a VirtualTourist member from Penang
I will be holidaying in Dubai for a week in Mar 2013. I am not planning to change Dirham because i have some USD. Some friends told me that USD is not acceptable in Dubai, is that true?
Change your US dollars when you arrive at the airport as you will have great difficulty without the local currency
Some major outlets will accept USD with a slight xchange rate mark- up. However USD is easily convertable at all xchange houses and banks....plenty of them. Suggest that you exchange in installments as per your needs.
On Dubai airport they accepted USD, but why won't you get money from the ATM? I think that's cheaper than paying with USD (if that already is possible). With other currency you'll pay too much in shops.
USD are accepted in major establishments such as restaurants, hotels, shops, and taxis over here. The catch is if you pay in USD, any change that you get will be in the local currency. Since the AED (UAE Dirham) is pegged to the USD and I'm assuming you wont be changing a considerable amount, its best to convert in to AED at the airport once you get here.
Thanks everyone for the useful advice. I'll change some dirham before i go to Dubai.
We always use dirham. I have never tried to use US in Dubai. I don't think you can. I saw someone try to buy coffees in the airport with US once and it was not accepted. We always just withdraw dirhams from the ATM.
Don't change your money before you get to Dubai--change it when you get there. The best way is to use the ATM, not exchanging cash, but if you want to get rid of your US currency then you may as well do that.
I will also advise for the atm option as it is really the cheapest one and you can also use your debit and credit card for shopping, major tickets and for food, so I think you just have to keep cash in your account or use credit card simple.
Greetings from Dubai. Not sure why some people always advise that there's "no need to carry the local currency..." Certainly, you can use dollars at the airport, in hotels and in some large stores inside the major shopping malls, but in general you need to use UAE Dirhams.