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Dubai: If you have just arrived in the UAE after getting a new work contract, there are various steps you need to take to get started. One of the most important aspects of starting to get settled is to open a bank account. The UAE’s Wage Protection System makes it compulsory for employers to transfer an employee’s salary into a bank account under the employee’s name. You would also need a debit or even a credit card to make essential purchases to set up in your new country of residence.

Once you have completed your visa and Emirates ID application process and received both, you can then open up a bank account in the UAE. Non-residents, too, can technically open a bank account in the UAE, but they are required to provide a separate set of documents to apply for the process. It would be advisable, then, to wait for your visa and Emirates ID to come in, before starting the process of applying for a bank account.

There are around 20 national banks, and even more international banks, that have branches across the UAE. To find out what the various banking options are and whether you should choose a savings or current account, read our detailed guide here.

Once you have selected the bank of your choice, you would need to fill in an account opening form.

Along with filling in a detailed account opening form, you will need to present at least the following documents:

• Your original passport plus a copy

• Emirates ID

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However, depending on the bank as well as the account type, you may also be asked to provide the following details:

• A copy of your visa page proving you are a resident of the UAE.

• Some banks might require a no objection certificate (NoC) from your sponsor.

• A salary certificate for salary-transfer accounts.

• Appointment Letter or copy of your labour contract.

Speak to your company’s HR department for the NoC, salary certificate, pay slip or appointment letter.

Can I do this process online?

Many banks are now offering the opportunity for customers to upload the necessary documents online. Once you complete the process, you will receive a reference number and be able to access your account as soon as the application is approved.

How long does it take?

Banks can take anywhere from a few hours to two working days to process the account opening. Once the account is opened, many banks also deliver your ATM card and cheque book via a courier right to your doorstep (for a cost in some cases).