Should I bring some local currency for a stopover in Dubai Airport

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Should I bring some local currency for a stopover in Dubai Airport

Avatar for Jack Farrell

Total Posts: 4

Joined 2013-06-25


I’m going to be spending around 10 hours in Dubai Airport on my way to Auckland at the end of the month.

I was just wondering if anyone has been through there and knows how expensive it is, and how much, if any local currancy (Dirham, I believe) I should take.

I’m not planning on buying anything expensive, just a meal or two, maybe a couple of snacks.

Any help would be appreciated.


Avatar for Garybliss123

Total Posts: 2636

Joined 2006-10-14

I remember feeling the need to change some local currency for a 9 hour stopover there. As it was 6 years ago i can’t remember how much exactly, but i think I changed about 20 pounds and that was plenty.

Avatar for m.garratt

Total Posts: 3009

Joined 2004-05-30

Most airport shops/cafe’s take card and all have ATMs. I’d wait until you’re there.

Avatar for hdsimmons

Total Posts: 1078

Joined 2004-05-30

Never been to Dubai airport, but I once had a long stopover in Qatar airport. They let you pay in a variety of currencies (I used USD) but just gave you change in local currency.

Avatar for Vicky

Total Posts: 378

Joined 2012-11-01

Yeah, I’d wait until you’re there. You don’t know how much you’ll need and it’s best to see what there actually even is available to spend it on before you plan how much you’re going to be spending. There will always be ATMs and currency converters there.


Total Posts: 158

Joined 2011-07-20

I’d stick to the ATMs or even better, use a credit/debit card for stuff, it saves you having leftover money. I stopped in Abu Dhabi on the way home once and all I brought was a McDonalds on my card, got me through the wait. It was a proud day for me, 3 different McDonalds, 3 different continents.

Avatar for Jack Farrell

Total Posts: 4

Joined 2013-06-25

Thanks for the replies.

I’ll just use a card/ get some cash at the airport like most of you suggested.

Just wasn’t sure as I’m used to using cash for everything at home. Only got myself a debit card recently because my bank replaced all its atm cards with debit cards, so I’m just getting the hang of paying with a card.

Much appreciated!

Avatar for *nikki180188*

Total Posts: 1136

Joined 2009-03-17

Hey I was there back in September on stopover and we paid for duty free/meal/coffee in US$, they just convert it at the till and on most shelves they show local currency price or the price in US$.

I’ve actually just remembered on the way out there I paid for some food using my Nationwide credit card over the counter- I can do this because my credit card charges no fees abroad *over the counter purchases* and I knew it would be fine, so what card do you have?
Check the small print, most do charge a fee so it may be worth grabbing like $30US in the UK to cover you as that way you will avoid paying a pointless ATM or over the counter fee.

A Starbucks was expensive, like £4.50 each i think roughly.
Food was more than the UK, I paid around £8 for some food bits.
They’ve got lots of duty free and just for everyone’s knowledge the place is open practically 24hours.
Our stopover was for like 4/5 hours from 2-6am and I thought it would be quiet and I could find a place to rest…OH NO, Dubai airport does not rest! It was absolutely heaving and every single shop/cafe was open with flights going all night.

Hope that helps a bit smile

Avatar for Jack Farrell

Total Posts: 4

Joined 2013-06-25

*nikki180188* - 21 January 2014 05:15 PM

what card do you have?

Just a First Trust debit card that the bank issues to all its members.

I’m trying to avoid credit cards until I have time to wrap my head around setting one up and having to make sure I don’t end up getting myself in debt.

I’ve gotten myself some US dollars like you suggested.

Thanks for the help.


Total Posts: 2

Joined 2015-04-16

You really should get a credit card as it makes life so much easier in airport stopovers. I went there for the Abu Dhabi GP and to stay at the Burj and was amazed at the whole of the UAE. The place is fast becoming a top destination as they keep pouring the petrodollars into tourism infrastructure.