Gotta get away? Go where your dirham goes further
Tourists on safari in Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania, second on the list for value against the dirham. (Shutterstock/Grigvovan)
Are you looking to travel this summer but don’t have enough cash to spare? One of the best ways to spend less on holiday is to travel to places where your currency has more buying power.
But with the exchange rates fluctuating all the time, there’s no hard and fast rule on which currency to buy to make your holiday dirham go further.
Travelex, a foreign exchange specialist, has recently reviewed the performance of the UAE dirham against foreign currencies and recommended a list of top ten destinations where travelers can reap extra holiday money.
Topping the list is Brazil, where a traveler exchanging Dh5,000 can earn an extra Dh1,295 compared to a year earlier. As of June this year, the UAE dirham’s value against the Brazilian Real has increased by 35 per cent from the same period in 2014.
Travelex said that the winter season in Rio is on and still offering sun and fresh temperatures in the early 20s, making the land of samba a perfect getaway for budget-savvy travelers looking for a break from Dubai’s soaring temperatures.
If you prefer to have some adventure, such as a mountain climb or a safari, a great place to consider is Tanzania, second on the list, whose shilling has dropped by 33 per cent against the dirham, making the UAE traveler earn Dh1,248 more for every Dh5,000 exchanged.
But if you had your heart set on Europe, a holiday in the Gulf’s closest neighbor, Turkey, ranked third, won’t hurt the bank account either. With the dirham up 25 per cent against the Turkish lira, opting for a city break in Istanbul or one of the coastal beach resorts, could also earn your Dh5,000 an extra amount of Dh1,046.
Sweden is also a good option, as the 22 per cent increase in dirham’s value against the Swedish krona will make you earn Dh908 extra on your Dh5,000. Other countries that use euro as their currency are not bad either, with the dirham up 19 per cent against the euro.
For those who simply prefer to explore the world of Antipodeans, they don’t need to burn a lot of travel money, with the dirham increasing 26 per cent in value against the New Zealand dollar and 21 per cent against the Australian dollar.
“With the Gulf currencies performing so well against such attractive destinations, I’m sure many will be considering taking advantage and planning a vacation to escape the heat,” said Errol Fonseca from Travelex.
“There’s no doubting the significant difference the exchange rate can make to spending power compared to this time last year.”
The exchange rate is just one of the factors to consider when looking for ways to get the most out of the holiday budget. The price of tickets, hotels and holiday activities, among many others, can also impact the budget.
Wherever you want to go, it is a good idea to have your dirhams exchanged before traveling. "We would always recommend customers to buy their currency before they depart to avoid the hefty exchange rates charged at bureaus de change in tourist destinations - and the fees and charges applied by just using your regular debit or credit card abroad," Fonseca told Gulf News.
Below is the list of currencies which the dirham has strengthened against in order of percentage of increase, as well as the extra amount received for every Dh5,000 exchanged (equivalent in dirhams):
1. Brazilian Real (35 per cent) Dh1,295
2. Tanzanian Shilling (33%) Dh1,248
3. Turkish Lira (26 per cent) Dh1,046
4. New Zealand Dollar (26%) Dh1,019
5. Sweden (22%) Dh908
6. Australian Dollar (21%) Dh851
7. Polish Zloty (20%) Dh827
8. Japanese Yen (20%) Dh844
9. Euro (19%): Dh813
10. Danish Krone (19%) Dh814
By Cleofe Maceda