Factors To Consider When Choosing a Bank in the UAE

Choosing a bank in the UAE can be confusing, especially for international students. With over 30 options to pick from, you wouldn’t know which would benefit you more. 

Here are some things to consider when choosing a bank in the UAE:

Type of Bank

Since you’re someone from another country, it’s very likely that you already have a bank in your home country. You should check their interest rates and other financial services they offer. 

Whether it be Bank of Baroda, Citibank, HSBC, or Standard Chartered, you need to find out what advantage you can get by banking with them.

Most International banks often have fewer branches than their local counterparts. Also, check if their financial products are unique to each country.

Locations and Timings

When choosing a bank, you wouldn’t want it to be a couple of hours of the drive before you get there. Make sure that the time they are open coincides with your schedule. Finding a bank that is close to your school or house would be best. 

If you tend to be more available at a later time, then try choosing a bank that has a location in a mall. Banks that are open in malls tend to stay open till late at night. Also, see if there is an available ATM near your home if you don’t like paying a fee for each withdrawal.


Most banks in the UAE would charge you for every withdrawal and other services. You may be new to this kind of thing as an International student, but The central banks have already limited the amount a bank can charge you.

Account opening fees: None
Using another bank’s ATM in the UAE: AED 2 per transaction
Minimum balance required: Maximum of AED 3,000
Monthly minimum balance penalty: AED 25
First checkbook: None
New checkbook: Maximum AED 25

These are the maximum a Bank can charge, some banks might charge less.

Other Facilities

To get the lowest interest rate for a loan, consider transferring your salary to the bank you borrowed from. If you’re looking for a credit card, personal loan, auto loan, or mortgage, try comparing the things in UAE.

It’s good to compare credit cards and loans in the UAE. This ensures that you get the best interest rates or benefits for your needs.

Online Banking

Nowadays, you wouldn’t even have to go to a physical bank yourself; online banking allows you to pay your bill in the comfort of your home. Ask your friends and classmates how good their online banking is and see if this kind of banking is right for you. Choosing the right bank for you will make your life much easier as you can usually pay all your recurring bills online.

Choosing a bank account in the UAE is an important decision to make. Once you’ve made up your mind, check out our guide to opening a bank account in the UAE here at MSM Unify.


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