Money Transfer to the UAE in 2023: All Methods

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How to Transfer Money from Russia to Dubai

After the imposition of sanctions, transferring money from Russia to Dubai in 2023 has become significantly more challenging. More obstacles, restrictions, and commissions have emerged. Many Russian banks have fallen under sanctions, and not all payment systems support international transfers. However, convenient options for transfers through electronic and cryptocurrency wallets still exist, along with a few banks not subject to sanctions.

Limits and Restrictions

In 2023, the following restrictions and limits on transfers apply:

  • Banking: no more than $50,000 (183,000 dirhams) per month
  • Electronic wallets and online services: no more than $5,000 (18,000 dirhams) per month

Add to these limits the commissions that banks or electronic wallets may charge. The size of the commissions varies for each provider and depends on the amount you want to transfer in a single transaction. Banks not disconnected from SWIFT charge a 2% commission on foreign transfers. Electronic wallets range from 1% to an average of 8-9%.

Methods of Transfer That No Longer Work

Currently, more than 50 domestic banks are under sanctions. Among them are:

  • "Sberbank"
  • VTB
  • "Otkritie"
  • "Absolut"
  • "Tinkoff"
  • "Gazprombank"
  • "Post Bank"
  • "Home Credit"
  • "Russian Standard"
  • "Sovcombank," and others.

If Russians could freely transfer money through state and commercial banks in any convenient currency before, this function is currently unavailable. The mentioned banks are disconnected from SWIFT, VISA, Mastercard, and international transfers.

An alternative way to transfer money to the United Arab Emirates is to turn to licensed electronic wallets or banks not subject to restrictions.

Options for Transferring Money from Russia to the UAE

One of the few popular banks not affected by sanctions is "Raiffeisenbank." Apart from official banks, the most reliable method is electronic wallets. Registering in them is straightforward – just provide a phone number or authenticate through social networks. Most wallets have limits on fund storage, generally not exceeding 100,000 rubles. If the payment system issues virtual cards, they can be linked to the wallet number.


Unistream is a Russian financial organization, the operator, and clearing center of the payment system with the same name. It facilitates money transfers both in Russia and in CIS countries. The limit for a one-time payment is no more than 300,000 rubles. In total, you can transfer no more than 590,000 rubles per month. The website lacks information on transfers to the UAE. The payment system consistently supports transactions only to Belarus, Armenia, Tajikistan, Moldova, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Serbia, and other CIS countries. Conditions for other countries constantly change and depend on the political situation worldwide. The only way to get an accurate answer, relevant at a specific moment, is to contact support directly. You can call or leave a request with a question via email, specifying contact information for feedback.


QIWI conducts foreign transfers through the Contact service. The list of countries is constantly updated – check the information on the official website. The main countries supported by QIWI on a regular basis include Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan. There is no information about the UAE. You can store 60,000 rubles in the wallet if you have confirmed the account with passport details or authorization through Gosuslugi. Currency is automatically converted during transfers.

Note: Currently, QIWI Bank is under scrutiny by the Central Bank. The service has imposed restrictions on SPB payments – no more than 5,000 rubles per month and on cards of other banks – no more than 1,000 rubles per month. Cash withdrawals and SPB transfers to cards of other banks

Amount in cash in USDComission,USD
under 1506,5
from 150 to 2508
from 250 to 50015
from 500 to 1 00025
from 1 000 to 2 00035
from 2 000 to 3 50070
from 3 500 to 5 00080
from 5 000 to 7 50095
More than 7 5001,25 % – the only fee is not in USD for the transfer

In 2023, there are several methods available for transferring money from Russia to the UAE. One option is using MoneyPort, a SWIFT international money transfer service. MoneyPort allows you to send money to the UAE, and cash withdrawal is possible. The minimum transaction amount is $500, and the maximum varies depending on the recipient's country and bank. It is also possible to split the amount into several transactions. The processing times range from 3 to 7 hours, sometimes extending to 24-36 hours. If required, MoneyPort provides transaction confirmation documents to the receiving bank.

For cash withdrawal through MoneyPort, the minimum amount is $5,000 to $20,000 in major cities and $30,000 in smaller ones. The cash withdrawal process takes up to 24 hours, and it is only possible in Dubai, accompanied by a check.

Another option is Raiffeisenbank, an international banking group based in Vienna, Austria, with a branch in Moscow, Russia. Raiffeisenbank supports transfers to the UAE without any specific restrictions, except for the inability to transfer euros since July 2023. To successfully send funds to the Emirates using Raiffeisenbank, you need to specify the three-digit Purpose of Payment Codes. Providing the incorrect codes may result in payment rejection or delays with additional fee deductions. The complete list of current codes can be found on the Raiffeisenbank website.

If none of these methods are suitable, opening an account in another country is an alternative. You can explore banking institutions that offer foreign account registration services in your chosen country. Pay attention to factors such as reputation, fees, terms, and online account management capabilities. It is essential, especially if you plan to reside permanently in another country. The required documents for opening an account typically include a passport (foreign or local resident), proof of residence, and income statements. However, it is worth noting that opening foreign accounts without notifying the tax authorities is not allowed. You must provide the necessary information to the tax office at your place of residence or temporary stay. This can also be done online through the State Services website if you have an electronic signature.

Cryptocurrency is another option for transferring money. It offers advantages such as stability and independence from the world's political situation. To transfer money using a cryptocurrency wallet, you can follow these steps:

  • Choose the cryptocurrency you want to use for the transfer, with Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) being popular options.
  • Register on a cryptocurrency exchange platform like Binance, Coinbase, or Kraken, and create a wallet for the chosen cryptocurrency.
  • Fund your cryptocurrency wallet using one of the available methods.
  • Use the funds in your wallet to purchase the chosen cryptocurrency.
  • Transfer the cryptocurrency to your UAE account, whether it's owned by you or an intermediary.
  • Once you receive the cryptocurrency in Dubai, you can sell it on the exchange for the local currency.
  • After selling, you can withdraw the funds to your bank account or wallet.

It's important to note that the information regarding transfers, amounts, and limits can change daily. The situation is constantly evolving, so it

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