What Are Your Banking Options In Qatar?

What Are Your Banking Options In Qatar? By Naveed - December 03, 2023
What Are Your Banking Options In Qatar

International Day Of Banks

Step into a world of banking in Qatar, where tradition dances alongside innovation. These banks are like modern magicians, wielding cutting-edge technology while staying true to their word. Picture them as towering guides in Doha, assisting people from all corners with their finances. It’s a fascinating fusion, where history and the future collide, shaping a banking experience that echoes both the past and the present.

The Major Banks in Qatar:

  • Qatar National Bank
  • Qatar Islamic Bank
  • Doha Bank
  • Commercial Bank
  • Ahli Bank
  • Qatar Development Bank
  • Dhukhan Bank
  • Masraf Al Rayan

Although, ex-pats can open an international account with the following banks:

  • Mashreq Bank
  • HSBC Bank Middle East
  • BNP Paribas
  • Bank Saderat Iran
  • United Bank Limited (UBL)
  • Standard Chartered Bank
  • Barclays Bank

Types of Bank Accounts

Current accounts: These are used for regular banking transactions and typically have low-interest rates. They usually don't charge monthly fees as long as the required minimum balance of roughly 3,000 QAR is kept up to date. Unlimited transactions are available from certain banks.
Savings accounts: Savings accounts typically offer interest rates that are higher than those of current accounts but lower than those of fixed deposit accounts. Savings account withdrawals are simple, but there's a chance your bank will only let you take out a certain amount each month before charging you a fee. There is often a minimum balance requirement of 5,000 QAR for savings accounts.
Fixed deposit account: Fixed deposit accounts often offer higher interest rates than savings or current accounts and are mostly used for long-term savings. For these accounts, you need to have at least 20,000 QAR in your account. Until this account matures, you might not be able to access your money. In Qatar, you can open an account with any retail bank, either for savings or deposits. may not have access to your money until this account matures. You can open savings or deposit accounts with any retail bank in Qatar.
Overdrafts:  It is a criminal offense to issue a check without sufficient cash in your account, so make sure you have enough money before writing one in Qatar. Overdrafts that are not authorized are subject to heavy penalties. There are frequent prosecutions and severe penalties, including lengthy jail sentences.


Requirements to open a local account

Expats will need to apply in person with documents that generally include:

  1.  Passport, plus copies of information and visa pages
  2.  Copies of Residency/work permit
  3.  A No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the expat's Qatari employer, stating their monthly salary
  4. Two passport photos

Following approval of the application, the bank will send the applicant a letter from their employer stating that they are okay for salary payments to be sent into the new account. It should be noted that switching banks later on could be challenging because your current bank would need to approve this.
Without the official consent of the head of the household, the dependents of the visa holder are not permitted to open a bank account in Qatar. Stated differently, in order for his wife or children to open their own bank accounts, the visa holder must sponsor them.

Banking fees in Qatar

In Qatar, current accounts usually come with no administrative fees as long as you keep a minimum amount in your account. Nevertheless, there will be fees associated with requesting a new checkbook, issuing payment orders, replacing lost or damaged cards, withdrawing cash from ATMs outside of Qatar, setting up standing orders with other banks in Qatar or overseas, and paying annual credit card fees. 

Taxes in Qatar

The fact that there are no income taxes or personal taxes assessed on individual incomes in Qatar, even for foreigners, is one of the main advantages of moving here. This means that an expat will receive their gross income in Qatar, with no deductions whatsoever.

By Naveed - December 03, 2023

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