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The emirates united in 1971 after gaining independence from Britain. The Dirham was first introduced in the United Arab Emirates in 1973. On May 19th of that year it replaced the Qatar and Dubai Riyal at par.
The Qatar and Dubai riyal had been used throughout the Emirates since 1966. Abu Dhabi was the only emirate not to use the riyal and instead used the Bahraini dinar until 1973. Before 1966 the Gulf rupee was the currency of this region. There was a brief period in 1966 when the emirates used the Saudi riyal as their currency in between the transition from Gulf rupee to Qatar and Dubai riyal.
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Fact one: The word Dirham is derived from the Greek word Drachmae which means ‘handful’.
Fact two: You will find a falcon watermark on all dirham bank notes to prevent fraud.
Fact three: Fraud became an issue in vending machines across the United Arab Emirates when it became common knowledge that the lesser value Phillipine one peso coin was the same size as the one dirham coin.
The UAE Dirham is the official currency of Dubai and United Arab Emirates. The ISO 4217 currency code for the UAE Dirham is AED.