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How to open bank account in Dubai

Bank account in Dubai

Dubai has become a well recognized global center of business and banking. 

UAE banks offer a lot of advantages for businesses such as:

  • Full repatriation of corporate capital and profits

  • Stable currency rate

  • International trade instruments

  • Fast transfers within 2-3 days to any place in the world

  • Online banking

  • Debit cards

Types of accounts

Bank account in UAE banks can be opened for the following categories:

Personal accounts for UAE residents 

The easiest and most straightforward category is personal residential accounts. Any UAE resident becomes eligible for such bank account. 

It is opened within 1-3 days at any bank with simple documents: passport and visa, Emirates ID, salary letter. 

Personal accounts for non-residents

Non-residents can open bank account in UAE. Personal visit to the bank is required. 

The following documents will be obligatory: passport, utility bill as address proof, CV with personal and professional background, personal bank statement from home country.

Such account is usually opened within 1-2 weeks. 

Note that if you receive any income to your UAE non resident bank account, you might need to declare it at your home country and pay taxes. 

Corporate accounts for local companies 

It is one of the most demanded categories. The following types of UAE companies are eligible for Dubai bank account:

The shareholders of the companies are usually appointed as account signatories. The banks will require the following paperwork for the account application:

  1. Incorporation documents of UAE business setup

  2. Passports of the shareholders

  3. Utility bills as address proof

  4. CVs with relevant experience

  5. Personal bank statements of the shareholders - proof of funds

  6. Documents of any other existing business (if applicable)

  7. Bank statement of another existing business (if applicable)

  8. Business profile

  9. Expectations on annual turnover and initial deposit to the newly opened account

Time-frame for UAE company account opening varies depending on the type of the company. It can range from 2 weeks to 2 months. 

Mainland companies and Dubai free zones normally get accounts faster. UAE offshore companies and free zones entities tend to wait for account approval longer. 

Corporate accounts for international businesses

Businesses registered out of UAE can also apply for a bank account in UAE. This is is the most complicated category of applicant and the approval ration of such accounts is quite low. 

If you want to apply for a UAE account, you need to have all the incorporation documents of your fireign entity legalized by UAE Embassy of the country of business registration. After that they need to be attested by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Dubai. The process is quite costly - you will spend about 800 USD per document. You will need about 5 corporate documents in total:

  • Certificate of good standing

  • Certificate of incumbency

  • Memorandum of Association

  • Certificate of registration

  • License (if available)

UAE accounts for international companies always take a long time to get approved. It is connected to the compliance procedure for the overseas company. Such businesses fall under the “high risk” category and generally banks are not eager to onboard them. 

If you need an account to be opened faster, we recommend to setup a UAE entity (Offshore or Free zone) and apply for the account under that company instead of a foreign one. 

Business consultants in Dubai will help to create the best solution to solve the needs of your business.

How to open bank account in UAE - local banks overview

If you plan to open bank account in Dubai, we recommend to focus on local government banks. International banks based in UAE rarely open corporate accounts for UAE entities unless they are large international corporations. 

Local banks most suitable for UAE companies are:

Emirates NBD

One of the largest national banks. Corporate account approval may take a long time. Strict requirements from compliance: physical office space is required for most businesses, high balances.

First Abu Dhabi Bank - FAB

Big bank of Abu Dhabi government. Takes long time for accounts approval and requires high balances to be maintained.

Mashreq bank

A large semi-government bank. Welcomes all types of businesses. Accounts can be approved fast if all documents are provided. Reasonable minimum balance requirements. 

Emirates Islamic Bank

A subsidiary of Emirates NBD. Has slightly less balance requirements and quicker approval process.


Bank of Ras Al Khaimah government. Focuses on small and medium businesses. Minimum balance is not high and account approval process is relatively fast.

Dubai Islamic Bank

Bank of Dubai government. Offers medium range balance requirements and relatively quick approval of the accounts. 

Other popular UAE banks include: NOOR bank, Sharjah Islamic Bank, National bank of Fujairah, National bank of Umm Al Quwain, Ajman bank, Bank of Sharjah.

Starting a business in Dubai is the first step of getting a UAE bank account. If you have any preferences of the banks and want only 1 or 2 particular banks, contact business consultants in Dubai to check the requirements and account opening procedures there. 

Business setup advisors can help you to register a company in the most suitable way for the local banks of your choice. 

The following factors will be considered:

  • Nature of your business
  • Place where the business will be conducted
  • Nationality and background of the shareholders
  • Who will be the clients of your business
  • Existing companies abroad
  • Source of wealth of the business owners
  • Profit and turnover expectations
  • Physical presence of the business

Keeping that in mind, business consultants will make a solution that will satisfy the needs of your business and banks’ compliance departments as well. Check possible options with their advantages and disadvantages now!


  • Dirham - stable currency
  • Full repatriation of funds
  • Online banking
  • Easy withdrawals
  • Quick transfers


FAQ about bank account in UAE

  • How long to open bank account in Dubai?

    The time depends on the type of business and background of the shareholders. Mainland companies get accounts faster, Offshore companies normally wait longer. Time-frame can be from 2 weeks to 2 months.

  • What do you need to open bank account in Dubai?

    For any type of bank account in Dubai, the following will be required:

    • Personal presence
    • Original passport 
    • Financial documents (proof of funds)
    • Proof of residency (utility bill)
    • Business description for corporate accounts
    • CVs of the owners
  • What is the best bank in UAE to open account?

    There is no best bank as such. Every business has different capabilities and requirements. There is no one bank for all. 

    The most recognized UAE banks are: Emirates NBD, First Abu Dhabi Bank, Emirates Islamic Bank, Mashreq, RAK BANK, Dubai Islamic Bank.

  • Can a foreign company open a bank account in UAE?

    It can, but the approval process will be very long and the account can easily be rejected. It is advisable to open a local UAE company and apply for a bank account using that company for quicker results.

    What are the requirements to open a business bank account in Dubai?

    Generally, the requirements are the following:

    • Personal presence
    • Corporate documents
    • Bank statements of the owners
    • Utility bills and CVs of the owners
    • Expectations on the turnover
    • Business plan