Posted September 8th, 2023

A Beginner’s Guide to Sending Money to Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Other South African Cities from the UAE

Learn how to quickly send money to South Africa through Hubpay’s secure mobile application.
Business FX

South Africans are known for their resilience, entrepreneurial spirit, and strong work ethic, which are all traits they have brought to new lives being started in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Yet, despite being far away from their friends and family, many still seek better ways to support their loved ones back home. In financial terms, knowing how to send money to South Africa has become essential for many South Africans living in Dubai.

South Africa benefits greatly from inward remittances, with expats sending home over a billion US dollars (USD) in 2022, according to the World Bank. These remittances have helped support South African families and businesses and have contributed to the country's economic growth. According to the South African embassy in Abu Dhabi, between 60,000 and 80,000 of these expats live in the UAE.

Despite the frequency of their remittances, transferring money from the UAE to South Africa can frustrate many South Africans living abroad. If you’re one of them, you’ll know that the high cost of international transfers is a key problem. Another issue is finding a transfer method that offers a quick delivery time, with some transfers taking several days or even weeks to complete. There may also be concerns about the security of the money transfer method.

In an attempt to address these concerns, this article will cover the following:

  1. What are the available methods of sending money to South Africa?
  2. What makes Hubpay a perfect solution for international money transfers?
  3. How to send money to South Africa from The UAE with Hubpay.

[Looking to send money from the UAE to South Africa quickly and securely? Hubpay offers international money transfers and additional services like bill payments and airtime recharge. You can join for free on Apple and Google Play]

1. What are the available methods of sending money to South Africa?

If you’ve ever tried to send money to South Africa, you’ll know that there are several ways to do so, with some being simpler than others. To make it easier to distinguish between money transfer services, we have simplified the differences below:


Licensed banks can make international money transfers securely. However, it’s important to always consider the fees associated with using their services, which average 3-4% of the total transfer. Even though financial institutions determine interbank rates, individual banks sometimes set their own rates.

For instance, let’s say you need to send AED 10,000 to your family in South Africa. The bank's exchange rate might be ZAR 5.19 for every 1 AED, and they could charge you an additional AED 300 for the transaction. So, your family would receive ZAR 51,900, and the total cost would be AED 10,300.

Sending money abroad through a bank transfer can be time-consuming and can take several business days. Also, paperwork requirements might cause errors, extend processing time, or even result in the remittance being rejected.

Exchange houses

Many South African expats in the UAE use exchange house financial services to send international money transfers. These services are especially practical for newcomers because they don't require a local bank account or credit card. They also offer various payment methods, including cash-to-cash, bank-to-bank, cash pickup, and mobile wallet options.

However, be aware that exchange houses may not be as secure as banks since they are not subject to the same regulations and oversight.

Choosing a reputable exchange house with a good track record is therefore essential.

Online money transfer

An easy way for UAE expats to send money to South Africa is through an online platform. Internet platforms have eliminated the need to physically visit a bank or currency exchange house. This benefits all expats, but those living in remote areas will gain the most, provided they have a stable internet connection.

On online platforms, transaction fees for sending or receiving Dirhams are frequently lower, and the money transferspeed is usually higher. Some online money transfer vendors have also launched mobile applications to make the process more accessible.

Hubpay is a leading example of an online money transfer service provider that offers an easy and convenient way for expats in the UAE to send money to South Africa

2. What makes Hubpay a perfect solution for international money transfers?

With a user-friendly interface and streamlined process, Hubpay ensures that sending money from the UAE to South Africa and other countries is hassle-free and cost-efficient.

As the first independently regulated FinTech in the UAE licensed to do cross-border and local payments, Hubpay is a great solution for international money transfers.

Here are some of the stand-out features that make UAE customers choose us time and time again:


In addition to these features, one of the biggest advantages of using the application is its ease of use. The following section will introduce the money transfer process step by step with photos to help guide you through it.

3. How to send money to South Africa from The UAE with Hubpay?

Follow these easy steps to use Hubpay effectively:

Get the Hubpay app

The Hubpay mobile application is available for both IOS and Android users. Download the compatible version for your smart device from the app store.

Join Hubpay for free

Get Started with Hubpay by creating an account with your phone number. Open the app, click “Create a New Account'', and provide the required information.


As per the UAE’s know-your-customer (KYC) regulations, Hubpay will prompt you to verify your identity. To do this, scan your Emirates ID using your mobile camera.

Scan ID

Safeguard Hubpay account and transactions

Hubpay prioritizes the security of your account by providing two security methods. These methods ensure that your account remains protected, and only you can access it even if your smart device is lost or stolen.

The first method involves linking your account to your mobile number and receiving a one-time password (OTP) via SMS whenever you access your account.


The second method is based on biometrics, where you can scan and save a picture of your face to log in quickly and securely. With these security measures, you can trust that your Hubpay account is safe and protected.

Scan ID

Link Hubpay to the bank account

Once your account is successfully set up, the next step is to link your bank account so that you can carry out transactions. Follow these simple steps:

  1. Open the Hubpay app and login into your account; on the homepage, click “Add Money,” and a new pop-up tab, “Link Your Bank Account'' will appear.

2. In the “Link Your Bank Account” tab, click “Get Started”.


3. Once you click to get started, a new tab appears; click on “Set up Payments”.


4. To integrate your bank account with Hubpay, select your correspondent bank from the list of available options and enter your bank details, including your account number. You only need to link Hubpay to your bank account once when sending the first transfer.


Top Hubpay’s mobile wallet with funds

Once you have successfully linked your bank account, it’s time to add money to your Hubpay mobile wallet. Follow these simple steps:

  1. Use the “+” symbol located in the app’s top right corner
  2. Choose the desired amount in AED to add to your mobile wallet
  3. Confirm the transaction and the funds will be instantly added to your Hubpay mobile wallet. You can repeat this process anytime without having to go through linking your bank account again.

Send money to South Africa using Hubpay

Upon selecting South Africa, Hubpay displays the current foreign currency exchange rates and transfer fees on the homepage. You’ll be charged no additional fees, and you’ll know the exact transfer amount in South African Rand (ZAR) the recipient will receive in exchange for the dirhams you send.

Click the blue “Send Money” button at the bottom of the homepage and enter the recipient’s bank details. Review the transaction details and click “Confirm” to instantly transfer funds to the recipient’s bank account.

Utilize additional features

Hubpay offers convenient add-on services, including:

  • International mobile recharges: Stay connected with your loved ones by recharging mobile phones in South Africa directly through the Hubpay app.
  • International bill payments: Easily pay your bills in the UAE and send money home to South Africa, all within the Hubpay app.
  • Internal chat: Directly communicate with the recipient in real-time.
  • Past transactions: View each transaction’s status, including estimated completion times and pending or completed transaction details.

Make use of Hubpay’s innovative payment services today. We’re the first independently regulated FinTech in the UAE that’s fully licensed to do cross-border and local payments, so you’ll know that your money will always be in safe hands.

[Download the Hubpay app for free on Apple or Google Play stores to enjoy low-cost international money transfers, international bill payments, and mobile recharges.]


  • High costs and lengthy processing times are major pain points when transferring money from The UAE to South Africa.
  • Banks offer secure money transfer services, but fees and exchange rates can be costly.
  • Exchange houses are a popular option for expats, but be sure to choose a reputable one.
  • Hubpay's transaction fees for sending or receiving Dirhams are frequently lower than other money transfer services.
  • Hubpay offers competitive exchange rates to ensure recipients receive the most money possible.