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Opening A Bank Account in Dubai for Expats

Opening A Bank
Account in Dubai

Advantages of The UAE’s Banking System

Advantages of The
UAE’s Banking System

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Types of Personal Bank Accounts in Dubai

Types of Personal Bank
Accounts in Dubai

  • Complete online banking, including fund transfer, e-statements and more
  • Debit cards, which can be upgraded to premium or platinum cards with a higher money withdrawal limit
  • Credit cards are underwritten by Visa or MasterCard (if the salary is AED 5,000/USD 1,360 or more)
  • Free chequebook – a convenient means to make payments in the UAE

Current Accounts

  • Free cheque book
  • Monthly e-statements
  • Phone banking
  • Debit and credit cards
  • Personal loan conveniences
  • Fund-transfer

Savings Accounts

Salaried Accounts

Investment Account

Non-Resident Account

Opening a Bank Account: Step by Step

Opening a Bank
Account: Step by Step

Requirements & Documents

  • Original passport plus a few extra copies
  • Emirates ID, or a copy of Emirates ID registration form if not issued yet
  • UAE residence visa
  • Extensive CV letter displaying detailed information about places of employment, career progression etc
  • Account statement for 3-6 months, written in English
  • Salary certificate (obtained from the HR department of the employer)
  • Proof of residence: a copy of tenancy contract, utility bill etc
  • Copy of passport with the UAE entry page
  • Recommendation letter from the bank of the country of origin or any other country where a personal account is kept
  • CV covering working experience, destinations, entrepreneurial activities for the last 7 years
  • Extensive bank statements for the last six months with clear distinction of sources of inward cash flow
  • Information about the source of income

Procedure

  • Define what bank suits your personal needs or the business model as an entity. It would be wise if you do this with the help of an expert financial consultant
  • Visit one of the bank branches or leave a message on the website and ask a bank representative to contact you
  • Both expatriates and non-residents must be present physically, upon submission of documents. Note that foreigners can not apply for opening an account without a legal representative such as a broker or an advisor. Their mission is to help you to understand the requirements and submit documents accordingly. In some cases, it is possible to avail a financial consultant or power of attorney to open an account remotely
  • Processing takes a minimum of one week (depending on the type of account), within this period the Internal Controls Department will ask questions and research the applicant. On the other hand, the bank can reject your request if the required documents are not complete or the papers are filled out incorrectly. If you have a relationship manager the possibility of this will be excluded
  • In case of an approved result, an applicant will visit the bank once again or on two more occasions to activate the remote access to the account–talking device.

About Offshore Bank Account

About Offshore
Bank Account

About A Company Account

About A Company
Account

  • A complete history of the personal founder’s documents and all statutory records + license
  • Company’s profile – an extensive and detailed business plan, which should display a pool of suppliers and customers with addresses, logistic scheme, projected turnover in the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd year
  • A bank statement which must reflect the source of income (salary, dividends). On the basis of this data, the bank will understand whether inflow volumes are high enough to cover operational expenses and maintain minimum balance on the account

Best Banks for Opening Accounts for Residents

Best Banks for
Opening Accounts

  • Dubai Islamic Bank was established in 1975 and turned out to be the first bank to introduce Islamic principles to all kinds of its practices. The bank maintains personal and corporate accounts, which are opened within 25 - 55 days, on average. The minimum balance on an account should be AED 25,000 (USD 6,810). Capital assets are estimated at USD 45.169M. There are 62 branches across the UAE
  • Emirates NBD has been operating since 2007. The bank has 250 branches and ATMs across the UAE and manages USD 122.191M of assets. Emirates NBD is perceived as the largest and most successful bank in the country. Its key strength is its well-developed internet banking system– an extremely in demand service. The bank accepts personal, corporate, and acquiring accounts. Time to open an account takes 14 - 40 days. The minimum amount required to open a business account is AED 50,000 (USD 13,700)
  • Mashreq Bank is one of the oldest private banks in the Emirates, founded in 1967. To date, it includes 43 outlets and owns USD 33.643M of capital assets. The time to open an account takes 20 - 50 days. The balance of an account should be no less than AED 25,000 (USD 6,810).

Summary

Summary

  • Foreigners, expats and non-residents may open bank accounts in Dubai. Despite the extensive documentation required, application procedure is quite straightforward
  • The most in demand types of personal accounts include current, savings and investment accounts, which may be available in multiple currencies
  • To apply for a salaried current account, an employee should have AED 3,000 or more as their monthly salary (the requirements for salary amount vary from bank to bank across Dubai)
  • Interest rates derived from investment accounts may reach 7%, while standard savings accounts offer from 0.2% to 1.75% (as of June 2021)
  • It is possible to open an offshore account as a company or privately. Emirati banks scrutinise such requests very carefully, which is why it is necessary to be prepared for the application with the help of a professional
  • A great benefit for foreign business in the UAE is its 0% corporate tax
  • One of the most popular banks among foreigners to set up an account in Dubai is Emirates NBD

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