Dubai Bank Accounts

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dubai bank accounts Jan 17, 2006
[hi all, i am in the process of buying an apartment in dubai off plan. can anyone tell me if it is possible for a uk resident to open a bank account in dubai and "managing" its accounts electronically from the uk?

gazza
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Jan 17, 2006
The simple answer is yes and no.

Yes, but you can only hold a "savings" account. You will NOT be allowed to have a cheque book, debt/credit card or credit card until you have "residency". You can only have residency when you have completed the final payment on your property.

No, you cannot manage your account from the UK. I bank with LLoyds and they confirmed this. I cannot speak for HSBC, or Barclays or any of the ME Banks. I assume this is correct for all of them though because of the restriction of the type of account you can hold until you have "residency".

Also at the moment you are in a position of only being able to deposit money into a UAE Savings account via a Electronic Money Mover or Transfer. Obviously you cannot take "wads" of cash into UAE due to money laundering regs. The most i take in at any one time is £5k

The reason why i say this, is that at the moment the exchange rate is not particulary good for us Brits. For instance, if you transferred a large amount now, you would slash your wrists if the dollar weakened in a few months time.

The AED (Dhm) is "fixed to the dollar" for exchange rate purposes. When the dollar is week we are laughing, if strong like now its not good.

This i'm affraid is the gamble when you buy property using a foreign currency.
arniegang
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Jan 17, 2006
ohh and another important point.

When doing transfers electronically from the UK, the golden figure to get the best rate is £15001. Tranferring below this amount will only give the the equivilent of "tourist rates" on exchange.

You may also wish to consider opening up an offshore "dirham" account, either in Jersey or the Isle of Man. I know LLoyds UK have this facility but again cannot speak for the others. At a guess i would imagine HSBC do, they are probably the biggest players in Foreign and Offshore Accounts.
arniegang
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dubai bank accounts Jan 21, 2006
thanks for the advice, I am in early stages of "split" payments for the apartment, and was planning to visit "periodically" with a "sum" of money, depositing into a dubai account and " electronically" transferring into the developers account. I know of restrictions to taking excessive cash out of the uk per exit, but, would it not be more financiallly advantageous if possible?
gazza
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Jan 21, 2006
Hi

At your stage in purchasing your property ie the stage payments, your plan would be impossible, you will have to do electronic transfers from the UK i am affraid.

I assume you have a reason why you want to bring "cash " into the country and not feed it via a UK bank account. If you are planning to buy your appartment with "cash" as in cash not in a bank account, then i'm affraid you are basically stuffed.
arniegang
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Jan 21, 2006
and you are incorrect on the issue of taking money "out" of the UK. The problem is taking large amounts of cash "into a country".
arniegang
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