How to Open a Bank Account in Bahrain

  • Publish date: Tuesday، 31 October 2023
How to Open a Bank Account in Bahrain

Bahrain's banking system is well-established and highly regulated, making it a safe and reliable place to store your money.

If you're considering living or establishing a business in Bahrain, a fundamental initial step is to set up a bank account. Here's a detailed guide on how to do just that.

Here are the steps for setting up a bank account in Bahrain:

Choose the Right Bank for Your Needs

Bahrain is home to several local and international banks, so expats have a wide range of options to choose from when opening a bank account in the Gulf country.

Local Banks: Ahli United Bank, Gulf International Bank, and National Bank of Bahrain.

International Banks: Popular names such as First Abu Dhabi Bank, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, and Standard Chartered Bank also have a significant presence. If you're seeking global services or have business interests outside Bahrain, these might be more suitable.

How to Open a Bank Account in Bahrain

Understand the Prerequisites

Typically, to open a bank account in Bahrain, you will need these legal documents:

  • Valid passport
  • Residency permit
  • Bahraini ID/Central Population Register (CPR)
  • Proof of address
  • Reference letter from your recent bank or employer 
  • Income proof 
  • Letter of No Objection Certificate (NOC)

Pro-tip: Ensure your documents are up-to-date. Any lapse in visa validity can delay the account-opening process.

How to Open a Bank Account in Bahrain

Choose the Type of Account

Whether you're in need of a savings account, a current account, or something else, it's crucial to understand the features of each.

Savings Account: Suitable for individuals who want to accumulate money with a margin of profit on the money deposited in the account. Often comes with an ATM card, and a limited checkbook.

Current Account: Ideal for daily transactions, paying bills, and managing expenses. Comes with a checkbook but typically doesn't accrue interest.

Fixed Deposit Account: This is designed for people who want to make the most of their money, and are able to put away substantial amounts for a period of time. It often has a certain fixed deposit amount and a set time period, and frequently offers higher returns than savings accounts.

Foreign Currency Account: This is a foreign currency account that allows customers to hold funds in a foreign currency, such as USD or EUR.

Children Accounts: This is a special bank account for children that can be opened in Bahrain. It offers a safe haven for parents or guardians to set aside funds on behalf of their children.

Business Account: This is a business account that is composed of companies and organizations to manage their finances and transactions.

Islamic Account: Islamic accounts follow Islamic finance principles and are established to adapt to Shariah law.

Visit the Bank in Person

While many banks offer online facilities, it's common for first-time account openers to visit the branch in person. An appointment isn't always necessary, but it might save time during peak hours.

Pro-tip: Early mornings, especially just after opening, are often the best times to avoid long queues.

How to Open a Bank Account in Bahrain

Complete the Application

The bank's representative will guide you through the application process, ensuring you fill in all required details accurately. Make sure to understand the terms and conditions, particularly about fees and service charges.

How to Open a Bank Account in Bahrain

Deposit Funds

Depending on your bank's rules, you may be required to make an initial deposit into your new account. The amount might rely upon the bank and the form of account you are extending.

How to Open a Bank Account in Bahrain

Account Activation

Upon successful verification, your account will be activated. You'll receive your account details, ATM card, and checkbook, if applicable. Keep this data safe and secure.

Pro-tip: Before leaving the bank, ensure you've set up your online banking access. It will facilitate bill payments, transfers, and monitoring of your account on the go.

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