banks in dubai

Being an expat, it takes time to get adapted and habituated to Dubai and of course its banking system to meet your financial needs. Here are the few things to know about the banking system and various factors related to banking when you are new to Dubai

1. Which bank to choose?
2. Opening an account in Dubai
3. ATM, credit and debit cards
4. Cheque Book
5. Applying for a bank Loan
6. Fees and charges
7. Banking procedure
8. Wills

1. Which bank to choose?  

Well, this might be the first possible question that pops your head when you want to approach a bank in Dubai. There are many international banks like HSBC in Dubai and local banks like Emirates NBD, Dubai Islamic Bank etc.,

It’s feasible to approach a local bank when you live in Dubai. Local banks offer deals and provide services at competitive rates to the customers

2. Opening an account in Dubai  

Opening an account is the next step to be considered after selecting a bank. All the banks have their own eligibility criteria to open an account. You can apply for opening an account be it current account, savings account or any other account via online through the bank’s website for most of the banks.

This may require your details like name, type of account, average monthly balance, phone number etc.,

For opening an account, you may also need documents like

  • Passport
  • Letter of no objection
  • Salary certificate
  • Resident VISA
  • Copy of your Emirates ID

3. ATM, credit and debit cards  

As soon as you open your account, the banks will provide you with ATM card and most probably with credit and debit card as well. Most of the banks have cash deposit machines available 24 hours per day.

It’s possible to open an account with one bank and have a credit card with another bank but it’s usually preferable to have both with one bank as whenever the time for monthly payment comes, you can transfer the money from current account to credit card account directly

To avail a credit card, you need to have,

  • Minimum salary as mentioned by the bank
  • Credit card application
  • Emirates ID and passport
  • Proof of residence in Dubai. You can also bring utility bill payments
  • Salary proofs, certificates from the company you work for.

4. Cheque Book  

It’s always good to have a chequebook while staying in Dubai. This is useful for payments in Dubai like rent, buying a car etc., which is usually done by post-dated checks in Dubai. But remember that a bounced cheque is a serious offense and may land you in jail

5. Applying for a bank Loan  

As an expat, you can apply for various loans like a car loan, home loan, personal loan in Dubai. You need to be salaried or self-employed to be eligible for any loan provided by banks in Dubai.

An expat having to own a business in Dubai should also provide a trade license, business bank statements, audit report etc.,

All the debts and loans are to be cleared before leaving or when you stay in Dubai. Dubai’s banking rules are strict and it’s a punishable offense and may lead to imprisonment.

For applying for a loan in Dubai, minimum requirements are

  • Loan application
  • Copy of Emirates ID
  • Passport with valid UAE Residence Visa
  • Salary certificate
  • Bank statement of the last 3-6 months

You can know more about loans provided in Dubai here Loans in Dubai

6. Fees and charges  

This is one of the most important factors to consider while dealing with any bank. The charges and fees levied can vary from bank to bank and it also depends on the category for which you are approaching the bank to be it loans, credit cards, opening an account etc.,

When it comes to local banks, all the fees and charges are usually taken care by Central Bank of UAE.

Some of the fees and charges are mentioned below

Fees and charges on Loans: Generally banks charge

Arrangement fee which the fee charged by the lender to give credit to the borrower,

Early Settlement fee which is the fee charged for paying the loan before the actual period of paying it.

Processing fee which is the fee charged for processing the loan

Fees and charges on Accounts:

The fees charged by banks on accounts generally include

Remittance charges when you make transactions to and fro your homeland as an expat,

Fee for setting up an overdraft if you have a current account, charges for setting up a demand draft

Charges for not maintaining a minimum balance in your account etc.,

Fees and charges on Cards:

Late payment fee which is the fee levied if you do not pay the bills on time

Annual fee which is the fee charged annually on the card

Over limit fee which is the fee charged if your expenses and interest exceeds the limit of the card

Card replacement fee which is the fee charged if you want to replace your card

Cash advance fee which is the fee levied for availing cash advance on the card

7. Banking procedure  

Usually, the official legal tender that can be obtained in banking halls and cash points is Dirham. But most of the banks also use Dollars and Euros to carry on transactions. It’s always wise to have information about this before approaching the local banks as it makes things easier when it comes to transactions in UAE.

8. Wills  

The main thing expat need to know about wills is that home wills are not valid in Dubai. If an expat resident dies in Dubai, the accounts in Dubai related to him get frozen immediately including the joint accounts until the debts are cleared. So, it’s important to have a separate account for the spouse in case of any financial emergencies.

Banking in Dubai is easy and amicable if you follow the regulations in a well-defined way. Both Nationals and expats can equally benefit from banking in Dubai.

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