Investment Banking in Abu Dhabi

Updated on April 30, 2024
Article byWallstreetmojo Team
Edited byAnkush Jain
Reviewed byDheeraj Vaidya, CFA, FRM

Overview of Investment Banking in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi has been doing well in the investment banking arena. As per the report of Thomson Reuters, during the year 2017, the Middle Eastern investment banks made $912.4 million in total fees. Even if this is 0.1% less than the year 2016, still, we can say that it’s quite promising.

Investment Banking in Abu Dhabi

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The reason we call it promising is that even if there’s a sharp decline in the M&A transactions in 2017, still the investment banks in the Middle East managed to receive an astounding amount in fees. In 2017, the M&A transactions reached $43.8 billion, which was 14% less than the number of M&A transactions done in 2016. However, the inbound M&A has drastically increased, around $9.8 billion, which was a 117% increase from 2016.

Investment Banking in Abu Dhabi Explained

In Abu Dhabi, investment banking plays a pivotal role in the region’s financial landscape, as it is a bridge between local businesses and global capital markets. Investment banks in Abu Dhabi provide a wide range of services, including mergers and acquisitions (M&A) advisory, debt and equity financing, asset management, and financial advisory.

One significant aspect of investment banking in Abu Dhabi is its emphasis on facilitating the growth and expansion of local businesses. Investment banks work closely with Abu Dhabi-based companies to structure financing solutions, raise capital, and execute strategic transactions that support their expansion plans. This involvement helps fuel economic development and diversification initiatives in the region.

Moreover, investment banks in Abu Dhabi are also key intermediaries in cross-border transactions, leveraging their expertise and networks to connect local businesses with international investors and counterparties. This facilitates capital inflows into Abu Dhabi and promotes economic integration with global markets.

Another important aspect of investment banking in Abu Dhabi is its role in supporting the government’s initiatives and strategic projects. Investment banks often advise government entities on financial matters, assist in raising funds for infrastructure projects, and provide strategic guidance on investment decisions.

Furthermore, Abu Dhabi’s strategic location as a hub for trade and commerce in the Middle East makes it an attractive destination for investment banking activities. Investment banks in Abu Dhabi benefit from the region’s stable regulatory environment, robust financial infrastructure, and growing investor interest in the Middle East.

Therefore, investment banking in Abu Dhabi plays a crucial role in driving economic growth, supporting local businesses, facilitating international investments, and contributing to the Middle Eastern region’s financial development and integration with the global economy.

Services Offered

As we have discussed in brief earlier, most of the investment banks in Abu Dhabi offer similar services. However, we’re highlighting the most significant services that the investment banks in Abu Dhabi offer.

  • M&A Advisory: One of the most important services the investment banks in Abu Dhabi offer is M&A advisory. The focus of each bank is relationship-based and before they ever take a step ahead, they think about the strategic objective of the company. From due diligence to risk analysis to closing deals, everything is done with sheer ethic and personal responsibility.
  • Equity Capital Market (ECM) Advisory: One of the major parts of investment banks in Abu Dhabi is equity capital market (ECM). From IPO to private placements, the investment banks in Abu Dhabi provide varied advisory services to their clients in equity capital market.
  • Debt Capital Market (DCM) Advisory: Debt capital market fees have not dropped since the year 2014. That’s why it is one of the biggest parts of investment banks in Abu Dhabi. Investment banks in Abu Dhabi help their clients with advising, arranging, and contributing in a huge spectrum of financial instruments.
  • Transactional Finance: From underwriting to capital raising, the investment banks of Abu Dhabi provide a broad array of transactional finance services to help clients deal with operational and day-to-day activities.

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Top Investment Banks

Here’s a comprehensive list of all the investment banks in UAE (not only in Abu Dhabi) as per

  • Abu Dhabi Investment House
  • ADCB Macquarie Corporate Finance
  • AJM Capital Partners
  • Akbank
  • Al Fajer Investment and Development
  • Al Mal Capital
  • Al-Arabi Capital Limited
  • Allied Investment Partners
  • Alpen Capital Limited
  • Apache Management Consultancies
  • Arabian Capital Investment & Finance Company Limited
  • Arqaam Capital Limited
  • ATA Invest Limited
  • Attijariwafa Bank Limited
  • Baer Capital Partners International Limited
  • BDO Corporate Finance Limited
  • CAPM Investment
  • Carlyle Mena Investment Advisors Limited
  • Chescor Capital
  • Citigroup Global Markets Limited
  • Clarkson Investment Services Limited
  • Commerzbank
  • Credit Suisse AG
  • Daman Investments
  • Delta Partners
  • Deutsche Bank
  • DIB Capital Limited
  • EFG-Hermes UAE Limited
  • Emirates Investment Bank
  • Emirates NBD Capital Limited
  • FFA Limited
  • FH Capital Limited
  • Full Circle Investments
  • Genero Capital
  • Goldman Sachs International
  • Gulf Merchant Bank Limited
  • GulfCap Group
  • HC Investment Banking Limited
  • HSBC Financial Services
  • JPMorgan Chase Bank National Association
  • Julius Baer Limited
  • KCP Capital
  • Killik and Co
  • Leader Capital
  • Lootah Farazad Investments
  • MAC Capital Limited
  • Marisk Management Consultants
  • Merrill Lynch Bank S A
  • Millennium Finance Corporation
  • Mobilefour Holdings FZCO-LLC
  • Morgan Stanley and Company International
  • Morra Capital Limited
  • NBK Capital Limited
  • Nomura International Dubai Branch
  • Noor Capital
  • Palma Capital Limited
  • Permal Investment Management Services Limited
  • Promontory Financial Group
  • Rasmala Investment Bank Limited
  • Reliance Capital Asset Management
  • Russell Investments Limited
  • Saffar Capital Limited
  • SEI Investments
  • SHUAA Capital
  • The Bank of New York Mellon
  • The Emirates Capital Limited
  • The National Investor
  • Titus Flavius
  • UBS AG
  • Unifund Capital Financial Investment
  • Union De Banques Arabes Et Francaises
  • VTB Capital plc
  • YUSR Islamic Investment Bank Limited

Recruitment Process

As you can understand the investment banking in the US or in the UK is a completely different ballgame than what investment banks in Abu Dhabi. But the basics are always the same.

If you’re someone that has completed her schooling from a top institution of Europe or the US, your chances in the investment banking industry in Abu Dhabi would be much brighter than someone that has done her schooling from a lower-tier school. You should also work on your networking skills so that you can get in touch with the top-notch executives of the investment banks of Abu Dhabi. And along with that if you can do a couple of internships from bulge bracket investment banks, your path would be much swifter and brighter.

Work Culture

As they say, banking is banking. And in Abu Dhabi, as an employee of this system, one would experience the same. One would need to work 100+ hours a week. But there’s a subtle difference in the philosophy of work. In Abu Dhabi, the executives and partners stress more upon getting things done than how long they would stay in the office.

Every year, August is the slow month for investment bankers. Most of the senior partners take holiday during August.


The salaries are obviously based on the role, experience, and expertise in their respective fields. For instance, the most promising roles in investment banks in Abu Dhabi are M&A advisory associates. And here’s the snapshot of the salary of the investment bankers at various levels in UAE which is in sync with the specific average salaries in Abu Dhabi (source:

  • Managing Director  – $ 271,400 – $ 400,100
  • Director $ 238,700 – $ 322,100
  • Compliance Director $ 130,800 – $ 228,900
  • Compliance VP $ 98,100 – $ 163,500
  • Vice President $ 160,200 – $ 235,900
  • Associate $ 114,600 – $ 192,100
  • Senior Analyst $ 98,100 – $ 120,000
  • Analyst $ 75,200 – $ 106,800

As you can see that the salary of the investment bankers is quite good in Abu Dhabi. Moreover, the investment bankers don’t need to pay any income taxes. That means they’re able to save more money and have a bright future ahead of them.

Exit Opportunities

In Abu Dhabi, the scenario of investment banking is different. When someone joins an investment bank, they want to stay there for a long period of time. Rarely they think of quitting and changing their domain of work. As it’s said, Abu Dhabi is not like the US and that’s why people don’t exit after a couple of years of experience in the investment banking field.

But if someone is looking for exit opportunities, two prominent options are there can be observed. The first option is going for wealth funds. The next option is joining a private equity firm.

This has been a guide to Investment Banking in Abu Dhabi, their services offered, recruitment process, their culture, top Investment banks in Abu Dhabi, salaries and exit opportunities. You may also have a look at the following article for learning more about Investment Banking –

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