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Abu Dhabi - Banking

A number of internationally recognized banks are operating in Abu Dhabi, offering their standard products. The dirham is freely convertible, and money transfers of unlimited amounts are allowed.

Banking hours in Abu Dhabi for international and local banks are 8.00 am to 1.00 pm from Saturday to Wednesday and there are a few who have an extended session from 4.30pm to 6.30 pm. The working hours on Thursdays are from 8.00am to 12 noon.

These and the local banks have ATM kiosks installed at convenient spots in and around the city. The debit and credit cards of all issuing banks are compatible and can be used at all outlets.

To open an account in Abu Dhabi, a residence visa is mandatory. Banks also accept applications in cases where the residence visa is under process. Employers generally take care of this aspect and endorse an application for you.

The documents required to open an account are: passport in original, copies of the passport, and a No Objection Certificate from your sponsor. A minimum amount may have to be deposited to open the account.

Banks in Abu Dhabi offer a range of saving schemes for expats, with professional services on investment planning. Some of the reputed banks offering financial advisory services are: the Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Barclays Bank, Emirates Bank International, Mashreq bank and National Bank of Abu Dhabi to name but a few.

For a list of the most popular banks preferred by expats in Abu Dhabi, click here (PDF file).

A branch of the National Bank of Abu Dhabi operates at Terminal 1 and 2, and offers basic banking facilities for account holders. The Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank also has a branch at the International Airport.

There are 5 currency exchange counters at both terminals of the airport which operate throughout the day and accept all major currencies.


The dirham is the monetary unit of Abu Dhabi as in the rest of the UAE, denoted by the letters AED, or Dhs. Each dirham has 100 fils.

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Expat Health Insurance Partners

Bupa Global

At Bupa we have been helping individuals and families live longer, healthier, happier lives for over 60 years. We are trusted by expats in 190 different countries and have links with healthcare organisations throughout the world. So whether you're moving abroad for a change of career or a change of scene, with our international private health insurance you will always be in safe hands.


Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.