The majority of, if not all, employers will require you to have a bank account in the UAE for salary transfer under the WPS requirements. However, most banks will not allow you to have an account until you have a valid resident status.
There are a few banks that will allow you to open an account while you wait for your residency, so check with your HR department for these banks.
Because the UAE follows Sharia Law, your account with follow Sharia probate should you die, meaning the account forms part of your assets and will be frozen with no access for your family and beneficiaries. The funds will then be distributed in accordance with Sharia law, so it is sensible to set up an offshore bank account.
An offshore bank account is similar to any other current account and will give you a base currency, e.g. USD, with additional currencies available, such as GBP or EUR. Offshore accounts are normally based in the Isle of Man or Channel Islands and allow you to hold money without the issues surrounding Sharia Law.
Institutions such as Lloyds International, Standard Bank and Barclays offer solutions to expats with online access, debit cards and online transfers.