Though opening a bank account in the UAE is relatively easy, banks are yet to accept the Emirates identity card from potential clients seeking to open new accounts and still insist on a valid passport.
The UAE Central Bank informed banks to only accept a valid passport from expatriates seeking to open a new account, according to a central bank spokesperson. The client can then use their Emirates ID card for banking transactions, once the account has been opened.
“Because of the large number of expatriates in the country, it is necessary to check the original documents when one applies for a new account,” the spokesperson said.
“As for Emiratis, the ID is accepted at all banks [for purposes of opening any] account,” he added.
According to NBAD’s customer service, the documents required to open a new account include an original valid passport containing a valid residence visa and a salary certificate or a no-objection certificate (NOC) from an employer.
“To be eligible to open up a new bank account, a client needs to have a residence visa that shows that the client is in the country legally,” NBAD said.
“The client will also need to ask employer for a letter of no objection, also called a no-objection certificate or NOC, which details [the person’s] salary so that the bank will know how much the person will be depositing into the bank on a regular basis.”
However, international banks require — in addition to these documents — a labor card and sometimes a driving license, an HSBC clerk said. Accounts are available in more than seven currencies, in addition to dirhams, he added.
Individuals aged 21 years and above can open and operate NBAD direct accounts in their personal names, according to NBAD. Those who have attained 18 years of age are permitted to open a savings account, while those who are 18 years old and employed by the government or semi-government organizations can open a current account.
A minor, who is below 18 years of age, can have a saving account opened in their name — provided that the account is opened and operated by the minor’s natural guardian (father) or by the legal guardian (appointed by the court).
The Emirates Identity Authority (Eida), has asked the UAE Central Bank to direct various banks operating in the country to endorse the identity card as an official identification document for their customers, Gulf News reported.