Welcome to the new ‘How to’ basics series on Istathmir.com. How to basics is revamping tutorials for our audiences to cater more to their ever growing information needs.
Today we’ll guide you to the answer to the ever-burning question for all residents and non-residents of Dubai; how to open a bank account in Dubai!
Let’s just ease those lines on your foreheads by saying that yes, it actually is considerably easy to activate an account in Dubai and for those who do not like to travel, needn’t to say in some situations you don’t even have to physically visit a bank. The bank now comes to you. There, however, are a few things that one must keep in mind while going down the road of potential account ownership. There was a time not many years ago when non-residents had to go through quite a bit of trouble opting for an account but in today’s day and age, things have fairly changed. Let’s get down to brass tacks:
Finding the Right Bank
To be fair, there isn’t any right or wrong bank because most banks operate on more or less the same principal when an account query in on the table and that is the bifurcation of accounts for residents and non-residents. Some banks do have additional or exclusive requirements that are separate from the residential rules, for example to have a preliminary minimum deposit upon opening the account and it is hefty at times. But do remember, every bank is just a phone call away. So do ask the FAQs coming up in your mind right now.
And just to name a few, popular banks operating in Dubai include Commercial Bank of Dubai, Emirates Islamic Bank, Mashreq bank and the Bank of Sharjah. The list goes on though, but each has its rule book going about almost the same rules.
Asking the Right Questions
By right questions, we mean to ask two in particular. 1) Are you a resident on salary? And 2) are you a resident and are here for business purposes? Answers to both are crucial and must be clearly defined to the bank and hence the required documents must be produced that are given to the bank while applying. This brings us to our next section…
Making a List of the Required Documents
This is the easiest part since most people have an idea of the documents they have to show/bring to the bank. Also do note that original documents may be a necessity for some banks to be physically shown to proceed with opening the account so it’s always safer to bring them along. Let’s go through the list, shall we?
- A copy of the resident passport. Whether you’re a resident or not, a passport copy is a must. The passport is your rightful ticket to be in that country and that is why banks demand a copy.
- The second most important document is only for employees and the powerful working class which is a no-objection letter; a document issued by the employer detailing salary and other relevant details. It is also called a salary certificate by some. The bank needs to see the amount the employer will be paying to the employee (and transferring into the bank in doing so).
- Other documents include personal identification documents, photographs, tenancy or residential documents for non-residents and residents respectively.
Things to Remember
One of the few yet effective tips we can tell you is to keep your cash transfers to a minimum to your home account (if you’re a non-resident). This means if you have an account in your home country, transferring cash to it may increase your tax liabilities.
Typically, non-residents get to open a savings account because a current account is usually for locals of Dubai. All banks have the regular facilities of ATMs, credit cards and cheques but may not provide a loan too soon after opening an account. Bills and other fees can easily be paid via visiting the bank or online. And this brings us to another important factor in modern banking very viable in Dubai as well and that’s online banking. Opting for online banking considerably makes your lives easier as phone calls and trips to your local bank limit to a minimum if you can just log in and carry out a transaction on your computer or phone
You can virtually carry your account in your cellphone, transferring funds to and receiving funds from other accounts on the go. One important tip to keep in mind in case of emergencies is all cash cards and account transactions can be frozen over one call to the bank if case cash cards have been stolen or lost. You also receive 24-hour call service to the bank and ATMs remain operable throughout the year at all times.
You also cannot opt for a credit card unless your salary is at least 5000 Dirhams. If credit card is your utmost requirement though, you can deposit a total sum of 60,000 Dirhams (the annual sum of a 5000 Dirhams salary) after opening the account. These numbers may vary between banks and Emirates is one bank that usually operates on these rules.
We hope we were of some help for all those in need of some quick and easy info on opening bank accounts in the never-resting city of Dubai. Stay tuned for more at http://www.istathmir.com/en