Banking in the UAE

The banking sector of UAE is pretty study and well organized, they are regulated by the central bank of UAE which was established in 1980. Opening a bank account is a necessity in a hi-tech country like UAE. Not only is it the best security for your money but also it helps in transferring the funds within countries.

The banks in UAE falls into 4 categories

uae Bank

Commercial Banks

Commercial banking services in UAE is offered by a bunch of locally established banks and branches of foreign banks. The local banks are basically public share holding companies which are licensed under the union law (1980). All the branches of foreign bank have the license from the central bank to operate in UAE. A few of the foreign banks have their representative offices within UAE to assist and guide their customers in administrative process.


Under the union law (10) of 1980 investment banks are the trust company which does not accept funds whose maturity is less than 2 years. They may however borrow the funds from their head office, local, foreign banks or financial markets.


All the purchase and sale of stocks (domestic and foreign), currencies, commodities and bonds are regulated by the board of directors of central bank. They also have power over intermediating in money market transactions. Resolution No. 126/5/95 states that in case of a natural person presiding as an intermediary then it must a UAE citizen. If it is a company then they should have national shareholding of a minimum of 60% of the total capital.


The Islamic banks in UAE are governed by sharia law and federal law no.6 of 1985. According to the laws the Islamic bank can operate on any part of banking be it commercial, investment services or financial.


Opening a bank account is easy in UAE, both the citizens and the expatriates can open account in the banks of UAE. For an expat to open an account in the bank they have to submit the following documents:
  • A copy of their passport
  • A copy of their resident or work visa
  • A copy of their emirates id or salary letter or a NOC letter from their employer or sponsor
  • According to the law the citizens and expats can also open a joint account with another resident of UAE.


National Banks
Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank
Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank
Al Hilal Bank
Arab Bank for Investment and Foreign Trade (Al Masraf)
Commercial Bank of Dubai
Commercial Bank International
Dubai Bank
Dubai Islamic Bank PJSC
Emirates NBD Bank
Emirates Islamic Bank
First Gulf Bank
Mashreq Bank
Noor Islamic Bank
RAK Bank
Sharjah Islamic Bank
United Arab Bank PJSC
Union National Bank
National Bank of Abu Dhabi


Foreign Banks
Bank of Baroda
Barclays Bank
Bank Saderat Iran
Citi Bank
Doha Bank
Habib Bank A.G. Zurich
HSBC Middle East Limited
Lloyds TSB Bank PLC
National Bank of Bahrain
National Bank of Oman
Standard Chartered Bank
Bank of Khartoum – International

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