Best UAE Banks For Non Residents part 2 – Part one is here.
Best UAE Banks for Non Residents
So you’ve just made your first trip to Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Now that you’re here, what’s the best option for banking? As a non-resident, there are many options available to you, including:
Banks that allow non-residents to open an account (you don’t actually need a visa or permit) only allow non-residents to open an account with a certain type of visa that they offer (i.e., Women’s/Family VIP visas) Banks which only allow residents either by nationality or residence. Well, here are our picks for the best UAE banks for non-residents.
HSBC is globally recognized as a premier bank for non-residents looking to open an account. The best part of an HSBC account is that their services are the same worldwide so that you won’t be hanging around just in Dubai or Abu Dhabi. They have over 7000 branches and 800 ATMs in 79 countries across Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America.
HSBC offers free incoming and outgoing international transfers on accounts opened with a minimum of USD 50,000. On top of that, they offer an exclusive ‘HSBC Premier’ account which provides services such as dedicated relationship managers, higher cash withdrawal limits, the more maximum number of transactions per month, a 24/7 customer service hotline, preferential rates on buying currency, and free local and international money transfers.
The account opening process for HSBC is a bit more complicated than other banks in the UAE, but nothing too strenuous if you have all the required documents presented to them. Other things worth mentioning include their 1% cash withdrawal charge, which can be avoided with an HSBC Premier account, a 1% monthly account management fee, and a minimum balance requirement of USD 25,000.
Mashreq is one of the most well-established banks in the UAE. They are well known for their customer service overall, with their branches being open longer hours than almost all other banks in the UAE (their only competition being Emirates NBD).
Mashreq allows non-residents to open an account with their ‘Family’ visa, available for women only. This type of visa allows you to bring any family members legal residents in the UAE (spouses and children) with you when entering the country.
Besides, they also offer a dedicated Platinum account for non-residents, which gives you all the same benefits as their personal and SME accounts (no transaction fees, no minimum balance requirements, and up to 16 free transactions per month).
Their customer service telephone line operates from 9 am to 5 pm on weekdays, and their website is also quite helpful when it comes to accounting opening procedures. Overall, an excellent option for non-residents if you have a Family visa!
Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB)
Dubai Islamic Bank is the only Shari’a Compliant bank in the UAE that allows non-residents to open an account. This means that Dubai Islamic Bank offers an interest-free product unique in the UAE. However, Shari’a Compliant or Shari’a Non-Compliant doesn’t really matter if you live outside of the UAE, as this has no bearing on how much tax you’ll pay on your account.
Although DIB doesn’t offer a physical branch, they provide online banking and support through their call center (which operates until 8.30 pm every day). So if you’re comfortable with online banking, DIB is definitely worth checking out!
Emirates NBD is one of the biggest banks in the UAE and offers a range of non-resident services, including:
- A dedicated 24/7 hotline for non-residents
- Non-resident rates on currency exchange and cheque books, as well as a free Emirates NBD Visa Debit Card
- Free incoming and outgoing international transfers (on accounts opened with a minimum of USD 50,000 or an Emirates NBD ‘Premium’ account)
- A free account opening for new customers (which includes one free cheque book and either four free transactions or USD 120,000 of daily cash withdrawal limit per month on their current account)
In addition, all the fees typically associated with international bank accounts are waived for non-residents, which means you can benefit from having no monthly account management fee, no minimum balance requirement, and up to 12 free monthly cheque transactions!
So if you’re looking for a bank that offers the best options for non-residents in the UAE, Emirates NBD is definitely an excellent choice.
Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB)
Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank is another excellent option for non-residents in the UAE. ADCB offers a wide range of services which include:
- International bank guarantees issued by ADCB for customers outside of the UAE to ensure that your money reaches its destination safely
- An international debit card to withdraw cash from any ATM in the world (no transaction fees, up to USD 50 cashback per month, and 150 free transactions included)
- No monthly account fee or minimum balance requirement
- Free incoming international transfers (on accounts opened with a minimum of USD 25,000 or an ADCB ‘Premium’ account)
ADCB has branches worldwide, so opening an account on their website is easy and straightforward. Plus, their customer service team can be reached by phone or email if you need any assistance. So whether you’re looking for accounts that are geared towards non-residents or simply want an international bank account with no fees, ADCB ticks all the boxes!
Standard Chartered is one of the world’s biggest banks and offers an excellent range of products for non-residents. In fact, Standard Chartered is the only bank in the UAE to offer a USD account for non-residents – which comes with a free Visa debit card and no monthly account fees.
In addition, you can also open a multi-currency household account (with up to 5 sub-accounts), send international bank guarantees, and use their global network of branches to make international payments.
So if you’re looking for an international bank account that is open to non-residents, Standard Chartered ticks all the boxes.
Citibank offers a range of international accounts, including:
- No monthly account fees or minimum balance requirement
- Free incoming and outgoing international transfers (on accounts opened with a minimum of USD 3,000)
- An international debit card to withdraw cash from any ATM in the world (no transaction fees)
- No charges for international bank guarantees
In addition, Citibank also has a range of investment products available – including USD savings accounts and tailored solutions for individuals with more complex requirements. In fact, the minimum opening deposit is just USD 10.
So if you’re looking for an international bank account that’s great value and doesn’t charge pesky fees, Citibank is definitely an excellent option.
RAK Bank is a regional bank that aims to provide customers with high-quality service. In addition, they offer a wide range of services for non-residents. If you open a personal account, you can choose to have your salary deposited into your RAK Bank account. Then, all you need to do is pay for your living expenses using your debit card or withdrawing cash from ATMs around the world.
In addition, RAK Banks offers over 40 international currencies in which you can exchange money. They also offer a range of products for international students – including a USD account with no monthly fees. So, if you’re looking for a bank that’s great value and offers convenience, RAK Bank has got your back.
Al Hilal Bank
Another great option for non-residents in the UAE is Al Hilal Bank. Their accounts range is specially designed to provide customers with exceptional service and convenience. There are two types of accounts you can choose from at Al Hilal: an eAccount (a basic personal account) or a VIP Account (which offers you perks like personalized service and free issuance of cheques).
However, both accounts come with no monthly account fees, and there are no minimum balance requirements either. They also don’t charge any transaction fees on debit card cash withdrawals (in UAE only)
In addition, it’s worth mentioning that Al Hilal currently offers a free international MasterCard as well! So if you’re looking for an international bank account that has great features like no fees and free debit card transactions, Al Hilal Bank could be for you.
Emirates Islamic Bank
Emirates Islamic is a Sharia-compliant bank designed to provide customers with high-quality service in the UAE. And when it comes to their accounts, they feature an excellent range of accounts to suit non-residents.
One of the best things about Emirates Islamic is that you can open their accounts online in just 15 minutes (no matter where you are in the world!). So once you’ve opened your account, make a deposit and start using it straight away.
Their fees are also pretty reasonable – there’s no monthly account fee or minimum balance requirement. And they also offer free incoming and outgoing international transfers (as long as the currency transferred is USD). So, if you’re looking for an international bank account that doesn’t charge fees, Emirates Islamic could be a great option.
Frequently Asked Questions about UAE Banks
Can non-residents open a UAE Bank account?
Of course, you can open a bank account in the UAE provided you are over 18 years old and hold a valid residence visa. That being said, you will need to have a visa of the same class as the bank account you are applying for.
For example, if you want to open a current account at Citi Bank, you must have an employment visa with your name on it. The embassy of your home country in the UAE can help with this aspect.
Can I open accounts for my children?
Yes, you can open an account in your child’s name when they turn 16 years old. You may need to provide a copy of the child’s birth certificate and passport for this purpose. In some cases, you might also be required to provide a notarized letter from both parents authorizing the opening of such accounts.
Can I open accounts in my company’s name?
Yes, you can open accounts for your company at any commercial bank. Usually, banks limit the number of current and savings accounts that they allow to be opened under one name or one business entity.
This is done to minimize the risk of money laundering activities. However, if you wish to open accounts for your company, you must provide a copy of the commercial registration and details about the owner and directors.
Can I open accounts without a UAE residence visa?
It is possible to have a bank account in the UAE as a tourist. However, you must have a valid travel insurance policy from your home country, covering you inside the GCC countries. You may also need to open a bank account with a small deposit of AED500 or less so that you can keep your money safe while you are here.
How much can I deposit in my account?
Your bank may ask you to open an account with a minimum deposit amount of AED500 or more, depending on the type of account you will be opening. For current accounts, banks usually ask for a minimum balance equivalent to three months’ average salary.
For a very long time, opening a bank account in another country was not something easy to do for everyone. Foreigners had several hurdles that included language barriers and legal requirements, which made it difficult or even impossible for them to access banking services anywhere in the world. In recent years, things have changed dramatically with changes in legislation worldwide. This way, you can check this guide if you’re a non-resident in the UAE.