How to Open a Bank Account in Dubai
The UAE has a strong banking system that is controlled by a central bank founded in 1980. There are roughly 50 local and international banks in the UAE.
There are four kinds of banks that work in the UAE, including:
- Commercial banks
- Investment banks
- Industrial banks
- Islamic banks
Different kinds of bank accounts in the UAE
Banks in the UAE offer many different types of bank accounts for both residents and non-residents.
Current accounts are great options for daily transactions and transfers. They are usually accompanied by checkbooks. Usually, banks in the UAE provide two types of current accounts, with and without salary transfers. If you’re an employee, it is reasonable to have an account with your company’s bankers. This is to make sure that you receive the salary as immediately as it’s transferred. If you open an account in another bank, it may take a day or two longer to get the salary.
If you want to benefit from your money, focus on a savings account. These usually give higher interest rates compared to current accounts but may impose limitations on access to funds, and consider punishments for withdrawals. Savings accounts can provide either fixed or changeable interest rates. You can decide to call and use them in dirhams, US dollars, euros or pounds sterling.
Banks working in the UAE also deliver investment services. By signing an investment agreement with the bank, you are able to open an investment account. These agreements may be valid from 12 months to five or 10 years or more. These contracts support the management of your funds with at least a guaranteed return of 3 to 7% or more annually. Minimum investment balances, still, differ from bank to bank.
As a great choice for expats, offshore banks from countries all over the world deliver representations in the UAE, especially in Dubai. Anyone who has a valid residence visa in the UAE can have an offshore bank account to transfer funds. Offshore banking is typically regarded to be stable, trustworthy, and dependable and many offshore accounts also have unique financial and legal benefits, like lower tax rates.
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How expats can open a bank account in the UAE?
It is very easy and quick to open a bank account in the UAE. In general, the process does not need much time and can be completed in a day or two or at most a couple of weeks, based on the type of account. Various accounts need various documents. A couple of working days is enough to open a bank account. As a resident, the necessary documents for opening a personal savings or current account include:
- The original passport and its copy
- A copy of your visa page demonstrating that you have a residence in the UAE
- A salary slip
Specific banks may request your Emirates ID card, but you can typically submit this later if you haven’t gotten it yet. Instead, they may simply request a copy of your Emirates ID registration form. Non-residents may just want savings accounts. While you cannot request a checkbook, you will, still, can get a debit card to take money out of your account. A bank may also want to conduct a background check before letting you open an account.
Furthermore, non-residents may be forced to provide the following documents:
- Newest utility bill
- A reference letter from another bank where the client holds an account
- The latest six-monthly personal bank statement from the client’s country of origin or somewhere else in the world
- Details of the source of obtained funds
The procedure for opening a corporate bank account in the UAE
If you want to open a bank account for commercial purposes, you must first set up a company and then open an account. UAE rules do not let you do business via a personal account. In general, your corporate account must be a current account to make a high volume of transactions easier. Two to four weeks are needed for this process.
For opening a business account, some extra documents may be needed. While these differ based on the bank and type of company, they might involve:
- Company trade license
- Certificate of registration
- Share certificates
- Company memorandum and articles of association
- Board resolution allowing a company member to open the account
- Passport and visa copies for shareholders and empowered signatories
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How to open a bank account for children in the UAE?
UAE Central Bank rules mention that just people over the age of 21 can open bank accounts. An 18-year-old can open a bank account only if they are an employee of a government or semi-government organization. Under these ages, children must get help from a parent or guardian. It’s significant to pay attention to this point that UAE Central Bank rules just allow fathers to open bank accounts for their children since they are considered to be their natural guardians or custodians in accordance with Sharia law. When an account has been opened on behalf of a child by the father, the father can then give a Power of Attorney so that the mother can handle the account on a continuing basis without the need for the presence of the father.
However, banks in the UAE provide many different savings accounts for children. Islamic banks are the most active ones in this field. To gradually establish the habit of saving from the very beginning, children are tempted with money boxes, and special cartoon characters. In accordance with UAE regulations, parents are not allowed to take any money out of the account until the child turns 18. Still, if you want your child to have a debit card, some banks can offer them to children after the age of 15.
The necessary documents to open a bank account for a child include:
- The child’s original passport and its copy
- The guardian’s original passport and its copy
- A copy of the visa pages for the child and his guardian
- The guardian’s salary slip