Open a bank account in the UAE

In the global system of finance and trade, few countries can compete with the United Arab Emirates, at least when it comes to the advantages of the banking sector. With a strong regulatory framework, advanced technological infrastructure and stability, the UAE has established itself as a leading center for international banking. Opening a bank account in the UAE can provide a range of benefits, from the seamless use of digital banking services and tax benefits to access to a variety of financial products. Why the UAE is not only a developed financial center, but also an attractive destination for those who are looking for security, convenience and reliable data protection - tell our consultants.

UAE banking system

The Central Bank of the UAE is the main financial regulator of the country. He is authorized to direct monetary, credit and banking policies to support the national economy and the stability of the currency, as well as to control the implementation of decisions taken in accordance with the general policy of the state. The country's banking system includes 6 Persian Gulf banks and 22 foreign banks (as of 2023), which are the backbone of the Emirates financial industry, providing private and corporate services to a wide range of sectors. Before opening a current account in the UAE, a non-resident needs to at least in general terms familiarize himself with the features of Islamic finance, which are followed by local (national) banks. In particular, it is not allowed to issue/accept loans and credits at interest and receive income from interest on deposits.

Opening an account in the UAE: advantages


The UAE has a stable and well-regulated banking sector with a robust regulatory framework implemented by the Central Bank. This stability has been maintained even during the global financial crises, strengthening the confidence of local and international investors.

Tax incentives

The UAE offers favorable tax conditions for both individuals and legal entities. There are no personal income taxes, capital gains taxes and corporate taxes (with the exception of oil and gas companies and branches of foreign banks).

Affordable and Modern Solutions

Technological and structural advances in the UAE's financial sector have resulted in increased availability of mobile banking applications, online banking and easier use of ATMs over the past few years. These improvements continue to bear fruit, improving the continuity of the banking system.

Strong data protection and privacy

The UAE has strict laws and regulations that ensure the protection of information and the privacy and security of customers. Commitment to the principles is beneficial for individuals and businesses who wish to open a bank account in the UAE and at the same time protect their personal and financial data as much as possible.

The largest banks in the UAE

Emirates NBD One of the largest and most renowned banks in the UAE, Emirates NBD offers a full range of banking services, including personal and corporate banking, wealth management and Islamic finance. Emirates NBD has a wide network of branches and ATMs throughout the country.

First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) FAB is the largest bank in the UAE in terms of assets. The bank offers a wide range of financial products, provides retail, corporate and investment services, including Islamic banking solutions, serves both individuals and legal entities.

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) ADCB is a renowned bank in the UAE offering Personal Banking, Business Banking and Wealth Management. He is known for his customer-centric approach and innovative digital solutions.

Mashreq Bank Mashreq is one of the oldest banks in the UAE, renowned for its innovative banking solutions and technological advancements. It provides a wide range of services including business banking, personal and Islamic banking.

Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) DIB is the largest Islamic bank in the UAE and a pioneer in Sharia compliant banking. It offers a full range of Islamic banking products and services, including personal banking, corporate banking and wealth management.

Conditions for opening an account in the UAE in 2024

Opening an account in the UAE for foreign is carried out on different conditions, depending on the legal status of the company or individual:

  • for residents (these are individuals - UAE citizens and holders of a resident visa, legal entities - local companies and companies of free economic zones);
  • for non-residents. Non-residents are subject to stricter compliance rules and often do not have access to the full range of banking services. TO for example, a non-resident may be subject to minimum deposit requirements of $1 million.

How to open a personal account in the UAE?

As mentioned above, it is much more difficult for non-residents to open an account in the Emirates than for residents. Successful cases are extremely rare, since a non-resident is not always able to convincingly justify the need for a bank to open an account in the UAE. Even with a successfully opened account, non-residents cannot enjoy all the benefits of the banking system; for example, non-residents can only open savings accounts, while residents can also open a current account. For this reason, in order to get the best result, we recommend that you prepare thoroughly and still obtain a resident visa. In addition to a resident visa, banks usually additionally require:

  • an account statement from an unauthorized bank in the country of residence for the last 3-6 months;
  • address confirmation;
  • justification for the need to open an account;
  • in some cases: an employment contract with a local company and other documents requested by a particular bank.

How to open a corporate account in the UAE?

The requirements for opening a corporate bank account in the UAE may also vary depending on the status of the company: resident or non-resident. As in the case of personal accounts, opening accounts for non-resident companies is extremely difficult. It is important to comply with a number of requirements that vary from bank to bank. For example, many of them put forward the following conditions:

  • have a balance of 1-3 million dollars or a turnover of 100 million dollars a year;
  • have a property and confirmed contractors in the UAE;
  • go through a detailed verification process.

Residents (local companies and companies registered in free economic zones - free zone companies) have more opportunities to open an account smoothly.

Foreigners most often choose the free zone company form to do business in the UAE. This legal form allows for 100% foreign ownership and also offers tax benefits. At the same time, free zone companies can freely conduct activities both on the territory of their zone and outside the country.

In most cases, you must provide:

  • identity card of the leader and participants (passport);
  • Up-to-date UAE resident visa and Emirates ID of leader and participants;
  • standard set of company incorporation documents;
  • Account statement of the manager in an unauthorized bank in the country of residence for the last 3-6 months;
  • lease agreement for the company's office;
  • questionnaire describing the activities of the company, contractors and clients;
  • examples of contracts with suppliers, customers, etc.

Cost of opening an account in the UAE

The cost of opening an account in the UAE starts from 1400 USD. The final price depends on the bank where the account is opened, the service package and the opening method.

Do you have any questions? Contact us!

Opening a bank account in the UAE may be the best option in the economic and geopolitical conditions prevailing in 2023. Our experts will tell you in detail how to open an account in the UAE for a foreign citizen and offer a cost-effective solution for you personally or your business.

Call the phone +852 3702 7632 or write a message to WhatsApp +4917660018815

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