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Find out about the products and services available from banks in Dubai, plus bank opening times...
Some banks may require a minimum balance on the account at all times. Overdraft facilities are not available. Customers are usually given the option of opening a current or savings account.
A current account usually offers the following services:
- Cheque book
- Debit and credit cards
- Facilities for setting up standing orders, direct debits and credit card repayments
- Most offer online facilities
- Personal loans
- Regular bank statements in English if required
Accounts can be opened in international currency at all major banks.
ATMs can be found throughout Dubai. Some banks may charge a small fee if using another bank's ATM.
Cheques are habitually used as a way for paying for things such as rent, where post-dated cheques are written for the whole year's tenancy agreement. Post-dated cheques are also used to pay off loans such as a car loan.
However, cheques must not be written for an amount more than the balance of the account. It is a criminal offence in the UAE to issue a cheque without the necessary funds, and the police may be informed. Bounced cheques can often lead to a court case, and even a jail sentence. Likewise, it is not advised to overdraw on a bank account unless authorised by the bank.
If a cheque book is lost or stolen, the customer must notify their bank by telephone immediately and then follow up the conversation in writing.
A savings account can be opened by residents and non-residents at most banks in Dubai. The majority of savings accounts send out monthly or quarterly statements with details of interest accrued. Customers can also ask for a cash card to be used at distributors as well as a cheque book, depending on the type of account.
Note: In the case of death, all assets of the deceased are frozen and held by the state. To release the assets, the surviving spouse must file a petition with the court. Foreign workers may also have their bank accounts frozen if their residency visa is cancelled or if they lose their job.