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The Best Banks in Dubai for Expats

Several banks in Dubai provide excellent services to expats from around the world, including but not limited to Emirates NBD, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Mashreq Bank, Dubai Islamic Bank, and some neo-banks such as Liv. by Emirates NBD and Mashreq NEO.

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When moving to Dubai as an expat, setting up a bank account is one of the first things on your to-do list. However, with so many options available, it can be overwhelming to choose the right bank for your needs. That’s why Pacific Prime is here to ensure a smooth banking experience for you.

Many banks in Dubai have specific requirements for expats, including documents such as a copy of your passport, original passport, sponsor’s letter of no objection, and sometimes a salary certificate or business license copy.

As you explore your options, consider factors such as bank fees, minimum balance requirements, and conditions for international transfers. Each bank has its unique advantages, and finding the one that aligns with your financial needs will ensure a seamless banking experience in Dubai.

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Emirates NBD

Dubai Cityscape Across Water

Emirates NBD is the largest bank in Dubai, offering a wide range of banking services to meet the needs of expats. Emirates NBD has established itself as a trusted and reliable financial institution, serving over 17 million customers and operating through 879 branches and 4,130 ATMs/SDMs.

Emirates NBD is known for its expat-friendly banking services, catering to the unique requirements of individuals moving to Dubai. Whether you need a personal account or business banking solutions, NBD offers a comprehensive suite of services to meet your financial needs.

One key advantage of banking with Emirates NBD is the range of credit cards tailored to expats. These credit cards come with various benefits, such as cashback, rewards, and exclusive offers, making them an appealing choice for individuals looking to maximize their savings and enjoy exclusive perks.

Emirates NBD Accessibility and Services

When it comes to accessibility and services, Emirates NBD is committed to providing convenience and exceptional customer experiences. With its extensive branch network and widespread ATM network, Emirates NBD ensures that customers can easily access their banking services whenever and wherever they need.

Emirates NBD boasts a wide branch network across Dubai, making it convenient for customers to visit a branch near their home or workplace. The friendly and knowledgeable staff at these branches are always ready to assist customers with their banking needs, providing personalized and efficient service.

In addition to the branch network, Emirates NBD has a vast ATM network located both within branches and outside, providing easy access to cash withdrawals, balance inquiries, and other transactional services. These ATMs are conveniently spread across various locations, ensuring accessibility for customers wherever they may be in Dubai.

Customers can conveniently perform a wide range of banking transactions online, including fund transfers, bill payments, and account management, through Emirates NBD’s user-friendly online banking platform and mobile app.

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB)

Dubai Skyline With Burj Al Arab At Night

As the third-largest bank in the UAE, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) offers a seamless and fast account opening process, making it convenient for expatriates to start banking in Dubai. It stands out as a reliable and customer-friendly bank that provides great services and affordable products.

ADCB offers a range of credit cards tailored to meet different needs and lifestyles, providing expats with attractive offers and benefits. Whether you’re looking for cashback rewards, travel privileges, or dining discounts, ADCB has the right credit card for you.

What’s more, ADCB provides affordable loans to help expats achieve their financial goals. Whether you need funds for education, home renovation, or even starting a business, ADCB offers competitive interest rates and flexible repayment options.

With a wide branch network across Dubai and convenient digital banking services, ADCB ensures easy accessibility for customers. Whether you prefer face-to-face interactions or the convenience of online banking, ADCB has you covered.

ADCB Convenience and Digital Services

ADCB (Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank) offers a seamless banking experience with its extensive branch network, innovative online banking platform, and user-friendly mobile app. Whether you prefer the convenience of visiting a branch or the flexibility of digital banking, ADCB has you covered.

If you prefer face-to-face interactions and personalized assistance, ADCB’s branch network is here to serve you. With branches strategically located across Dubai, you can easily access banking services and speak to knowledgeable staff members who will assist you with your banking needs.

For those who prefer the convenience of digital banking, ADCB’s online banking platform provides a secure and intuitive interface. You can manage your accounts, make transactions, pay bills, and even apply for loans or credit cards from the comfort of your own home or office.

ADCB’s mobile app complements the online banking experience by offering the same features and functionalities right at your fingertips. With the mobile app, you can access your accounts on the go, make quick transfers, pay bills, and even locate the nearest branch or ATM.

Mashreq Bank

Dubai Opera On Sheikh Mohammed Blvd

Mashreq Bank, with over 5 decades of experience, is a popular choice for expats in Dubai. The bank offers a wide range of personal and corporate banking services tailored to meet the diverse needs of its customers.

What sets Mashreq Bank apart is its strong focus on digital banking services. The bank has invested heavily in developing a robust online platform, allowing customers to conveniently access and manage their accounts from anywhere at any time and enjoy a seamless experience. 

With Mashreq Bank’s digital banking services, expats can enjoy the convenience of 24/7 banking and have the flexibility to conduct their financial transactions at their own pace. 

Mashreq Bank also provides dedicated customer support to further enhance the banking experience for expats. The bank’s customer service team is readily available to assist with any queries or concerns, ensuring that customers have a seamless banking experience from start to finish.

Mashreq Bank Digital Banking

When it comes to digital banking in Dubai, Mashreq Bank stands out as a leader in providing innovative and convenient solutions. Through its smartphone banking app, Mashreq Bank offers a seamless banking experience to its customers, making everyday transactions easier and more accessible.

With the Mashreq Bank’s user-friendly and intuitive smartphone banking app, you can take control of your finances anytime, anywhere. Whether you need to check your account balance, transfer funds, pay bills, or manage your investments, it’s all just a tap away.

One of the key features of Mashreq Bank’s digital banking is its quick remittance service for international transactions. With just a few taps on your smartphone, you can send money to your loved ones or business partners overseas, without the hassle of paperwork and long waiting times.

First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB)

Modern Dubai Skyline With Flag Atop

FAB holds the distinction of being the largest bank in the UAE in terms of assets and market capitalization. With its strong presence and reputation, FAB offers a wide range of personal banking services that cater to your unique financial needs.

One of the key advantages of banking with FAB is the convenience it provides. Whether you’re looking to open a personal bank account or get a credit card, FAB offers a seamless and hassle-free experience. Their dedicated team of professionals ensures that you receive personalized assistance throughout your banking journey.

  • Personal Bank Accounts: FAB provides a variety of personal bank accounts to choose from, including savings accounts, current accounts, and fixed deposit accounts. You can select the account that best suits your banking preferences and enjoy features such as online banking and mobile app access. 
  • Credit Cards: FAB offers an impressive range of credit cards tailored to meet your individual requirements. Whether you’re looking for cashback rewards, travel benefits, or exclusive privileges, FAB has a credit card that suits your lifestyle. Their credit cards are designed to offer convenience, flexibility, and security.

FAB has consistently been ranked as the safest bank in the UAE. This recognition highlights their commitment to maintaining the utmost security and protecting their customers’ interests. Its extensive network of branches and ATMs ensures easy accessibility for all your banking needs.

Dubai Islamic Bank

Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) is the largest Islamic bank in Dubai and the third-largest in the world. With its commitment to Shariah-compliant banking services, DIB has gained the trust of up to 1.7 million customers.

At DIB, customers can enjoy a wide range of Shariah-compliant products and services tailored to their financial needs. Whether it’s personal financing, business banking, or investment solutions, DIB ensures that all its offerings comply with Islamic principles.

One of the key advantages of banking with DIB is the peace of mind that comes from its services designed to provide a transparent and ethical approach to banking, reassuring customers that their money is being managed responsibly.

What’s more, customers can benefit from DIB’s extensive branch network and digital banking solutions. With a team of friendly and knowledgeable staff, DIB is committed to providing exceptional customer service and guidance to ensure a seamless banking experience.

DIB Shariah-Compliant Banking

Dubai Skyscrapers With Princess Tower

Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) is one of the leading banks in Dubai that offers a comprehensive range of Shariah-compliant banking services. DIB is committed to providing ethical and transparent financial solutions that adhere to Islamic principles.

Savings and Deposits

  • DIB offers a variety of savings accounts that provide competitive profit rates and flexible withdrawal options.
  • Customers can choose from different types of savings accounts, including general savings accounts, children’s savings accounts, and fixed-term deposits.
  • With DIB’s savings and deposits, individuals can grow their wealth while adhering to Shariah principles.

Financing Solutions

  • DIB provides a wide range of financing solutions to meet the diverse needs of its customers.
  • Whether you’re looking for a home financing solution, personal finance, auto finance, or business financing, DIB offers Shariah-compliant options tailored to your requirements.
  • With DIB’s financing solutions, you can achieve your goals without compromising your beliefs.

Investment Products

  • For customers interested in investment opportunities, DIB offers a range of Shariah-compliant investment products.
  • These investment products enable individuals to invest their funds in a manner that aligns with Islamic principles.
  • Whether you’re interested in equity investments, real estate investments, or Islamic mutual funds, DIB has options available to suit your investment goals.


Dubai's Future Museum Sculpture Centerpiece

Neo-banks have revolutionized the banking landscape in Dubai, offering expats a convenient and digital-only banking experience. Two popular neo-banks in Dubai are:

These innovative digital banks have gained popularity among expats for their quick and easy account opening process, all available through their mobile apps.

Liv. by Emirates NBD

Liv. by Emirates NBD is a neo-bank that provides a range of banking services exclusively through its mobile app. With Liv., expats can effortlessly open a bank account, manage their finances, make payments, and access other banking services at their fingertips. 

Mashreq NEO

With Mashreq NEO, expats can experience hassle-free banking, including account opening, fund transfers, bill payments, and more. The intuitive mobile app and state-of-the-art security features make Mashreq NEO a trusted and reliable choice for expats seeking a digital banking solution.

Here are some of the advantages of using Mashreq NEO bank: 

  • Quick and easy account opening process
  • User-friendly mobile apps
  • Seamless digital banking experience
  • Extensive range of banking and financial services
  • Convenient accessibility for expats

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Bank in Dubai

Towering Spire Atop Dubai Skyscraper

When it comes to choosing a bank in Dubai for expats, there are several important factors to consider that can greatly impact your banking experience. By taking these factors into account, you can make an informed decision and find a bank that meets your specific needs. 

Bank Fees
Different banks have varying fee policies, including monthly account maintenance fees, transaction fees, and foreign exchange charges. Consider your banking habits and choose a bank that offers competitive fees or fee-free services for the transactions you frequently make.

International Transfers
It’s essential to check the conditions and fees associated with international transfers. Some banks offer competitive exchange rates and low transfer fees, while others may have higher charges. Look for a bank that provides convenient and cost-effective services for international transfers.

Online Banking
Check if the bank offers secure and user-friendly online banking services, including features like account management, bill payments, fund transfers, and mobile app accessibility. A good online banking system can make your banking experience more convenient and efficient.

Offline Presence
While online banking is convenient, it’s essential to consider the bank’s offline presence as well. Evaluate the bank’s branch and ATM network to ensure accessibility to physical banking services, especially if you prefer face-to-face interactions or need to deposit or withdraw cash frequently.

Customer Service
Look for banks that offer responsive customer support through multiple channels, such as phone, email, or live chat. Good customer service can make a significant difference when you encounter any issues or have questions regarding your account.

Frequently Asked Questions

Dazzling Dubai Skyline At Night

What documents do I need to open a bank account in Dubai as an expat?

To open a bank account in Dubai as an expat, you will typically need a copy of your passport, your original passport, a sponsor’s letter of no objection, and in some cases, a salary certificate or a copy of your business license.

Which are the best banks in Dubai for expats?

The best banks in Dubai for expats include Emirates NBD, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB), Mashreq Bank, First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB), Dubai Islamic Bank, and neo-banks like Liv. by Emirates NBD and Mashreq NEO.

What are neo-banks, and which ones are available in Dubai?

Neo-banks are digital-only banks that offer quick and easy account opening through mobile apps. In Dubai, popular neo-banks include Liv. by Emirates NBD and Mashreq NEO. They provide all the usual banking services and are particularly popular among expats.

What factors should I consider when choosing a bank in Dubai for expats?

When choosing a bank in Dubai for expats, it’s important to consider factors such as bank fees, minimum balance requirements, conditions for international transfers, offline presence, and ease of online banking.

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Dubai has no shortage of banks that provide comprehensive services for expats. Now you know the best banks in Dubai for expats, you can manage your finances in a reputed bank so that you can better budget and utilize your hard-earned money. 

Pacific Prime continues to provide valuable information for expats who are living or planning to live in Dubai. As health insurance is mandatory in the city, we have a team of specialists who can provide impartial advice and give you an obligation-free insurance quote.

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Eric is an experienced content writer specializing in writing creative copies of marketing materials including social media posts, advertisements, landing pages, and video scripts.

Since joining Pacific Prime, Eric was exposed to a new world of insurance. Having learned about insurance products extensively, he has taken joy and satisfaction in helping individuals and businesses manage risks and protect themselves against financial loss through the power of words.

Although born and raised in Hong Kong, he spent a quarter of his life living and studying in the UK. He believes his multicultural experience is a great asset in understanding the needs and wants of expats and globe-trotters.

Eric’s strengths lie in his strong research, analytical, and communication skills, obtained through his BA in Linguistics from the University of York and MSc in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from the University of Bristol.

Outside of work, he enjoys some me-time gaming and reading on his own, occasionally going absolutely mental on a night out with friends.
Eric Chung