Frommer's lists exact prices in the local currency. However, rates fluctuate, so before departing consult a currency exchange website such as www.oanda.com/convert/classic to check up-to-the-minute rates.
The monetary unit of the U.A.E. is the dirham (designated as Dhs or AED, which stands for Arab Emirate Dirham), which is divided into 100 fils. Bills come in the following denominations: 5 (brown note), 10 (green), 20 (light blue), 50 (purple), 100 (pink), 500 (blue), and 1,000 (burgundy). The notes are written in English on one side and Arabic on the other. To see examples of the different dirham notes, visit the "currency" section of www.centralbank.ae. There are three types of silver coins written in Arabic representing 25 fils, 50 fils, and 1 dirham.
The dirham is pegged to the U.S. dollar at $1=AED 3.67. The exchange rate with the British pound at press time was £1=AED 5.86. For up-to-the-minute currency conversions, visit www.oanda.com or www.xe.com. Both have free apps you can download to your iPhone.
Dubai is increasingly expensive, with inflation on the rise. Hotel prices are now among the highest of any city in the world, and the price of everything from food to entertainment continues to climb. It is difficult to find a moderate hotel for under $200 in the high season (luxury hotels often go for $400 and up), and a three-course dinner without alcohol will cost about $50 per person. Taxis remain relatively inexpensive.
Cash is the prevalent means of paying in Dubai, although credit and debit cards are widely accepted. This is the case just about everywhere except in the souks. ATMs are prevalent throughout the city, available not just in banks but in many supermarkets and shopping centers, as well. Most accept a wide range of cards, including those linked to the Plus system, American Express, Global Access, MasterCard, and Visa. Currency and traveler's check exchange is possible in most banks, exchange houses, and many hotels.
Beware of hidden credit-card fees while traveling. Check with your credit or debit card issuer to see what fees, if any, will be charged for overseas transactions. Recent reform legislation in the U.S., for example, has curbed some exploitative lending practices. But many banks have responded by increasing fees in other areas, including fees for customers who use credit and debit cards while out of the country -- even if those charges were made in U.S. dollars. Fees can amount to 3% or more of the purchase price. Check with your bank before departing to avoid any surprise charges on your statement.
What Things Cost in Dubai (AED)
Taxi from the airport to central Dubai - 50
Double room at Burj al Arab (very expensive) - 6,500
Double room at XVA (inexpensive/moderate) - 650
Three-course dinner for one without wine, moderate - 150
Champagne Friday brunch at Glasshouse - 220
2-hour pass at Ski Dubai - 180
2-hour pass at Dubai Ice Rink - 50
Entrance to Aquaventure - 200
Water taxi (abra) ride one-way - 1
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.