Open an account in the UAE

Lately, the United Arab Emirates has become a quite popular destination both for establishing companies for worldwide activity (i.e. in Europe, North America, Southeast Asia, etc.), and for individual personal savings.

In both above cases, there is a need to open an account in the UAE. Such an account will allow you to store funds or accept payments from counteragents, and in the case of a company, to conduct its operational activities.

How to open an account in the UAE?

The procedure for registering a bank account in the UAE is rather similar to that in other jurisdictions.

Basically, the entire procedure for opening an account can be divided into three stages:

Stage 1 – it is necessary to provide the bank with the documents requested to open an account, after which the bank organizes a call to the client’s number. The essence of such a call is to obtain from the client confirmation of the email address, telephone number, residence address and passport number specified in the application. After obtaining confirmation, the bank starts processing the application.

Stage 2 – the bank employees, in accordance with internal AML/CTF and other procedures, process the application, verify the person who registers the account, and opens the account directly. Banks in the UAE require that the client, when opening an account, deposit a certain amount of money into an account in the Emirates, the amount of which depends on the bank chosen. Accordingly, it is necessary to deposit the required amount into the account.

Stage 3 – after depositing funds to an account in the Emirates, the bank can arrange a second call to the client in order to confirm the correctness of the conditions for opening and maintaining the account, etc.

During stages 1 or 2 a personal visit might be necessitated. All communication with the bank employees is carried out in English.

Documents for an account opening

As with other jurisdictions, the list of documents required to open an account in a UAE bank depends on the applicant for the account – in favour of an individual or a company.

In order for an individual to open an account in the UAE, such a person must provide the bank with the following information:

  • Application for opening a bank account;
  • Passport indicating the address and a stamp re legitimate entry into the UAE;
  • Statement on the current bank account of the beneficiary;
  • Power of attorney – provided that the account is opened by a person’s representative.

When opening a bank account for a company, banks usually require a more complex package of documents, which includes the following:

  • Company profile – this includes the following data: types of the company activities, job description, countries of operation, information about 3 clients and 3 suppliers (company name, country, website), account opening currencies, the maximum turnover of the company for the first year of activities;
  • Proofs of the business reality: corporate documents of the company, office lease agreements, detailed bank statement on the corporate account for 6 months, etc.;
  • utility bills not older than of 3 months – original and translation into English;
  • Power of attorney – provided that the account is opened by a company representative.


List of banks

Loyalty, terms and cost of the procedure for opening a bank account in the UAE largely depends on the choice of the bank in which the account will be opened.

In this situation, VigoLex does not consider it correct to recommend the services of a particular bank/banks, since each situation is individual and two different clients almost never have the same goals that they would pursue when opening a bank account.

A non-resident or resident of the UAE can open an account in one of the following banks:

  • Mashreq Bank,
  • National Bank of Fujairah,
  • Emirates NBD PJSC,
  • Noor Bank,
  • Emirates Islamic Bank,
  • National Bank of Ras Al Khaimah (RAKBANK),
  • Arab Bank for Investment and Foreign Trade (Al Masraf),
  • United Arab Bank,
  • First Abu Dhabi Bank.

Open an account quickly and easily with VigoLex

The specialists of VigoLex team have extensive experience in supporting the process of opening bank accounts for the company clients and their business in various jurisdictions, including the UAE.

The available expertise in this field allows us to provide services with high quality, within the agreed terms and with the least possible level of client’s involvement in the legal part of the account opening process.

VigoLex lawyers will be happy to help you with your request and advise on the cost and the terms of opening an account in a UAE bank, the nuances of such a procedure for opening a bank account, the algorithm of actions at each stage and the cost of VigoLex services in this situation.

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