Opening a Bank Account

A company without a bank account, will result in no business and no trade. This is why we place great importance on our relationships with local and international banks, from Private Banks, to Commercial and Investment Banks.

 

In many cases, we can have a corporate account open and operational in 5 days. In normal circumstances however, the account should take 2 to 3 weeks to be ready and active.

 

We regularly set up international bank accounts for clients, whilst managing their corporate affairs with the relevant level of substance, from offices in Dubai.

 

Some of the Banks we currently work with:

Banking in Dubai

Banks in the Emirate of Dubai are divided into two categories – local “Emirati” banks and branches of foreign banks.  There are over 50 banks represented in Dubai, albeit recent years has seen consolidation of many of the Emirati Banks.  It should be noted that all banks in Dubai are regulated by the Central Bank of the UAE.

Opening a company bank account in Dubai:

Virtually every company – onshore or offshore – will at some stage require a bank account to undertake business. Opening a corporate bank account in the UAE is a relatively straightforward procedure for UAE Mainland Companies that maintain a valid Trade License. However, customer due-diligence or identification requirements may vary depending upon the size and activity of the business. Opening a bank account in Dubai for an offshore company however, has become more difficult, albeit not impossible.

The process is generally as follows:

  • The Bank will request standard corporate documents on the company to confirm the legal existence of the entity.
  • Companies that are owned by other corporate entities will need to provide a full set of corporate documents in order to identify the management and ultimate beneficial ownership of the structure.
  • If the corporate shareholder is foreign, these documents will need to be notarised/legalised in their country of origin and again in the UAE.
  • Full due-diligence on all persons involved with the company from the account signatories, to Directors, Shareholders and UBO – must be provided.

 

Global protocol and government initiatives against tax evasion, money laundering and terrorist financing have obliged the Central Bank to impose enhanced customer due diligence procedures on all new account applications. As a result, Dubai banks have had to adopt a case by case risk-based approach to account opening. The Banks must further understand the customer’s primary business areas, currencies involved, anticipated volume of deposits, the level of revenues and its main customers and suppliers.

How can the team at Huriya assist?

Huriya Private can guide you through the process and help you prepare all necessary documentation to facilitate and expedite an account application. Our fees for attending to the account opening procedures start from US$2,500. This would not include the costs of preparing any additional legalized/notarised documentation that a bank may require.

Documents required to open a corporate bank account in Dubai:
  • Company Trade License
  • Certificate of Incorporation or Registration
  • Share Certificate(s)
  • Company Memorandum & Articles of Association
  • Board Resolution or Power of Attorney empowering a Company Officer to open the account
  • Passport copies for all officers / directors / shareholders and authorised signatories*

Talk to one of our consultants to learn more about corporate banking

Opening A Bank Account

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Which banks do you work with?

We work with all the local and international banks. In some cases, we have an enhanced or approved introducer status with some banks, which can frequently facilitate speedy account openings. Also, debit and credit cards are available from most banks that we work with.  We can also assist with American Express applications, both for Platinum and Centurion.

How long does it take to open a bank account in Dubai?

In Dubai – there is no set timeframe with any bank, as they all have their own internal procedures, due-diligence processes and timeframes. It generally takes approximately 2 – 5 weeks to open a bank account. The deciding factor is the type of company. A local company with local representation can take only a week, whilst an offshore or non-resident account can take 4-6 weeks.

Can a non-resident individual or foreign company open a bank account in Dubai?

Yes, but only in a limited number of banks. Banks will also limit the facilities available to the company/applicant. Typically, they will only allow the use of an internet banking facility for online transfers. Banks will not provide credit or debit cards for non-residents.

Are there any minimum balance requirements for banks in Dubai?

Yes. No banks want to hold empty accounts.  All banks will expect a minimum balance to be maintained, which can vary dependent upon the particular bank and the particular type of account. Banks typically require an account to maintain an average monthly balance between AED 20,000 and AED 500,000. If the average balance falls below the required amount, a penalty fee will be charged to the account.  

Do I need to meet the bank in person?

Yes, but only for Dubai based banks. We have agreements in place with lots of offshore banks where we apply the account with scanned copies of the clients signatures and corporate documents.

Can Huriya Private provide individual or corporate director services to my company, if so how does this affect the bank account?

If we are managing your company, and providing director services, this will give further comfort to the local banks and will certainly speed up the account opening process.  If we are Directors of your company, then in accordance with our insurance and local regulations, we also need to be signatories on the company bank account.  We can provide multiple authorised signatories to the account to make sure your banking requirements are always taken care of, along with the necessary agreements in place from incorporation to ensure total transparency and the procedures on how our Directors act upon your instructions.

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