Abu Dhabi Money and Banking
Abu Dhabi Money – The monetary unit of UAE is Dirham (AED) and the unit is divided into 100 fils.
Cash continues to the most favored payment method in UAE, even though credit and debit cards are widely accepted. In licensed exchanges, banks and hotels you can change foreign currencies and travelers cheques and for it a passport is required. Personal Cheques are considered to be a little trickier by many and many places won’t accept them. To do shopping in Souks (markets) or in smaller shops, cash is the best mode of payment or maybe it is the only choice.
UAE has a well structure and extensive network of local and international banks, which is sternly controlled by the UAE Central Bank. These banks offer a full range of commercial and personal services. It is easy to make transfers as there is no exchange control and you can convert dirham without restrictions. Working hours of the bank or banking hours normally are from Saturday to Thursday, 8am -1 pm (a few banks keep late hours)
Mainly all banks have ATMs, which allow a range of cards. Almost all ATMs, even though linked to a specific bank are part of a central network, which allows transaction with a bank card for a small charge. The common systems of cards accepted around Abu Dhabi are America Express, Cirrus, Global Access, Master Card, Plus System and Visa.
ATMs are found in major supermarkets, all shopping malls, almost all petrol stations and the airport. Regarding international cards, the exchange rates used in transactions are normally competitive and the process is quicker and far less hassle compared to the usage of travelers cheques.
Bureau de Changes can be seen all over Abu Dhabi and give you rates better than the banks. The services are available in all major malls and popular shopping districts. The working days are from Saturday to Thursday, and the timing is 8 am to 1 pm and 4.30 pm to 8.30 pm, it will open on Friday evenings also. Some of the hotels also exchange money and travelers cheque, but the rate would be standard and non-competitive.