Using a Dubai Bank Account

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.