UAE National Currency

UAE National Currency

The Official UAE National Currency is the Emirati Dirham, symbolized as AED. Informally, it is often abbreviated as Dh or Dhs. The dirham is further divided into 100 fils. To learn more about the history of the UAE Dirham, you can explore its origins and evolution.

UAE National Currency

History of the UAE National Currency "Dirham"

The history of the UAE national currency Dirham traces back to the establishment of the ‘Currency Board’ under Union Law No. 2 of 1973, which was later replaced by Law No. 10 of 1980 governing the Central Bank, Monetary System, and Banking Organization. The Currency Board introduced the UAE dirham, which replaced the Bahraini Dinar and the Qatari and Dubai Riyal currencies that were previously in circulation. On May 19, 1973, the UAE dirham was first introduced, marking a significant transition in the country’s monetary system. The Qatar and Dubai riyal had been in circulation since 1966 across the emirates, except in Abu Dhabi, where the dirham replaced the Bahraini dinar.

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Coins in the UAE are available in denominations of AED 1, 50 fils, and 25 fils. However, the 1, 5, and 10 fils coins are not commonly used in everyday transactions. As a result, amounts are typically rounded to the nearest multiples of 25 fils.

Since 1976, the Currency Board and later the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates have issued commemorative coins to mark various significant events in the country’s history. These commemorative coins have celebrated moments such as the first Emirati astronaut’s space mission and paid tribute to the Founding Father. Additionally, commemorative coins have been issued in honor of events like the Asian Cup.

The UAE National Currency

Bank Notes

The inaugural dirham banknotes, introduced in 1973, came in AED 1, 5, 10, 50, and 100 denominations. A few years later, in 1976, the AED 1,000 note was also introduced. These initial notes featured both Arabic and English inscriptions, showcasing various UAE landmarks. Interestingly, they closely resembled the banknotes still in circulation today. To delve deeper into the UAE’s currency history, one can explore the Currency Museum and consult the tourist guide training and licensing manual provided by the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism. These banknotes, issued by the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates, include a watermark of the national emblem on the front to enhance security against counterfeiting.

The UAE National Currency

Commemorative Coins

In addition to regular currency used in daily transactions, the CBUAE produces commemorative coins to honor the significant achievements and milestones of the United Arab Emirates. Government bodies, banks, and the CBUAE have the privilege to request the issuance of commemorative gold, silver, or circulation coins for the celebration of noteworthy occasions. To gain a deeper understanding of currency and coins in the UAE, you can explore further information on this topic.

Currency Misuse – Violations and Penalties

Misuse of the UAE’s national currency, with its name and emblem, is regarded as a crime of greater moral significance than material value under UAE law. According to Article 141 of Federal Law No. 14 of 2018, pertaining to the Central Bank and the Regulation of Financial Institutions and Activities, any public and intentional act of mutilation, destruction, or tearing of currency is subject to penalties. Offenders may face a fine of AED 1,000 or 10 times the value of the damaged currency, whichever is higher.

Moreover, the UAE’s laws and regulations proscribe actions that undermine public morals or devalue the state’s emblem and its national currency. As outlined in Article 176 (bis) of the Federal Penal Code, individuals who insult, mock, or harm the reputation, prestige, or standing of the state, its flag, its emblem, its symbols, or any of its institutions may be subject to penalties, including imprisonment for a minimum of 10 years and a maximum of 25 years, along with a fine not less than AED 500,000. Further details can be found in related news coverage on the WAM website.