Open Bank Account in Dubai [UAE Banking Guide]

In this article, we’re taking a look at how to open a bank account in Dubai for foreigners and non-residents, including the Dubai-specific onboarding parameters that non-UAE residents will need to meet when opening accounts.

This will include opening accounts in person and remotely. We’ll also answer a few of the most commonly asked questions that we receive about opening bank accounts in the UAE more broadly, in case you want to explore additional options outside of Dubai for foreigners.

Feel free to use the table of contents to jump ahead to the sections most relevant to you.

Table of Contents

  1. Open a Bank Account in Dubai
  2. Opening an Account in Dubai 101
  3. Frequently Asked Questions
  4. Ready to Explore Your Options?

Open a Bank Account in Dubai

Open a bank account in Dubai as a foreign non-resident with banks that offer non-resident accounts. In certain instances, both national and international banks can facilitate remote opening. However, customers need to be prepared to make considerable deposits when establishing a banking relationship.

While many people rightfully view Dubai as a desirable place to open bank accounts, it is not the easiest place to open an account if you require remote opening. Additionally, even after an account is opened, certain basic services that you may take for granted with normal international banks like accessing funds from ATMs, easily sending transfers, and more may not be readily available.

With this in mind, we generally suggest that foreign non-residents looking to bank in Dubai consider opening accounts in person. If this is not an option for them, they may want to consider other banking jurisdictions instead.

Alternatively, if opening in Dubai is a priority and remote opening is the only option available to them, they can consider opening a premier or private account with one of the larger accounts that specialize in these services. In these cases, applicants are typically expected to deposit between USD 250,000 and USD 500,000 as a starting balance, depending on the bank.

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Opening an Account in Dubai 101

In this section of the article, we’re going to tackle a few of the common challenges that foreign non-residents face when trying to open accounts here.

How Much Money Do I Need to Open a Bank Account in Dubai?

The question of how much money you need to open an account in Dubai depends on the specific account that you are considering opening. For example, if you show up in person, foreign non-residents are able to open accounts with as little as AED 5,000, or approximately USD $1,360.

However, if you intend to open an account remotely or through one of the international banks that cater to expat clients, deposits will be expected in the range of AED 900,000, or approximately USD $250,000.

Savings Account vs Checking Account

Foreign non-residents looking to bank in Dubai have one option, a savings account. Unfortunately, in order to open a checking account, foreigners are required to have a valid residence visa.

Banking Services for Foreign Non-Residents

Similar to how foreign non-residents are limited in terms of their account options, they are also limited in terms of the services they can access. For example, foreign non-residents are not eligible for overdraft protection. Additionally, since they can only open savings accounts, they can not receive checkbooks, and banks will place a limit on transactions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are three of the most common questions that we receive from people wondering how to open a bank account in Dubai. If you have further questions you would like answered, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us directly.

Can Foreigners Open a Bank Account in Dubai?

Yes, foreigners can open accounts in Dubai. This includes opening accounts in person and in certain instances, opening accounts 100% remotely. Of course, to qualify for remote opening, a foreign client will need to demonstrate that they are a valuable prospect for the bank.

In most cases, this means that the client is considering banking with one of the national or international banks that cater to expat clients and is willing to invest a portion of their wealth with the bank.

Can a Tourist Open a Bank Account in Dubai?

Yes, it is possible for a tourist to open a bank account in Dubai by visiting one of the banks that offer non-resident accounts. However, there are restrictions on the type of accounts that a tourist can open. In most cases, tourists will only be able to open a savings account in Dubai, and will not be able to access more advanced banking services.

Can I Open a Bank Account in Dubai Online?

In certain instances, it is possible for foreign non-residents to open accounts online in Dubai. However, in order to be open online or remotely, clients need to make qualifying deposits and apply with specific banks. Additionally, in most cases, foreign non-resident applicants need to be applying for premier or private bank accounts.

Ready to Explore Your Options?

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GlobalBanks Team
GlobalBanks Team

The GlobalBanks editorial team comprises a group of subject-matter experts from across the banking world, including former bankers, analysts, investors, and entrepreneurs. All have in-depth knowledge and experience in various aspects of international banking. In particular, they have expertise in banking for foreigners, non-residents, and both foreign and offshore companies.

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