Bank account in Dubai

Has anyone tried opening one? How difficult is it? Will it be a full-fledged account or one with some limitations?

@daren – You do not say in the above if you are resident.
Life in these parts and with the banks particularly, is becoming very, very difficult.
UAE is diving headlong into an economic crisis (if not already in one) although they will never ever admit it. The ‘market’ has crashed and Expats are leaving in droves, many leaving full up credit cards, unpaid loans and/or overdrafts, even cars on HP at the airport, so the Banks are very, very twitchy here.
Furthermore, although it used to be relatively easy, Non Resident accounts are being closed down (happened to an Italian friend of mine) without reason. They just decide to close down your account, and say you do not fit our clientele image or some other bullshit expressions.
Its all the cause of Christine LeGuarde as she has regularly been here telling them what to do (including raising taxes/fees), and enabling them to lose their original status as a Tax Paradise on the European bank’s black lists. The good days are most definitely long, long gone here.

I’m not a resident.

Got it. Then I won’t try to open one when I’m there.

First time to hear this breaking news. Appreciate it. Won’t try much directly there, then. Perhaps this means becoming tight with senior bank managers, not being just a number, a stranger is more important than ever.

@duncanm – Its hardly ‘Breaking’ news its been around for about 3 years now.
Dubai especially has a huge ‘black hole’ - The Sunday Times reported and covered it in December 2016 I think it was, and was immediately banned here, still is today. Actually of late, all UK newspapers are not brought anymore here. Only the Financial Times. So there are no salacious stories or backdrop and certainly no investigative journalism printed/imported here. The TRUTH is not allowed here.

@alainboy Much appreciated. News to me, ill-informed that I am in my backwater life here in a small town in Japan. The radishes are tasty this year, and it’s hot. End of news, I’m afraid. Oh, and more Chinese tourists than you can shake a chopstick at. Wall-to-wall. Real information is coming from long-time foreign residents like yourself, and that’s about it. Am interested in Singapore as a financial centre, and to register a company there, pay (file) tax there. Crossing my fingers that the island is still a haven.

@duncanm Glad to hear the radishes are hot and the weather is tasty (or was it vice versa)?
Have worked a lot in Singapore and even set up a company there for an Italian company I was working for but that was in the 90’s – however, it was over regulated even then.
Agree with you inferred description of Chinese tourists. Nice people aren’t they — have worked a lot in China (in the interior not Beijing etc) and have experienced them at very close quarters in small villages - what an eye opener I can tell you. Talking about China, why not look into setting up a company in China, like Guangzhou, Hangzhou, or Chengdu, and although I have never been there, I have read good things about Chongqing, up the Yangtze River.

@alainboy Thank you and sheh-sheh. Cooling off a bit now as August winds down. Good to be reminded of Sichuan. We were in Chengdu 2018 spring to investigate a medical lab. Still might do something together. Chengdu is a great city, a tech hub. Can’t believe the recent political nonsense will kill it. Population friendly, calm, great service, and dialect easy to hear. Small foreign community, many independent tech people. https://www.chengduliving.com/ Was told the same of Chongqing (it’s good) but Canadians have targets on their backs now, and I bet police have bonuses, quotas and tricks to nab foreigners, the same as Japan, so just not for us at this moment. Interested to hear more of Singapore, good and bad; whatever anecdotes reveal. Last time there was 2004, and the economy has boomed since.

Who in their right mind would go to China to work as a freelancer? Filternet alone is already a big reason to avoid it.

1 Like

What Steven says is spot on.

Even if you do get an account as a non-resident you might be in for a very nasty ride.

UAE banks are notorious for dealing with their customers in the most unethical way imaginable when they one day they find that you are no longer desirable as a customer. And in reality you will have nowhere to complaint.

Foreigners in the UAE are “dinner” for the Emiratis (sometimes highly paid dinner, but dinner nevertheless). You’ll be treated like a used Kleenex once they have no interest in you.

I am sure there are some situations where dealing in/with the UAE makes sense, but be extremely cautious, because you have zero rights if a dispute arrises.

Can’t say about being a freelancer of something from China; imagine the restrictions grind. Shipping via DHL between Japan- China fast, no problem currently. Very low labour costs, can-do, problem-solving, redtape-cutting mentality. Not perfect, but pretty good in our industry. Like the people, really like the people. Trust? Ha! That’s a different topic. It’s a game.

WatchOut Burner 911. Thank you for the heads-up warning. Had been thinking Dubai would be good for banking. Not an Emirates-culture bank, but a development bank, say BLOM BANK, from Lebanon.

Incorporating in China is a crazy idea - even the Chinese themselves avoid it and use offshore companies from the usual places - BVI, Seychelles, Cayman, Samoa, Palau, Liberia, Marshall Islands etc. Don’t want to get stuck behind China’s foreign exchange controls and the excessive tax and regulation, especially when you’re not natively fluent in Mandarin and without high level connections.