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Living in Dubai? How to repatriate your earnings.

A physical oil trader based in Dubai who, despite knowing many things about many things, was at a loss as to how to easily, quickly and competitively send their earnings back to the UK inspired us to clarify the process and reassure those living or working, or living and working, in UAE that there is a better way to move your money to and from the UK.


This is a common concern for expats living and working in the Emirates. The issue can seem to be the differences between the local banking structure and that of the country to which funds are due to be sent. However, we would argue that these differences needn't have any material bearing on the practicalities of moving funds or the rate at which a conversion might be executed.

Anecdotally, sending money from the UAE electronically is expensive and the rates of exchange offered by domestic banking operators are as bad as you would expect from the retail sector. What many overlook is the fact that, if you are not converting your currency 'in country', then all you are really doing is sending AED as an international payment.

The UAE has no control over who converts the funds and expats are at liberty to use whichever third party banking or non-banking partner they wish. Assumptions about the ease with which you can bank locally are wrong in so far as you're not prohibited from using a firm like Prime Cap.

If you can get your AED to Prime Cap's segregated AED account, then you can use us to convert your money. This is the bottom line.

Linguistically and stylistically, Prime Cap's team will talk you through the process in a way that differs to that of our bank (your bank in the UK or in the UAE). Our clients need to be able to relate to our team, the analogies and examples we use and give.

Whilst you'll find our online system easy to navigate, sending your salary 'virtually', as it were, is a big deal and we do not make light of the factors which will guide you to arriving at your decision to engage us.


One of the main practical issues you will face is verifying your identity and your physical residential address to the satisfaction of our compliance team. As you don't reside in the UK, it is harder to electronically verify the address information you provide. It can be done, but, as you may have already found, many addresses in UAE are served by Post Office Boxes, rather than physical block or house numbers. If you cannot provide a utility bill or bank statement for you physical address, how do you prove where you live?

Here are a list of acceptable documents than satisfactorily answer that question:

Whomsoever you appoint as your broker will request at least one of these forms of verification.

When you register as our client we will run through and check all the information submit. You can input the initial information through our website (or by CLICKING HERE) but, be assured, we will check what you input and if it falls short of what is needed we hop on the blower and ask you to provide what is required to progress the application.

Guiding you through the application process not only helps us get to know you, but it is your initial introduction to the quick and clean way our teams operate. No extraneous jargon or waffle. We want the process to be simple so that you can get on and do what you want as quickly as possible.

At most, registration will take a few days, but, typically you should receive a copy of our Private or Corporate Client Collection directory and your login information within 24 hours.

Initially we recommend our clients 'pre-fund' their facility with us. We suggest this particularly for those sending funds in to the UK only because it allows us to precisely calculate time frames in terms of onward flow of funds. If we already have the AED you want to sell 'on account', then we can simply broker the exchange (or you can if you're dealing through our 'View Only' setting) and have you credited the same day in GBP.

The main variable when it comes to how long it takes to get money to the UK from UAE is the length of time it takes your Emirati bank to get your AED to us. We would like to think that it takes no longer than 3 days, however, the proclivities of the working week (allowing from the week beginning on a Sunday for instance) mean the ETA is a moveable feast. Pre-funding an account enables us to set a bench mark time frame on which we can base future clearing times.

Many expats who working between territories and retain residences in more than one

country elect to us their UK address to register under. We impress that the address you use needs to be the one at which you consider yourself primarily resident, but, it is fair to say that the UK address (what with the accessibility of supporting 'anti-money laundering' documents) tends to be easier to electronically verify.

Once you're registered, visit the branch of your local bank and ask them to electronically send your AED to our segregated AED account. This is, simply, all that is required.

We notify you the moment your funds are visible and actionable and, depending on your preference, you can have the currency in to your UK account as GBP within a matter of hours.

If you'd like to discuss you needs in more detail then drop our dealing team and email via or give us a ring.

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