Your Guide to Getting a Bank Account in UAE and Visa Card

Are you moving to UAE and want to have a bank account to manage your funds? Or Do you have some business running there? It’s easy to get things set up whether you are an expat or even a visitor. Opening a local account will facilitate lots of things, including your financial transactions and taking out loans. 

To save you time, we did the research for you to bring you this guide, including all the information and steps needed to effortlessly get a bank account and visa card in UAE.

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1. Can Expats Open a Bank Account in the UAE?

Yes, they surely can. If you have recently moved to this country, you can easily have your personal bank account. Besides, there are also certain requirements for having a bank account in UAE and a process to follow based on your needs.

2. What Are the Main Requirements for Opening a Bank Account in the UAE?

Before applying for an account, make sure you fall within the criteria for opening a bank account in UAE. The general criteria may differ from one bank to another and there may be some exceptions. However, the below ones are standard for all banks.

The applicant:

  • Is +18 years old
  • Resides in the UAE
  • Has a valid passport
  • Has the minimum balance or income requirements of the bank account

3. What Are the Services You Are Offered When Having a Bank Account?

There are various services you will enjoy after having a bank account. Have a look at them below:

  • Getting a debit/ATM card 
  • Using the ATMs 24/7 at different locations
  • Paying the bills through their channels or online
  • Having credit cards
  • Applying for car/personal loan.
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4. What Is the Process for Opening a Bank Account in UAE for Expats?

As an expat with a residence visa, you can easily open your personal or bank account by following some easy steps.

1. Pick the Bank 

If you’re an employee, you better stick to the bank that your company works with and  check for their association. You will easily receive your salary, as other banks may take some time to get your salary. 

Another option is to pick up a bank from various popular Banks like First Abu Dhabi Bank, Emirates NBD, the National Bank of Fujairah, or Mashreq Bank. You will enjoy various high-quality services with all security measures.

2. Choose Account Type

There are two main types of accounts available in UAE banks which are current and savings. 

  • Current Account: It’s used for day-to-day transactions and you can withdraw money whenever you want. 
  • Savings Account: This is meant for long-term saving purposes. As it’s customized for limited transactions and even its owners usually don’t get a card for it to ensure your money is completely safe. 

Moreover, both accounts have different requirements, so make sure you know what kind of account you want before moving forward with opening an account. Usually savings account is a more practical and commonly used option. 

Check out some types of the best bank accounts in the UAE:

  • Emirates NBD Standard Savings 
  • ADCB Active Saver
  • ADIB Smart Banking
  • United Arab Bank Ultra Savings account. 

3. Fill out the Application Form

Once you know the account type you want, you should start filling out the application form with all the needed details.

4. Prepare the Required Documents

  • Emirates ID (The applicants who do not have the Emirates ID can provide a copy of the Emirates ID registration form)
  • Original passport and its copy
  • A salary certificate
  • Valid residency visa
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5. Can Visitors Have a Bank Account in the UAE?

Yes, they can. If you’re not living in the UAE, you can still open a bank account there. It’s useful as you can transfer money between your international accounts easily. 

6. How Can Non-Residents Open a Bank Account in the UAE?

There are several possibilities for you to consider if you are still organizing your relocation to the UAE or do not yet have a residency visa as even tourists can open one in the UAE. 

If you are a non-resident and visiting Dubai soon, it’s possible to open a savings bank account from anywhere in the world. Although the process is similar to opening any bank account, you must meet certain requirements and submit certain documents when opening an account.

Needed Documents for Non-residents

  • Recent utility bills transcript
  • Most recent Bank Account statement
  • Letter of recommendation from the applicant’s bank
  • Incoming fund Information
  • A brief CV 
  • A valid passport and its copy

It usually takes 2 working days to open a bank account; however, it may take a couple of weeks. You will receive the account details by email or SMS to the registered email address or to your mobile number. The rest of the procedures may differ from one bank to another.

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7. Is there a Minimum Balance/Salary Amount to Open an Account in UAE?

Yes, there is. You probably know that most banks require a minimum balance to open a business or a personal bank account. If you fail to maintain the minimum, the  Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has set a penalty of AED 25

However, there are now several UAE bank accounts without a minimum salary or balance.

8. Can You Open an Online Bank Account with Zero Balance in the UAE? 

Yes, you can. You just need to follow a specific process. 

9. How Can You Open an Online Bank Account with Zero Balance in the UAE? 

To make it easy, the banks lately allow you to open an online bank account with zero balance in UAE. You have to follow an easy, straightforward process. You should:

  • Visit the online portal of the bank you choose
  • Choose the type of account you need
  • Fill in the application
  • Provide the needed documents
  • Submit the application and the documents

Then finally, you will receive the approval. 

Here is a good list of accounts to choose from to have a free bank account in the UAE.

Types of Accounts with Zero Balance/Min Salary in UAE

  • Al Hilal saving account
  • First Abu Dhabi Bank iSave account
  • RAK Bank Fast Saver Online account
  • Mashreq Happiness account
  • Emirates NBD Liv. account
uae bank account without minimum salary

10. How Can You Open a Corporate Bank Account in UAE?

A corporate bank account is a bank account for your business. It’s also known as a “demand deposit” or “current account,” allowing you to receive money from your customers. 

Besides, you can use this account to make payments on your business’s behalf, such as paying your employees or contractors.

To get your corporate bank account, you should fill in the application with the company’s details and submit all the needed documents in the following list.

  • Residency visa of shareholders 
  • Copies of the shareholders’ passports 
  • Copies of the shareholders’ Emirate ID 
  • Copy of the director’s passport 
  • Document identifying the Ultimate Beneficial Owners (UBOs)
  • Brief about the business
  • Blueprint of business plan
  • All the existing contracts and agreements
  • A recommendation letter from business partners
  • Trade License
  • All the necessary documents related to the corporate
  • A memorandum

The bank will review the application, approve it, and finally verify the information. Once you pass the interview successfully, the bank will open your corporate bank account. The application review takes from 2 to 4 weeks at most.

For corporate bank accounts, there is a monthly average balance requirement that varies depending on the bank type. The average is from 50k to 500k based on each bank’s requirements. We advise you to check with them for the exact price details.

requirements for opening a bank account in uae

11. How Much Does it Cost to Get a Cheque Book?

You can surely get a cheque book upon opening your bank account. Most of the banks give you the first one for free and going forward the cost of a cheque book is around AED 26.

12. How Can You Open a Bank Account in Dubai?

For Dubai residents, you can easily open a bank account in one of the banks in this emirate. The process and documents needed for having an account in Dubai are the same as opening one in UAE. 

It might differ in some procedures and fees according to each bank in the emirate. 

Visa Cards in UAE

1. What Are Visa Cards and their Types?

Having a visa card has become an essential thing as we pay online for most of our daily needs. Visa cards come in two types: debit cards and credit cards. Have a look below to know the difference between them.

  • Debit card: it’s linked to your bank account and can be used to withdraw cash or make purchases at stores or online. It’s also used to pay bills online. 
  • Credit card: this one isn’t linked to your bank account so they won’t deduct money from your account when you make purchases or borrow money. 

However, they usually carry higher interest rates than debit cards because they allow you to accumulate debt over time before paying off the balance in full.

2. How Can You Get a Visa Card in UAE?

You can apply for a visa in several ways through online applications, phone banking, or bank branches. All you need is to submit some documents that are easy to get.

  • Proof of Residence (utility bills, rental agreement, or title deed)
  • UAE residence Visa
  • Salary slips, bank statements, or certificates
  • Emirates ID
  • Original password

Now that you are aware of all the criteria, you can go ahead and create a bank account in UAE for yourself right away. You can save this guide’s link to get back to it whenever you need to check information without any hassle.

This Blog is made available for educational purposes only, in addition to providing you with general information and a general understanding of its content, including referenced laws and regulations, and not to provide specific legal advice. The Blog should not be used as a substitute for competent advice from a licensed professional.