The Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE) has announced the issuance of a new AED 500 (500-Dirham) banknote made of polymer. The announcement came on November 29, 2023, which coincided with the celebration of the UAE’s 52nd National Day. The banknote was put into circulation on November 30. 

The new note continues the third issuance of the UAE’s national currency project, with banknotes made of polymer and having distinctive designs and advanced security features.  

New note reflects UAE’s commitment to sustainability 

In keeping with the UAE’s commitment to producing sustainable currency, the new 5000-Dirham note is produced on a SAFEGUARD® polymer substrate, a durable and eco-friendly material.  It follows the issue of new polymer 5- and 10-Dirham banknotes in 2022, and the new 1,000-Dirham note earlier this year. The CBUAE also issued a polymer-based 50-Dirham commemorative banknote in late 2021. 

The new 1,000-Dirham polymer note is an upgrade from the previous paper version, in circulation since 2015. Both versions of this denomination will circulate alongside each other.  

Visual design celebrates UAE’s symbolic architecture 

The primary color scheme of the new banknote is various shades of blue. This is similar to the previous AED 500 note, making it easy for the public to recognize the denomination. Also like the previous version, the new note measures 159mm x 68mm. 

Front side of new 500-Dirham banknote 

The imagery on the face of the note depicts the Terra Sustainability Pavilion in Expo City Dubai, a “testament to the UAE’s commitment to a sustainable future rooted in the principles laid down by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.”  (CBUAE) 

Reverse side of new 500-Dirham banknote 

The reverse side depicts the Museum of the Future in Dubai, “bridging the past with the future as an architectural and engineering marvel” (CBUAE). Other images depict two iconic landmarks: Emirates Towers, and the Burj, the world’s tallest building and a beacon of sustainability as it is primarily solar-powered.  

Advanced security features to counteract counterfeiting 

The new note has integrated several advanced security features to help prevent counterfeiting. These include:  

  • SPARK Flow® DIMENSION security feature (the denomination “500”), on the back of the note, top right.  
  • A (partially metallized) multi-coloredKINEGRAM COLORS® (Foil) Stripe, visible on both sides.  
  • A see-through register, visible on both sides, appears as a complete image when the banknote is held up to the light 
  • A complex window showing images of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. 
  • The UAE national brand fluoresces blue under UV light, on the back side.  

The new note also has Braille symbols to help blind and visually impaired consumers identify the banknote’s value. These appear as five embossed dots, below the name of the bank, on both sides of the banknote.  

Sources/References: 

Central Bank of the UAE Central Bank 

Banknote Industry News 

MRI Guide Bankers’ Guide to Foreign Currency 

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