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Are you looking to open a UAE bank account?

There are so many options out there that it can be difficult to decide which one is best for you.

We’ve written this article, to guide you through the process of opening a UAE bank account; and giving top recommendations. We will also explain why people should avoid opening an online bank account!

With our helpful advice, you’ll be able to effectively apply for the right bank account.

Online banking restrictions

Online banking has become increasingly popular amongst individuals, thanks to its convenience and ease of use. Platforms like Wise and Revolut offer quick account setup without the need to visit a physical bank. However, if you’re planning to relocate to the UAE, it’s important to be aware of the online banking restrictions.

The UAE has implemented regulations that restrict the use of online banking accounts like Wise and Revolut. When individuals apply, they are placed on a waiting list due to the country in which the account will be used. This means that if you’re planning to move to the UAE, applying for an online banking account can significantly delay the entire process.

To avoid any unnecessary delays, it is recommended to opt for a traditional UAE bank account. Whilst these accounts require a visit to a physical bank, they offer services that align with the country’s regulations.

Bank account recommendations

RHJ Group highly recommends the following UAE banks:

Typically takes between 5-10 working days to finalise the bank application once you are in the UAE. This bank is particularly beneficial for those who need to maintain foreign currency accounts. Especially if they have working relations in European countries; that use the EUR currency.

Average processing time of 7-10 working days to finalise the bank application once in the UAE. This bank offers a range of modern and convenient banking services tailored for business owners and entrepreneurs.

A reputable choice, although it has a longer processing time of 15-30 working days to finalise the bank application. However, it offers a wide range of banking solutions and has a strong presence in the UAE.

Ultimately, the choice of which bank account to apply for depends on individual preferences and requirements. If you need a second opinion or further assistance, feel free to reach out to our knowledgeable team at RHJ Group!

Bank account process

When relocating to the UAE, many clients are curious about the bank account application process. Whilst it is possible to initiate the application online, the final stages must be completed in person in the UAE, as your Emirates ID is required. Our recommendation is for clients to request the initial setup online to inform the bank of their intent. Once you have arrived in the UAE and obtained your Emirates ID, you can finalise the bank account application.

Please note that the timelines provided earlier in this article are rough estimates and can vary depending on the time of year and the bank’s workload. It’s always best to allow for some flexibility in the processing time.

If you are opening a company bank account and have utilised the services of RHJ Group, we will ensure that you have all the necessary documentation to proceed. In some cases, the bank may require a Board Resolution and Power of Attorney request to grant access to the account for company employees. Our experienced team can assist with this process as well!


How RHJ Accountants can help

Our team at RHJ Group are always ready to provide the top recommendations to our clients, and that’s exactly what this article does. We understand the intricacies of opening a bank account in the United Arab Emirates; and can guide you through the entire process.

If you’re interested in taking advantage of the UAE’s 0% corporate tax rate, we can help you open a company and obtain visas for this purpose. You don’t even have to live in the UAE to benefit from this tax advantage either – what a great bonus! Schedule a free initial consultation with our team to get started on your journey.

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💬 PSA: between April & June our Portuguese team have limited meeting availability due to the Tax Return Submission Period 🇵🇹