Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Shortage of hard currency - Gulf News
Canada bails out United Arab Emirates

Canada to deliver change to UAE customers

By Daniel Bardsley, Staff Reporter

Dubai: A shortage of change in shops is set to end with the release of a "huge" consignment of Canadian-minted coins to banks this month.

The new coins are arriving following complaints by supermarkets they do not have enough change to give to customers.

Officials at the UAE's Central Bank said all coin shortages should be over by the end of this month.

Among the supermarkets that have suffered a shortage of coins is Spinneys, which has put up notices in its stores asking customers to provide coins when paying. "We have struggled to obtain small denomination coins and are constantly in touch with the banks in this regard," said Warwick Smith, the chain's marketing manager.

Rashid Al Fandi, the Central Bank's executive director for banking operations, said problems had arisen because the use of coins had recently increased "dramatically".

"There is a lot of paid parking now in Dubai and Sharjah and a lot of vending machines that all use coins. We've been providing the banks with whatever coins they need.

"Soon the shortages, if there are any, will disappear. The amount minted will be more than enough," he said.

New copies of all six coins that are legal tender in the UAE 1fil, 5fils, 10fils, 25fils, 50fils and Dh1 have been made by the Canadian Royal Mint. No Dh5 coins produced in the past for commemorative purposes are being minted.

The fixed rate of exchange US to UAE is US$1 to Dh3.68. There are 100 fils in a dirham (Dh).


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