Why Could You Face Issues With UAE Company Bank Account Maintenance?

foreign company bank account uaeWhen pursuing a business opportunity abroad, opening a bank account for your company is a critical factor along with the requirements for your business plan. Yet, once you open a bank account in the UAE, you may see some issues arise with your account maintenance. What are they, and how can you avoid them? Here are some of them.


But first, a quick review of the types of bank accounts in the UAE

The available bank account options are similar to what you can find in most countries. Your residency status most often dictates what type of banking packages you can acquire. There are your day-to-day accounts that Emirati banks call standard (more basic) and current accounts. Current accounts in the UAE have enhanced benefits such as travel insurance along with your cheques, debit card and money transfers. Some banks allow current account customers to have credit cards too. You can also open savings accounts (many banks only enable non-residents to open these accounts) and investment accounts. To a lesser extent, you can also find offshore bank accounts available to you, and these accounts are quite common in Dubai. 


Why can a UAE bank decide to freeze your account? 

While we’ve seen instances of bank accounts getting frozen due to illegal activities or transactions deemed suspect, the reason why most bank account freezes happen in the UAE might surprise you. These instances most often result from changes in your visa status or changing employers. Suppose you have your visa status due to sponsorship from one employer and you either get sacked or decide to change employers. When the bank sends out your final salary payment, it sends out a statement that is their final payment. That statement triggers an alert about the payment status of debts customers may have. 

The bank does not know if you are merely switching positions or you are going to be departing the country. Why does this matter? If you are leaving the UAE for good, you must pay any outstanding debt and bills, or you could risk not being allowed to leave the country or get detained if you try to return or fly through the UAE. Since most residency visas in the UAE correspond to an employer, you have to change your visa status, and that change can also trigger your accounts getting frozen. That’s because many Emirati banks will freeze accounts until they feel confident they can have all their debt repaid, causing a correlation between account freezing and debt.  

How can you avoid having to unfreeze your UAE bank account? You should notify your bank before a job loss or visa change and inquire about the procedure when you recently resigned from a job. That could ensure you don’t see your financial life in the UAE on hold. 


Can I keep my bank account if I leave the UAE?

If you’re planning a departure from the UAE, you must talk to your bank to see if you can keep your account open. Some entities let you keep your account and switch to non-resident status, where the requirements will change, and some benefits will be off-limits. Remember that non-resident accounts have higher deposit requirements (sometimes an average of 100,000 USD) and most of them are only for savings, meaning you won’t have access to credit (and by default, credit cards). Suppose your bank does not have a non-resident account. In that case, our banking team can advise you on choosing from the best UAE non-resident bank account packages before departure since you must complete the process while inside the country as a non-resident and make the necessary introductions. 


Are you interested in opening a UAE bank account?

Europe Emirates Group offers bank account opening and introduction services that provide clients with the peace of mind of choosing the appropriate partner for their personal and corporate banking needs. We prepare the proper documentation and anything else you might need for a successful business. Contact us for your initial consultation today. 


Written by
Adrian Oton
Adrian Oton

CEO, Europe Emirates Group 


Banking and Financial Services
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