Requirements for Opening a Bank Account in the UAE

There’s a long list of requirements for opening a bank account in the UAE. Not the least of which is showing up in person to open an account.

Of course, if you want remote opening, there are ways to make it happen. But, you’ll need to know the ins and outs of UAE banking.

Banking in the UAE

The requirements for opening a bank account in the UAE can be difficult to overcome. But, it is possible for non-residents to open accounts. That said, not all UAE banks accept non-residents. So, you need to know which banks and bankers accept your client profile before applying.

In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know to start applying for accounts.

Of course, we’ll also cover the benefits you can unlock. And, we’ll outline the challenges you’ll need to overcome.

Plus, if you’re ready to start applying today, we’ll share how you can find the best bank for your profile and needs.

But, before diving in, if this is your first time visiting GlobalBanks, don’t forget to download your free Non-Resident Banking Starter Guide. It’s designed to help non-residents open accounts in top banking hubs around the world.

Challenges of Opening a Bank Account in the UAE

Banking in the UAE as a non-resident doesn’t come easy. In fact, with strict requirements for opening a bank account in the UAE and an intense due diligence process, opening a bank account can be impossible for some client profiles. This is especially true if you don’t have the right information.

That said, it can be done.

But, you’ll have to navigate the challenges and show up in person in order to successfully meet the requirements for opening a bank account in the UAE.

Let’s take a closer look at the challenges you’ll face when opening here.

Challenges of Opening Accounts in the UAE:

  • Strict account opening requirements
  • Intense due diligence process
  • Limitations on types of accounts, products & services
  • Remote opening is not always an option
  • High minimum deposit requirements
  • Not all banks accept non-residents
  • Monthly account fees may apply
  • Limitations on the number of monthly withdrawals
  • Severe penalties for breaking financial commitments (debt & credit card payments)

In addition to these challenges, there are numerous restrictions and limitations non-residents need to be aware of when opening a bank account here.

For instance, due to the UAE central bank restricting non-residents from holding checkbooks, non-residents are unable to open checking accounts. Instead, non-residents are allowed to open savings accounts in AED and other international currencies.

And, in terms of remote opening in the UAE, unless you have a previous relationship with an experienced banker, the chances of you opening remotely are very slim.

So, prior to opening an account, it’s important to understand the bank-specific requirements and unique traits of the bank you choose to open with. This will not only prepare you for opening a UAE bank account but will save you time and money during the account opening process.

With that said, let’s take a look at the requirements you need to meet in order to successfully open a bank account in the UAE.

Requirements for Opening a Bank Account in the UAE

Requirements for Opening a Bank Account in the UAE Abu Dhabi
As mentioned, to successfully open a bank account in the UAE you need to know how to navigate the challenges. But most importantly, you’ll need to know the bank-specific account opening requirements.

Now, before we dive into the specific requirements for opening a bank account in the UAE, you should know that not all UAE banks accept foreign non-residents. But, for the ones that do, the time to open an account can vary from 3 to 6 weeks. That said, how long it takes to open can depend on whether or not you’re looking to open a personal or corporate account. Of course, the requirements for opening a bank account in the UAE can vary from bank to bank.

So, if you want to open a bank account in the UAE, it’s important you understand all possible requirements you need to meet in order to open a bank account in the UAE as a non-resident.

Documents & Requirements for Opening a Bank Account in the UAE

  • Completed bank-specific application form
  • Copy of a valid passport
  • Proof of residence (in your country of tax residence)
  • Proof of income and source of wealth
  • Personal bank statements for the past 3-6 months
  • Bank reference letter
  • Letter from employer
  • Written reason for the account
  • Emirates ID card (if you are a UAE resident)
  • Account opening deposit (3000 AED)
  • Minimum account balance (500,000 AED)

Since an in-person visit will most likely be required, it’s important to bring copies of these documents with you. In fact, the more supporting documents you present, the better your chances are of opening an account in the UAE.

For instance, multiple forms of identification, 6 months of bank statements, and utility or telephone bills with proof of residence can all be beneficial to have on hand when meeting with the bank in person.

Not to mention, some UAE banks may request certain documents to be stamped. So, before you book your plane ticket, make sure you know exactly what documents the bank requires and which documents need to be stamped by local authorities in your country of residence.

UAE Minimum Deposits

Additionally, UAE banks have strict minimums in place for account balances. For example, if you’re interested in opening a savings account in the UAE, you’ll need to hold a minimum balance of 500,000 AED. Or, the equivalent of 500,000 AED if you’re using another currency.

Like elsewhere, you don’t need to make the initial deposit of 500,000 AED immediately. Instead, once your account has been approved, UAE banks will give you a couple of months to transfer this amount into your account.

However, this can vary from bank to bank. So, make sure you understand the bank-specific requirements and deadlines before applying so you don’t risk getting turned away.

With that said, if you can meet these requirements for opening a bank account in the UAE, you’ll be able to access the following products and services:

  • Savings accounts
  • Debit
  • Online banking
  • Multi-currency accounts

Now, as we’ve outlined above, requirements, products, and services can vary depending on the bank you open with. But, with the right information and knowing the requirements of opening a bank account in the UAE, a non-resident can successfully open here. Not to mention, unlock many benefits.

Benefits of Opening a Bank Account in the UAE

Requirements for Opening a Bank Account in the UAE RAK
Whether or not you’re able to unlock these benefits will depend highly on the bank you decide to open with and your client profile.

So, it’s important to understand your banking needs and why you’re interested in opening here before you start applying. This will help you determine which bank to open with and what benefits you can access.

That said, here’s a look at the benefits of opening a bank account in the UAE as a non-resident:

  • Access to AED & other major currencies
  • Access to reliable banking systems
  • Savings account in UAE dirhams
  • Remote opening is possible (with some help)
  • Access to online banking

Whether or not you can unlock these benefits will depend not only on the bank you decide to open with but also on your client profile.

And, it’s important to remember that banking in the UAE isn’t for everyone.

But, if you can meet the requirements for opening a bank account in the UAE and are looking to start opening today, we can help…

Ready To Get Started?

Whether you’re ready to open a bank account in the UAE today or you’re just starting to explore your options, we can help.

GlobalBanks IQ gives you everything you need to start finding and opening accounts. 

When you join GlobalBanks IQ, you immediately unlock the GlobalBanks Database of international banks – home to 250+ banks in 50+ countries.

And, you get access to our library of premium (members-only) reports. These include proven account opening strategies, country-specific banking options, and lists of banks for specific client types.

Plus, you unlock our account opening checklists, dedicated account opening alerts, and much more.

To get started, click here to see if GlobalBanks IQ is the right choice for you

You can also view all of the account opening solutions offered by GlobalBanks on our products page by clicking here.

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