How Can I Open A Bank Account In Dubai

Free trade zones and tax exemptions aren’t the only things that make Dubai popular and an attractive city for business. The business hub has a robust banking sector hosting more than 50 local and international banking institutions. You will find four major types of banks at large, namely, the Islamic, industrial, investment, and commercial banks.

How Can I Open A Bank Account In Dubai all you need to know

Regardless of what you are up to in Dubai, you definitely require a bank account. Before opting to set up an account with a bank of your choice, you ought to first determine the nature of the account you’d like to open.

Depending on the banking services you need and the financial institution you choose, the entire process can take a day to a few weeks.

Dubai Business Banking Setup Essentials

To transact or carry out business in the UAE, you must have a bank account. While a personal bank account is often used to complete business transactions in many parts of the world, in Dubai, however, conducting business with such an account is illegal.

Before setting up an account for your company, it’s wise to carry out proper research and identify a financial institution that meets your preferences. Like in other countries, financial institutions have a stringent method of determining if someone is eligible to have a business account or not.

In that case, to set up an account for your business in Dubai, one may opt to either go to a financial institution or acquire the help of third-party advisory companies. Before heading to a financial institution to create an account, one must ensure that they’re well prepared with the required documents.

The significance of availing your business’ documents by yourself is that you can be the bank signatory and that the financial institution can know the management structure. Over the past few years, multiple cases of financial illegalities have prompted UAE’s Central Bank to impose stringent processes of setting up accounts with financial institutions.

The documents you need differ from one bank to another since they have different requirements concerning setting up an account.

Some of these include:

  • A Certificate of Registration and other business documents such as MOA, AOA, trading, and licenses
  • An identity card
  • A valid passport and residence visas for signatories and shareholders
  • A detailed CV proving you have about 5 to 7 years of experience in your profession or business
  • Copy of utility bill
  • A board resolution providing the authorization to open a bank account
  • Personal and corporate bank statement for the last six months
  • A detailed business plan

When the shareholders are residents of other countries, it is crucial to notarize all the business’s legal papers in Dubai and their home country. These requirements apply to all legal entities, including:

  • Mainland – DED ventures
  • Free zone ventures
  • Offshore enterprises
  • Foreign Entity enterprises

Other than the basic legal papers listed above, there are other supporting documents necessary for setting up a bank account in Dubai. Not every financial institution has the same requirements, and these supporting documents may not apply to every bank. They include:

  • Signatory Home Ejari
  • Your business’ Profile
  • Signatory Resume

It is worth noting that financial institutions often expect a company to keep a given minimum balance in its account. One can also decide to set up a multi-currency account.

Opening a Private Bank Account in Dubai

Setting up a private account in Dubai is quite simple and fast, especially for locals. This is mostly because they do not need to submit many documents. You only need to have your original ID as a local, and you’re good to open your bank account.

Financial institutions in the UAE often require that personal accounts have a given minimum amount deposited. That said, different financial institutions have different minimum balance requirements, and it is for you to find out from your chosen bank.

Financial institutions, particularly in the UAE, have stringent risk compliance processes to ensure that people are not keeping finances that have been acquired illegally. Therefore, if you are up to no good with your bank account, this is not the place to try it.

Types Of Accounts You Can Find In Dubai And Other Emirates

Current accounts: They are good for everyday transactions, and they come with the benefit of a checkbook.

Savings accounts: These are good for those who want to take advantage of interests as a return. However, you cannot withdraw anytime you want since a withdrawal comes with a penalty. They allow checkbooks as well.

Investment accounts: This allows you to invest your money in a bank for between one to 10 years or more for a return of about 3 to 7 percent every year. The minimum you can invest differs from one bank to another.

Offshore accounts: Dubai is an expat haven and allows anyone to set up an offshore bank account as long as they have a valid residence visa. This account is good for wealth management, asset protection, tax benefits, inheritance planning, and any other form of export and import of funds.

Like in opening a corporate bank account, setting up a private one also comes with requirements. While they may differ from one institution to another, there exists a standard requirement as detailed below.

  • A passport which helps to prove that you are who you claim to be
  • Visa pages
  • You ought to be 18 years and above
  • Proof that your source of income is legitimate — a salary certificate can work or business ownership documents
  • Emirates ID card or a registration form for the same if you haven’t received yours yet

Bank Account for A Non-Resident

A non-resident can only open a savings account with no checkbook. Still, it comes with a debit card to assist in withdrawals. In addition, they will need a recent utility bill, a reference letter from their current account, and a private bank statement for the last six months.

The main benefit is that it is possible to open this account even before you arrive in Dubai, though the savings account requires a high minimum balance. If it is possible to wait, you would rather wait until your residence papers are ready to open a bank account in Dubai.

Benefits Of Opening A Bank In Dubai

1) Whether it’s a personal or a business bank account, you should enjoy the following benefits in Dubai.

2) You will have access to numerous currency exchange choices or create multiple currency accounts

3) It is convenient to transfer money from outside and in Dubai

4) You can use both mobile and internet banking safely

5) You get access to all banking services, including loans, both personal and business

6) Shopping is easy in Dubai since most retailers accept different cards such as Mastercard, Visa, China Union Pay, and American Express.

7) You are guaranteed paramount confidentiality unless the information is required to curb tax evasion or in a court of law.

8) Others include access to ATM services, joint account holding, attractive interest rates, and unrestricted credit cards.

Wrapping It Up

Different banks have different requirements concerning opening an account. If you’re a foreigner, you should always settle for a financial institution with favorable requirements.

The good thing is that apart from having a minimum balance requirement, the cost of opening a bank account in the UAE is zero. Carry out your research to ensure you get the maximum banking benefits from the bank you choose to bank with. This depends on your personal or business needs.

Was this helpful?
Steven Author of gostartbusiness

The Author

Got feedback, questions, or noticed something we overlooked? Share your thoughts in the comments—we're keen to learn and improve!

Leave a Comment

Work, Invest, and Retire in Mauritius