There’s no shortage of banks in Dubai. There are international, regional and nearby banks, all well financed, well regulated and well run.
In spite of the fact that there have been one or two infamous banking embarrassments in the region, remarkably the closure of BICC bank, banks are generally strong and well supported, and both the regulation and finance exist to forestall major incidents in the future.
Two of the biggest banks in Dubai – Emirates Bank International and the National Bank of Dubai – merged to create the Emirates NBD, in 2007, which is presently Dubai’s biggest bank. Other banks are the Dubai Islamic Bank, the First Gulf Bank, among others.
Banks fall into a number of categories. Some central banks operate as clearing banks just as being the regulatory organization. There are likewise corporate or merchant banks, giving venture and investment cash-flow to institutional investors.
Investment banks extend their services to singular investors, quite ‘high net worth people’s interested in portfolio management. At last, there are retail or ‘high street’ banks for the masses. There are no savings and credit banks or common structure societies operating as banks in the region. The services offered in other countries by these associations are undertaken by the ‘ordinary’ banks in Dubai.
An interesting aspect of Middle Eastern banking that you’re unlikely to involve yourself with (unless you’re a Muslim) is Islamic banking. The teachings of Islam boycott interest or usury, and Islamic banking involves the centralisation of funds within a bank. These resources are then used, for example, to fund a development project or other type of investment, which thusly produces returns, which are then shared out in relation to include.
Banking for expats
As a working expatriate, you’re likely to open a standard current or deposit account with one of the numerous international banks found all through the region. Banks, for example, Standard Chartered, Citibank, British Bank of the Middle East and others provide a reasonable service, bank charges are quite low and credit terms are competitive. (Banks are keen to pull in customers and therefore eager to issue advances.)
Banking in Dubai has now become exceptionally automated compares well with banking in other advanced countries.
Some banks offer drive-in services, in spite of the fact that working together rapidly is unnatural to the temperament of the region. Others provide mobile banking facilities for distant villages and remote areas. Large modern complexes often have banks nearby for the convenience of their workers and this is likewise the case with some affable service associations, for example, police preparing centers.
In the event that you have a protest against a bank and can’t resolve it through the bank’s senior organization, the next course of activity is to appeal to the Chamber of Commerce for advice, or perhaps the regulatory Central Bank; the common court is your last recourse, however this is rarely necessary.
Most business in Dubai open from 7am to 1pm and 3pm to 6pm. Banks are open from 8am to 3pm from Saturday to Wednesday, and 8am to early afternoon on Thursday and like other businesses, they are closed on Fridays.
Companies dealing in foreign exchange and money transfers for the most part work later in the evening, especially those located in shopping centers and principle shopping thoroughfares. At major international air terminals, bank facilities are generally open 24 hours. Open occasions are observed by banks, which conform to the occasion periods set by the governing organizations for private sector companies.
The most effective method to open a bank account in Dubai
The formalities involved in opening a bank account in Dubai are quite stringent and involve a considerable measure of paperwork.
It’s compulsory to have a residence visa, which demonstrates your entitlement to be in the nation. As already stated elsewhere, you additionally require a “letter of no objection” or a “no objection letter” (NOC) from your employer. The employer’s letter needs to stipulate your compensation, to show the sum that will regularly be paid into the bank. Some banks will request to see your tenancy agreement to establish your residential address, and most will request a photocopy of your passport. You should take copies of every one of these documents, just as identity photographs.
A worker’s dependants (e.g. wife and family) can open an account with his permission, as he’s in effect their support.
When moving to Dubai to live and work, it’s unlikely that you will close your bank account at home, especially in the event that you despite everything have payments to make to cover commitments in your home nation. So as to restrict your tax liabilities there, however, the funds going into home accounts ought to be kept to a base. It’s practically certain that you will likewise open an offshore bank account.
Money is preferred for everyday exchanges in Dubai, where people are generally dubious of checks. Truth be told, in spite of the fact that utilities companies and other major service providers accept personal checks for regular payments, these are generally unlikely to be accepted by nearby retailers, as they convey no guarantee of payment, even however giving a check without the necessary funds in your account is a criminal offense in the region. Most current accounts are therefore not check accounts, in spite of the fact that these are additionally available.
All the standard banking services are offered by Dubai banks, including check clearance, standing orders, direct debits and credit card repayments.
A certain number of exchanges per year are generally free, after which there may be a charge levied, for the most part at the discretion of the bank manager. Charges change between banks, as they do in other countries, so search around before opening an account with a specific bank.
Money dispenser cards are issued as an issue of routine, with the standard security measure of personal identification numbers (PIN) to permit access to your money through ATMs. Personal credit and charge cards, the greater part of them underwritten by Visa or Mastercard, may likewise be issued by a bank, yet these must be negotiated with your banker and often have spending restrictions.
It may be to your greatest advantage to open an account with your employer’s bank: favorable terms may be offered for bunch accounts and your pay may be accessible more rapidly if the accounts are in the same system. On the off chance that you wish to change bank, it pays to be honest and close your account instead of leaving a limited quantity in it to keep it active, as you’re likely to bring about charges.
Current accounts pay little or no interest on account balances and, in the event that they do, you should ordinarily have a generous balance to qualify. It’s better to keep surplus funds in a savings or deposit account.
The information appeared on personal checks is genuinely standard (i.e. the name of the bank, the branch, your name(s), the date, etc.), and the design of checks is like UK or American checks. The recipient’s name is written on the top line, the sum written in words on the accompanying line and the sum in figures entered in the adjacent box. You sign the check on the line at the base.
A significant point to remember is that Arab names are very comparative, especially in their diminutive form, so you ought to be sure to write the complete name of an Arab recipient. You aren’t entitled to reimbursement for a ‘misdirected’ check in the event that you’ve been careless and inaccurate when composing it, despite the fact that banks are responsible on the off chance that they’ve honored a check which doesn’t bear your proper signature.
Checks are available for completion in English or in Arabic (which is read and written from option to left), and bank statements and correspondence can be provided in either language (your bank should use the appropriate language naturally). The business language of the region is English, and you should encounter no difficulties in the event that you can communicate in Arabic or English.
Both crossed and uncrossed checks are available. Crossed checks (marked ‘A/C Payee Only’ at 45 degrees across it) can be paid uniquely into the payee’s account and are therefore safer. An uncrossed check can be paid into any account, in spite of the fact that the bearer is ordinarily asked to endorse the rear of the check.
To ensure that a check must be paid into the account of the payee, you should include the words ‘A/C Payee Only’ between the crossed corner to corner lines on the check. Uncrossed checks made out to ‘Bearer’ or ‘Money’ are treated as currency and can be cashed by anyone.
You ought to never overdraw your bank account unless you have authorisation from the bank. On the off chance that you do as such and the whole is little, your bank may pay the sum and inform you of the setback, or they may pay just the sum held in your account, or they probably won’t respect the check by any means. The latter is unlikely, unless you’re a new customer or have a helpless record with the bank. Much of the time of an unauthorized overdraft, you will bring about a significant charge and be questioned about the incident.
Note that giving a check without the necessary funds in your account is a serious criminal offense in the region and the police will be notified at the discretion of the bank (or creditor) concerned. Prosecution isn’t unprecedented and punishments can be unforgiving.
A large transient expatriate populace means that budgetary abuses aren’t phenomenal, and the banks protect their interests carefully, with the help of the legal system.
It’s essential to understand that, on account of serious budgetary difficulties, expatriates are unlikely to receive much in the method of compassion and understanding, since their services in the nation are viewed as expendable. In cases of criminal monetary activities, penalties are likely to be cruel and might involve confinement for indeterminate periods while the legal process takes its convoluted course, especially in the more conservative states.
On the off chance that your check book is lost or stolen, you should tell your bank by telephone immediately and affirm the conversation recorded as a hard copy. Once you’ve informed the bank of the misfortune, any checks written after that point cease to be your responsibility. It’s possible to stop payment of a check, however you should be in a situation to persuade the banking organization that the cause is genuine and pressing.
When purchasing a major item, for example, a vehicle on credit, the bank funding the advance is likely to issue you with a series of post-dated month to month checks, to be passed to the vendor, who will present the checks on the appropriate dates for settlement. You ought to ensure that the checks are correct in every detail and that you keep any receipts issued. Make sure additionally that there are sufficient funds in your account to meet the payments.
In case you’re unable to meet a payment, you should tell your bank in advance to make an appropriate arrangement. Banks are normally helpful in such cases (as no bank needs to acquire second-hand vehicles in default of payment). On account of an engine vehicle purchase, the official registration of the vehicle may show the bank as the official owner until the credit has been repaid in full.
For service bills, direct debits can be arranged with your bank to cover regular payments, yet make sure that you check your statements to ensure that these guidelines are being carried out. Alternatively, you can pay service bills in real money at any bank, irrespective of whether you have an account there.
You can of course pay checks drawn on foreign banks in major currencies into your neighborhood account. You may be credited with the sum straight away, however some banks hang tight for clearance, which can be a lengthy process. In case you’re expecting regular payments of this sort, check whether your neighborhood bank has correspondent status with the foreign bank involved, which will precipitate payments. If not, you may need to locate a quicker method of being credited with the money.
Savings and Deposit Accounts
You can open a savings or deposit account with any retail bank in Dubai. There are no specific savings banks, for example, frugalities or S&Ls in the USA or building societies or ‘shared companies’ in the UK. In spite of the fact that savings accounts offer lower interest rates than deposit accounts, they have the advantage of easy withdrawal whenever.
Savings account holders may receive a passbook wherein monetary exchanges can be recorded, yet more generally a month to month statement is issued so as to record the progress and details of the account. Holders may likewise be issued with a money card for use in ATMs, a check book and a credit card, depending on the type of account.
There are numerous types of deposit account available, offering changing rates of interest as per the sum on deposit and least deposit period. This is typically a month, albeit some banks pay interest after a week – generally on large sums as it were. High interest accounts are available however require considerable adds up to be deposited so as to fit the bill for the higher levels of interest.
Some banks offer standing order facilities with these accounts and issue check books, yet there may be maintenance charges and a breaking point on the number of checks that can be issued every year.
In numerous banks, you can open savings accounts designed for major foreign currencies, predominantly US$ and GB£. Most expatriates, however, wish to export the majority of their income to accounts outside the region.