If you’re looking for the best savings accounts in the UAE, you’ve come to the right spot.
In this article, we’re going to discuss the banking landscape for foreign non-residents, the availability of savings accounts, and a few unique non-resident considerations.
We’ll also discuss alternatives, such as opening a Cayman Islands bank account or accounts in other international banking jurisdictions, like the Isle of Man or Jersey.
Feel free to use the table of contents to jump ahead to the sections most relevant to you.
Table of Contents
- Banking in the UAE 101
- Requirements to Open UAE Savings Accounts
- Alternatives to Opening a UAE Account
- Ready to Open a Savings Account in the UAE?
Banking in the UAE 101
First, it’s important to acknowledge that not all UAE banking options are equal. And, before determining which bank you want to open an account with, you need to decide which emirate you want to bank in.
Most expats and non-residents focus their attention on opening accounts in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and RAK. It also helps that the vast majority of banks offering expat and non-resident banking are located in these emirates, especially Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
Now, that doesn’t mean the other emirates aren’t worth considering. But in most cases, you should only consider banking outside of these three emirates (Dubai, Abu Dhabi, RAK) if you have a specific reason to bank there.
That said, if you’re a non-resident looking to open a savings account in the UAE 100% remotely, you might be out of luck. That’s because remote account opening is typically reserved for premier banking, private banking, or private wealth management options. If you would like a clear explanation of the differences between private banking vs private wealth management review our detailed article on the topic.
Of course, if you are looking to open accounts locally as a non-resident and you can visit a branch in person, then you’ll be able to open a savings account in the UAE. In fact, it may be one of the only accounts you can open, which we’ll explain below.
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Requirements to Open a UAE Savings Account
The requirements for opening accounts in the UAE are relatively simple to navigate if you can meet the account opening deposit and show up in person. Not surprisingly, if you decide that you want to open accounts remotely, there are far fewer options to choose from and the deposit is considerably higher.
Here are the basic requirements you should expect to fulfill when opening accounts in the UAE:
- Government-issued identification
- Proof of residence (in your country of tax residence)
- Proof of your source of income and wealth
- Letter from your employer (or accountant)
- Personal bank statements (3 to 6 months)
- Account opening deposit (see below)
- Bank reference letter
If you are looking to open a savings account in the UAE in person, you can usually open accounts with a deposit between 0 and 300 AED, which is up to roughly US $815.
However, if you want to open remotely and need to open a premier or private bank account, you should expect to deposit between 500,000 AED and 1,000,000 AED, which is roughly US $135,000 to $270,000.
Alternatives to Opening a UAE Account
The account opening options that you might want to consider instead of the UAE ultimately depend on the type of account that you are trying to open.
For example, if you are looking to open international bank accounts, you may want to consider opening in jurisdictions that cater to international expats and non-residents in places like Jersey, the Isle of Man, or Guernsey.
Alternatively, if you are looking to open private bank accounts, you may want to open them in places like Singapore, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, or even Monaco.
Of course, you can also consider opening accounts with more technology-enabled options such as EMIs, fintech platforms, and even fintech private banking platforms.
Ready to Open a Savings Account in the UAE?
If you would like assistance navigating account opening in the UAE or exploring alternative options, we can help.
You can access GlobalBanks IQ, our international banking intelligence platform, in just a few clicks. Unlock our bank database, individual bank profiles, account opening strategies, advanced banking reports, banker scripts, and more.
But, if you want a 100% personalized account opening service that taps into our team’s expertise and provides direct banker introductions, you can get started with GlobalBanks Insider.
Of course, if you have any questions before deciding which solution is best for you, don’t hesitate to contact us directly!