Banking Services for Entrepreneurs in the UAE

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In the modern world, one of the most attractive countries for doing business is the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This is largely due to its modern and stable banking system. Banking services for entrepreneurs in the UAE have several characteristics, which specialists from The Level Consulting company are ready to help understand.

Advantages of the Banking System of the United Arab Emirates:

  • Economic stability;
  • Status - the main banks of the United Arab Emirates belong to the AA category, which includes the most reliable banks in the global system;
  • Stable currency;
  • Non-disclosure of financial information about residents;
  • Absence of currency control;
  • Favorable tariffs for banking services;
  • Integration into the global financial system;
  • Ability to conduct transactions in any currency without conversion;
  • Ability to manage an account from anywhere in the world;
  • High level of service - availability, speed of providing banking services, and more.

Banks in the UAE

The country is home to branches of all the largest financial institutions in the world. In total, there are 52 banks in the UAE, with 22 of them being local. All of them are members of the UAE Banks Federation, which strictly monitors their reputation. Banks in their activities are divided into several types:

  • Commercial banks – providing loans, account management;
  • Industrial banks – providing loans, including for entrepreneurial activities;
  • Investment banks – dealing with stock operations;
  • Islamic banks – guided by Islamic law (no fixed interest rates, taking into account clients' difficulties with delays).

What is the Know Your Client system

The Know Your Client (KYC) procedure is adopted in all banking organizations in the UAE. The purpose of the KYC system is a thorough check of a potential client, who must answer a series of questions and provide a set of documents. The verification process can take from two to three weeks and longer.

The client provides information about themselves when applying to open an account, as well as when making changes - banks monitor this process. An interview with a bank employee regarding KYC questions is conducted in English or Arabic. The bank may require additional information and subsequently - for example, when conducting financial transactions. This is done to minimize risks and control transactions.

It is necessary to be very careful in preparing the document package, as Arab financiers are meticulous and picky. Delay in preparing the case leads to significant delays in opening an account, and submitting an incomplete case can lead to refusal to open it. The reasons for refusal can also be the blocking of other accounts, doubts about the legal origin of funds, and other violations.

Accounts for residents and non-residents

When opening a bank account, the residency status of the potential client is of great importance. For residents, this task is much easier since they can apply for services to open and maintain an account in any bank in the country. They will have access to VISA and MasterCard plastic cards, online banking, a checkbook, with a minimum balance size of about $800.

A non-resident cannot open a current account; only a savings account is available to them, and the minimum balance can amount to thousands of dollars. They are not entitled to use a checkbook.

Another significant nuance for citizens of the Russian Federation is that banks in the UAE presented by international financial groups stopped opening accounts for Russians after the imposition of sanctions, including residents. Local banks do not have such restrictions, but they are mainly focused on serving residents. At the same time, the consideration of a case can take 3-4 months. Residents who have partners from the UAE have a better chance of success.

Opening an Account Procedure for Residents

If the applicant has a residency visa and an Emirates ID card, they have access to a full range of banking services, and opening a deposit is not required to open an account – local partners are sufficient. It is possible to open an account online. The preliminary check will be carried out through a simplified procedure since the potential client has already been verified by the immigration service. Full confidentiality of the bank account is guaranteed to them. The document package includes:

  • Passport;
  • Valid resident visa;
  • Emirates ID card;
  • Proof of residency in the country (Ejari) or documents for purchased real estate (Title Deed);
  • Bank statement for the last six months in the country of residence.

Opening an Account Procedure for Non-Residents

Opening an account for non-residents takes more time, and the conditions will be stricter. First of all, there will be a requirement for a stable, non-decreasing balance in the account. The range of banking services is reduced, and the client will receive a credit or debit card only with a large deposit, and they will also need to purchase insurance or participate in an investment program. The preliminary check will be long and thorough, especially in establishing the origin of funds. Information about opening an account will be transmitted to the tax authorities of the country of citizenship of the non-resident.

In addition to the resident document package, non-residents will need an income certificate or a valid employment contract and a bank statement from the country of residence for six months. The bank may also request a resume, a letter from the bank of the country of residence, and other documents.

The Level Consulting company offers a full range of services for opening and developing a business in the United Arab Emirates, including assistance with banking services for entrepreneurs in the UAE. Professional assistance guarantees compliance with UAE laws, the fastest and legally sound completion of all procedures, and finding optimal solutions to emerging problems. The Level Consulting works for your success.

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