I have money in dirhams that I want to move to the UK, but I am struggling to understand when is a good time. The more I read, the more I am confused about when to do this. Is now a good time or should we wait? LP, Dubai
The best time to transfer money between currencies depends not only on the current rates, but also when it is required and expectations in the future. Exchange rates move daily, unless there is a currency peg such as between the dirham and US dollar, so when considering the exchange rate for the dirham we simply look at the dollar in comparison to other currencies. The dollar is currently very strong, which means the dirham is strong in comparison to sterling, so it makes now a good time to move dollars or dirhams to sterling when looking at historical rates. The wholesale rate is about Dh5.25 to the pound, so you’d get more for your money than you would have a few months ago, and the exchange rate is low based on historical averages. The current rate per pound for dollars is about 1.42, whereas over the past 10 years it has averaged about 1.5 and has at times been above that.
Whether the rates will move further in your favour is questionable and not something I’d want to predict, but I can say with certainty that the dollar and dirham exchange rates to sterling are better than they have been for some time, so if you have monies to move, compared to historical rates, this could be a good time. Bear in mind that if you have a significant amount to transfer you will generally receive a better rate through a currency exchange broker than through a retail bank, and many of these companies will offer forward pricing options so you can elect to transfer only when an exchange rate reaches a certain level.
Keren Bobker is an independent financial adviser with Holborn Assets in Dubai, with more than 20 years’ experience. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at @FinancialUAE.
The advice provided in our columns does not constitute legal advice and is provided for information only.
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