steps to open a bank account in dubai for non residents and businesses

The United Arab Emirates is a hub of opportunities and benefits for foreign business owners and job-seekers. Due to a budding economy and the most advantageous no-tax regime, many business owners and job seekers are turning to Dubai to set up their bank accounts.

It is possible to open and manage a bank account in Dubai even as a non-resident. However, a necessary condition to uphold when opening a bank account in Dubai is that an individual has to be physically present throughout the bank application and opening process.

Moreover, as a non-resident, you might face some limitations in terms of the benefits and local banks that you can choose from. But not to worry, many large entities in Dubai do cater to the needs of non-residents and offer favorable bank opening options to them.

In this article, we shall discuss the steps that go into opening a bank account in Dubai.

Personal Bank Account for Non-Residents

To open a personal bank account as a non-resident in Dubai, you will need to visit the bank of your choice with the following documents:-

  • A copy of your original passport. This should also include the page that shows the immigration stamp of the date of your entry into the United Arab Emirates.
  • A proof of address. This can either be a copy of your most recent utility bill or a confirmation of your address that has been issued by the city council or the municipality that you belong to.
  • Your bank statements from the last 3 to 6 months. These bank statements will be required to validate your proof of funds.
  • A copy of the original reference letter issued from the bank where you have a personal or corporate bank account in your origin country or from elsewhere.
  • A copy of your latest curriculum vitae (CV). This should reflect your personal and professional background details.

Apart from the above-mentioned documents, you will also be required to produce a comprehensive document detailing information about your incoming funds along with their sources. Many local banks in the UAE also require non-residents who are personal bank account holders to maintain an average monthly balance.

The bank will be taking these copies along with your signatures on the application forms. If your account is approved, the bank will send you your account details and online banking instructions via a formal email.

The entire process of account opening takes about 1 to 2 weeks depending upon the bank. Meanwhile when your business account is getting processed and inspected, you can check out our detailed blog on document clearing services in Dubai and how it works.

Corporate or Business Bank Account for Non-residents

Corporate bank accounts can be opened by Off-shore companies, Free zone companies, and mainland businesses.

The bank that you choose will provide you with an application form which will be supported by several other documents. Apart from the already given ones, you will also have to attach some necessary documents to prove the credibility of your business, such as:-

  • The passport and residence Visa of all shareholders and directors.
  • The Articles of Association (AoA) as well as the Memorandum of Association (MoA)
  • The trade or business license or the certified incorporation documents of the company.
  • Incorporation documents and details about the set-up of the company and corporate structure.
  • Documents that are related to and detail your business plans.
  • Information on existing business contracts.
  • Curriculum vitae with the relevant experience that is required.
  • Reference letters issued by business partners.
  • A well-detailed business profile.
  • Documents and bank statements of any other existing business (if applicable)

And any other documentation that may be required by the bank you choose. Also check out our blog on different types of Visa’s including the golden visa in detail here!

Authentication and Background Check

Each document that is submitted is cross-checked and verified by the bank. And discrepancy in the information that you have provided could lead to the rejection of your bank account application.

However, if approved, the bank will then run a complete background check on the business and its officials. Every aspect of the company from the management team to the bank details will be scrutinized and authenticated. The background check can also include details of the financial stability of the company or business.

Final Approval

If the business clears even the background check and all the necessary conditions are satisfied, then the final step involves an interview with the applicant and the bank officials.

This interview is important so that bank officials can clear their queries regarding the business, ask them for any other requirements and information, etc. With this, the entire bank application process has been completed and approved.


The United Arab Emirates’ tax regime and acceptance of international companies and businesses, make it an attractive enough location for foreign businesses and individuals to set up their bank accounts and escape the income taxes of their own countries.

However, before opening up a bank account in Dubai, it is always advised to know the fees and fines that are involved much in advance. This is so that you can plan your budget and policies accordingly.

Also, make sure to check any requirements for an initial deposit amount, or the transaction frequency with which you have to maintain the amount in your bank account along with its limitations on account withdrawals, etc.

Go through a list of the potential prices and charges in advance and read through the terms and conditions in detail before you make your decision.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I open a non-resident bank account in Dubai?

Opening a non-resident bank account in Dubai is a step-wise procedure. You will first need to fill out an application form from the bank of your choice and submit it along with all the necessary documents such as proof of funds, proof of address, Visa, Passport, etc. The bank authorities will then validate the information you have provided and if approved, you will receive a formal email detailing all your bank information as well as online banking information.

How much money will I require to open a business bank account?

A lot of banks in the UAE offer low to zero balance business accounts to help with easy money flow. You can deposit and withdraw any amount of money from such bank accounts according to your needs.

What type of bank should I choose for my small business?

Try to look for three main factors when choosing a bank account for your small business.

  • Flexible transactions.
  • No fee for business checking accounts.
  • Easy to access.
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