The United Arab Emirates is the key financial hub in the Middle East and one of the world's leading financial centers. The UAE’s banking sector is the largest in the Arab world and includes 23 locally established banks, 28 branches of foreign banks as well as representative offices of foreign financial institutions. Assets of the four largest banks represent over 50% of total banking assets. The Central Bank of the UAE is responsible for banking regulation in the country.
First Abu Dhabi Bank
First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) is the largest bank in the UAE by assets, deposits, loans and number of employees. It was formed by the merger of First Gulf Bank and National Bank of Abu Dhabi. FAB provides a full suite of personal, corporate, private, investment and Islamic banking services through over 80 branches across UAE. It also has operations in Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, United Kingdom, Switzerland, USA, France, Brazil, Lebanon, Jordan, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Cayman Islands, South Korea, China, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia and Singapore, among others. The company was ranked as the Best Bank in the UAE by Global Finance. In 2018, FAB’s revenue and net profit reached US$8.2 billion and US$3.3 billion, respectively. As of March 31, 2019, the total assets stood at US$200 billion.
Emirates NBD is the second-largest bank in the UAE based on total assets. It was established by the merger of Emirates Bank International (EBI) and the National Bank of Dubai in 2007. Today it operates a network of 230 branches and 1,058 ATMs. Emirates NBD has been ranked as ‘Best Bank in the Middle East’ and ‘Best Bank in the United Arab Emirates’ by Euromoney magazine. The Group has overseas branches in Singapore, UK, Saudi Arabia and India as well as representative offices in Indonesia and China. The Bank has rating A3 from Moody’s and A+ from Fitch and Capital Intelligence, with stable outlook. The company’s assets totaled US$143 billion in the first quarter 2019. The common stock of Emirates NBD is listed on the Dubai Financial Market, with a market capitalization of US$17.2 billion as of July 4, 2019.
Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank
Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) is a full-service bank providing a comprehensive range of financial products and services including corporate and private banking, personal banking, investment banking, wealth management and Shariah-compliant banking. ADCB is the third-largest bank in the United Arab Emirates with total assets of US$79.5 billion, customer loans of US$46 billion, customer deposits of US$50.2 billion and shareholders’ equity of US$8.7 billion. It maintains 50 branches and 360 ATMs across the UAE as well as 2 branches in India, offshore branch in Jersey and representative offices in Singapore and London. The total number of direct employees including subsidiaries exceeds 5,000 people.
Dubai Islamic Bank
Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) is the biggest Islamic bank in the United Arab Emirates in terms of total assets. It offers a wide range of products and services to retail, corporate, private and institutional clients through more than 90 branches across all of the Emirates. DIB's core business areas include personal and business banking, corporate and investment banking, treasury, real estate and contracting finance. The company serves over 1.6 million customers and employs more than 4,200 people. As at 31 March 2019, DIB’s total assets and deposits reached US$62 billion and US$44 billion, respectively.
Mashreq Bank, incorporated in the Emirate of Dubai in 1967, is the fifth-largest and the oldest privately owned bank in the UAE. The Bank changed its name from Bank of Oman to Mashreq in 1993. The company provides retail, commercial and investment banking, mobile and online banking, brokerage and asset management services through 44 domestic branches and overseas offices including locations in the UK, Kuwait, Hong Kong, Qatar and the United States. Mashreq Group’s consolidated assets amounted to US$37.4 billion at September 2018.
Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank
Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) is one of top 10 banks in the United Arab Emirates. It provides a comprehensive suite of banking, financing and investing services by means of various Islamic instruments such as Musharaka, Murabaha, Sukuk, etc. The company operates a network of more than 80 domestic branches, three branches in Qatar, Iraq and Sudan, and a subsidiary in the United Kingdom. In the first quarter of 2019, the Group’s total assets and deposits amounted to US$33.9 billion and US$27.4 billion, respectively.
Union National Bank
Union National Bank (UNB) is one of the leading financial institutions in the country. It offers a broad array of products and services to individuals, SME and corporate clients, including current & savings accounts; credit, debit and prepaid cards; personal, home and auto loans; life and general insurance, mutual funds, brokerage services, internet banking and more. The company was incorporated in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi in November 1982 and today operates a network of 75 local branches and 3 branches in Kuwait, China and Qatar.
HSBC Bank Middle East Limited (UAE Operations), the eighth largest bank in the UAE, provides a diverse range of high-quality financial products and services to retail, commercial, corporate and institutional customers through branches located in Abu Dhabi, Bur Dubai, Deira, Jumeirah, Jebel Ali, Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah. The company has consolidated total assets of about US$28 billion.
Commercial Bank of Dubai
Commercial Bank of Dubai is a public shareholding company (PSC). It offers innovative financial products and services through personal, corporate, commercial, Islamic and investment banking segments. It was formed in 1969 as a joint venture of Chase Manhattan Bank, Commerzbank and Commercial Bank of Kuwait. Today, the Group has a network of over 25 branches and more than 200 ATMs and CDMs. The Bank’s subsidiaries include CBD Financial Services LLC, Attijari Properties LLC, CBD (Cayman) Limited, National General Insurance Co. The company’s shares are listed on the Dubai Financial Market, with a market capitalization of US$2.9 billion as of July 4, 2019.
Emirates Islamic is the UAE’s tenth largest bank in terms of total assets. Established in 2004, it is one of the four Islamic banks nationwide. It provides a wide array of Shariah-compliant products and services to personal, small business and corporate customers. The company operates through a network of 68 branches and about 100 ATMs across the country. As of March 31, 2019, it had US$16.5 billion in total assets and US$12 billion in deposits.
List of Licensed Foreign Banks in the UAE
Below is a list of foreign banks operating in the United Arab Emirates.
National Bank of Bahrain
Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait
Al Khaliji (France) S.A.
Arab African International Bank
Arab Bank PLC
Bank Meli Iran
Bank of Baroda
Bank Saderat Iran
Barclays Bank Plc
Blom Bank France
Credit Agricole CIB
El Nilein Bank
Habib Bank A.G Zurich
Habib Bank Ltd
HSBC Bank Middle East Ltd
Janata Bank Limited
Lloyds TSB Bank Plc
National Bank of Kuwait
National Bank of Oman
Samba Financial Group
Standard Chartered Bank
The Royal Bank of Scotland
United Bank Limited