HOW TO GET A BANK ACCOUNT
Getting a bank account in Dubai can be a little tricky. If you have an employer you might end up using the same bank as them for convenience. Most banks require a contract from your employer and a minimum salary.
H2L Tip: If you just need to get an account to get you started, there are a few instant banking options available. All you need to do is to upload your passport and Emirates ID. These options don't necessarily have the same advantages as the accounts you open in the bank, but they work for simple transfers, and is (for now) not demanding a minimum amount to put into the account. Be aware, that this is subject to change, but as a customer you will get a notification. We've had great experiences with ADCB Hayyak.
Private bank account
Generally, if you are not employed, or previously have had a bank account in the UAE, many banks will not open an account for you.
However, depending on your case, you will eventually find someone who is willing to make an exception.
Most require 3-6 months statement from a bank in the UAE to take you on as a client, bank statements from another country will not be enough.
Most private accounts require a 3 - 5,000 AED balance in the account at any time, if not you will be charged a fee every month.
H2L Tip: In Dubai Mall they have most branch offices lined up, so if you are bank hunting this is a good place to get a lot of information.
Also, remember that many will tell you it’s difficult or impossible depending on your situation, but be persistent.
Personal experience is, that sometimes you will have to ask to speak to the branch manager to get things done.
Business bank account
For business accounts you will find that the requirements are very different from bank to bank, and depending on which business license and relationship you have in the bank, they might not even want to give you a business account.
For a large company it shouldn’t be much trouble to open an account. Most of the free zones and business setup agents have recommendations for you. Most of the banks will require a minimum balance in the account starting from 25,000 AED.
From the recommendations we have come across on different platforms, RAK Bank seems to be a bank that many SME’s are happy with.
H2L Tip: Have your personal and business account in separate banks. Should anything cause them to block either, you can at least have access to one. This is also something you should think about when you switch jobs as your personal account is connected to your work visa and salary from your employer.
Some experience that when you receive your 'End of service' settlement, the bank block your account.
If you need help to handle your finances, then we highly recommend Finsbury Associates. Finsbury Associates is an award winning, boutique wealth management firm offering holistic financial planning solutions. They have internationally qualified advisors with specialised skills to deal with expat financial requirements unique to the UAE.
How can we help? We have a team of qualified people in our network ready to guide you in everything from how to relocate your pet to set up your business in Dubai. Feel free to reach out and we will happily connect you: firstname.lastname@example.org
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