United Arab Emirates

Because transfer periods differ based on the method used and the country to which the money is being sent, it’s usually better to ask the bank or exchange house when the money will arrive. Overall, you may expect the transaction to take anything from a few minutes if you use an internet provider to five or seven working days if you use traditional banking methods. As a result, shopping around for the best rate and transfer time makes sense.

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Adam is an internationally recognised author on financial matters, with over 760.2 million answer views on Quora.com, a widely sold book on Amazon, and a contributor on Forbes.

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