Non-resident bank account
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Dubai: If you are planning to move out of the UAE but would like to continue doing some work- or business-related dealings in the UAE, there is good news.

UAE banks offer ‘non-resident’ accounts that non-residents or even tourists can apply for. The minimum bank requirements, documents for submission and time it takes to process the request can vary from one bank to the next. However, here are some basic details that you can refer to if you would like to register for such an account.

Which bank should I choose?

While many UAE banks offer options for non-resident accounts, the requirements can vary significantly. It is ideal to speak directly to a few banks before you decide on which institution to finalise. Miguel Angel Gomez, a graphic design professional who relocated to Mexico from the UAE in June last year, told Gulf News: “When I moved out of the UAE, I spoke to my bank and a few others for an option to continue having a bank account in the UAE. While my bank did not have such an option, other local banks had a minimum balance requirement which was quite high - half a million or Dh100,000. One of these banks also told me that the application would be considered by the management and approved, so it was offered on a case-to-case basis. I finally registered with Emirates NBD which was offering the lowest minimum balance and also offered online banking and ATM.”

Non-resident bank account
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Many banks like Emirates NBD and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank offer a minimum balance requirement of Dh3,000.

Almost all banks offer options for non-residents and tourists to bank accounts in the UAE. Here is a list of all the national banks in the UAE:

1. Emirates NBD Bank P.J.S.C - 600 540000

2. Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank P.J.S.C - 02 610 0600

3. First Abu Dhabi Bank P.J.S.C - 600525500

4. Dubai Islamic Bank P.J.S.C - 04 609 2222

5. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank P.J.S.C - 600 50 2030

6. Arab Bank for Investment & Foreign Trade (Al Masraf) - 600 529999

7. Commercial Bank of Dubai P.J.S.C - 600 575 556

8. Emirates Islamic Bank P.J.S.C. - 600 599995

9. Mashreq Bank P.S.C. – 04 424 4444

10. Sharjah Islamic Bank P.J.S.C. – 06 59 99 999

11. Bank of Sharjah PSC - 06 5694411

12. United Arab Bank P.J.S.C - 800 474

13. National Bank of R.A.K P.J.S.C (RAKBANK) - 04 2130000

14. Commercial Bank International PLC – 600 544440

15. National Bank of Fujairah PSC – 800 623

16. National Bank of U.A.Q PSC - 04 314 8888

17. Noor Bank P.J.S.C - 600 500 607

18. Al Hilal Bank P.J.S.C - 600 522 229

19. Ajman Bank P.J.S.C – 800 22

20. Invest Bank – 04 321 3131

What are the minimum requirements?

Non-resident bank account
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As mentioned above, this can vary significantly. However, you need to find what the minimum balance requirements are as well as any other requirements.

“With my bank account, I need to have at least one transaction on the account every three months,” Gomez said.

Banks usually offer the option for a savings account only, and non-residents do not receive a cheque book unlike residents.

Banks do offer the options for maintaining the account in your currency of choice, in dirhams or any other foreign currency.

Can I convert my existing account to a non-resident account?

It is important to speak to your bank before you exit the country to find out if the option to convert your existing account to a non-resident account exists. Former UAE residents have to provide fewer documents, like simply providing your passport copy and the new entry permit. Tourists may be asked for more documentation. However, it is best to first check with your bank on the documents they would need to switch your savings account to a non-resident account.

Which documents do I need?

Non-resident bank account
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Documents needed can vary depending on whether you are a former resident or a tourist. This is a comprehensive list of documents, collated from various national banks in the UAE:

1. Applicant presence is mandatory in Dubai/UAE

2. Passport copy with UAE entry page.

3. Profile of the applicant CV may be required.

4. Proof of residence – copy of electricity, telephone bills or banks statements from your home country to prove that you are a resident of the said country.

5. Original bank reference letter from the personal / company bank account of the applicant from the country of origin or anywhere in the world (requirement varies bank to bank . mentioned document is advisable)

6. Original latest three or six months personal bank statement from the country of origin or anywhere in the world.

7. Some banks may require a letter of introduction from an existing bank customer.

8. You may also be asked to provide documents that stipulate the need of opening a bank account. For example, “Title Deed” to verify the right of ownership for an apartment.

9. Information on the source of incoming funds.

Studying bank deposits
Studying bank deposits? Picture used for illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Stock image

Documents, if needed, should be translated to English, if the official language in your home country is not English.

KYC Requirements: The UAE Central Bank has made it mandatory for all banks to maintain a KYC (Know Your Customer) policy for better security and meeting international standards. Therefore before and after opening a personal account, all banks may ask account holders a few questions and comment on their account transactions.

How long will it take to open an account?

Most banks list a waiting period of one to two weeks. This is because documents need to be verified and checked across international security databases.