With immigrants making up over 80 percent of its population, the UAE has the highest immigrants as a proportion of population globally1. This makes the process for opening a bank account in the UAE relatively more straightforward than many other developed countries. Here’s a quick look at how to open a bank account in the UAE.
Types of Account You Can Open
As in most places, migrants have the option to open a saving account, a current account or both. You will need to be a UAE resident to open a checking or current account however some banks allow non-residents to open a savings account2. Moreover prospective accountholders need to be physically present for opening a bank account in the UAE. This means it’s difficult to open an account domiciled in the UAE from another country.
Banks have higher minimum balance requirements for accounts of non-residents of the UAE, the amount varying from bank to bank3. You can, however, widen your options by obtaining a residency visa. In order to obtain a residency visa, you can secure a job and have your employer sponsor you or establish a company in the UAE or purchase real estate in the country4.
What Documents Do You Need?
While the required documents vary across banks, most, if not all, UAE banks will request for5:
- Copy of passport and original passport for validation
- Valid UAE visa
- A letter of no-objection from your employer or sponsor
- An Emirates ID card or a copy of the application you submitted
Things to consider before choosing a bank
Minimum balance: Some banks in the UAE tend to have minimum account balance requirements; dipping below the stipulated limits can incur fees. It would be advisable to choose a bank whose minimum balance works for you. If you have a salaried account, few notable banks in the UAE, provide zero balance account options too.
Accessibility: It’s always a good practice to hold an account with banks that have good accessibility — in terms of its number of branches and ATM machines. In the long run it helps you save time and money. You can find information about branches and ATMs on the website of the banks.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been the destination of choice for expats as it offers higher salaries, quality of life, tax free income and a cosmopolitan culture. As an expat in the UAE you can leverage the banking system to manage your finances with ease. Expats must make an informed decision by choosing dependable money transfer organizations like Xpress Money when it comes to sending money back home to their loved ones.