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United Arab Emirates – Banking

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is known for its flourishing economy and high standard of living, attracting many expats from around the world. For expats moving to the UAE, setting up a bank account is an important task that needs to be taken care of. In this article, we will cover the main local banks in the UAE, as well as the presence of UK and USA banks in the country, accounts and services specifically aimed at expats, typical bank opening hours, any specific areas of concern regarding the banking system, and how to open a bank account in the UAE as an expat.

Main Local Banks in the UAE

The UAE has several local banks that offer a wide range of services to customers. Some of the main local banks in the UAE are:

Presence of UK and USA banks in the UAE

The UAE is a major financial hub, attracting many international banks to set up operations in the country. Some of the major UK and USA banks present in the UAE are:

Accounts and Services for Expats

Many banks in the UAE offer accounts and services specifically aimed at expats. These include non-resident bank accounts, currency exchange services, credit cards specifically designed for expats, and personal loans.

Typical Bank Opening Hours

Banking hours in the UAE vary depending on the bank and the branch. Generally, banks are open from Sunday to Thursday from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm. However, some banks may have longer operating hours or may be open on Saturdays.

Areas of Concern

One area of concern for expats in the UAE is the high fees associated with banking services, such as ATM withdrawals and account maintenance. Additionally, the banking system in the UAE is highly regulated, and expats should be aware of the rules and regulations when opening and operating a bank account.


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Opening a Bank Account

Expats can open a bank account in the UAE by following these steps:

Step 1: Choose a bank

Choose a bank that offers services that meet your needs and visit the nearest branch.

Step 2: Provide required documents

To open a bank account in the UAE, expats will need to provide certain documents and information, such as a valid passport with a residence visa or Emirates ID card, proof of address, proof of income or employment, and in some cases, a letter of introduction from the expat’s employer.

Step 3: Complete the account opening process

Once all the necessary documents and information have been provided, the account opening process can begin. This may involve filling out an application form, signing a contract, and providing any additional information or documentation as requested by the bank.

In conclusion, banking in the UAE offers a range of options for both locals and expats. Major local banks such as Emirates NBD and ADCB provide a range of services, while international banks such as Citibank also have a presence in the country. For expats, many banks offer accounts and services specifically tailored to their needs, such as multi-currency accounts and international money transfers. By following the steps outlined above, expats can open a bank account in the UAE and enjoy the benefits of secure and convenient financial services.


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