Business Setup in Dubai

Bank Account Opening Dubai

Expat Zone guides you through the entire process of Bank Account Opening Dubai and gathering necessary documents and understanding the procedures for opening a bank account in Dubai, making the process straightforward and hassle free.

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Choosing the Right Bank in the UAE

Bank Account Opening in Dubai can be a bit daunting for expats from countries like the UK, USA, Australia, Canada, Germany, Norway, Holland, France, or New Zealand. 

To simplify this process and eliminate the stress, services like Expat Zone can be incredibly helpful. 

Expat Zone specializes in assisting expats with various relocation needs, including banking. 

Below we will show you how you can choose the right bank in the UAE with the help of Expat Zone, along with a list of prominent banks in Dubai.

Emirates NBD​

Comprehensive services for personal and corporate banking.

Standard Chartered UAE

Diverse financial products for personal and business needs.

Islamic Bank

World's first Islamic bank, offering Sharia compliant services.

Mashreq Bank

Renowned for its innovative banking products.


Personal and business banking following Islamic finance principles.


Known for efficiency and affordability in banking services.


Global network, ideal for all expats, with multi currency bank accounts.

Commercial Bank of Dubai (CBD)

Tailored financial solutions for its customers.

Thinking of Opening a Bank Account in the UAE?

A Guide for Entrepreneurs and Expats

The UAE attracts approximately 200,000 newcomers each year, drawn by its beautiful beaches, vibrant city life, and dynamic business environment. 

If you’re planning to join this thriving community, having a local bank account is essential for seamless financial transactions. 

Here, we break down the process into manageable steps, highlighting how Expat Zone can simplify the journey for you.

Understanding UAE Banking

What You Need to Know.

Understanding Banking in Dubai

Bank Types:

  • Commercial Banks
  • Investment Banks
  • Industrial Banks
  • Islamic Banks

Bank Account Opening Dubai and Islamic banking, adhering to Shariah principles, is particularly notable, comprising nearly 20% of the sector with 23 Islamic bank windows and 8 full fledged Islamic banks.

Banking for Expats: 

UAE banks serve a global clientele, offering services in both Arabic and English, and complying with international standards like the International Accounting Standard and Basel III Regulations.

Types of Bank Accounts

Current Accounts

Ideal for daily transactions, these accounts often come with debit cards, cheque books, and the option for salary transfers. Requirements include maintaining a minimum balance, which is waived for salary accounts.

Savings Accounts

Offering higher interest rates, savings accounts are perfect for growing your funds, though they might restrict access and have penalties for early withdrawals.

Investment Accounts

These accounts allow for longer term investments, with assured returns and minimum balance requirements varying by bank.

Offshore Accounts

Suitable for expats, offshore accounts provide a secure way to manage funds internationally, with services including wealth management and inheritance planning.

Opening Your Bank Account

What You’ll Need: 

Residents need their passport, UAE resident visa, salary certificate, and Emirates ID. Non residents must provide additional documents like a utility bill, home bank reference letter, and bank statements.

Mobile Banking: 

Several banks offer account opening through their mobile apps, streamlining the process.

Corporate Accounts: 

Opening a corporate account requires specific documentation, including your trade license and company registration certificates, to comply with UAE law.

What Do I Need to Know About Banking in Dubai?

Bank Account Opening Dubai, along with Sharjah, Ajman, Abu Dhabi, and Ras Al Khaimah, offers a vibrant ecosystem for expatriates aiming to set up a business

The UAE’s banking sector is renowned for its robustness, catering to a diverse international community with a mix of local and international banks. 

Whether you’re setting up a small startup or planning a larger enterprise, understanding the banking landscape is crucial.

How Can I Choose the Right Bank for My Business in the UAE?

Selecting the right bank involves considering your business needs, the bank’s network, digital banking capabilities, customer service quality, and fees. 

The UAE boasts about 50 banks, including major names like Emirates NBD, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, and international entities such as HSBC and Standard Chartered. Each offers unique advantages, from extensive ATM networks to innovative digital banking services.

When setting up your business account, prepare your documents meticulously. 

Typically, you’ll need your passport, UAE visa, company documents, and sometimes a minimum deposit.

What Makes Islamic Banking the Ideal Choice for Muslim Families Moving to the UAE?

Islamic banking, guided by Sharia principles, prohibits interest (riba) and invests in halal (permissible) ventures only. This ethical banking system aligns with the values of Muslim families seeking financial services that respect their beliefs. 

With the UAE’s significant Islamic banking sector, families can find a range of products from mortgages to personal finance that adhere to Islamic law. 

Banks like Dubai Islamic Bank and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank are leading choices, offering products designed for the modern Muslim family.

Why Is Dubai a Popular Choice for Business Setup Among Expats?

Dubai’s strategic location, tax free living, and cosmopolitan lifestyle make it an attractive destination for entrepreneurs worldwide.

The city’s government has streamlined business registration and banking processes, making it straightforward for expats to start their ventures. 

Free zones offer additional benefits like 100% foreign ownership and zero tax on corporate gains or personal income. Plus you can setup your business in the mainland of dubai or you can choose the golden visa package.

How Does the Banking System Support Foreign Entrepreneurs in Dubai and Other Emirates?

The UAE’s banking sector is geared towards supporting the country’s thriving expat community. Banks provide multilingual customer service, online banking platforms, and specialized account managers to help foreign entrepreneurs navigate their banking needs. 

Moreover, the Central Bank of the UAE regulates the sector, ensuring stability and reliability for your business finances.

Can I Easily Transfer Money Internationally with UAE Banks?

Yes, UAE banks offer efficient international money transfer services. Many banks have partnerships with international banks, facilitating swift and cost effective transactions. 

Digital banking services also enable you to manage international transfers conveniently from your mobile device or computer, essential for businesses with global dealings.

How Accessible Are Banking Services Across the UAE?

Banking services are highly accessible, with branches and ATMs spread across Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Abu Dhabi, and Ras Al Khaimah. Digital banking has further improved accessibility, allowing expats to manage their finances remotely, whether for daily transactions, applying for loans, or setting up new accounts.

5 Tips for Expats to Manage Their Finances Successfully in the UAE?

  1. Understand Local Regulations: Familiarize yourself with the UAE’s banking and business laws to ensure compliance.
  2. Maintain a Good Credit Score: Pay bills on time and manage your accounts wisely; a good credit score is vital for obtaining loans or credit cards.
  3. Utilize Digital Banking: Leverage online and mobile banking for convenient account management.
  4. Plan for the Future: Consider investment accounts and savings plans offered by your bank to secure your financial future.
  5. Seek Professional Advice: Don’t hesitate to consult financial advisors for personalized advice tailored to your situation.

Why Is the UAE an Attractive Destination for Muslim Families and Businesses?

The UAE offers a unique blend of modern lifestyle and traditional Islamic values, making it an ideal home for Muslim families and a fertile ground for halal businesses. 

The country’s strong Islamic banking sector supports businesses and individuals who wish to adhere to Sharia principles in their financial dealings, providing a sense of community and belonging.

In summary, Dubai and other Emirates offer a welcoming environment for expats looking to start a business or relocate their family. 

With a robust banking system that caters to a diverse population and supports Islamic banking, the UAE stands out as a top choice for entrepreneurs and families from around the globe.

UAE Banking FAQs from expats

UAE Banking FAQs

Can a foreigner set up a bank account in Dubai?

Yes, foreigners can definitely set up Bank Account Opening in Dubai. 

The process is straightforward, especially with the help of services like Expat Zone, which guide you through the documentation and selection process.



How can I open an expat account in UAE?

Opening an expat account in the UAE involves selecting the right bank that meets your needs, gathering the necessary documents (typically your passport, visa, and proof of address), and completing the application process, which can often be initiated online. 

Expat Zone can assist in identifying the most suitable banks and ensuring you have all the correct documentation.



Can I open a bank account in Dubai without an Emirates ID?

Initially, yes, but you’ll eventually need to provide your Emirates ID once you have it. Some banks allow you to start the account opening process with your passport and visa, but the Emirates ID is crucial for completing the process and complying with UAE banking regulations.



How can I set up a bank account in Dubai?

To set up a bank account in Dubai, follow these steps:

  1. Choose a bank that aligns with your banking needs consider factors like fees, services, and branch locations.
  2. Gather your documents typically, your passport, resident visa, and Emirates ID.
  3. Visit a branch or apply online, depending on the bank’s process.
  4. Complete the application and submit your documents.
  5. Activate your account once approved.

Expat Zone simplifies this by guiding you through each step and helping with the paperwork.


Which bank has zero minimum balance in UAE?

Several banks in the UAE offer accounts with a zero minimum balance requirement. For example, ADCB offers a Zero Balance account for their Active Saver Online Accounts, catering to those who wish not to maintain a minimum balance.



Which bank is best for a zero balance account in UAE?

Choosing the best bank for a zero balance account in the UAE depends on your specific needs, such as the need for online banking, customer service, and additional benefits. ADCB and RAKBANK are among the banks that offer competitive zero balance accounts with various perks.



What documents are required to open a bank account in Dubai?

The documents required typically include:

  • Your original passport and a copy
  • Resident visa or entry visa
  • Proof of address (such as a utility bill or tenancy contract)
  • Emirates ID (or proof of application for one)
  • Salary certificate (for certain account types)

What is the minimum salary to open a bank account in Dubai?

The minimum salary requirement varies by bank and account type. Some banks do not have a minimum salary requirement for opening a basic current or savings account, while others may require a minimum salary of AED 3,000 to AED 5,000 for specific account types with more benefits.



Which bank account is best in UAE?

The “best” bank account depends on your personal and business banking needs. Considerations should include fees, services offered, online banking capabilities, and customer service reputation.

 Emirates NBD, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB), and HSBC UAE are popular choices for their comprehensive services catering to both personal and business banking needs.



Special Note on Islamic Banking for Muslim Families Moving to the UAE

For Muslim families planning to move to the UAE, Islamic banking presents an ideal choice due to its compliance with Sharia law, prohibiting interest on loans and investing in ethical and halal industries. 

Islamic banks like Dubai Islamic Bank and ADIB offer a range of products from savings accounts to home financing, all aligned with Islamic finance principles. 

This ensures that your banking activities remain in harmony with your values and beliefs.

Islamic banking in the UAE has seen significant growth, with robust support from the government and a well regulated financial system ensuring transparency and fairness. 

Bank Account Opening Dubai Services are designed not only to meet the financial needs of the Muslim population but also to offer competitive advantages that appeal to a broader audience, such as profit sharing investments and no penalty for early loan settlements in many cases.

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