Top saving rates in the UAE in 2021

Top saving rates in the UAE in 2021 – that will be the topic of this article.

Before writing this article it has to be said that these rates might also change over time, of course.

It remains our position that in an era of 0% interest rates, investing in a long-term manner is both safer and more profitable long-term than saving.

If you want to invest, don’t hesitate to contact me, email (advice@adamfayed.com) or use the WhatsApp function below.

Introduction

Every year thousands of people move to the UAE for a permanent residence, and usually there are people who are ready to make an investment, which definitely leads to opening a savings account in one of the local banks. In this article we will mainly talk about top 7 banks that offer highest saving rates in the UAE, discuss each ones strongest features, benefits and fees. 

Today, everyone has the opportunity to open a savings account with a local bank in the UAE, subject to the simultaneous conclusion of an agreement with the bank to invest a certain amount of your financial resources in stocks, bonds and other financial instruments. Thus, the bank opens a savings account for an individual based on an investment agreement.

A savings account can be multi-currency and open in dirhams, US dollars, euros and pounds sterling. There is no requirement to maintain a certain balance on each of the accounts.

You can be also entitled to a debit card, which is linked only to a Dirham account. In the Emirates, there is no practice of issuing debit cards tied to foreign currency. If necessary, the user of a debit card can withdraw funds to the card, having previously carried out an interbank transfer between their accounts (for example, from a dollar to an account in dirhams). The bank savings account is managed through internet banking. The use of Internet banking for clients is completely free, which is a great plus in comparison with other countries’ banks.

Opening a savings account takes up to 2 business days, and bank details are released the next day after all the necessary documents have been submitted. At the time of opening a bank account, its owner can put a certain amount into the account in the form of cash. 

The maximum amount that can be deposited in cash in a savings account at the time of opening without any documentation of the origin of the funds varies from bank to bank. It can be either USD 20,000 or USD 100,000.

As mentioned above, the condition for opening a savings account for an individual is the conclusion of an investment agreement with a bank. The term for which the contract is concluded varies from 12 months and can be up to 5 years or more. 

According to this agreement, you transfer a certain amount of money to the bank for management, and the bank, in turn, manages your portfolio and invests in various financial instruments, allowing you to earn from 3 to 7% per year. 

The bank’s policy regarding the minimum amount of funds to be invested also varies from bank to bank. While some banks require you to deposit a certain fixed amount at the beginning of each year, other banks require you to deposit funds in a certain amount every month.

As mentioned above, an investment agreement is made for a period of 1, 2 or more years. Upon the expiration of the agreement, all invested funds are invested in stocks, bonds and other financial instruments. 

The bank’s client can instruct the banker to sell all these instruments at the current market value and transfer the proceeds to the client’s savings account, or leave the funds in financial instruments, allow them to rise in price even more, and then sell. 

If, upon the expiration of the investment agreement, the client decides that the funds remain in stocks and bonds and continue to grow in value, the bank does not charge any fees for managing this portfolio.

If the investment agreement was concluded for 1 year, and upon the expiration of this period, the client wishes to sign another agreement, but already for a period of 2-3 years, the bank will again demand payment of administrative fees in the amount of the agreed monthly deposit. Thus, it is necessary to initially decide on the timing for which the investment agreement is concluded.

After the termination of the investment agreement, the savings account is not canceled and you can continue to use it. As mentioned above, an investment account is a prerequisite for opening a savings bank account for a non-UAE resident.

It is also important to clarify the very procedure for opening an account. Opening an account takes place in several stages:

STEP 1

Initially, the bank receives the documents required to open an account, after which the bank organizes a call to the client’s phone number specified in the application form (as a rule, the call is made 3-5 hours after the submission of documents). At the time of the call, it is required to confirm to the bank in English the e-mail address, telephone number, residence address, passport number. This requires a minimum knowledge of English. This call is the first of two. After confirming all data by phone, the bank proceeds to processing the application and opening an account.

STEP 2

The next day, when the account is opened and all the bank details are sent to the client, the client needs to visit the bank and deposit the required amount into the savings account.

STEP 3

As soon as the funds are credited to the account, the bank organizes a second call, where it confirms that you have deliberately chosen one or another investment program, with a certain monthly balance for investments and with a certain investment model (conservative, aggressive, balanced, etc.). After this call, the investment account is also fully functional.

Now, after 10 business days, the bank will issue a debit card to the account owner and a PIN code to activate Internet banking. The debit card and PIN can be kept in the bank for up to 3 months.

Top 7 banks in the UAE with best savings rates (in 2021)

The UAE is home to a large number of banks offering savings accounts with attractive interest rates and a hassle-free documentation process. While this gives us a variety of options to choose from, there can also be confusion as to which account will bring the sweeter fruits in the future.

To help you with this confusion, below are some of the best savings accounts in the UAE for your consideration:

Bank Savings AccountInterest rate (% per year)
ADCB Active Saver Account1.15%
National Bank of Fujairah Max Saver Account1.5%
RAKBank FastSaver Account0.50%
CBI Saver Account1.75%
Standard Chartered XtraSaver Account1.10%
Emirates Islamic e-Savings Account1%
Emirates NBD Standard Savings Account0.20%

Here is a quick template for you to imagine what we are going to talk about. These are one of the best bank accounts in the UAE, that as you can see offer enough high and competitive interest rates per year. Now let’s discuss each of these banks and the mentioned savings accounts. 

ADCB Active Saver Account

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (Commercial Bank of Abu Dhabi), also known as ADCB – Bank of the United Arab Emirates. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) was incorporated as a public limited company in 1985 following the merger of Emirates Commercial Bank and Federal Commercial Bank with Khaleej Commercial Bank, founded in 1975 year.

The Abu Dhabi government, namely the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) sovereign wealth fund, owns 65% of ADCB; the rest of the shares are distributed among other organizations and individuals. ADCB holds one of the leading positions among UAE banks in terms of equity capital and market capitalization.

ADCB Bank provides services in the field of retail trade, futures transactions, fund management, as well as in the field of commercial, brokerage and investment activities. The bank carries out its activities through a developed regional network, represented by 48 branches in the UAE and abroad: 2 branches in India, 1 branch in the UK.

ADCB Active Saver Account is one of the simplest savings accounts in the UAE in terms of opening procedures. An active savings account can be opened online and requires much less paperwork.

Main features and benefits

  • Interest is calculated on a daily basis and with tiered interest rates.
  • Convenient money transfer via Internet banking.
  • You can set up to five savings accounts for different goals, through your personal internet bank ADCB.
  • Can be used in UAE Dirhams, Pounds Sterling and US Dollars.
  • Earn TouchPoints and exchange them for purchases, restaurants, entertainment, and more.
  • The interest rate is paid monthly.
  • Interest rate: up to 1.15% for AED accounts and 0.65% for USD accounts.
  • Online access anywhere, anytime means you can manage your savings outside work hours.
  • Transferring money into the Active saver account is just a click.
  • With no ATM card or cheque book, there is less temptation to withdraw your hard-earned savings.

Commissions and Fees for an Active Saver Account

  • Annual fee: AED 0
  • Minimum balance: AED 0
  • Monthly fee: AED 0

National Bank of Fujairah Max Saver Account

National Bank of Fujairah is a full-service corporate bank that offers corporate and commercial banking, treasury and trade finance services, personalized banking and Sharia-compliant services.

National Bank of Fujairah, as one of the most respected corporate banks in the UAE, is renowned for its award-winning services, unrivaled understanding of local markets and unwavering commitment to its clients. As the UAE bank of choice for over 30 years, it makes sense for business to work with the National Bank of Fujairah.

The bank provides corporate banking, business banking, personal banking services along with trade finance, treasury, cash, precious metals and diamond management, and Islamic banking support. 

In 2017, the bank became the first traditional bank to join the Nasdaq Dubai Islamic finance platform under Murabaha Islamic finance. The bank also offers advisory services through its independent subsidiary NBF Capital Limited.

The bank also launched the NBF Direct platform for online and mobile banking for corporate and retail clients.

The NBF Max Saver Account is designed to maximize the value for its customers from their savings. NBF provides a higher return on the money you save in their account.

Main features and benefits

  • Payment is possible in USD and UAE dirhams.
  • Interest rate: up to 1.5% for an AED account and 0.75% for a USD account.
  • Interest is paid monthly, but calculated daily.
  • You can shoot once a month without sacrificing interest.
  • One customer can have a maximum of two savings accounts with NBF.

Commissions and Fees for NBF MAX Saver Account

  • Minimum balance to maintain: AED 0
  • Monthly fee: AED 0

RAKBank FastSaver Account

RAKBANK is a retail and commercial bank in the UAE with assets of AED 34.5 billion at the end of the first half of 2014. 

The bank provides traditional and Islamic retail, small business and commercial banking services through a network of 39 branches and 293 ATMs in the UAE, as well as telephone, online and mobile banking channels. According to the ranking of the 1000 largest Arab banks in 2014 published by FT Financial Publishing, RAKBANK is ranked 1st in the UAE for return on assets (ROA) and 17th in the world.

The bank was one of the few commercial banks in the UAE to show profit growth in 2009. Due to the fact that the Bank stopped lending in the construction and civil engineering segments outside its base Emirate in 2006, it has a very small residual share in these segments and is not involved in the construction of high-rise towers.

RAKBank provides various savings accounts. The RAKBank Fast Saver account is a zero balance account that is offered with a wide range of benefits and low commissions and fees.

Main features and benefits

  • Interest rate: up to 0.50% for AED account and 0.15% for USD account.
  • Free debit card provided.
  • Account with zero balance.
  • One cash withdrawal or five utility payments per month.
  • You can pay utility bills for free at no extra charge.
  • AED or USD Online Savings Accounts – your choice.
  • Interest for your Savings Account calculated every day, but paid every month.

Fees and Commissions for RAKBank FastSaver Account

  • Monthly fee: AED 0
  • Annual fee: AED 0

CBI Saver Account

As a local bank in the UAE, CBI has been helping UAE’s leading companies and ambitious people manage their business and personal finances with confidence since 1991. This confidence stems from a financial strength and stability, backed by the bank’s investment grade rating from Fitch, a globally recognized independent rating agency.

With a focus on UAE residents, its mission is to serve the clients by helping them thrive in their personal and business lives in support of the vision of the nation. By considering diversity and inclusiveness, and investing in our people, we can better communicate with our customers and meet their needs.

The CBI Saver Account provides convenient access to your money, as well as the ability to withdraw it as many times as you want. CBI credits interest to your account every month and is calculated based on your daily balance and activity. Account holders can access their account from anywhere.

Main features and benefits

  • Available to minors and joint account holders.
  • Free international debit card.
  • An account can be opened with AED.
  • Interest will be paid monthly.
  • No limit on the number of pins
  • Interest rate up to 1.75% for an AED account

Commissions and Fees for a CBI Saver Account

  • Minimum balance to maintain: AED 3K
  • Monthly fee: AED 0
  • Account opening fee: 0 AED

Standard Chartered XtraSaver Account

Standard Chartered is a leading international banking group with more than 80,000 employees and 150 years of history in some of the world’s most dynamic markets. It serves people and companies managing investment, trade and wealth creation in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

In the UAE, the first branch of the bank was opened in 1958 in Sharjah. The Group’s business gradually expanded in the UAE with the opening of several branches, and today Dubai is the Bank’s regional hub for the Africa and the Middle East region and the center of its Islamic banking division, Standard Chartered Saadiq.

It offers a wide range of Islamic and traditional banking products and services to retail, private, commercial and corporate clients.

The main goal of the team is to offer our clients outstanding value by providing competent, efficient and reliable services in an individual, helpful and responsive manner.

The Standard Chartered XtraSaver Account provides a high interest rate and easy access to the account.

Main features and benefits

  • Receive up to 1.10% (per year) in profit.
  • Can access online banking and mobile banking services.
  • Access to your account in UAE dirhams and US dollars.
  • Free debit card available.
  • Both UAE residents and non-residents have the right to participate.

XtraSaver Account Fees and Commissions 

  • Minimum Average Balance: AED 0
  • Initial deposit: AED 3,000

Emirates Islamic e-Savings Account

Founded in 2004, the bank was established with the aim of providing banking services of the highest standards in accordance with the highest Sharia standards. With a wide range of products aimed at individuals and small businesses as well as large corporations, Emirates Islamic is the right choice for those seeking excellence in managing their finances.

Emirates Islamic Bank provides an electronic savings account that can be accessed online at high benefits and profit margins.

Main features and benefits

  • Get up to 1% profit on your account balance
  • Make profit quarterly
  • No limit on transactions monthly
  • There are no minimum account balance requirements
  • You can use an account in UAE Dirhams and USD

Emirates e-Savings Account Fees and Commissions

  • Minimum Average Balance: AED 0
  • Fee for non-use of the Total Customer Relationship Balance is lower: AED 25

Emirates NBD Standard Savings Account

Emirates NBD was originally formed as the National Bank of Dubai (NBD) on June 19, 1963 by the then ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Rashid bin Said Al Maktoum, forming the first national bank established in Dubai. NBD merged with Emirates Bank International (EBI) on March 6, 2007 to form Emirates NBD. On October 16, 2007, Emirates NBD shares were officially listed on the Dubai Financial Market (DFM).

As of December 31, 2018, total assets were AED 500.3 billion. The group has offices in the UAE, Egypt, India, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Great Britain, as well as offices in China and Indonesia.

Emirates NBD currently employs over 9,000 people, representing 70 nationalities, making it one of the largest employers in the UAE.

On November 8, 2017, he opened operations in Mumbai, India. The Mumbai branch is Emirates NBD’s fifth international branch outside of its network in the UAE.

The Emirates NBD Standard Savings Account is a high yield account. It is only available in UAE currency and offers great benefits on the account. Emirates NBD Savings Account is one of the best savings accounts in the UAE.

Main features and benefits

  • You can use online banking services.
  • Telephone bank provided.
  • Free international debit card provided.
  • Can pay bills easily.
  • Interest rate: 0.20% per year.
  • Free local and international transfers.

Fees and Commissions for a Standard Savings Account

  • Minimum balance to maintain: AED 3,000
  • Annual fee: AED 0
  • Account opening: 0 AED

Therefore, here was the last savings account in the UAE, that has what to offer you. All the listed and discussed above banks suggest you the highest interest rates, which cannot leave indifferent people, who want to make an investment in the UAE. 

Conclusion

In 2021, saving in the bank is a losing game. It has been a losing game since the 2008-2009 financial crisis and 0% interest rates.

Covid has merely put the final nail in the coffin. It does make sense, however, to have an emergency cash surplus in the bank in case of emergencies.

The rates shown on this article are slightly better than average but are still less than the rate of inflation.

Pained by financial indecision? Want to invest with Adam?

Financial Planner - Adam Fayed

Adam is an internationally recognised author on financial matters, with over 227 million answers views on Quora.com and a widely sold book on Amazon.

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