Opening a Bank Account in Qatar
What you will need:
A copy of your passport
A letter from your employer detailing your monthly base salary (or letter from your sponsor)
A letter from the bank to take back to your employer stating that you have opened an account and that they have no objection to your employer putting money in.
How to open an account:
Opening a bank account is a relatively simple process, especially if you choose one of the main banks in Qatar (QNB, Commercial Bank, Bank of Doha, Arab Bank or HSBC). You first need a letter from your employer (or sponsor) detailing your base salary and that they are happy for you to open a bank account.
You simply take this letter, along with your passport (and a copy of your passport) to the bank of your choice.
You are generally able to open an account on the spot (see account choices below), and will get given a card and associated paperwork.
The bank then needs to provide you with a letter to give back to your employer, detailing that they are happy to accept your salary.
Note: If you have your Residential Permit then you will not be required to bring your passport.
Types of Accounts (what is the different between bank accounts)
Current Account: This is an everyday banking account. Generally no fees, and many if not unlimited transactions. Most banks have a minimum balance required, otherwise fees are charged. The minimum balance for a QNB account is 3000 QAR
Saving Account: The savings account earns a higher rate of interest that the current account however; there are fees for transactions once they reach a certain number. There is also a higher minimum balance required. For a QNB account it is 5000 QAR.
Fixed Deposit Account: As its name suggests is an account where you keep money in that you are not planning to take out. The minimum balance is 20,000 QAR and there are set monthly payments that can be made it. As a reward for keeping a larger amount of money in the account you earn a higher rate of interest.
When first opening a bank account, the current account is best. As you have just arrived in Qatar you can open the account with no deposit and wait for your first pay to keep a minimum of 3000 QAR. There also seem to be no fees if you drop below the 3000 QAR for the first few months. Once you get things set up you can set up a savings account.
Key points to note when choosing a bank account and general Frequently Asked Questions.
Same bank as your employer: It is beneficial to open up a bank account at the same bank your employer banks with. This makes payments and processes a lot quicker, and can save a lot of headaches.
Changing banks: The letter from the bank to your employer, details that you cannot change banks without the approval of the bank you have opened your account with. This means it may be difficult to change banks and have your employer put money into a different bank account in the future.
ATM Machine swallowing your card: When this happens the cards are either sent back to the branch where you opened an account, or to the head office branch. It is best to call their call centre (tel: 440 7777) to find out where it has gone.
International Transfers: The majority of current bank accounts can be set up for International Transfers. Transfers are done one of two ways, either via the Internet (you can set up an account to send the money to) or over the counter. Generally, the Internet is the best option as the fees are around 35 QAR as opposed to 60 QAR for an over the counter transaction. The drawback for the Internet is that it can take 24-48 hours to set up the account (the bank call you to approve it).
The call centers: To be honest the call centers are not always that helpful. It is often best to go into a branch to ask questions – there is often a quicker response.