End of bank secrecy in the UAE from 2018

The change of rules of fiscal transparency are showing their impact in the United Arab Emirates as well.

Unlike until recently, banks in the United Arab Emirates started to ask for the tax IDs of the home country of shareholders or beneficial owners, as well as their passport copies and other documents. Personal presence of shareholders or beneficial owners is also required now. While this had been already practice for beneficial owners of bank accounts from a number of Western countries, depending on the provisions regarding exchange of information of Double Taxation Agreements, especially Indian citizens continued to enjoy anonymity to a large extend. This has changed now.

As a result, the opening procedures of bank accounts in Abu Dhabi, Dubai or other parts of the UAE may take up to even more than a month now, compared with a few days until recently. Obviously, the banks’ compliance departments are involved now.

From January 2018, the United Arab Emirates will start to share information related to bank accounts of residents of India with the Indian authorities. Thus, the bank secrecy of UAE banks comes to an end.



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