Dirham turns 42

Ten things you can (still) buy for Dh1

UAE dirham turned 42 on May 19


From 24/7


The UAE dirham turned 42 yesterday. It was first unveiled on May 19 in 1973, or 534 days after the United Arab Emirates was founded.

On the occasion of the dirham’s 42nd birthday, we take a look at what some of the little treats one dirham can buy.

#1 Ride on the abra. For one dirham, you can ride across the majestic creek between Bur Dubai and Deira in a wooden abra. Powered by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), the service runs daily from 6am to midnight, and offers a spectacular view of Dubai.
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 “We chanced upon this while strolling along the creek, and what an experience it was,” said Archana.

#2 Ice-cream in a cone, anyone? A dirham can also treat your tummies. There’s the legendary Dh1 ice-cream cone from the popular fast-food chain, or the Oman chips, which is iconic to the UAE.
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“Growing up in the UAE, you are bound to have gorged on Oman chips,” says old-timer Sindu. And, there’s also Pofak and Papysnak chips that you can try.

#3 A samosa or paratha. There are many cafeterias that offer scrumptious parathas or samosas for a dirham.
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#4 Cuppa tea to wash it down. And you can wash the Dh1 samosa with hot, sweet tea, for another dirham.
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#5 Caramel custard. Penny George, who has been living in the UAE for the last six years, says it’s a pot of caramel custard that she indulges in for a dirham.
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#6 Thirst quenchers. Talking about quenching one’s thirst, bottled water and juice also come in for Dh1. And with the temperatures soaring, it’s good to know that that’s all it takes to stay hydrated.
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#7 Choki Choki. For those with a sweet tooth, Choki Choki  (a popular local chocolate) also comes in for a dirham.
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#8 Fruit yogurt. For the health-conscious, you can swap it with a small tub of fruit yogurt.
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#9 Face wipes. Wipe out any signs of your indulgence by putting in an extra dirham for a small pack of tissues.
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#10 Stationery. Some school students choose pens as their Dh1 buys, while others pick chewing gum.
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Do you have your own to add? Let us know in comments below what you buy with a precious dirham.