Dirham turns 43: 20 things you can (still) buy for Dh1

You can still purchase most of the green leafy vegetables for a dirham. (Sneha May Francis)

It’s the UAE dirham’s 43rd birthday today.
It was first unveiled on May 19, 1973, 534 days after the United Arab Emirates was founded.

Last year we marked its birthday by looking at 10 treats the dirham could buy, but this year, we are doubling our list.
While the older generation will continue to reminisce about how a dirham could buy anything from rice to milk to sugar back in the day, 43 years since, it’s still able to pack in some cool treats.

#1 Ice-cream in a cone

We're sun-kissed all year round, and what better way to chill out, than with ice-cream in a cone?

#2 Chips

Not the healthiest of snacks, we agree, but perfect for an occasional cheat day. This treat is worth the dirham! Oman chips is iconic to the UAE.

#3 Bottle water

It's scorching hot and staying hydrated is vital. So, access to clean drinking water for a dirham is truly a blessing.

#4 Caramel custard

For those wanting to indulge their sweet-tooth, this cup of custard goodness is all it takes to make you happy.

#5 Fruit yogurt

Want something sweet but healthy, then the tiny tubs of sweet yogurt are perfect for you!

#6 Choki Choki

There's also the popular local chocolate that comes in for a dirham.

#7 Fruit juice

If you must stay hydrated, and water just wouldn't do, picking a drink that's got a refreshing, fruity touch is perfect.

#8 Fruits/Veggies

If you love snacking, but want a healthier option, then picking an apple/banana or even cucumber or carrot, will come for a dirham or less.

#9 Samosa

Who can resist these crunchy snacks? These triangular-shaped treats are filled with a variety of savoury fillings. Pick the one your tummy loves, and it will make a perfect tea-time snack.

#10 Falafel

The love favourite is hard to resist. So, head to Deira's nook and corner to find two falafels for Dh1.

#11 Paratha

These flaky breads are perfect to keep your tummy going, especially when a relaxed, sit-down meal isn't workable.

#12 Tea

A cup of hot, sweet tea is the perfect match for these greasy treats.

#13 Lollipop

Who doesn't like candy? Those tiny lollipops can make any dull day exciting.

#14 Gum balls

All you need is a dirham to get yourself a gum ball. Those colourful vending machines are everywhere, and are a favourite among kids.

#15 Shopping cart

Most supermarkets lease out their big shopping carts to wheel out your groceries for a dirham. And, the best part, is when they return the dirham when you return the shopping cart.

#16 Pen/pencil

Stationary is a favourite among kids, and there's a lot to choose from in this range.

#17 Face wipes

Everyday offers bigger challenges, and you know you can handle anything if you are armed with a small pack of tissues.

#18 Herbs

These are the secret ingredients that make any dish divine. A bunch of these come for less than a dirham.

#19 Laban

The perfect drink to beat the heat. Laban is a favourite among UAE residents, and it comes for less than a dirham!

#20 Charity

Last but not the least. A dirham lets us do our bit for the greater good. When buying a ticket to the movies, a local showcased allows online payers to donate a dirham to the Red Crescent charity.

Did you know?

* The Dirham derives from the Greek word Drachmae, literally meaning “handful”.

* Before 1966, all the emirates used the Gulf rupee.

* In the first year, coins were introduced in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 25, 50 fils, and 1 dirham. The 1, 5 and 10 fils were in bronze, with the higher denominations in cupro-nickel.

* The coins were produced at the Royal Mint, UK, and the designs were created by English artist Geoffrey Colley.

* In 1995, the 50 fils and 1 dirham coins were reduced in size, with the new 50 fils designed in heptagonal shape.

* The value and numbers on the coins are written in Eastern Arabic numerals and the text is in Arabic.