How to Open a UAE Bank Account from Abroad?

by Zaara 07, Jun 2021

How to Open a UAE Bank Account from Abroad?

Whether you are planning to move to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for work, going to open a company or make an investment, a bank account will be crucial for navigating the relocation of part of your life. Many factors go into where you commit to banking.

What are the factors you’ll need to consider when choosing the right bank for you if you’re currently overseas?

From the number of branches, the advantages you can gain from saving, income requirements, extensive documentation needed and other standard measures and schemes of note, here are the details you need for managing the procedure of finding the right home for your finances.

About UAE Banking System

The United Arab Emirates has the most diversified economy in the GCC region and the second-largest economy in the Arab world (after Saudi Arabia), and that brings a well-developed banking industry with it. Both Dubai and Abu Dhabi (the two largest Emirates in the country) are notable economic hubs, so despite where you choose to stay, there’ll be plenty of banking options to satisfy your needs. Whether you need a non-resident bank account in Dubai or something to support your life there longer-term, you won’t be dissatisfied.

Opening a UAE Account from Abroad

The UAE is quite a different country, in that its citizens only make up around 15% of the population. The majority of those living, working and banking in the Emirate are expatriates, so the economy and banking systems are well set-ups to cope with foreign workers opening bank accounts. It’s absolutely worth doing if you can manage it, as you can arrive knowing that your money is safe and secure and that you’ll have access to it from day one.

With expatriates making up the bulk of the Emirati population, there are pathways for foreigners to open their bank accounts. The short answer to this question is yes, but there is a crucial distinction that will ascertain where you can bank and what types of accounts you can open. That is your residency status in the UAE.

Why does the question of residence apply in the choice of setting up a suite of financial products?

That’s because most banks will need you to present your passport (along with copies of your passport photo) and a no-objection letter from either your employer or the person sponsoring your visa. The second of these conditions implies that you must have residency to open an international bank account in the UAE. Still, as you’ll see, some financial products are limited to residents.

Choosing a Bank for Opening Account

For long-term stays in the country, it’s worth thinking about using a national/local bank to have better access and more control over what’s happening with your money.

These are some of the most famous banks in the UAE, and their locations in Dubai, the largest city:

  • Emirates National Bank of Dubai (Emirates NBD)
  • First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB)
  • Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB)
  • First Gulf Bank (FGB)
  • Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB)
  • Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB

Essentials for Opening a Bank Account in the UAE

Along with your passport and the no-objection letter as mentioned, different banks will need additional documents for resident ex-pat accounts. These can include your visa if you are a new arrival to the UAE and your Emirates ID card (or the copy of your application if you’re still waiting for it). You’ll also need a document that states your employer or sponsor and your salary and proof of address in the form of a rental agreement or utility bill. Banks may also request an LoR from another bank; you can quickly get this from the bank you use in your country of origin or residence. Every bank will also need you to hold a minimum amount every month, and the amount will depend on the specific bank and the products offered.

The applicant, whether a visitor or expatriate, must be physically present to confirm the opening of the account because a bank officer must witness your signing of the application and other documents.

Suppose you need help in making this crucial decision with a wealth of local banks and a rising international presence. In that case, our team has expertise in opening non-resident accounts for both personal and corporate purposes. We can offer you a comprehensive overview and work to prepare the listed documents you need on your behalf, as well as process any financial transaction you require. We have availability for you to discuss with us what companies are the right fit in the industry based on the features they have on offer. If you need to speak with one of our financial consultants, don’t hesitate to contact us today.