Regarded by IMF as the country with the highest per capita income, one can expect that most systems here are more advanced than other countries. And expats soon find out that doing banking in the emirates is no different. It can be done with great ease and convenience as Qatar was able to maintain its network of local and international banks.
If you are new here in Qatar and planning to open a bank account, they have advanced services that will make your banking experience like no other.
Opening a Bank Account in Qatar
Most local banks in Qatar serve both in English and Arabic, and they offer account types depending on the needs of the clients. As with other countries, banks in here also offer:
- Savings Account with the maintaining balance of about QR5,000.
- Current Account with the maintaining balance of about QR3,000 that offers low interest rates.
- Fixed-Deposit Account (Time Deposit) for long term savings with a minimum balance of QR20,000.
For the expats who want to open a bank account in here, you need to apply personally and bring the following documents for your account application:
- Copy of your passport
- Copy of residence/work permit
- “No Objection Certificate’ from your employer that indicates your position and your monthly salary
- Passport sized ID pictures
Qatar Central Bank ©TravelingOtter/Flickr
Once the account is approved, the bank will provide you a letter for your employer confirming that your account is now open to receive the salary payment from your company.
In the event that you have complaints about the banking system and services and are in need of assistance, you can contact the officially appointed ombudsman which is affiliated with Qatar’s Central Bank.
ATM and Electronic Banking
ATM transactions, with both local and international credit and debit cards, are readily available in Qatar. You can withdraw money in various currencies such as Qatari Riyals, US Dollars, UAE Dirhams and Euros.
Transfer funds, pay bills or cash cheques in Qatar ATMs ©Christian Senger/Flickr
With its advanced banking system, not only can you withdraw money from ATMs but you can also deposit cash, pay utility and credit card bills, transfer funds and even cash cheques. But similar with any other countries, expect additional charges with your transactions if using ATMs operated by banks different from your own.
Money in Qatar
Mobile ATM also available in Qatar ©Steven Byles/Flickr
The currency used in Qatar is riyal subdivided into 100 Dirhams. Please refer to your bank for the current exchange rate. Their money is available in the following denominations:
Notes: 1 QAR, 5 QAR, 10 QAR, 50 QAR, 100 QAR, and 500 QAR
Coins: 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 dirhams (1, 5 and 10 dirham coins are not often found in circulation)
And if you are still looking for a bank or might want to open a new bank account, check out this official list of banks from Qatar Central Bank website.