Opening a personal account in a UAE bank in 2023

Opening a personal account in a UAE bank in 2023

A foreigner can easily open a bank account in the UAE, if they are in that country and have a resident visa. But a valid visa only allows you to open a savings account. You must first obtain a residence permit if you need a checking account. If you want to remotely open a personal bank account in the UAE in 2023, you need a financial intermediary. For example, you can use the services of IT-OFFSHORE. 

Features of opening a personal account in the UAE

According to UAE legislation, applicants should come to the bank to confirm their identity and sign documents. However, it is possible to do without a visit to the UAE. You will have to make a banking transaction in a major international bank that operates in the territory of the UAE (e.g., CitiBank, HSBC) and then visit the local branch and collect a pile of paperwork. An alternative option is to hire a financial officer who will visit the bank in the UAE on your behalf.

Almost all banks in UAE require you to present the following:

  • A passport.
  • Emirates ID card - if you still don't have one, you must provide a copy of the document proving you have applied for it.
  • A certificate showing the employer or sponsor who is paying for the stay.
  • Salary of the applicant.
  • Proof of address - rental agreement or payment of a utility bill.
  • A letter confirming no objection from the employer or person sponsoring the visa.

These requirements automatically imply that the applicant must have a residence permit. Only then a checking account can be opened. If you do not have a residence permit (e.g., a tourist wants to open an account), only a savings account is available, and opening requires more time.

What you should know

  • Many banks require a foreigner to have a certain amount in the account (from $800 to $1,500). The amount depends on the financial institution and the services provided to that client. Account holders must ensure that the amount does not fall below the minimum, or otherwise, they risk a fine.
  • The bank may have a monthly maintenance fee. It usually ranges from $7.
  • Some banks offer free accounts for foreigners who make more than $1,361 a month.
  • You can only make some transactions by visiting the bank in person. So we recommend choosing an institution close to your home or work.
  • Some banks charge very high fees for wire transfers.

Where to open an account in the UAE

It is beneficial for a foreigner to open an account with an international bank:

  • HSBC is a large international organization that operates in 63 countries and provides a broad package of financial services. Customers who open a personal account with HSBC can access credit cards and mortgages. They can also quickly and easily transfer money abroad (21 currencies are supported) and trade on exchanges in the USA, Hong Kong, and the UK through an online platform..
  • CitiBank - has been operating in the UAE since 1964. It has four branches, two Smart Centers, three Citigold halls and a network of 39 ATMs. Customers who open a personal account with CitiBank offer a user-friendly online account and free access to money through its ATMs anywhere in the world. The money exchange is automatically fulfilled if you withdraw cash in another country.
  • Standard Chartered is a representative of an international bank with a 150-year history. It has been operating in the UAE since 1958. The client who opens open a personal account with Standard Chartered will enjoy various banking products, including deposits, loans, insurance, and fast and easy service.

If interested in local institutions, we recommend Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Dubai Islamic Bank, and NBD.

How to open a bank account in the UAE

Contact IT-OFFSHORE experts to quickly and easily open a personal bank account in the UAE in 2023.

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