A Guide to the Top Banks in Dubai and in the UAE

With one of the world’s most dynamic economies, the UAE is a prominent location for some of the world’s top firms. It is regarded as a worldwide commercial and tourist center, providing excellent prospects for both native and expat inhabitants. Banks founded locally, as well as branches and divisions of international institutions, make up the banking industry. The Central Bank of the UAE regulates the sector. If you are new to the region or want to relocate, continue reading for a brief overview of some of the region’s largest and most popular banks.


First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB Bank) is the largest bank in the UAE, having been founded in 2017 by the merger of First Gulf Bank and the National Bank of Dubai. Their offerings include investment, corporate, and personal banking. The FAB bank has an exceptional reputation throughout the area, having received global acclaim for being one of the safest and finest institutions. With a presence on five continents, the organization is an important participant in both domestic and international commerce. The bank is known for investing in both people and technology in order to provide a world-class customer experience.


Mashreq is one of the largest and oldest privately held banks in the UAE, having been founded in 1967. Its headquarters are in Dubai, and it maintains offices in all of the world’s major financial centers. The bank is known for its inventive spirit. Since installing the first ATMs in the region, it has continued to modernize and has been recognized as one of the Middle East’s most progressive banks. The bank provides a broad range of personal, corporate, and investment banking services.


Ajman Bank is noted for being the region’s first Islamic bank, operating in accordance with Shari’a values. Supported by the government, it is headquartered in Ajman and has several branches across the UAE. Offering a broad range of financial products to service both businesses and individuals, the organization prides itself on providing a human touch that is often missing in large corporate banks. In September 2022, Ajman bank became one of the world’s first organizations to launch a Mastercard Touch Card, a product aimed at supporting blind and partially sighted customers with distinctive notches.


Al Maryah Community Bank, established in 2021, is regarded as the first digital-only bank in the region. The organization’s focus is on supporting individuals and small businesses in overcoming the obstacles of modern living, and it is powered by blockchain and cloud-based banking. With its boast that consumers can open accounts in as little as five minutes using their category-leading app, this is a bank on the cutting edge of innovation.


Al Masraf, which has its headquarters in Abu Dhabi, was founded with the goal of developing joint economic ventures among Arab countries. Today, the organization provides a comprehensive range of financial services to customers, corporations, and investors. The bank’s effort to maintain the highest quality standards was recognized in 2021 with the coveted Sheikh Khalifa Excellence Award.


The organization was founded in 2008 as Noor Islamic Bank and is now simply known as Noor Bank. The Shari’a-compliant organization has grown significantly since its inception. The business prides itself on creating long-term connections and has a strong presence throughout the region, offering a complete set of products encompassing corporate and personal banking as well as asset management.


Usually called EIB. EIB was established in 2004, the bank provides a wide range of Shari’a-compliant services to individuals, small businesses, and major corporations. The corporation has a significant physical presence in the region thanks to its network of branches. It has an innovative culture and is proud to be the first Islamic bank to introduce a mobile banking app and use WhatsApp to assist customer care. Emirates Islamic Bank was the official financial sponsor of Dubai’s prestigious Expo 2020.


The United Arab Bank (UAB) is a major financial organization in the area. The UAB, founded in 1975, has six locations around the UAE and offers business and retail banking services. In July 2022, the bank unveiled the region’s first payment system, allowing people and businesses to settle transactions using Arab currencies in addition to international currencies.


The Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB), founded in 1975 and headquartered in Dubai, is the largest Islamic bank in the UAE. Offering a variety of unique services, the company operates in a variety of fields, including consumer, business, corporate, and retail, to highlight a few. In an effort to become a digital first company, the DIB recently introduced face recognition as a way for clients to establish accounts remotely. DIB also advocates for a greener, more sustainable future and provides Islamic bonds and loans to organizations around the region that promote an environmentally friendly future.


Another Shari’a-compliant service provider, the organization offers personal, private, and corporate banking. It has been at the forefront of the region’s financial sector since its formation in 1997, and it has a significant worldwide presence. The company was named the “Best Islamic Bank Globally” by the Financial Times, and it takes pride in putting the customer first. They are known for developing the world’s first digital Islamic bank for youth, and they have a strong belief in assisting and advancing future generations.


Emirates NBD is another regional powerhouse. The result of a merger between Emirates Bank International and the National Bank of Dubai in 2007. They are one of the major employers in the region and offer a full range of financial services. Despite its popularity with expats, the organization has reaffirmed its commitment to supporting and empowering UAE citizens. A recent advertising campaign emphasized a variety of tailored solutions that reflect Emirati requirements, spending trends, and a family-focused approach to money.


Ras Al-Khaimah National Bank is abbreviated to RAKBank. The corporation is a public joint-stock company with its headquarters in the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah. The bank runs a network of 27 branches and provides services in commercial, small business, conventional, and Islamic retail. In order to stay ahead of the competition, the bank teamed with top cryptocurrency exchange, Kraken, in July 2022. The initiative will enable customers to convert virtual assets into dirhams.


There is a strong selection of banks in the UAE for both expats and nationals alike. With competition high, there is a continuous drive for innovation and enhanced service, which can only be a good thing for the customer. All banks will offer slightly different products and incentives, so it’s important to do your research based on your individual needs before selecting how you want to handle your money.