- Corporate Banking in Dubai, the UAE

Corporate Banking in Dubai, the UAE

Corporate Banking in Dubai, the UAE

UAE is very well known is the large international business hub. Thousands of companies from different counties and with different activities operate here. All this would have been impossible without efficient and safe banking services. Corporate services in Dubai, the UAE are highly developed and perfectly serves international business requirements.

Majority of banks in the United Arab Emirates are local and regional banks with very sound background and highly stable financials. They offer all types of services for corporate customers – trading and merchant accounts, LCs and trade finance, accounts in majority of currencies, internet banking and other features.

In each country there are some certain particulars of the services. In the UAE, such specifics are, for example is that when opening sub-accounts in different currencies, you must also open the AED account. This AED account is used by a bank to apply the regular banking charges for account services and these charges are debited from the account in AED.

To open a corporate account you must visit the Dubai, the UAE – this is categorically obligatory as the personal meeting with a banker at the time of account opening is the precondition, set by the UAE central bank.

We also need to mention that opening corporate bank accounts in the country for foreign legal entities can be rather complex and time consuming. As United Arab Emirates did not sign agreement on documents apostille, files of the foreign company must be duly legalized over the Consulate of the UAE in the country, which issued company documents, and then in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. If a corporate structure of a foreign company is a multi-level one with a number of shareholders – physical and legal entities – documents of each shareholder must be provided – in the legalized form. When opening accounts for foreign companies banks also apply more extensive compliance and may require more supporting documents.

Thus, in praxis it is much easier and quicker to set up a basic company in the UAE and open account for such company. A standard offshore company in the Dubai, the United Arab Emirates starts from slightly over USD 2.000,- which is markedly less expensive that legalization of documents of a foreign entity.

In terms of requirements on the minimum account balance – UAE banks are quite flexible. Depending on a bank such minimum requirement starts from USD 5.000,- and goes up to USD 55.000,-. And if you as corporate choose higher minimum balance preference – starting from USD 100.000,- - you would be classified as the privileged customer with the personal account manager being assigned to your account.

On internet facilities – practically all banks in Dubai offer internet facilities. Internet banking has a number of diverse functions and of high level of safety. We shall note that the internet banking activation process in majority of banks is slightly complicated thus, when we assist with account opening, we also provide support on internet banking activation.

Another aspect which you shall be aware of is the working days in Dubai – Fridays and Saturdays are week-ends. Means if you make an international transfer from the UAE on Thursday, most likely it would be on the account of the beneficiary Monday or Tuesday next week only (Friday and Saturday UAE banks are closed and Sunday – international banks are closed).

When opening a corporate account in Dubai your company would be classified as :

  • offshore – if this is the UAE international business company.
  • onshore with no director residency - if it  is free zone onshore and its director is not UAE resident.
  • onshore with company director being resident in the country – means has UAE resident visa.

For offshore companies banks apply slightly higher compliance requirements as well as greater minimum account balances.  For onshore companies whereby directors are non-UAE resident regulations are eased, but still there are some minor limitation - such as no cheque book. For onshore with director – UAE resident – all regular features of the local banking is available in full extend.

In the event we speak about corporate financing – such financing is accessible for onshore companies only. And, as a rule, for financing, such company shall have at least 3 years of positive track record.

We as the corporate service provider, deliver full assistance within account opening for companies in the UAE banks in Dubai. We actively work cooperate with its majority in the United Arab Emirates and perfectly know all specifics and requirements of each of them. When we assist with its opening our managers visits a bank with the client or arranges a meeting with a banker in our office. We provide full support within the initial stage of documents application, assistance in the phase when bank proceeds with account opening and when bank can have additional queries as well as with the internet banking activation.