UAE: How to close a bank account, avoid recurring fees

Unlike most bank-related things that can be solved online, closing an account requires the individual's physical presence at any branch of the bank


Laraib Anwer

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Published: Thu 23 May 2024, 3:01 PM

Last updated: Thu 23 May 2024, 10:35 PM

Leaving Dubai for good? The 'going back' process can seem tough, filled with cancelling cards and utility accounts, while saying your goodbyes to the people you met along the way.

One of the most important steps is the closure of a bank account. Since this can be time consuming for some soon-to-be ex-residents, its good to get it off your checklist right in the beginning of the going away process.

Apart from leaving the country, residents may also opt to close their accounts in the case of switching to another bank or if their account has been inactive for a long period of time.

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The closing process is conducted free of charge at some banks in the UAE, while others may charge anywhere between Dh100 to Dh1,050, depending on the type of the account and additional formalities involved.

It begins with the payments of all outstanding dues, be it on credit cards or cheques. This also includes loans and account related fees like minimum balance maintenance fees.

There are a number of documents required for the closure that expats must keep prepared to avoid any hiccups. From important aspects to remember to belongings that need to be handed over, here's a guide to closing your bank account in the UAE.

Documents required

Residents wishing to close their bank accounts must handover or provide the following documents:

  • Applicant's Emirates ID or passport
  • Proof of residence (this must be provided if the place of residence in UAE has changed since the bank account was first opened)
  • Unused or used chequebooks or cheques
  • Some banks may also ask for copies of clearance letters from companies whose bills may be connected to their account

Process explained

Unlike most bank-related things that can be solved online, closing an account requires the individual's physical presence at any branch of the bank, after which residents may proceed with the following steps:

  • Banks provide residents with an account closure form, which they must fill in and sign.
  • Residents must transfer all funds from the account that needs to be closed to another account.
  • Hand over all your chequebooks and cheques.
  • Some residents may be asked to submit clearance bill letters or a copy of the employer's final settlement letter.
  • Submit the form (the contents and requirements may differ depending on the resident's personal situation)

It usually takes between three to five working days for the bank account to be closed. In some cases, it could also take up to a week. Once the account is closed, applicants will receive a closure letter.

Things to remember

  • In the UAE, banks automatically close or freeze a bank account if it has been inactive for six months. Therefore, it is important to close it before leaving and within the time frame to ensure monetary safety.
  • An inactive bank account may also lead to additional fees being charged after a certain period of inactivity.
  • Even after closing the bank account, its advisable to keep the debit cards for safety.
  • Its important to make sure that all dues have been paid off before the closing takes place.


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