Overview of Banks in the UAE
The UAE Central Bank is the primary financial regulatory authority in the country. There are 22 local and 30 foreign banks in the UAE. Larger banks dominate the country’s banking industry, with the five biggest banks accounting for about 60% of the sector’s assets.
Islamic banking includes eight full-fledged Islamic banks and 23 Islamic windows set up by conventional banks in the UAE, collectively accounting for 19% of the total banking sector assets.
There are four types of banks in the UAE:
- Commercial banks
- Industrial banks
- Merchant banks
- Islamic banks
According to Moody’s, the UAE banking system is stable due to the expectation that Abu Dhabi’s fiscal strength will remain resilient to downside risks to the oil market posed by global pandemic developments and management, given the vast size of Abu Dhabi’s financial buffers and the government’s track record at adjusting to worse-than-earlier expected environments.
For anyone considering a career in banking in the UAE, this list of top banks in the UAE is a helpful guide on where to start. To learn more, see our lists of financial institutions.
The Top Banks in UAE are:
First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB)
First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) is the largest banking group by assets in the UAE. It is headquartered in Dubai and employs 5,451 staff. Together with its subsidiaries, FAB provides various banking products and services in the United Arab Emirates, Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, Africa, and the Asia Pacific.
The company operates through Corporate and Investment Banking and Personal Banking Group segments. FAB acquired First Gulf Bank in December 2016.
Net income: AED 10.56 billion (2020)
Total assets: AED 940.75 billion (3/2021)
Emirates NBD is the second-largest banking group by assets in the UAE. It is headquartered in Dubai and employs 9,000 staff. The bank currently manages 915 branches and 4,029 ATMs and SDMs in UAE and overseas. It operates through different business segments: Retail Banking and Wealth Management, Wholesale Banking, Islamic Banking (IB), International, and Information Technology and Operations.
Net income: AED 6.96 billion (2020)
Total assets: AED 695.06 billion (3/2021)
Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank
Founded in 1985, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank provides retail, commercial, Islamic banking, and other financial services. The bank operates through the following business segments: Consumer Banking, Wholesale Banking, Investments and Treasury Banking, and Property Management.
The bank employs 5,000 staff and is headquartered in Abu Dhabi. It serves customers through a network of 72 branches and approximately 450 ATMs in the United Arab Emirates. It merged with Union National Bank in 2019.
Net income: AED 3.81 billion (2020)
Total assets: AED 395.82 billion (3/2021)
First Gulf Bank
First Gulf Bank was established in 1979 and is headquartered in Abu Dhabi. The bank‘s business segments include Wholesale Banking Group, Treasury and Global Markets, Consumer Banking, Real Estate, and Other Operations. It employs around 1,400 individuals and is present in 19 countries, including Kuwait, China, the UK, France, Malaysia, Bahrain, Sudan, Hong Kong, Switzerland, Lebanon, Labuan, Oman, Egypt, USA, Jordan, Brazil, and India.
In 2016, the bank’s total assets amounted to US$66 billion and net profit reached US$1.65 billion.
Dubai Islamic Bank
Dubai Islamic Bank came into existence in 1975 and is headquartered in Dubai. The bank operates through its Consumer Banking, Corporate Banking, Real Estate Development, Treasury, and Other business segments. It serves around two million customers and maintains 66 branches across the UAE.
Net income: AED 3.29 billion (2020)
Total assets: AED 291.71 billion (3/2021)
Headquartered in Dubai, Mashreq Bank was founded in 1967, making it one of the oldest banks in the UAE. The bank is a joint-stock company and is an associated company of the HSBC Group. It provides retail banking, commercial banking, investment banking, Islamic banking, brokerage services, and asset management services.
The bank operates around 45 domestic branches and 20 international branches and is present in Egypt, Qatar, Kuwait, and Bahrain. It currently employs around 4,000 staff.
Net income: AED -1.28 billion (2020)
Total assets: AED 162.25 billion (3/2021)
Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank
Established in 1997, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank is headquartered in Abu Dhabi. It operates through the following segments: Global Retail Banking, Global Wholesale Banking, Private Banking, Treasury, Real Estate, and Others. It is present in Iraq, Qatar, and Sudan.
Net income: AED 1.60 billion (2020)
Total assets: AED 130.69 billion (3/2021)
Commercial Bank of Dubai
The Commercial Bank of Dubai was founded in 1969 and is headquartered in Dubai. The bank offers corporate banking, commercial banking, personal banking, Islamic banking, and support services. It employs around 1,200 individuals.
Net income: AED 1.12 billion (2020)
Total assets: AED 102.47 billion (3/2021)
Established in 1976, RAKBANK is headquartered in Ras Al-Khaimah, UAE. It is also known as the National Bank of Ras Al Khaimah (P.J.S.C). The bank provides retail and commercial banking services to individuals and businesses in UAE.
The business operates through five segments: Retail Banking, Wholesale Banking, Business Banking, Treasury, and Insurance Business. It manages a network of 27 branches and serves around 700,000 customers.
Net income: AED 505.38 million (2020)
Total assets: AED 52.8 billion (2020)
Careers in Investment Banking
To break into investment banking, there are several important things to focus on. These include networking, resume, experience, and financial modeling skills. To learn more, explore our interactive career map:
For banking careers, you will have a significant edge over the competition with our financial modeling courses.
This has been CFI’s guide to the top banks in the UAE. For anyone looking for a career in banking, this list is a great place to start your networking. Please also see these additional resources: