A Newcomer to the UAE? What to Consider When Choosing a Bank for Opening an Account | ExpatWoman.com

A Newcomer to the UAE? What to Consider When Choosing a Bank for Opening an Account

Posted on

1 November 2021

Last updated on 20 December 2021
Opening a bank account in the UAE

Moving to the UAE can be daunting.

You’ll encounter plenty of new challenges, and there are so many new things that you need to consider. One of the most important things that you’ll have to figure out while you planning for your financial affairs is what bank you’re going to choose to open an account.

While most banks offer similar services, there are a lot of additional features and perks that set apart the best banks. Here's what you need to know when you’re looking to open a bank as a newcomer to the UAE.

1. Initial Deposit

When opening a bank account in the UAE, most banks will ask you to make an initial deposit.

Some banks charge a higher initial deposit, while other banks are not so strict. You can even choose a bank that offers a basic current account that requires no initial deposit. However, you’ll typically need to make an initial deposit if you want premium banking services and a better account.

When considering which bank account to choose, it’s essential to look at how much money you’re willing to set aside to open an account. That’ll help you get a better idea of what kind of features you can expect to receive.

Opening a bank account in the UAE

2. Minimum Balance

Another essential feature to consider when choosing a bank for opening an account is the minimum acceptable balance.

It's more common for banks to ask clients to maintain a minimum balance when looking to open a savings account. Generally, the minimum balance tends to range between AED 100 – AED 25K.

Naturally, banks that charge a higher minimum balance will offer better rates and more premium services. So once again, if you want to get a premium bank account make sure that you’re capable of regularly maintaining the minimum balance.

There are also several banks in the UAE that offer savings accounts with zero minimum balance, but the services and the rates the account holder gets will also reflect the minimum balance!

3. Transaction and Withdrawal Limit

You don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you need to make a large withdrawal or transaction, and you find out that the amount exceeds your total limit. That can create an unnecessary hassle and may even lead to one or two unpleasant exchanges!

What to do before opening a bank account in the UAE

That’s why it’s essential to keep an eye on the transaction and withdrawal limit when you consider which UAE bank you're going to pick.

4. Additional Benefits

Aside from these basic features, banks are also looking to provide their customers with plenty of additional benefits to remain competitive. These can include a specific outward remittance allowance, rewards programs, online banking, and a lot more!

If you’re new to the UAE, you’ll likely show interest in going with a bank that lets you have an account in multiple currencies. It’s an essential benefit that a lot of banks are starting to provide.


Doing anything in a new country can be scary, and picking which bank to go with is no different. However, by looking at these features, you’ll be able to pick the best bank for your specific needs!