Banks in UAE

Updated on March 20, 2024
Article bySayantan Mukhopadhyay
Edited bySayantan Mukhopadhyay
Reviewed byDheeraj Vaidya, CFA, FRM

Overview of Banks in UAE

The Central Bank of UAE is the primary regulator of the banking system in UAE, responsible for formulating and implementing the banking, credit, and monetary policiesMonetary PoliciesMonetary policy refers to the steps taken by a country’s central bank to control the money supply for economic stability. For example, policymakers manipulate money circulation for increasing employment, GDP, price stability by using tools such as interest rates, reserves, bonds, more across the UAE. It maintains the gold and foreign currency reserves and acts as the bank of banks operating in the UAE. The Central Bank serves as the state’s financial agent.

The Commercial Banks in UAE are of two major categories: –

  1. Locally Incorporated Banks: These are public shareholding companies licensed per provisions of Union Law (10) of 1980.
  2. Branches of Foreign Banks: These banks have obtained Central Bank’s license to operate in the region as per the law.

There are 46 commercial, locally incorporated banks in the UAE. The banks in UAE are dominated by the local banks owned by the governments of various Emirates.

The top banks in UAE provide various financial services to customers like private banking solutions, commercial banking, loans, credit cards, asset management Asset ManagementAsset management is a method of managing funds and investing in both traditional and specialized products in order to generate returns consistent with the investor's risk tolerance. read more, investmentInvestmentInvestments are typically assets bought at present with the expectation of higher returns in the future. Its consumption is foregone now for benefits that investors can reap from it more banking, Islamic banking, etc. Islamic banking has expanded considerably in the region, with seven dedicated banks providing Islamic banking products, Shariah-compliant, and other banks have started providing Islamic banking services.

Banks in UAE

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Top 10 Banks in UAE

Here is the list of the top 10 banks in UAE: –

#1. First Abu Dhabi Bank:

It is the largest bank in UAE, formed by the mergerMergerMerger refers to a strategic process whereby two or more companies mutually form a new single legal venture. For example, in 2015, ketchup maker H.J. Heinz Co and Kraft Foods Group Inc merged their business to become Kraft Heinz Company, a leading global food and beverage more of two banks – The National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) and First Gulf Bank in 2017. This top bank is headquartered in Abu Dhabi and provides corporate, retail, private, and Islamic banking services. The bank has assets of $183 billion as of 2017.

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#2. Emirates NBD:

Emirates NBD was formed in October 2007 after a merger between Emirates Bank International (EBI) and the National Bank of Dubai (NBD), creating one of the largest groups in UAE. The headquarters of the bank are in Dubai. The Banks provide many services to the customers and operate through various business units – retail bankingRetail BankingRetail banking or personal banking refers to the financial services offered by the financial institutions exclusively to the individual clients. The consumer banking provides personal loan, savings account, debit cards, credit cards, locker, more and wealth management, financial institutionsFinancial InstitutionsFinancial institutions refer to those organizations which provide business services and products related to financial or monetary transactions to their clients. Some of these are banks, NBFCs, investment companies, brokerage firms, insurance companies and trust corporations. read more, large corporations, real estate developers, investors, etc.” url=””]wholesale banking[/wsm-tooltip], Islamic banking, investment banking, mortgages, and credit cards.

#3. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB):

Abu Dhabi Commercial bank is headquartered in Abu Dhabi. The government of Abu Dhabi holds a 65% stake in the Bank formed in 1985 by the merger of three banks. In addition, with over $70.32 billion in total assetsTotal AssetsTotal Assets is the sum of a company's current and noncurrent assets. Total assets also equals to the sum of total liabilities and total shareholder funds. Total Assets = Liabilities + Shareholder Equityread more, the bank provides retail, commercial, Islamic banking, and financial services through its various business segments. Islamic banking, and financial services through its various business segments.

#4. Dubai Islamic Bank:

Dubai Islamic Bank was founded in 1975. It was the first Islamic Bank with the principles of Islam in its banking practices. Also, the largest Islamic bank in the UAE. The bank is headquartered in Dubai. The first Islamic bank acts as a torchbearer for Shariah-compliant banking provided by other banks worldwide. It promotes an innovative range of products per Shariah law. The bank has many business segments, including consumer banking, corporate banking, real estateReal EstateAt its most basic principle, Real Estate can be defined as properties that comprise land and its tangible attachments. The land includes the actual surface of the earth and any permanent natural objects such as water, dirt, or rock and any minerals or particulars under the surface. read more development, treasury, etc.

#5. Union National Bank:

Union National Bank is a leading domestic bank founded in 1982 and headquartered in Abu Dhabi. The bank is jointly owned by the government of Abu Dhabi and Dubai. The bank has the International and Financial Institutions Division with Treasury and Investment Divisions. The bank provides various financial products and services to salaried individuals, self-employed personnel, high net worth individualsHigh Net Worth IndividualsA high net worth individual possesses liquid assets worth $1 million to $5 million. They are also referred to as HNWIs. In order to qualify for HNWI status, the individual’s liquid assets must be readily available in their bank or brokerage accounts. The assets must be accessible and easily converted into more, and business entities in UAE. The bank also has overseas offices in Egypt, Qatar, Kuwait, and a representative office in China.

#6. Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank:

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank is a public Joint Stock Company,Joint Stock Company,A joint stock company is one in which the company's shares or stocks are jointly held by shareholders in some proportion and in which they have share in the profits based on their shareholding. Each holder is only liable for the amount of their shareholding, and they are free to transfer their more headquartered in Abu Dhabi. Established on 20 May 1997, the bank is the Shariah-compliant lender and provides personal, business, private, and corporate banking services. It operates through its business segments – global retail banking, global wholesale banking, private bankingPrivate BankingPrivate banking refers to a type of banking and financial service offered by certain banks only to high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs). Clients opting for this service are individually assigned a financial representative who personally takes care of their banking more, treasury, real estate, etc. The bank has an overseas presence in Egypt, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and the UK.

#7. National Bank of Ras Al- Khaimah (RAKBANK):

National Bank of Ras Al- Khaimah or known by its trading name RAKBANK. The bank was founded in 1976 and is headquartered in the Emirate of Ras Al-Khaimah. The government of Ras Al-Khaimah owns 52.8% of the bank. The bank provides retail and commercial services to individuals and businesses in the UAE. The bank was awarded ‘SME Bank of the Year’ by the Arabian Business StartUp Awards 2016 and the best internet banking product of the year award in the Middle East by The Asian Banker.

#8. National Bank of Fujairah:

The National Bank of Fujairah is a commercial bank founded in 1982 and headquartered in Fujairah, UAE. The Bank and its subsidiary received the following recognitions at the 2017 Banker Middle East UAE Product Award: –

#9. Mashreq Bank:

Mashreq Bank was founded in 1967 and is headquartered in Dubai. It is the oldest and the largest privately-owned top bank in the UAE. The bank is an associate company of HSBC Bank. It provides retail, commercial, and investment banking, including corporate financeFinanceFinance is a broad term that essentially refers to money management or channeling money for various more and investment advisory on mergers and acquisitions, initial in public offeringInitial In Public OfferingAn initial public offering (IPO) occurs when a private company makes its shares available to the general public for the first time. IPO is a means of raising capital for companies by allowing them to trade their shares on the stock more and underwriting, asset management, Islamic banking, and brokerage services. In addition, the bank was the first in UAE to issue debitDebitDebit represents either an increase in a company’s expenses or a decline in its revenue. read more cards, install ATM dispensers, and introduce consumer loansConsumer LoansA consumer loan is a type of credit given to a consumer to finance specified set of expenditures. The borrower must pledge a specific asset as collateral for the loan, or it may be unsecured depending on the loan's monetary more. Mashreq Bank has a wide global presence in Qatar, Kuwait, Egypt, and Bahrain.

#10. Commercial Bank of Dubai (CBD):

Commercial Bank of Dubai was founded in 1969 and is headquartered in Deira, Dubai. The bank provides various services like corporate banking, commercial banking, personal banking, Islamic banking, and other financial support services.

We hope you liked this guide to an overview of the Top 10 Banks in UAE. We discuss two major categories and the financial status of the banks in the UAE. If you are looking forward to making a career in banking, then you can check out some of the awesome resources: –