Once you arrive in Dubai, there are many things you have to do to complete your transition as an expat. One of the most important tasks is opening a bank account.
Whether you are working or starting a business in this city, you have to put some thought into opening your first bank account in Dubai if you want to get the most out of it.
Failing to do so can cause you plenty of inconveniences and headaches. Moreover, you won’t be able to carry out important banking transactions and achieve your financial goals.
Finding the Ideal Bank in Dubai
The right bank should meet your individual needs, whether you want to earn some money on your savings, use online budgeting tools, or gain access to different digital banking services in the UAE or an enormous ATM network.
If you want to ensure you will open and maintain the best bank account that suits you in Dubai, here are six tips that can help you:
1. Know what type of bank account you want to open.
The best thing to do is to narrow down your list of bank account options first.
Banks offer different types of bank accounts. These include savings, checking, and money market accounts.
You can decide which type of account you want to open based on your financial goals and priorities.
A basic savings account allows you to have a safe place to store your money, which you can access anytime. Whether you need a large amount for an emergency or a small one to buy something, you can get it immediately by heading to an ATM or the nearest branch of your bank.
If you want to save more money, consider opening a high-yield savings account.
A checking account comes with plenty of conveniences in terms of various day-to-day banking transactions, such as depositing pay cheques, withdrawing cash, and paying bills.
Many checking accounts now come with various ways to access money. These include debit cards and personal checks. But the biggest benefit this type of account offers is that there is no limit to the number of monthly transactions you can make.
Many banks offer other types of accounts. You will do well to look into all their products since you may discover another option that will address your needs and work with your expected lifestyle better.
2. Check the fees.
The right bank should allow you to store and even earn money, not cause you to lose it.
Some banks have penalty fees when you overdraft an account or charge monthly maintenance fees with their checking accounts.
Others even come with fees for basic transactions, such as withdrawals, debit card purchases, and interbank money transfers.
If there are fees assigned to these transactions, then start thinking about choosing another bank.
Paying too many fees to your bank won’t help you in any way since you are essentially throwing money down the drain with this setup.
If you are drawn to a particular bank account that has a monthly fee, but you are sure that you can meet this requirement to get it waived, you can put this product on the top of your list.
However, if you are uncomfortable with these fees and find them too inconvenient, look for another bank.
3. Find out if there is a minimum balance requirement.
Many banks have a minimum balance requirement, which means you need to keep the balance above the stated amount or pay a penalty.
In most instances, this fee corresponds to the monthly maintenance fee. The only way to have this waived is to maintain that minimum balance.
Since you have only recently moved to Dubai and are still starting out, you will need some time to recoup some of your expenses and begin saving. Because of this, you may find it difficult to maintain the required minimum balance in your account.
As such, it will work to your advantage to choose a bank with accounts that do not have this requirement to avoid unnecessary fees.
4. Check the bank’s network of ATMs.
Some banks have products that are too great to resist. However, one issue that you may forget to look into is its network of ATMs.
Having difficulties accessing an ATM can be inconvenient and even frustrating, especially if you need cash immediately.
To avoid this problem, check how many ATMS your shortlisted bank has. Make sure there is one in a few different places that are near you or that you frequent, such as malls, supermarkets, and convenience stores.
If the bank you are considering does not have that many cash machines, consider taking them off your list to avoid finding yourself in such unfortunate situations. Check the fee that comes with withdrawing from ATMs of different banks as well.
5. Look into the bank’s digital features.
Many banks now offer their basic services, such as transferring funds, paying bills, and checking balances, through their mobile apps and websites.
Some banks also include a mobile check deposit feature, which means you can deposit a money order or cheque with the help of your phone’s camera without too much hassle.
However, not all banks have advanced digital capabilities. These include the ability to lock a debit card and manage mobile banking alerts. Some do not even have mobile apps at all.
A mobile app makes it easy for you to carry out different digital banking transactions wherever you are as long as you are connected to the Internet. As such, it should be one of the features you should look for in your first bank.
6. Choose a bank that suits your lifestyle.
Ultimately, the bank you open an account in should fit your lifestyle and meet your needs.
If you want to save money as soon as you have transitioned in Dubai, look for a bank and account with features that can help you achieve this goal.
If you are starting a business in this city, you need a bank that can provide support as you build and grow your venture. With sufficient research, you will be able to find one that can support you throughout the entire process.
You will also do well to choose a bank that allows you to open separate savings accounts.
Whether you are working or opening a business in Dubai, with the right bank, you will be able to open a personal savings account, another for an emergency fund, and one for your company, among others.
If you choose the right bank, you will also have access to different features and tools that will help you manage your budget and track your expenses efficiently.
Your bank in Dubai can help you achieve your financial goals once you arrive in this city. Take some time to choose the best one to ensure you get the support you need.