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How to Open a Savings Account in the UAE from Abroad

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How to Open a Savings Account in the UAE from Abroad

Your work can take you anywhere in the world. When moving to a new country, you need some essentials to survive. One of them being a savings account. Whether you are permanently shifting to the UAE or shifting here for a few months, you will need a savings account to manage your finances and financial transaction. Understanding the importance of a savings account in the UAE, the norms in the country allow individuals to open a bank account from abroad so that your finances are even sorted before you arrive.

Why open a savings account in the UAE from abroad?

Whether you are moving to the UAE for a few months or permanently, you need to transfer your money to the country for two reasons. Firstly, it is impossible for you to carry all your money from one country to the other. While traveling, carrying cash can be difficult. In case you lose your luggage or wallet, you can end up losing earnings of a lifetime. In case you are moving to the UAE for a few months, you will still require carrying cash. Besides, you will also need a transfer of money regularly. Therefore, in both situations, it is more beneficial to open a savings account in the UAE before you actually shift to the country.

Can I open a savings account in the UAE from abroad?

Though you will be allowed to open a bank account in the UAE, there will be restrictions on where and what type of bank account you can open. The norms in the UAE dictate that an individual must be physically present to open any bank account including the savings account in the UAE. But you can open a savings account from abroad without being physically present through international banks operating in the UAE such as Citibank, HSBC, Standard Chartered, and others. In some cases, you can choose to hire a local-international representative who will act on your behalf in the UAE to open your savings account. Besides, according to the rules, most of the banks in the UAE will allow non-residents or tourists to open savings account only.

Restrictions on banking

When you open a savings account as a foreigner, you are bound to operate your account with some restrictions:

  • Firstly, there will be a limit on the amount you can borrow in a day or in a month.
  • Secondly, since you will be opening a savings account, you will not receive a cheque book. However, you will be given a debit card for transactions through ATM.
  • Thirdly, the services offered to you will be limited.
  • Fourthly, you will be allowed to open a savings account in the UAE with any currency from GBP, USD to Japanese Yen. However, the interest rate on currencies except AED and USD is often negative which means that you will end up paying money to maintain the savings account.
  • Finally, since you will be operating your account from outside the country, you will require maintaining a minimum balance to avoid any fine or additional charge.
  • Some Emirati banks may require you to maintain a minimum balance of up to USD 100,000 to open a bank account from abroad.

Documents required for opening a bank account in the UAE from abroad

  • Copy of passport with the UAE entry stamp
  • Passport-size photograph
  • Duly filled application form
  • An original copy of a reference letter from your bank where you have your banking account in your country of origin or any other country
  • An updated Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • An original copy of your account statement for the last six months from your bank account anywhere in the world.

Process of opening the bank account

When you are abroad follow these steps to open a savings account in the UAE:

Step 1: Find the bank of your choice that allows you to open savings accounts in the UAE from abroad.

Step 2: Contact the bank to confirm the documents required

Step 3: Visit the bank and discuss your requirements

Step 4: The bank will open a bank account

Please note that this account will not be fully activated till you do not come to the UAE for the final account set up.

Alternatively, you can open a savings account with an international bank and transfer your savings account to the UAE.

Once you have come to the UAE, you can complete the account set up to receive a debit card and make transactions.

In case you want a cheque book, you can open a current account in the UAE after receiving your Emirates ID. However, initially, if you are opening a bank account from abroad, you should open a savings account with an international bank so that you can transfer the amount easily.

List of International Banks offering best savings account in the UAE

  • CitiBank
  • HSBC Bank
  • Standard Chartered Bank
  • Royal Bank of Canada

Best local banks offering savings account in the UAE

Once you have shifted to the UAE, you can refer other local banks as well that offer the best savings account options in the UAE:

  • Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank
  • Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank
  • Ajman Bank
  • Arab Bank
  • Commercial Bank of Dubai (CBD)
  • Commercial Bank International (CBI)
  • Dubai Islamic Bank
  • Emirates NBD
  • First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB)
  • Mashreq Bank
  • NBF Bank
  • RAKBANK
  • United Arab Bank

Conclusion

With some restrictions, you can open a savings account in the UAE from abroad. However, only a savings account is offered in such cases and you can use this facility only with international banks operating in the UAE. In case you do not want to continue with the bank or want to open another type of bank account, you can do that once you have come to the UAE. However, before coming to the UAE, you should consider opening a savings account in the UAE for ease of transaction.

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