Workforce Payments Guide United Arab Emirates

Last updated: Dec 17, 2023

UAE Dirham (AED)
Payroll Frequency
Abu Dhabi
Fiscal Year
1 January- 31 December
Employer Taxes
Employee Costs
Central Bank
Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE)
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3rd Party Payments

The Statutory Filing Payment Method is bank transfer. The FBAR filing deadline is June 30th (or the preceding business day if June 30th falls on a weekend).

Payments Coverage

Papapya Global is only able to support payments for companies not registered to the WPS.

The funding currencies include AED,AUD,CAD, CHF, kr DKK, EUR, GBP, HKD, NZD, kr SEK, SGD, USD. The payout currency is AED with payments made on the same day.

Contractor Payments

Papaya Global supports payments to contractors in the UAE. The payout currency may vary based on the receiver bank account setup when receiving foreign currencies. It is advised for contractors to reach out to their bank to confirm how foreign currencies are handled

Payroll Frequency



IBAN Example UAE AE580263477719166319791
IBAN in print AE58 0263 4777 1916 6319 791
Country Code AE
Digit Code 58
Bank Code 026
Bank Account Number 3477719166319791


The Know Your Customer procedure in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is an integral part of the customer onboarding process and overall Anti-Money Laundering (AML) compliance program.

It involves the verification of the identity of customers and suppliers. The Central Bank of UAE (CBUAE) has outlined the KYC process in its rulebook. The procedure consists of three main components:

  • Customer Identification (CID) Process: This is the first step in the KYC process. It involves gathering basic information about the customer and verifying the customer’s identity.
  • Customer Due Diligence (CDD) Process: This process involves understanding the nature of the customer’s activities and monitoring their transactions for any signs of suspicious behavior.
  • Enhanced Due Diligence (EDD) Process: This process is applied when there is a higher risk associated with a customer. It involves additional checks and balances to ensure the legitimacy of the customer’s activities.

Banking Regulations

The Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE) Rulebook provides guidelines for cross-border workforce payments. Here are some key points:

Cross-Border Movement: One of the principal features of many Non-bank Payment Products and Services (NPPS) is that they can be used globally for making payments or transferring funds. Many illicit finance schemes involve the cross-border movement of funds.

Criminals may seek to finance terrorism in other countries, move funds out of sanctioned jurisdictions, or evade the attention of law enforcement in the jurisdiction where a proceeds-generating offense was committed. Payment Product Services (PPS) that allow or facilitate cross-border movement of funds may therefore be particularly attractive to illicit actors.

Cross-Border Movement of Cash and Cash Couriers: There are specific rules in the CBUAE Rulebook regarding the cross-border movement of cash and cash couriers.
Mandating the Use of Purpose Codes for SWIFT Cross-Border Payments: The CBUAE has mandated the use of purpose codes for SWIFT cross-border payments.

Opening a Bank Account

To open a company bank account in the UAE, the following documents are needed:

  • Passport copy
  • UAE visa copy
  • Emirates ID copy
  • Salary certificate or NOC letter from sponsor
  • Trade license copy
  • Last six months personal bank account statement of the shareholder
  • List of at least five names of the suppliers and five names of the customers
  • Valid Memorandum of Association / Article of Association / Board Resolution

Please note that additional requirements may apply on a case-to-case basis.

Opening a bank account for a company in the UAE typically takes between 2 to 4 weeks. However, it can take as long as three months, especially for offshore companies. The exact time frame can vary depending on the bank and the specifics of the business.

International Banks

There are several foreign banks that operate in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Here are some of them:

  • National Bank of Bahrain: Headquartered in Manama, Bahrain.
  • Rafidain Bank: Headquartered in Baghdad, Iraq.
  • Arab Bank: Headquartered in Amman, Jordan.
  • Banque Misr: Headquartered in Cairo, Egypt.
  • National Bank of Oman: Headquartered in Muscat, Oman.
  • Credit Agricole: Headquartered in Montrouge, France.
  • Bank of Baroda: Headquartered in Vadodara, India.
  • BNP Paribas: Headquartered in Paris, France.
  • HSBC Bank Middle East Limited: Headquartered in London, UK.
  • Standard Chartered Bank: Headquartered in London, UK.
  • CitiBank N. A.: Headquartered in New York, United States.
  • Bank Saderat Iran: Headquartered in Tehran, Iran.
  • Bank Melli Iran: Headquartered in Tehran, Iran.
  • Deutsche Bank AG: Headquartered in Frankfurt, Germany.
  • KEB Hana Bank: Headquartered in Seoul, South Korea.
  • Barclays Bank PLC: Headquartered in London, UK.

Major Local Banks

Here are some of the major local banks in the United Arab Emirates (UAE):

  • Emirates NBD
  • First Abu Dhabi Bank
  • Dubai Islamic Bank
  • Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank
  • Mashreq Bank
  • National Bank of Fujairah
  • Commercial Bank of Dubai
  • Sharjah Islamic Bank
  • Union National Bank
  • Commercial Bank International

Local B2C Payments Tools


Telr is an integrated e-commerce platform that allows merchants to build their own virtual stores within minutes to provide services and products online. The platform facilitates a wide array of payment methods, including Visa, MasterCard, American Express, UnionPay, Apple Pay, PayPal, Mada, Sadad, and stc pay. Telr can handle payments in over 120 currencies and with high levels of security.


CashU is a digital wallet that allows consumers to pay and transfer money online. CashU is available at over 75,000 vendors spread across every country and city within the MENA region. Consumers can fund their accounts and shop online from merchants who accept CashU as a payment method.

Checkout is a global payments service provider that has been granted a Retail Payment Services license from the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates. This makes the first global payments provider to be granted an acquiring license in the country. With this license, can offer merchant acquiring solutions, payment aggregation services, and cross-border fund transfers.


2Checkout is a global payment gateway that offers a range of payment processing solutions for businesses of all sizes. With 2Checkout, businesses can accept payments from customers all around the world, and integrate with 120+ carts. It supports a wide range of payment methods, including credit and debit cards, PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and local payment methods. Other payments tools such as PatPal and Amazon Payment services are also available in UAE.


Cryptocurrencies are accepted in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The UAE has emerged as one of the most crypto-friendly nations globally. The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) has been instrumental in fostering an ecosystem that encourages the adoption and development of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies.

KIKLABB has started accepting cryptocurrency payments, including Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and Tether (USDT), on behalf of the DFSA. These digital currencies are now valid means of payment for various trade licenses and visas. UAE citizens and residents can freely send and accept crypto payments. They can own cryptocurrencies, trade on exchanges, and invest in them.

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