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How to open a current account in the UAE

A current account helps you manage your everyday banking needs.

With the convenience of online banking and mobile apps, you can have full control over your money on the go. You can also have the security and protection of your bank to keep your finances safe.

In this guide, we look at the requirements for opening a current account in the UAE, and what you need to apply.

What is a current account?

Current accounts, also referred to as transaction accounts, are the most convenient and accessible type of banking account.

You can pay for things with your debit card, make cash withdrawals from bank ATMs, set up Direct Debits for your bills, use online and mobile banking, and much more.

There are different types of current accounts. Some are basic, while others come with additional features and are exclusive to those earning a certain monthly salary.

Who can open a current account?

To be eligible for a current account in the UAE, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years' old
  • Have a valid UAE residency visa

If you're moving to the UAE but don't have your residency visa yet, you may want to consider opening an international bank account first. This could bridge the gap until you arrive and get your paperwork sorted. Bear in mind that this is not a current account.

Explore: Moving to the UAE - Setting up your finances

Other current account eligibility criteria

Along with the above, there may be a minimum salary you need to have paid into certain accounts to be eligible for them.

You may also need to maintain a minimum balance in your account, or you'll be charged a fee.

What documents do you need to open a current account?

Most current accounts require you to provide at least the following to apply:

  • Original passport (for all customers)
  • Residence visa (for non-GCC national customers only)
  • Your Emirates Identification card
  • Original labour card / work ID (for GCC national customers only)
  • Proof of UAE residence - such as a utility bill, rental agreement, title deed or employment letter

And if you're applying for an account with a salary requirement, you'll need:

  • Your original trade licence (if you're self-employed)
  • A salary certificate (if you work for the government or in the public sector)
  • A salary transfer letter (if you work for a private company)

Can you have a joint current account in the UAE?

Yes, you can.

The process is the same as for sole accounts, but you'll both need to provide the relevant documents and complete the application process.

However, only one applicant is usually required to provide a salary certificate or salary transfer letter.

Explore: How to open a joint current account 

Can you have more than one current account?

You can open multiple current bank accounts if you want to, but just remember you'll have to manage them.

Check your credit score

Most banks will check your credit score and credit history before providing you with a current account, or any other financial product.

It's wise to check your credit report before you apply to make sure all your information is accurate and up to date.

You can check your UAE credit score and report on the AECB website.

Personal Banking General Terms and Conditions apply.

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