If you need to transfer money from UAE internationally (or send money to UAE from abroad), forget about the old way of sending money through high-street banks and start using foreign exchange companies instead. These bank-alternatives are cheaper, more user-friendly and will safely get your money from A to B.
With UAE banks charging international wire fees up to 199 Dirham, and exchange rates that could be as much as 3% worse than the official rate, there is a constant hunt for a viable alternative by foreign workers, immigrants and expats in UAE (as well as businesses and corporations). Bank-alternative money transfer services in UAE have regularly demonstrated their ability to be the cheapest international money transfer method.
You can use them for “one-off” international money transfers or for multiple transfers. You can transfer a small amount, or a large amount with no cap. You can use an online system to send money from UAE, or speak directly to the dealer. The best recommended money transfer companies for UAE support dozens or hundreds of different currencies and once you have set up an account, you could reuse it for many more international bank transfers – to UAE, from UAE, and to almost any other location globally.
Best Way to Transfer Money from UAE
For transferring money from UAE to a bank account abroad, whether it’s from UAE to USA, UAE to Canada, UAE to Germany, UAE to UK, UAE to Australia, etc., these are the most recommended services. Updated for: June 2023
- The Only Major Foreign Exchange with Offices in UAE
- Operating Since 1970 - First Commercial Money Transfer Company
- Excellent Service and Guidance
- Fully-Functional Online Platform
- Many Consumer and Business Awards
- Global Leaders moving $5bn annually
- Professional and Friendly Staff, Large Money Transfer Experts
- Average saving of more than 50+% Against UAE or UK Banks
- 20+ Years in Existence
- Traded Publicly
- 20bn Turnover per Year
- Ultra Professional
- Very Tight Margins
- Most Recognizable Brand in Money Transfers Today
- Boast 1,000+ Employees and $4bn in Monthly Turnover
- Transparent Pricing on the Site
- Easy to Use
Why Do So Many People Need to Send Money from UAE Internationally?
UAE is by and large an immigrant country. The country puts a great deal of effort and lots of resources into developing itself and is somewhat reliant on foreign workers to generate revenue. In fact, only 12% of all of the United Arab Emirates population is Emirati. According to data by The World Bank, 1.38 million individuals from OECD member countries currently reside in the UAE, accounting for almost 14% of its population. There are 330,000 Americans, 120,000 Britons, 40,000 Canadians, 70,000 French, 83,000 Germans and 140,000 Russians.
Most Popular Routes
Based on the above it is clear that the most popular routes to transfer money from UAE are sending money from UAE to US (UAE dirhams to US dollars) and sending money from UAE to UK (UAE dirhams to UK pounds). There is a great deal of demand by the 330,00 Americans seeking to trade AED to USD and the 120,000 Brits wanting to transfer AED to GBP. In the UK, that demand can be fully satisfied by UK currency brokers and money transfer services such as the ones we have listed. US citizens have less options than Brits but that’s not to say they don’t have any – a growth in brokers launching in the US means there are still options to decide from the best money transfer services in USA. Of course, if you’re living and working in Dubai or the wider UAE then it’s best to choose from the brokers listed on this page who have the capacity to register individuals and businesses who are based there. In the past, when Money Transfer Comparison was a predominantly UK-focused site, we found that transferring money from UAE to UK was almost as popular amongst our readers as the two most popular routes – transferring money from USA to UK, and transferring money from UK to Spain.
|Imports (2020)||$204.6 billion|
|Exports (2020)||$316.8 billion|
|Top Trading Partners||China, India, United States, Japan, Saudi Arabia|
|Main Import Commodities||Machinery, transport equipment, chemicals, food, precious stones and metals|
|Main Export Commodities||Crude oil, natural gas, re-exports, dried fish, dates|
- World Bank Data: https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NE.EXP.GNFS.ZS?locations=AE
- OEC World: https://oec.world/en/visualize/tree_map/hs92/export/are/show/all/318/2018/
- UAE Government Portal: https://u.ae/en/information-and-services/business/foreign-trade-policy
- International Trade Centre: https://www.trademap.org/Country_SelProduct.aspx?nvpm=1%7c784%7c%7c%7c%7cTOTAL%7c%7c%7c4%7c1%7c1%7c2%7c1%7c%7c2%7c1%7c1
- CIA World Factbook: https://www.cia.gov/the-world-factbook/countries
🔎 Money transfer UAE to UK / Money transfer Dubai to UK:
According to the British Business Group in Dubai and the Northern Emirates, there are estimated to be over 120,000 Britons living in Dubai and 6,000 UK registered businesses operating there. When initially migrating, many individuals are looking for a low-cost and safe method to send money to Dubai from UK and exchange UAE dirhams to UK pounds. This could be transferring some of the proceeds of a house sale or other investment in the UK. Of course, there are many reasons one might send money to UAE from UK but it’s likely at some point you’ll want to transfer money from UAE to UK as well. More than likely repatriating your overseas earnings. Just be aware of the tax implications of transferring money to the UK from UAE (more on this later).
In the four quarters to Q2 2022, total exports to the UAE amounted to £9.2 billion, with mechanical, medical and luxury goods proving popular. Total imports for the UK from UAE totalled £5.9 billion. In this sense it suggests a greater flow of money transfers from UAE to UK in order to purchase goods and services but we do not know how businesses are choosing to make their sales. It might be that they are selling locally in AED and are then required to convert AED to GBP in order to repatriate their revenues and are thus making an international money transfer from UAE to UK. Similarly for those importing from UAE, it may be that they’re transferring money from UK to UAE, or perhaps they’re purchasing via another mechanism which involves the seller transferring money from UK to UAE.
How to Send Money to UAE From UK?
Simply choose your preferred provider and complete your application online. You should be able to upload any identity documents required swiftly, and then the provider should have you up and running to transfer funds same-day. Remember, these providers can only be used if you’re transferring money from Dubai to a UK bank account, or vice versa, looking to transfer money from UK to a UAE bank account. They are specifically set up to specialise in account-to-account transfers, and those looking for cash pickup will need to consider a remittance company.
How to Send Money From UAE to UK?
The two highest rated money transfer companies on Money Transfer Comparison have the capability to onboard clients in the UAE. Currencies Direct and moneycorp make it easy to send money from UAE. It’s easy to register and you’ll be assigned your own personal account manager to help you through the process. Transfer funds online or via telephone. Providing you’re transferring a significant amount (at least £10,000 annually) we also think these companies will prove the cheapest way to transfer money from UAE to UK. This leads us to our next question…
What is the cheapest way to send money to UAE from UK?
For larger transfers or those making frequent transfers we have already suggested that currency brokers like moneycorp and Currencies Direct should prove the cheapest way to send money to UAE or likewise, the cheapest way to send money from UAE to UK. For small transfers our other recommended provider Wise is likely to prove the cheapest way to send money to UAE. Remember, the cheapest way to transfer money from UAE to UK is not necessarily the best way to transfer money from UAE to UK. It’s why we recommend currency brokers – they have an account manager to take you through the process. They can recommend different FX solutions to transfer UAE dirhams to UK pounds (such as locking in today’s rate for the future or implementing a target rate that will auto-execute when it’s met), they can run you through the history of the currency pair, and they can even run you through the what upcoming political and economic events that may impact the UAE dirhams to UK pounds exchange rate.
Transferring Money from UAE to UK – Tax Implications
If you’re concerned about whether you will have to pay tax when you send money from UAE to UK then see our full guide to the tax implications of transferring money to the UK. This includes an explanation for those looking to send money from UAE to UK. It’s not the only factor at play, but if you’re working overseas in Dubai then much of it will come down to how many days you spend in the UK – it will need to be under 91.
🔎 Money transfer UAE to US / Money transfer Dubai to US:
Providing you’re in employment in the UAE, it’s easy to get and retain a work visa for Americans. It’s not like the US where companies have to prove they can’t fill the role with an American first and there are thousands of Americans working in the UAE in real estate, finance, tech and many more industries. Just like those looking to transfer money from UAE to UK, most Americans will look to send money from UAE to US so they can repatriate their earnings. Upon initial migration to Dubai or the UAE, it’s also likely they’ll want to send money to Dubai.
The UAE trades with all 50 US states but despite the size of the US, it actually imports less from Dubai than the UK. Imports to the US from UAE totalled $4.3 billion in 2019. A significantly higher $20 billion was exported to the UAE from the US. With a combined $24.3 billion in total trade, it’s very common for businesses to send money to UAE from US and transfer money from UAE to US.
How to Send Money from UAE to US?
Remember, if you’re a UAE-based business looking to send money from UAE to US then it’s important to select a provider listed on this page as they hold the required licensing to onboard UAE-based individuals and businesses. Simply follow their steps and you can transfer funds from UAE to US in no time. Transfers should take no longer than 48 hours.
How to Send Money to UAE from US?
Individuals and businesses based in the US who are looking to send money to Dubai from US, have a range of options to conduct their transfer. However, they will be better off reviewing our selection of the best international money transfer services USA. Onboarding clients in the US is tricky and requires individual state regulatory approval so it’s best to work with the experts that have a track record of working in the US market.
🔎 Money transfer UAE to Rest of World:
Money transfers from UAE to Canada are another popular route – some 40,000 Canadians are reported to be living in the UAE and many of these are regularly looking to send money from UAE to Canada or send money from Canada to UAE. . Money transfers from UAE to Europe are also very popular, with some 70,000 French and 83,000 German individuals residing in Dubai and the UAE. Naturally, they are also looking to send money to UAE or send money from UAE to Europe. Sending money from UAE to Greece, Belgium, Netherlands and other European countries also contributes to a significant number of individuals transferring money from UAE to Europe. Another popular route is transferring money from UAE to Australia. There are fewer Australians residing in UAE and trade between the countries is a little smaller – a total of $5.7 billion in two-way trade – but that’s still plenty of businesses looking to send money from UAE to Australia and send money to UAE from Australia.
Cost of Transferring Money from UAE with Banks
|National Bank of Abu Dhabi||AED123.00*|
|Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank||AED73.00*|
|First Gulf Bank||AED73.00*|
|Dubai Islamic Bank||AED39.00*|
* These are the maximum figures. May be lesser depending on the type of account and destination.
** These do not include currency exchange fees that could be as high as 3% of the total cost.
Conclusion: Using a Money Transfer Service to Transfer Money Internationally from UAE
A recap of what you can achieve by using a money transfer service over a bank to transfer money from UAE:
- Pay no wire fees instead of up to 200 Dirham with a bank
- Get better exchange rates for your transfer whether it’s AED to GBP, AED to USD, AED to CAD – you will always get a bank beating rate
- Get access to an online money transfer system to DIY, or, alternatively, speak directly to a professional over the phone
- Receive hand-holding and constant updates when it comes to transferring large amounts from UAE
- Transfer money to anywhere at the same speed of banks, or better – send money from UAE to UK, from UAE to USA, Canada, Australia, Germany, Belgium etc.
- Use your money transfer company account to make transfers in the future
- Access to tools like Forward Contract to hedge rates
- Deals with individuals AND businesses of all sizes
- Some companies a multi-currency account to receive payments in any currency
- All companies recommended by us for transferring money from UAE abroad have 95% satisfaction from past customers or more