Are you planning to relocate to Dubai and want to open a bank account? This guide is designed to provide you with helpful information on how to open a bank account in Dubai. From the types of accounts available, to the documents you’ll need, to the application process and fees, this guide will help you understand the process of opening a bank account in Dubai. We’ll also cover the benefits of having a bank account in Dubai, as well as tips for making the process as smooth and hassle–free as possible. Whether you’re a foreign resident or expat looking to relocate to Dubai, this guide will help you get started.
Open a Bank Account in Dubai
The procedure behind in opening a new account in the city is fairly simple. It is easy for both a salaried employee and a businessman to open their respective bank accounts. But the only thing that they are required to keep in mind is that a salaried employee is not bound to keep any sort of minimum balance in their account. Whereas a businessman or someone who is opening a personal account is supposed to always keep a minimum balance in their accounts.
Do you need a bank account in the UAE?
While it is possible to manage your money using an overseas account, most expats benefit from having a local bank account in the UAE. For one thing, employers may require you to have a local account. Secondly, although the UAE’s banking system is well connected to other countries, local creditors may not be willing to transfer money overseas because of the high fees involved. Third, a local account eases the process of obtaining credit cards and taking out a car loan or a home mortgage.
How to Choose a bank account in Dubai
With the high percentage of expats in the UAE, you’ll find that banks operating in the country are particularly geared towards your needs. Nonetheless, there are a few factors to consider when shopping around for a bank account in the UAE. But before you make that call, ask yourself – and the bank officer – the following questions:
- What is the minimum balance required?
- When and why might you need to pay fees and penalties?
- Are there any salary transfer requirements?
- How many withdrawals can you make each month?
- What fees apply to new checkbooks and debit or ATM cards?
- Do you need to transfer money abroad? If so, where to, and how long do transactions take to your home or target country?
- Is there an ATM near your home and near your office? International banks generally have fewer branches than local establishments.
- Does your employer bank with them? It sometimes makes sense to open an account with your company’s bankers so you can access your salary on the day it’s transferred.
- Who do your colleagues bank with and what problems have they had?
- What happens if you lose your job but have an outstanding loan? Can the bank freeze your account?
Open a Bank Account in Dubai- Requirements
If you are an individual who is residing in the city, then the following steps will help you to open a new bank account easily in Dubai.
1. Pick your Preferred Bank
There are various options of banks available for a user to choose from such as Mashreq Bank, Citibank, HSBC, Emirates NBD, etc.
Therefore, if a user is hoping to open a salaried account, then they are advised to first confirm the same with their companies and check for their association. This acts as an added advantage for the user, as they can then withdraw their salary as soon as it gets credited to their account. Whereas, if one opens the same account in some other bank that is not associated with your organisation then you might face a bit of difficulty while withdrawing your money the same day.
In case you are in search of opening a business or a personal bank account in Dubai, then a user is required to maintain a minimum balance to open a bank account in Dubai. As now, they’re a penalty charged on the same if a user fails to maintain the same by the Central Bank of UAE.
2. Choose Your Account Type
Once, a user is done selecting the bank that they wish to open their account, they are required to choose the kind of account they want to open. The two types of bank account are a savings account and a current account.
This type of bank account is best suited for those users who wish to save their money for dealing with assets and even meeting any unexpected situations. This type of account delivers limited transactions. You will also some banks that do not even share a debit card with their customers for the purpose of safely securing their money for the future.
This type of account is best suited for users who indulge in a lot of salary transactions. This bank account helps you to cover the monthly expenses. This type of account helps the user to withdraw their money at any point in time in the day.
3. Collect all the Relevant Documents
Whether you are an owner of a savings account or a current account. A user is required to submit these necessary documents.
- Transcript Visa
- User’s Salary Certificate
- ID proof for Emirates
- Copy of user’s original passport along with its copy.
Users should be aware that it is important for them to have an Emirates ID card while applying for opening a bank account in Dubai. But it is also true that getting a card may take a little longer. Therefore, in such situations, the user is advised to use a copy of their registration form instead.
Opening a Business Bank Account in Dubai for Non-Residents
If you are wondering whether or not you can open a bank account in Dubai for non-residents. Then, the answer to this question is, yes! A non-resident can also open a bank account provided they choose to open a savings account and meet the specific criteria listed by the bank.
The bank normally tends to first check their documents properly and when verified, helps them to open their bank account. Also, the bank does not issue them a cheque book and offer the user a debit card.
Documents Required for Submission by a Non-Resident to open a bank account in Dubai
After knowing what documents, a resident of Dubai does is supposed to have. Here is the list of documents that are required by a non-resident to have to open a bank account in Dubai.
- Transcript bills for all utilities of the user.
- Account Statements of the previous bank
- A recommendation letter from the user’s original bank
- A brief history of the user
- A brief about the professional activities of a user
- The educational background history of the user
- A passport
Opening a Business Bank Account in Dubai for expat
Establishing a banking relationship in the UAE is quick and efficient. In general, the process takes anywhere from a day or two to a couple of weeks, depending on the kind of account. Different accounts require different documents.
Expats can open bank accounts in the UAE within a couple of working days. As a resident, the basic requirements for opening a personal savings or current account are:
- Your original passport plus a copy
- A copy of your visa page proving you are a resident of the UAE
- A salary certificate (get one from your company’s HR department)
- Certain banks may ask for your Emirates ID card, but you can usually provide this later if you haven’t received it yet. Instead, they may just ask for a copy of your Emirates ID registration form.
Opening a Business Bank Account in Dubai
It is true that the functions that are performed while opening a bank account differ from one bank to another. But it is also true that the one thing that is common in all the banks for you to have been the presence of their directors & shareholders. Therefore, below is the way mentioned through which a user can open a business account in the city.
The first step is for the user to fill in the application form by mentioning all the necessary details (company details to be précised). These details should mention everything about the company i.e., the details of the client, the details of the supplier. Attached to this application form, a user is also supposed to submit the following documents.
Documents Required for Open a Business Bank Account in Dubai
- Shareholders Residency visa
- Shareholders Passport copies
- Shareholders Emirate ID card copy
- Directors Passport copy
- A brief about the kind of business the user is running.
- A brief about the source of their funds.
- All the existing contracts
- A recommendation letter from the user’s business partner.
- A blueprint of the user’s business plan
- All the necessary documents related to the corporate
- A Memorandum
- Once the user’s application gets approved, the bank then verifies all the information related to the management team of your company along with their financial projections.
- As soon as the background clearance is done, the bank then sets up an interview with its users.
- Once the user clears their interview successfully, the bank finally opens the corporate bank account in Dubai of its users.
Balance Required to Open a Business Bank Account in Dubai
A corporate account holder’s monthly balance average totally depends on the kind of bank a user chooses for themselves. But on average the banks in the city require the user to at least maintain a minimum of AED 50K – AED 500K. Also, it is recommended for the user to cross-check the facts with their banks and precisely hear the figure that is required for you to maintain.
Open a Bank account in Dubai for Tourists
A tourist too gets the service of open a bank account in Dubai. Not all but there are some banks that allow such offers to the tourists. But it is certain that a tourist can only open a savings account with minimum service options in their hands, which are pre-decided by banks.
Even then there are various options of banks available to tourists to choose from. Tourists who are visiting the side of old Dubai can manage to get their hands on the banks available even there.
Open a Bank account in Dubai for children
UAE Central Bank regulations state that only individuals over the age of 21 may open bank accounts. An 18-year-old may open their own account only if they are employed by a government or semi-government entity. Under those ages, children require assistance from a parent or guardian.
It’s important to note that UAE Central Bank regulations only permit fathers to open bank accounts for their children, as they are deemed to be their natural guardians or custodians in line with Sharia law. Mothers, even if they are legal guardians, cannot open accounts for their children. Once an account has been set up on behalf of a minor by the father, the father can then provide a Power of Attorney so that the mother can manage the account on an ongoing basis without the father being present.
Nevertheless, banks in the UAE offer a vast variety of savings accounts for children. The Islamic banks have taken the lead on this front. To instill the habit of saving early on, children are enticed with money boxes, special cartoon characters that teach the ABCs of saving, complimentary prepaid cards and colorful welcome packs.
In line with UAE laws, parents cannot make any withdrawals until the child reaches the age of 18. However, if you wish to allow your child a debit card, some banks can provide them for children after the age of 15.
The documents required to open a bank account for a child are as follows:
- The child’s original passport plus a copy
- The guardian’s original passport plus a copy
- A copy of the visa pages for both the child and their guardian
- The guardian’s salary certificate
- Emirates ID card copies for both
Bank Charges in Dubai
|Charges for opening an account||Not Applicable|
|Min. balance||AED 3,000|
|Monthly min. balance fine||AED 25|
|Issuing a cheque book||AED 25|
|order setup charge for standing||AED 50 (Max.)|
|order payment for standing dishonoured||AED 25|
|Management cheque issue charge||AED 30|
|Account balance Receipt||AED 50|
|No liability of certificate||AED 100|
|Release letter||AED 50|
|Bounced cheque charge||AED 100|
How to open a bank account in Dubai online
The UAE’s love for all things techno-forward extends to banking. Two banks offer now allow residents to open accounts over the internet via a smartphone app, which are:
- Liv, backed by Emirates NBD
- Neo, powered by Mashreq
Once you’ve downloaded the app, scanned your Emirates ID and topped up the account, a local delivery service will contact you within a day and drop off your new debit card. Typically, these cards work internationally and at a range of ATMs. Residents are also issued with IBAN account numbers and Swift codes, so transferring to and from any other bank account is possible. Most established banks offer internet and mobile banking.
How to Manage your bank account in Dubai
Banks in the UAE cater to customers in a variety of different ways. You can choose how you manage your money and finances with Emirati banks, whether via counter services or remotely.
- Face-to-face: Although digital and mobile banking is now the norm, customers may still want to head to the branch for certain procedures. While banks are slowly moving to branchless banking, several financial institutions in the UAE have service counters at prominent malls and other locations around the country to better reach their customers. Appointments are usually not required.
- Online banking: You can enjoy 24/7 access to your account through online banking. Digital banking is a key feature of most modern banks in the UAE. Most services and products, including loans, are also available online and some banks now have live online chat systems to deal with issues.
- Mobile banking: Smartphone or mobile banking has taken off in the UAE. Many of its tech-savvy residents now prefer to manage their finances from smartphone devices. Mobile-only banks offer all their services through an app; in fact, they don’t use physical branches at all. You can manage your funds, access services, and make a range of payments all at the touch of a screen.
Banking services in Dubai
Expat residents in Dubai can avail of a range of services from local and international banks operating within the country. You can choose to go with your current bank when buying these services or establish a relationship with a new bank.
Expats with a minimum monthly salary of AED 5,000 are eligible for a credit card. Those who don’t meet this requirement then you can put down a deposit of AED 60,000 instead. The UAE’s high-consumption economy means residents have a wide choice of payment cards available, with perks including airport lounge access, airline air miles, dining discounts and more.
Car loans are easily available in a country where the car you drive is often considered an indicator of your status. That said, local regulations only allow customers to apply for loans covering 80% of the cost of their cars. You’ll need to pay the final 20% as a deposit. So, if you want that nosebleed Lamborghini, you’ll still need to fork out a decent amount of cash. The maximum repayment period is 60 months or five years. For a second-hand car, however, the maximum repayment period is three years.
Dubai residents can take out a range of personal loans. These may be a cash loan on the back of a credit card, or a more traditional bank transfer obtained on a visit to the branch. Don’t look for more than 20 times your monthly salary – regulations don’t allow it. The maximum repayment period is 48 months or four years.
International money transfers in Dubai
With a wide array of international banks in Dubai, expat residents can often simply transfer money overseas via their smartphone. Many local banks have correspondent relationships with institutions in other countries, so depending on where you want to move your money, it’s worth checking about these. Free transfers to some countries, such as India, are considered the norm.
However, there are alternative money transfer solutions to banks that can sometimes offer easier and cheaper international transfer options. The following providers offer a range of international money transfer options:
- CurrencyFair offers money transfers to over 150 countries and has exchange rates up to eight times cheaper than the banks, helping you avoid excessive bank fees.
- Moneycorp offers foreign exchange and global payment services to individual and corporate customers in over 120 currencies.
- Wise is an international money transfer provider available in 59 countries that offers transfers between cross-border bank accounts up to eight times cheaper than traditional banks.
What much is one charged to pay while opening a bank account in Dubai?
A user is not supposed to pay any charge while opening a new bank account in Dubai.
What are the services that a bank offers after opening a new bank account in Dubai?
The services that a user can avail after opening a bank account are 24 hours availability of ATM, debit card, credit cards, access to your bank’s branch, facility to make payments of your bill and a cheque book for your account.
What are the types of loans you can get from your banks in Dubai?
A user can avail various types of loans from their respective banks such as a home loan, car loan, personal loan etc.
What is the different type of bank account you can open in Dubai?
There are two different types of bank accounts you can access. These are the savings account and current account.
What is the difference between a savings account and a current account?
The difference between a savings account and a current account is that a savings account is best suited for those users who wish to save their money for dealing with assets and even meeting any unexpected situations. Whereas a current account is best suited for users who indulge in a lot of salary transactions. This bank account helps you to cover the monthly expenses.
What to do if you are refused a bank account in Dubai
While extremely unlikely that a bank will refuse to open an account for a legally resident expat, they are within their rights to do so if you could be a risk.
Each bank has its own regulations regarding a customer profile and their activities and minimum transactions. Consequently, customers are subject to specific requirements at nearly every bank.
A bank may refuse to take you on as a customer if you do not provide documents confirming your identity, your employment status and the nature of your job. In addition, customers may be rejected for the following reasons:
- If another bank has blocked your account because of suspicious activity
- You cannot confirm a source of funds
- You repeatedly fall foul of minimum balance requirements or, in case of corporate accounts, a minimum account turnover
- If you’re on a list of restricted persons (i.e. a foreign politician or a known criminal)
All banks in UAE are regulated by UAE Central bank and in order to meet international standards and requirements, Central Bank has placed a KYC Know Your Customer policy. As a regular practice, UAE banks will ask you certain questions and comment on your account transactions before as well as after opening your personal or corporate account.
Changing banks or closing a bank account in the Dubai
Expats who need to leave Dubai are generally given a month’s grace period after the cancellation of their residence visas to go about housekeeping duties. That’s more than enough time to close a bank account, which takes about five days.
Take the time to do so properly. If you simply withdraw all your funds and leave the account empty, you’re liable to be charged a monthly account maintenance fee. In such a case, you could face an unpleasant surprise when you next transit or return to Dubai.
Before you close your bank account in Dubai, you’ll need to ensure that all loans and credit card debts are repaid, that all standing orders are canceled and that there are no cheques outstanding. It is always necessary to request a confirmation from the bank, which confirms the absence of any obligations when closing your account in Dubai.
It’s important to write a closing letter and explain where you want any remaining funds transferred if you’re abroad or pick up the money in person by visiting the branch. Account closures may incur a fee; the maximum is AED 100.