Send Money to the UAE from Australia

Find your cheapest option to transfer money to the UAE with the best exchange rates.

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, updated on August 18th, 2023       

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Find the best way to send money to the UAE

When you’re wanting to send money online to family or friends in the UAE, it’s important to be on the lookout for cheap exchange rates, low fees and a simple transfer process. Compare a range of international money transfer providers here with Savvy to help you find the best exchange rates and lowest fees available. Consider a range of online options with us before getting your international money transfer underway today.

site-logos OFX
  Minimum Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Transfer Fee Total Currencies Available  
site-logos $250 1-3 days $0 50+
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Special Offer: 5 fee free transfers (saving you up to $75 in fees) + preferential rates for international money transfers

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site-logos Instarem
  Minimum Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Transfer Fee Total Currencies Available  
site-logos $1 Within minutes From 0% to 1% 55+
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Enjoy $40 bonus on your first money transfers of $250 & above! Use code*: SAVVY20X2 (Minimum transfer of AUD 250 Valid till 31st August 2023)

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site-logos Xe
  Minimum Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Transfer Fee Total Currencies Available  
site-logos $0 1-3 days From $0 100
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Xe is a 2021 Canstar Award Winner and offers the best exchange rates, low to no fees so customers save the most money

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site-logos Western Union Money Transfer
  Minimum Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Transfer Fee Total Currencies Available  
site-logos $0 1 - 2 days $0 35
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Send money to over 200 countries and territories across the world online

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site-logos Wise Money Transfer
  Minimum Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Transfer Fee Total Currencies Available  
site-logos $0 1-3 days From 0.41% 53
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Send money cheaper and easier with Wise with no hidden fees.

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site-logos TorFX
  Minimum Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Transfer Fee Total Currencies Available  
site-logos $200 0-2 days $0 35
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Excellent exchange rates with no transfer fees. Trusted by over 325,000 customers. Awarded Canstar’s 5 star rating 2018-2021.

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site-logos Currencyfair
  Minimum Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Transfer Fee Total Currencies Available  
site-logos $5 Within minutes From $0 20+
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Send money overseas at better exchange rates, with no hidden fees.

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site-logos Remitly
  Minimum Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Transfer Fee Total Currencies Available  
site-logos $0 0-2 days From $0 21
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Remitly offers fast, safe and secure money transfers with excellent rates to over 100 countries

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site-logos Revolut
  Minimum Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Transfer Fee Total Currencies Available  
site-logos $0 Within minutes From $0 27+
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Fast and easy, with super competitive rates across all major currencies. Join 25+ million customers saving on global transfers.

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Disclaimer: Savvy is not advising or recommending any particular product to you. We provide general information on products for the purposes of comparison, but your personal situation or goals are not considered here. Although we try to make our comparisons as thorough as possible, we do not have information on all products on the market on our site.

If you decide to initiate a money transfer with one of the providers listed above via our website, you will not be dealing with Savvy; any applications or enquiries will be conducted directly with the provider offering that product.

More about how to send money to the UAE online

What’s the best way to send money online to the UAE?

There’s a wide choice of transfer companies to choose from and compare when sending money from Australia to the UAE online. Your main options for making these transfers include:

International money transfer services

These international transfer specialists offer a far better deal than if you use your standard bank to send money overseas to the United Arab Emirates. They offer a professional service with lower fees and better exchange rates, plus they’re experts at getting money across international borders quickly without using the slower SWIFT banking system.

Funds can either be sent to your recipient’s bank account or can be transferred immediately to a phone account through a non-banking money app. Savvy has partnered with a range of international money transfer providers offering a variety of services, ranging from retail transfers to full foreign exchange business accounts and handy exchange rate tools.

Bank transfers

Traditional banks can also transfer your money from Australia to the UAE reliably, but their charges can be anywhere up to $30 or more. In addition, a bank transfer will frequently take from three to five business days to arrive at its destination, compared to transfers from a specialist provider which can be completed instantly, on the same day or within two days.  The exchange rate you’ll receive from your bank will also be less competitive than the rate offered by a specialist transfer provider, meaning you won’t be able to buy as much with your Australian dollars to send.

Cash transfers

From the comfort of your home, you can arrange for cash to be delivered to the UAE for pickup by your recipient.  In some cases, cash deliveries can also be arranged right to your recipient’s doorstep. This service can be useful if you urgently need to send cash, but it won’t be the most cost-effective way of getting money to the UAE.  This is because additional fees are added to an instant cash transfer, plus the exchange rate you’ll be offered may not be as competitive.

How do I find the cheapest way to send money to the UAE online?

Research the mid-market rate

The cheapest exchange rate between two currencies is known as the ‘mid-market’ rate.  This is exactly halfway between the buy price and sell price on the international currency market at any point in time.  Aim to get your transfer as close to this rate as possible, as the closer to the mid-market rate your transfer is, the more dirham you’ll be able to send to your recipient.

Banks put a large margin on the exchange rate, which is why they’re more expensive to use than transfer companies.  The ‘margin’ describes the difference between the mid-market rate and the exchange rate you’re quoted for your transfer. The margin online transfer companies add is less than what the banks add, which is why they offer a cheaper service overall.

Consider the fee structure

Some transfer companies do put a margin on their exchange rate, often in conjunction with charging a small fee (either a set fee of up to $15 or a percentage fee, which is usually between 0.4% and 0.65% of the transfer amount). 

In general, percentage-based fees are cheapest for transfers of smaller amounts, such as less than $5,000.  For larger transfers over $5,000, a set fee of up to $15 may be your cheapest option to send money to the UAE.   This compares very favourably with bank fees up to $30.

Look out for special offers

Some companies waive their fee for large transfers.  For example, you may not be charged a fee for transfers over a certain amount, such as $10,000, so if you are intending to make a larger transfer, it may be a good idea to compare your options in this area.  In addition, several of these companies offer fee discounts to regular or business customers, while others offer the first one to two transfers for free and/or with a promotional exchange rate.  Such offers are more common for smaller transfers.

Use currency tools

Some transfer companies offer online tools to assist you to get the top exchange rate and best money transfer.  How many of these tools are provided will depend on whether you choose a full-service business online forex broker, who may also provide you with a business account manager, or a non-bank, app-based transfer provider.

Tools you may find useful include:

  • Exchange rate guarantees, which means the exchange rate you are given won’t change from the one you’ve been quoted for a set number of hours, often up to 36 hours
  • Rate alerts, which can notify you when a particular exchange rate has been reached so you can time your transfer to your best advantage
  • Limit orders, which you can set to make sure your transfer goes ahead at a pre-defined exchange rate
  • Forward contracts, which can lock in your exchange rate for a specified period, sometimes up to a year in advance
  • Currency charts, so you can monitor the exchange pairing between Australian dollars and UAE dirham

How can I compare online transfer services when sending money to the UAE?

The exchange rate and fees offered are the major factors in determining how cheap your transfer to the UAE will be. However, it’s also important to look past these at some of the other key areas of money transfers. Here are other factors to take into consideration when comparing online transfer providers with Savvy:

Minimum and maximum transfer limits

There are minimum and maximum limits on how much you can send imposed by some transfer companies. These range from $1 right up to $250.  Maximum limits range from $5,000 per day up to $500,000 or more in some cases.  Companies that are more business-oriented tend to have larger maximum limits, in some cases up to $1.5 million or more.  It’s important to ensure the transfer you need can be facilitated by your provider, so check what limits they may place on the size of your transfer.

Transfer speed

How long it will take for your money to be delivered will vary according to the transfer provider you choose.  On average, transfer services will get your money to its destination within two days, but some may be able to be completed on the same day or even instantly.  Transfer companies will typically get your money there quicker than the banks will, but factors such as the destination for your transfer, and the day of the week you send the money will affect the speed of transfer. If the speed of your transfer is important, you should compare your options based on the time it takes for them to reach their destination.

Exchange rate guarantees

Many, but not all transfer providers offer exchange rate guarantees.  This means the exchange rate on offer is guaranteed not to change for a set number of hours.  Guarantees are usually offered for up to 36 hours.  Compare transfer companies and make sure the rate you’re offered is guaranteed to be the one you’ll get when your transfer actually happens.

Payment methods

Most international transfers can be paid for either by direct debit from your bank account, by BPAY, by EFTPOS using a debit card or by using a credit card.  However, be aware that if you use a credit card to pay for your transfer, you may also incur additional fees imposed by your card provider.  These fees can be expensive, such as 3% to 5% of the transfer sum. If you’re arranging a cash transfer in person, the transfer itself can also be paid using cash or with a digital wallet such as Apple Pay. You should always check with each provider that they support your preferred payment method.

What’s the process for sending money to the UAE online?

Frequently asked questions about sending money to the UAE online

Can I send money to the UAE to someone without a bank account?

Since the UAE has one of the highest percentages of access to financial services in the world (standing at well over 90%), it would be unusual to find someone in the Emirates who doesn’t have a bank account. However, you could consider an instant cash transfer to be collected in person or a pre-paid phone account recharge if your recipient can’t provide bank details. These types of transfer do tend to be more expensive and offer lower exchange rates than others, such as those sent directly to a bank account through a specialist provider.

Will I be notified when my money arrives in the UAE?

Yes – you’ll receive a notification when your transfer arrives at its destination.  This could be in the form of an app notification or an email from your transfer company confirming the funds have been delivered.  In addition, many transfer providers have a tracking tool as part of their forex online toolbox. You can use this tracking tool to find out exactly where in the pipeline your transfer is.

Do I have to report larger transfers to the UAE over $10,000?

Any transfers over $10,000 need to be reported to AUSTRAC, which is the Australian Government’s anti-money laundering agency.  However, it’s the responsibility of the transfer provider to ensure AUSTRAC compliance, so if you are transferring more than this amount, you may be asked for additional information to verify the source of the funds and the reason for the transfer.

Can I access special deals if I’m a business customer?

Yes – if you intend to make regular transfers to the UAE, talk to a business account manager to help you lock in preferential exchange rates and fees.  Some transfer companies, such as TorFX or Xe provide specialised business transfer services, so you may wish to look at opening a business account with one of these companies if you intend to do business in the UAE regularly.

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