Open a bank account with any of the most reputable banks in the UAE.
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The UAE Central Bank has strict compliance procedures, so opening a business bank account in the country can be an involved process. But our bank account opening service simplifies this procedure for you. Our experienced staff will guide you through each of the stages, making everything hassle-free for you.
We know how hard it is to set up in the UAE and we want to make banking easy for you, so that all your attention can be devoted entirely toward building your business. Our bank account opening service is designed to suit all your requirements, be you local entrepreneur or international company.
In-person application: There will have to be a face-to-face meeting for the application process, where you can meet with bank representatives and sign your name on their forms as well.
Online application: If you reside abroad, the bank account opening process can be initiated online. It will still require your presence, either through a phone call or online meeting. If the application is approved, subsequent to that you must go face-to-face and sign the account opening form at a bank branch in UAE.
For digital applications, expect a 14-day turnaround--fast! If you go the in-person route, it will take a while--roughly 25 working days or more depending on your application. Our goal is that every detail be done polished, and whether it's a data-driven or face-to-face situation we hope to serve you quickly.
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Bank Account Opening in UAE: An Entrepreneurs Guide
Out of all the countries that people move into, there are few more attractive than the UAE. It attracts about 200,00 newcomers a year on average. But it combines oceanic beauty, fast-paced city life and more all in one place!
For anyone planning a move to the United Arab Emirates, having an account with at least one bank should be considered essential.
Having one or more bank accounts will make it easier for you to send money and pay bills relating to goods and services in your new homeland.
To help you out, we’ve put together a brief guide on how to open an account with the bank in UAE.
So let’s dive into everything you need to know about the wide-ranging banking services in UAE!
An Overview of Banking in the UAE
However, before beginning to explore the process of opening a bank account in the United Arab Emirates, we need first to understand something about its banking structure. The UAE has a regulated banking system under the auspices of a central bank.
Banking sector With some 50 or so international and local banks dotted throughout the country, relatively stable liquidity buffers and resilient capital levels make for a banking system that regulator Macau Monetary Authority regards as strong.
UAE banks generally rely on deposits for funding. Even these have built up substantial capital, acting to moderate the possible loss in case of failure.
The UAE features four main types of banks:
- Commercial banks
- Investment banks
- Industrial banks
- Islamic banks
In the last few years, Islamic banks have become more popular. Recently a number of UAE banks extended their services in order to satisfy financial requirements grounded on Islam that these Islamic citizens want.
Islamic bank windows account for nearly 20 % of the UAE’s banking sector, and there are also eight full-fledged Islamic banks.
UAE banks also provide services not only to Islamic citizens but foreigners and international customers as well. They follow several international regulations and provide all their banking services in Arabic English.
Some of the international regulations that UAE banks comply with include:
- International Accounting Standard
- International Financial Reporting Standards
- From the Basel III Regulations: Capital Adequacy Requirements.
Types of Bank Accounts in the UAE
Before opening a bank account in this UAE, it is necessary to understand the different types of them on offer. They can be divided into two categories: resident and non-resident accounts).
The Emirates Islamic Current Account is a transaction account with checking facilities. Among other banking benefits, it provides a debit card and checkbook. This account is great for daily transfers and transactions. There are two types: one supporting salary transference, the other not.
Working in the U.A.E? Opening an account with your employer ‘s bank can speed up monthly salary transfers. But if you use another bank, the salary transfer will take a few days. The Emirates Islamic Current Account will support foreign exchange transactions in most major currencies including USD, GBP, AED (UAE dirham), Euros, Yen and Saudi Riyal as well as Kuwait Dinars; Canadian Dollars Qatari Riyals Bahrain Diners Omani riyals. While the required minimum balance is AED 3,000 (US $817), it’s waived when your salary gets transferred.
Many residents open savings accounts to increase earnings. Such accounts pay higher interest rates, but access to funds is limited and some withdrawals carry penalties. Deposit accounts are either variable or fixed interest, and you can decide on the currency. Although they may serve as salary accounts, most don’t have checkbook facilities.
Interest rates, minimum deposits and fees vary between banks. Choosing the right bank is important.
UAE banks provide investment accounts. You can sign an investment agreement, open an account as a result and guarantee yourself at least 3-7 % ROI every year. The investment term is between one month to 10 years and more; minimum deposits apply.
Expats in the UAE can benefit from offshore accounts, particularly in Dubai. Residents with valid visas can open offshore accounts, providing a secure and reliable means of moving money with potentially lower taxes. Offshore banking services include asset protection, wealth management, portfolio management, private bank accounts, company formation, and inheritance planning.
Understanding these account types will help you choose the one that best suits your financial needs when opening a bank account in the UAE.
How to Open a Bank Account in UAE
Equipped with this information, you’re ready to set up a bank account in the UAE. The process is usually rapid and simple, requiring a few days to weeks.
For UAE residents looking to open either a current or savings account, the following documentation is generally required:
- Original passport and a copy
- Copy of your UAE residence visa.
- Salary certificate
- Emirates ID card or a copy of your registration form (if the ID card has not been received yet)
Generally the non-resident is limited to a savings account, but without even a check book, he receives a debit card on which money may be withdrawn. Opening a savings account for non-residents may involve background checks, and the following documents are commonly requested:
- Recent utility bill
- Home bank reference letter
- Six most recent monthly bank statements from your home bank
- Information verifying consistent funding sources
Such documents would enable you to open a bank account in the UAE. Additional documents are necessary when opening a non-resident savings account, so it will take longer.
Opening an Account on a Mobile Device
One important point to keep in mind when opening a bank account in the UAE is ease of mobile banking. In a society in which technology is so pervasive, various banks provide mobile phone banking apps that allow one to open an account. This makes perfect sense for tech-centered people.
So while many banks offer mobile banking capabilities to enable money transfers and balance queries, not all allow applications for new accounts through their apps. Exceptions to the rule are Liv, sponsored by Emirates NBD; Mashreq-powered Neo; and YAP, which is UAE’s first independent digital banking platform.
To open an account with these banks via their mobile apps, follow these steps:
- Download the application.
- Scan your Emirates ID into the system.
- Just follow the account opening process, like when you apply online.
- After the account is opened, deposit funds to activate the account.
Once your account has the necessary funds, you’re all set to go. Local delivery services will call you within a day or two to arrange the shipment of your new debit card. These debit cards are usable abroad and at many ATMs. Also, your bank provides a Swift code and IBAN account number. You can now transfer money using these convenient figures.
If you intend to begin work in the UAE, then it is essential that you open a corporate bank account. The law of this country forbids commercial settlements through personal accounts. Company accounts tend to be current account types with the ability to handle large amounts of business. It usually takes two or four weeks to open an existing corporate account in the UAE.
Owing to different banks and various types of companies, some documents are required in the opening a corporate bank account. Generally, the required documents include:
- Company trade license
- Certificate of your company’s registration
- Share certificates
- Articles of association and memorandum for the company
- Board letter: Allowing a company officer to open up the corporate account
- Passports and visas from all shareholders
With these documents in hand, you will be ready to open a corporate bank account.
How to Choose the Right Bank Account in UAE
For an expat living in the UAE, opening a bank account can be quite intimidating. However, with expatriates accounting for about 85 % of the country’s population banks are very experienced at dealing with foreigners. To ensure you choose the right financial institution, consider asking the following questions:
- Does it have a required minimum balance? If so, how much is it?
- What charges and penalties are attached to the account?
- Are there conditions for transferring salaries?
- How much can be withdrawn per month?
- Are there fees for ATM cards, debit cards and new checkbooks?
- Do you provide the international transfer service, and if so where to? And how long does it take?
- How many ATMs do you have and where are they located?
- If my account has an outstanding loan and I lose a job, what will happen?
These questions will help you determine whether this bank can meet your particular requirements. Also, make sure your employer banks with the selected institution so you can have access to your salary. Also helpful are reviews by colleagues, friends and other customers on their experience banking with a particular institution.
Credit Cards for Business in UAE
Specialized credit facilities to help businessmen take short-term purchases on account are known as business credit cards. These cards are solely for business use and should not be used to handle personal matters. One use is emergency financing, but the main reason to apply for a business credit card in my view was to create a credit score–crucial gauging rod of your firm’s financial condition.
Finding the best one for your business in this environment of many options from banks is an important decision. To obtain a credit card from any UAE bank certain conditions have to be fulfilled. Requirements include age, income and carrying a valid trade license.
One must take the trouble to weigh carefully all available choices and select a business credit card that suits one’s sales needs, financial situation.
Manage Your Money With Ease in UAE
Knowing how to open a bank account in the UAE will be very important for those moving there. This definitive guide makes it easy to open a bank account, allowing you to take control of your financial life.
If you are considering relocating to the UAE to start your own business, then GCS Group is there for you. Lets us know, and we’ll help you through the relocation procedure as well as what it takes to start up a business in the UAE.