How to open a bank account in Dubai

Here’s how to set up a bank account in Dubai 

How to open a bank account in Dubai

So, you’ve just moved to Dubai (head here for your essential guide to moving to Dubai) and you need to set-up a bank account. But how?

Essentially, it’s a pretty straightforward and easy process and luckily, most major international banks are represented across the city. Obvious reasons aside, you’ll need a bank account for things like paying bills online such as DEWA and topping up your Nol card and transferring funds.

From names you’ll most probably recognise such as a HSBC and Citibank, to local banks such as Emirates NBD, Dubai Islamic Bank and Mashreq Bank, there are plenty of banks to choose from.

Start off by doing your homework. Before opening a bank account in Dubai, thoroughly research the different options available, compare rates, deals, perks and find a bank that suits your personal needs best.

To open a bank account in Dubai, you’ll need:
• Your original passport, along with a few scanned copies
• A salary certificate from your company (which your HR department can provide you with) or a NOC letter from your employer or sponsor
• Your valid Emirates ID
• Your valid UAE residence visa

If you’ve just moved to Dubai, getting your Emirates ID card may take some time, so if you’re still waiting for yours to arrive, you needn’t worry as many banks across Dubai will accept a copy of your Emirates ID registration form.

The exact procedures and requirements will likely differ between banks, so it’s best to call your chosen bank in advance to double check what they require.

Now you have all the required documents in hand, here’s your step-by-step guide on opening a bank account in Dubai.

• Talk to your employer
Have a chat with your HR department and ask for a list of recommended banks. Your salary transfer will take less time to clear, and some banks may offer you additional benefits as an employee of one of its clients. Most companies in Dubai tend to use Emirates NBD.

• Call your bank of choice
Once you have chosen your bank, give them a ring to double check their opening hours and find out what documents they require to open an account – as mentioned requirements may differ depending on the bank.

• Head to the branch
Visit your bank of choice and set up a meeting with a bank representative who’ll take you through the process and help you with the application form. It’s also worth noting that most banks across Dubai shut in the afternoon so try and plan a morning visit.

So, you’ve opened your bank account. What next?
• Most banks across Dubai will arrange for your ATM card and cheque book to be couriered to you at work. Alternatively, you can arrange to collect it from the branch at a prearranged date.

• Most standard current accounts offer an ATM and cheque book and require a minimum monthly salary, which varies from bank to bank. Some accounts also require a minimum balance, which also varies depending on the bank but it’s usually Dhs3,000 per month.

• Savings accounts are available at most banks with varying rates of interest depending on the amount deposited. For tax-free savings, it’s worth considering opening an offshore account.

• Most Dubai banks offer free online banking, so make sure you sign up when you apply. Online banking is an easy and secure way to manage your finances.

For your essential guide to moving to Dubai, head here.

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