Opening Current Account In Dubai

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Opening Current Account in Dubai Posted Jan 07, 2008
I am currently trying to open a current account in Dubai in advance my my relocation there in March (from the UK). I had intended to stay with my current bank HSBC, however I have come up against some difficulties so far. The issue is the minimum balance requirement. It seems that I cannot open a current account until I deposit a minimum of AED 5,000. The first payment I will be able to make into this account are my wages and I will not obtain these until April and I cannot obtain my wages until I hold a bank account.... Can anyone offer any advice as to how they have overcome such an issue? Could anyone recommend another bank that would possibly not impose a minimum deposit? Thanks in advance.

janel
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Posted Jan 07, 2008
The balance you refer to is the minimum balance. Just stick 5000AED in the account to open it and then withdraw it or most of it. You get charged 100 AED per month when you go below this 5000AED. When you get paid you'll be above it.
XPClone
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Posted Jan 07, 2008
You might want to look around for banks with who require a smaller minimim balance on the acct. Try Emirates Bank.
Dubaidude007
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Posted Jan 07, 2008
you cannot open a "current account" at any bank until you have residency.

You can open up a "deposit" account though. Try LloydsTsb in Al Wasl Road.
arniegang
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Posted Jan 08, 2008
Most banks want 5000 dhs minimum for current account, and a residence visa. HSBC may be an exception for current account without residence visa. National Bank of Abu Dhabi might open current account for lower minimum (1000 dhs?). RAK Bank another possibility. Here's a list of banks in Dubai

Deal with it when you get here is much easier.
bonk
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Posted Jan 08, 2008
No bank will give a current account without residency, it is the law because they are not allowed to issue credit cards and cheque books to any non resident.

Also no bank can/will isssue cash card or debit card until residency is obtained.
arniegang
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Posted Jan 08, 2008
arniegang wrote:No bank will give a current account without residency, it is the law because they are not allowed to issue credit cards and cheque books to any non resident.

Also no bank can/will isssue cash card or debit card until residency is obtained.


This is correct as far as I know.
sage & onion
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Posted Jan 08, 2008
arniegang wrote:No bank will give a current account without residency, it is the law because they are not allowed to issue credit cards and cheque books to any non resident.

I saw a reference in one of those magazines with a table of bank accounts etc (MoneyWorks?) to HSBC being an exception. Maybe it was a savings account, or maybe they had incorrect information, or maybe they were referring to HSBC Offshore which has an office here but not a bank, but I do remember being surprised because it contradicted what I thought - which was the same as you.

I've also heard of people arriving here and companies have already set up a bank account for them - whether or not it's a current account I don't know.

I do know people who have a current account and credit cards without residency visa but that's because they opened account with residency visa and didn't close them when visa was cancelled.
bonk
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Posted Jan 08, 2008
MeBank's lowest account type is zero-balance, and they charge 15 bucks a month for it. Their next higher account type has no charges, and a Dhs 5000 minimm balance.
gtmash
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Posted Jan 09, 2008
bonk wrote:
arniegang wrote:No bank will give a current account without residency, it is the law because they are not allowed to issue credit cards and cheque books to any non resident.

I saw a reference in one of those magazines with a table of bank accounts etc (MoneyWorks?) to HSBC being an exception. Maybe it was a savings account, or maybe they had incorrect information, or maybe they were referring to HSBC Offshore which has an office here but not a bank, but I do remember being surprised because it contradicted what I thought - which was the same as you.

I've also heard of people arriving here and companies have already set up a bank account for them - whether or not it's a current account I don't know.

I do know people who have a current account and credit cards without residency visa but that's because they opened account with residency visa and didn't close them when visa was cancelled.


This is correct - HSBC must be an exception to the rule as you can open a current account with them in Dubai without residency. They levy a charge for doing so (700AED) or alternatively suggest doing it once you are out there.
philh
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Posted Jan 10, 2008
Thanks for all the helpful advice - very much appreciated. Think I may then just set up a savings account remotely which I can then convert to a current account once in Dubai. It will be one less thing at least for me to do upon arriving at least. Will do some shopping around and look at the various links provided and see if I can get a better deal than is being offered by HSBC. Thanks again.
janel
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Posted Jan 10, 2008
HSBC online banking allows one free international transfer a month i think
arniegang
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Posted Jan 11, 2008
thats with the HSBC status account, you can make one free international transfer per month for free. Only problem is once you have set it up you cannot change the amount of the transfer as far as i'm aware.

I set up my HSBC account while my residency etc was pending and the weren't fussed. They automatically give you 2 gold credit cards both of which have a £7k limit on them and a 30,000aed overdraft. However the interest rate on the overdraft is 19.9% when u go over 5000aed overdrawn. But lets be honest the amount of money most expats are earning over here means that going overdrawn at all should be a very rare occurance
DDastardly
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