Opening a Bank Account in Dubai: A Guide |

Opening a Bank Account in Dubai: A Guide

Here's how to open a bank account in Dubai, along with the documents you will need, types of account available and a bank overview

Posted on

10 January 2013

Last updated on 31 December 2017
Opening a Bank Account in Dubai

Nowadays whether you have a bank account became more of an assumption than a question and is usually one of the first things you try and sort out as soon as you land in a new country that you are planning to call home for a while. Luckily, opening a bank account in Dubai is very easy although requirements vary from bank to bank.

Banks in the UAE come in 2 categories, local banks and International banks. All standard banking services are offered by Dubai banks including current, savings and deposit accounts, as well as offshore accounts. Once you have decided what account you want to open and which bank you prefer, you can simply give them a call for an agent to go to your home or office, or if you prefer, head over to your closest branch to open your account.

Remember to carefully read through all the documentation and question everything that you don’t understand before signing anything.

Residential Bank Account

In order to be able to open a current or checking account in Dubai, you will need to be a UAE resident. There are a number of banks which you can choose from but you might want to consider opening a bank account at your companies’ bank so that your salary gets transferred immediately.

Certain banks require that you keep a minimum amount in your account or earn a minimum salary in order to bank with them. Take some time to compare fees, benefits and requirements of the different accounts before deciding on one.

The basic requirements to open a bank account in Dubai are:

  • Your original passport
  • A residency visa
  • Salary certificate
  • The specific requirements will vary from bank to bank. Below are some additional documentation that a bank might require from you:

  • Letter of no objection, known as an NOC from your employer, stating your job title and salary
  • UAE ID card: labour card, driving licence or Emirates ID card
  • Proof of residential address: your tenancy contract

    We recommend making copies of everything before meeting with the agent. It will help you get things done rather than having to run to and throw trying to get everything together. Lastly, you will also require a completed application form that you can get directly from the bank or the agent.

    With your account you will be receiving the following:

  • ATM/Debit card: ATM cards come with all accounts. We recommend to advise your bank if you travel overseas as your ATM card may not work outside the UAE.
  • Cheques: You will only receive a cheque book with a cheque or current account. Cheques are still majorly in use in the UAE and you will need to get used to writing post-dated cheques for things like rent, car purchase and school fees. It is a criminal offence under UAE law to bounce a cheque so be really careful with those!
  • Non-Resident Account

    As a non-resident you will also be able to open a bank account in Dubai. This will however only be a savings account and not a current or checking account. Non-residential accounts are not available from all banks in Dubai and might be subject to a minimum and/or maximum balance.

    To open a non-residential account you will require your original passport, a copy thereof and a completed application form.

    The bank might also run a background check on you before approving the account.

    Credit Cards

    All banks in Dubai have credit card offers. Being approved for one might be subject to a minimum salary and can be influenced by the company you work for. Other banks will give you one as soon as you’ve opened an account by them.

    Services Offered With Bank Accounts

    Each bank will have their own package of things that they offer you with your bank account, but you should at least be receiving the following services with your Dubai based bank account:

  • A savings or current account in UAE dirhams
  • Free international ATM/debit card
  • 24-hour ATM access to your account, over the phone and online
  • Access to branch and ATM network and bill payment facilities such as your phone, DEWA, Salik, traffic fines and other bills
  • Banks also offer numerous other services such as credit cards, personal loans and vehicle loans. You will often receive better rates from a bank if you already have a bank account with them.