Shifted to the UAE recently and wish to open a bank account? There are a few steps that you will have to follow in this regard. While opening a bank account is something you’ve got to get done, you can get all necessary advice if you’re a business owner, from GCC Filings. They will assist you with company incorporation in UAE, VAT registration, Tax return filling, accounts, auditing and more.

While they take care of that side of things, you will have to choose a bank and then ask for an agent to be sent to your home/office for establishing your bank account and collecting all necessary documents. Ensure that your bank has ATM machines near your home and workplace. Here’s looking at bank account opening processes for people in three major categories.

Residents Working for Companies as Employees- Salary Transfer

Find out the bank that your company has an agreement with. It is always suitable to choose the same bank since your salary will be credited to your account on the same day that it is credited. Choosing another bank means that it will require 2 working days for the salary to show in your account.

Here are the key requirements for setting up a Current or Savings account:

  • Copy of visa page, proving that you reside in the UAE
  • Original and copy of passport
  • Salary certificate
  • Emirates ID card if you have one already or the copy of the Emirates registration form that you have filled while applying for the same

Residents Working for Companies as Employees- No Salary Transfer

Some banks mandate opening balances and minimum amount thresholds for accounts. Check around since not every bank has such requirements. Some banks will require minimum balances up to Dh3000. If the threshold is higher, you can refer the bank to the UAE Central Bank regulations. The Central Bank has fixed Dh25 as the charge for falling below this minimum balance requirement.

The requirements for opening an account in this category will be the same as outlined earlier.

Non-Resident Accounts in Banks in UAE

Most UAE banks allow only savings accounts and not current accounts. Hence, you will not be able to get a cheque book although a debit card will be given for money withdrawals. Non-residents will have to adhere to minimum/maximum balance requirements. Banks may run their own background checks prior to sanctioning your account.  You need your original passport and a copy of the same for opening a savings account in this case.

Main Bank Services in the UAE

  • Current/savings account with UAE Dirhams
  • Interest rate
  • Free international debit or ATM card
  • 24- hour access to account via ATM and also via phone and online
  • Access to network of ATMs and branches along with facilities for bill payment, i.e. Dewa, Salik, phone, traffic fines and other utility payments

Other key aspects to keep in mind

  • Credit Card- You will only be eligible for a credit card when you earn at least Dh5000 every month or Dh60,000 as your annual salary. If you do not earn this amount every year, you can put down a deposit of Dh60,000 for obtaining a credit card.
  • Car loan- You can get up to 80% of the cost of the car as a loan and the remaining 20% has to be paid through a deposit. The maximum period for repayment is 60 months or 5 years. 3 years is the maximum repayment period for used cars.
  • Monthly limit for repayment- The UAE Central Bank mandates banks to set a limit of 50% of your net income (inclusive of salary and other income) for monthly repayment. This covers credit cards, personal loans, car loans, house mortgages and other dues.
  • Personal loans- You can get a personal loan of a maximum of 20 times of your annual salary. The maximum period of repayment is 4 years or 48 months.

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