Editor’s note: This is a guest post from M Zahid Rafiq
If your work or personal life is about to take you to Dubai for an extended stay you should consider setting up a bank account in the emirates. There are many banks offering great deals on current accounts such as HSBC among others so finding the right account for you shouldn’t be a problem, but you’ll need to know what’s expected of you in the application process before you proceed.
First of all, it’s absolutely mandatory that you have a residence visa which proves your right to be live in the UAE. If you don’t have this there then no bank in the emirates will offer you an account, so make sure you have your visa in order before you continue.
Secondly, you will need a “letter of no objection” or “no objection certificate” from your employer, which will need to clearly state your salary and the total amount of this that will be paid regularly and directly into the bank account. You will be required to prove your address and some banks will go as far as to ask to see your tenancy or mortgage agreement, but most will only need a photocopy of your passport and a bill. You may wish to use this opportunity to open bank accounts for your partner or children, as they will be considered your dependents and will require your permission if they ever wish to open an account.
If you are planning to return to your home country at some point, or still have commitments there, you probably shouldn’t close your current account there, but do keep transactions on the account to a minimum while in the UAE to avoid tax issues. You may wish to open an additional offshore bank account to act as a conduit between your Dubai and home accounts.It might be a good idea to open an account with your employer’s bank as this may be considered a “group account” and you might be offered additional benefits. Your salary should also be available more quickly if it’s paid in from the same bank.
With a bit of preparation you’ll find opening a bank account in the UAE as easy as opening one at home and in some ways a lot more secure. Be sure to examine all your options carefully and decide what the best account for you is, but whatever you decide know you’ll be in safe hands with the banks of Dubai.
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