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5 Main Banks in UAE

Moody’s ranks the UAE banking system as stable with resilient capital levels and has adequate liquidity buffers to absorb the shock. The UAE Central Bank is in charge of regulating the banking sector. UAE has a large expatriate population, and to serve these ex-pats, many foreign banks operate in the country. There are 23 local and 26 foreign banks in the UAE.

While there are 49 banks in the country, the five largest banks dominate the market with a 60 percent share.  UAE has several dedicated Islamic banks, whereas some traditional banks also offer Islamic banking services. Islamic banking comprises about 19% of the market share. We can classify UAE banks into merchant, commercial, Islamic, and industrial banks.

Emirates NBD

Dubai-based Emirates NBD is Middle East’s largest banking service provider. Bank hires over 10000 staff in more than 900 branches globally and provides transactions through over 4,000 ATMs. Emirates NBD serves almost 14 million customers and offers retail banking, Islamic banking, wealth management of wealth, wholesale banking, etc. The bank’s total assets are estimated to be about $136 billion, with a $ 2.72 billion net profit.

National Bank of Abu Dhabi

One of the oldest banks, the National Bank of Abu Dhabi, was established in 1968. As a leading bank, it lends to retail and corporate customers. Headquartered in Abu Dhabi, the bank offers private, investment, and Islamic banking services. It employs over 10,000 staff and operates in 19 countries worldwide. The bank’s total assets are estimated to be about $184.5 billion, with a $ 1.89 billion net profit.

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank

Since 1985, the Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank provides retail, commercial, and Islamic banking facilities. It provides investments, finance, management of property, and consumer and wholesale banking. The bank hires over 10,000 employees, servicing over one million clients in 72 branches in the UAE. The bank posted $110.31 billion in assets and $2.54 billion in net income in 2019.

First Gulf Bank

Since 1979, the First Gulf Bank is headquartered in Abu Dhabi and has over 2000 staff members. The bank has a presence in 19 countries, and it is one of the largest equity banks in the country. It provides wholesale and consumer banking, treasury, and real estate, among other services. The bank’s total assets are estimated to be over $92.02 billion, and the company posted a net profit of $2.05 billion in 2018.

Dubai Islamic Bank

Incorporated in 1975, Dubai Islamic Bank serves its 2 million customers through 90 branches across UAE. The bank offers specialized Islamic banking services such as priority banking, platinum banking, etc. Besides, it also offers consumer and corporate banking, real estate, and treasury services. In 2020, the bank’s assets rose to $75 billion and reported a $2.70 billion net profit.

In comparison, there are a variety of banks based in the UAE that serves millions of customers. The most prominent banks are Mashreq Bank, Commercial Bank of Dubai, RAK Bank, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, and Union National Bank.

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