The Museum opened to the public in 2013, marking the 40th anniversary of the Central Bank of the UAE.
The CBUAE announced the inauguration of the Central Bank Museum of Coins and Notes in its Head Office in Abu Dhabi City on 17 December 2013. The aim of establishing the Museum is to allow researchers, visitors, school and university students and those interested in this field to know the various phases of currency development in the region before the creation of the United Arab Emirates and to get acquainted with banknotes, coins and commemorative coins issued by the Central Bank.
What do the museum's sections include?
The museum has six sections as follows:
- The East India Company Currency Group (Indian Rupees)
- Saudi Riyal Currency
- Bahraini Dinar Currency
- Qatar & Dubai Currency
- The Currency Board Issuance 1982
- The Central Bank Issuance
- Central Bank issues of commemorative coins, commemorative circulation coins and safe boxes.
- UAE coining die tools
- Banknotes sheets on the printing stages of the UAE's banknotes
- Design trials for the 1982 issuance
- Gifts: The first damaged banknotes hole punch
- The first devices used to count banknotes and coins
- The first scale for weighing gold reserves
- Gifts: The first watch used in the Central Bank
- This section is for Emiratis with the hobby of collecting coins and banknotes and wishing to exhibit them to visitors of the museum
This page is for contacting the Museum Officer
Coins and Currency
In 1973, the UAE Currency Board issued the nation’s first banknotes.
In 1982, CBUAE released a second issue of UAE paper currency, following the transition from the UAE Currency Board to the CBUAE, instituted by Union Law No. (10) of 1980.
As a result of this transition, the current CBUAE banknotes - which are familiar to us today - replaced the previous issue of UAE Currency Board notes.
Currencies in circulation in the UAE
Upon the establishment of the UAE federation, one of its important achievements was to establish the currency board. Once the currency board was established, the first currency bearing the name of the United Arab Emirates was issued by the currency board on 19 May 1973. All coins and banknotes were issued on that date, except for the 1000 dirham banknote, which was subsequently put into circulation in January 1976.
In 1980, CBUAE was established as the successor of the currency board. A new banknote currency had to be put into circulation issued by Central Bank, instead of the old banknote currency issued by the currency board. That process was done in three stages:
- The 5 and 10 dirham banknotes were put into circulation on 1 September 1982.
- The 50 and 100 dirham banknotes were put into circulation on 15 November 1982.
- The 500 dirham banknote was put into circulation on It was on 8 December 1982.
- Accordingly, the CBUAE has put the banknotes into circulation during the same year in 1982.
Once the banknotes (1982 issuance) were put into circulation, the CBUAE took the necessary procedures and measures to withdraw the banknotes issued by the currency board from circulation in two stages.
- The 1 dirham, 10 dirham and 50 dirham banknotes were withdrawn from circulation during the period from 25 July 1983 to 31 January 1984.
- The 5 dirham, 100 dirham and 1000 dirham banknotes were withdrawn from circulation during the period 30 October 1984 to 30 April 1985.
Therefore, the banknotes issued by the currency board which were not replaced during the above two mentioned periods lost their power as legal tender.
They were not to be dealt with and their owners were entitled to replace them thereafter only through the CBUAE within five years from the date of enforcement of the withdrawal decision.
Accordingly, the period specified for the replacement of bank notes (issuance by the currency board) is considered to have expired as follows:
- The 1 dirham, 10 dirham and 50 dirham banknotes expired on 30 July 1988.
- The 5 dirham, 100 dirham and 1000 dirham banknotes expired on 30 October 1989.
Coins circulated in the UAE
The designed categories of coins issued by the currency board are still used and in circulation, however they have been downsized and the large old coins have been withdrawn in phases.
Accordingly, the UAE's coins consist of the following categories: one dirham, 50 fils, 25 fils, 10 fils, 5 fils and one fils.
The UAE's banknotes consist of: 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000 dirhams.
Official museum opening hours are from Monday to Friday, from 09:00 a.m. to 02:00 p.m.
Admission is free for all visitors.
The Central Bank of the UAE headquarters
The museum is currently under maintenance
Please note that the museum is currently under maintenance and will be closed until further notice.
We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.
The CBUAE museum houses a fascinating variety of artefacts and exhibits that help to tell the story of the UAE’s history and formation. Visitors can observe historic machinery that reveals how the population used to live and work, see the past currency and coins that paved the way for today’s UAE dirham (AED), observe scripts that offer a snapshot in time, and much more.
The museum contains various regional currencies that were used in the UAE and across the region. These include the Indian Rupee, Saudi Riyal, Bahraini Dinar, Qatar and Dubai Riyal (1966-1973) as well as currency notes issued by the Currency Board and the CBUAE. The museum also holds previous commemorative coins issued by the CBUAE. Moreover, you can discover historical equipment that was used by the Central Bank for counting, sorting notes and coins, and punching unfit banknotes.
You can take a tour of our virtual museum and make your own discoveries from the comfort of home.
Last updated on: Monday 18 September 2023
Total visitors 13762