Top 10 banks in UAE – A Detailed Guide

By Laxita Gautam
  | Published: 10 June 2021

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UAE has secured its place as one of the top and the most robust trading centre in not only the Middle East but the whole world. Thanks to the stringent laws that protect your privacy and keep your money secured along with the exceptional services of national banks of the country and the branches of international banks, banking in the UAE is as easy as they come. The flourishing environment of the country and the tax-free landscape attracts many foreign investors to the country. The banking sector of UAE has about 23 national banks and 26 foreign banks in the Emirates which offer all kinds of top banking services including the most popular kind of bank accounts such as current and savings accounts. 

Out of all these national and international banks, there are a select few which have maintained a steady growth and profit scale. These banks have also gained immense popularity among the customers because of their impeccable customer services and the benefits offered.  

First Abu Dhabi Bank

The First Abu Dhabi Bank or as it is popularly known as, FAB, is the largest bank of the United Arab Emirates which is equity-based. It was officially formed in 2017 when the National Bank of Abu Dhabi and First Gulf Bank merged. FAB is popular among customers for providing customised solutions fitting to the needs of every individual and for offering a stable and friendly environment to its shareholder where growth and profit-earning never stops. FAB obtained a net profit of AED10.6 billion in 2020. A global bank to its core, First Abu Dhabi Bank has branches in several countries all over the world. It has about 74 branches in the UAE itself and over 100 ATMs scattered across the emirates. 

Popular Products and Services

FAB savings account is one of the personal savings accounts provided by First Abu Dhabi Bank and is preferred by a lot of banking-service users in the country. It has a basic minimum balance limit of AED 3000 and offers a free FAB Platinum Mastercard, passbook, and cheque book in the welcome to the customers along with several attractive value-adding services.

The FAB accelerator is a special loyalty program from FAB that comes in three tiers to personalise your banking experience to the fullest. You must have a current account and a credit card with the bank to avail of this service. FAB at work helps its commercial clients in managing the onboarding needs of new employees with at-work support, fast-track onboarding processes, tailor-made packages with many lifestyle benefits, etc. 

Emirates NBD

Just like FAB, Emirates NBD was also established in the year 2007 when the National Bank of Dubai and Emirates Bank International came together in a merger. This merger formed an immense power that now has the largest asset base in all the Gulf countries. With its headquarters in Dubai, Emirates NBD has about 130 branches and 1079 ATMs in total in the United Arab Emirates. The bank announced its total net profit earned in the year 2020 as AED7 billion and total asset value at AED 698 billion. 

Popular Products and Services

Emirates NBD generally offers over 15 different credit cards which have an interest rate range of 1.49% to 3.09%. The minimum salary requirement, just as the interest rates, differs from card to card and can lie anywhere between AED 5-30K. There are 6 different kinds of personal loans offered to the customer. The interest rates lie anywhere between 5.49% to 19.99% depending on the type of loan you opt for. The bank offers an Emirates NBD savings account, one of the most preferred savings accounts in the country. 

Wakala Deposits is a Sharia law-approved contract binding system where the customer can ask and authorise the Emirates NBD bank to invest in activities that are Sharia approved. 

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank

One of the oldest banks in the UAE, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank or ADCB is one of the top three giants of the banking industry of the country. The headquarters of the bank are located in Abu Dhabi and there are 54 branches and 428 ATMs scattered across the country. The bank recorded a profit of AED 3.81 billion in the year 2020 and the asset value of the group at AED 411 billion. The 58% shares of the banks are managed and held by Abu Dhabi Investment Council working directly under the Abu Dhabi government. 

Most Popular Services and Products 

The bank has 10 different personal loans and multiple business loans available for the customers. The interest rates of personal loans range between 4.99% to 16% while business loans have an interest rate of 17%. 

Offshore Account and Savings Accounts are the most popular accounts offered by the bank, as preferred by the customers. ADCB offshore accounts offer several unique benefits and services. 

Dubai Islamic Bank

This bank was established in 1975 and has its headquarters in Dubai, as evident. Dubai Islamic bank is a public joint-stock company and is also one of the largest Sharia-compliant banks in the country. It showed a profit of AED 3,160 million in the year 2020 and has 66 branches that are spread all across the country. It has also been awarded the “Best Islamic Bank in the region”. 

Popular Services and Products

The bank offers 9 different kinds of personal loans and 20 different kinds of credit cards along with several types of savings accounts with attractive benefits. The minimum salary requirement to get a loan from Dubai Islamic Bank is AED 3-50K while the minimum salary required to get credit cards is AED 5-50K.

Johra Ladies is a very specific service that keeps women at its centre and provides all kinds of banking services like debit cards, credit cards, bank account under the name Johra or Johra ladies. 

Mashreq Bank 

A joint-stock company and an associate company of the HSBC Group, Mashreq was established in 1967 and is one the oldest banks in the UAE. It has its headquarters in Dubai and provides services in retail and commercial banking, investment banking, asset management services, Islamic banking services, and brokerage services. The bank has 20 international and 45 domestic branches. Mashreq bank savings account is the best savings account offered by the bank that presents the users with a number of benefits and value-added services along with a high level of flexibility. 

Emirates Islamic Bank

If you are looking for a bank that offers great Sharia-compliant services then look no further. Emirates Islamic Bank is one of the best ones to go for when it comes to products and services that in compliance with Sharia Law and profitable for the customers as well as the shareholders. The bank has a total of 58 branches in the UAE and operates as a subsidiary of the Emirates NBD bank.

Popular Products and Services

The bank offers 9 different types of credit cards with a minimum salary requirement of AED 5000 to avail them. Personal loans from Emirates Islamic bank are offered specifically to UAE nationals and ex-pats only. Free credit card is also offered with personal loans and they have the same minimum salary requirement of AED 5000. E-Savings Account is one of the best zero minimum balance savings accounts that give 1% profit on deposit as interest and has no limitations of withdrawals. 

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank

Another Sharia law compliant bank that offers its services internally as well in Egypt, Qatar, United Kingdom, and Iraq. It has about 69 branches in the UAE and strives to deliver exceptional Islamic-style banking services. It was founded in the year 1997 and operates in a number of banking segments including Private Banking, Real Estate, Global Wholesale Banking, Global Retail Banking, Treasury, etc. The bank earned a net profit of AED 1,121.4 million in the year 2020. 

Popular Products and Services

Global Transaction Banking is one of the most popular services offered by this bank. It allows ease of obtaining cost-effective cash management and trade solutions. It is available for both local and globally functioning firms regardless of their industry segments. 

ADIB also offers 10 different personal loans and 17 kinds of credit cards, all designed to meet the individual requirements of the customers. The minimum salary required for personal loans and credit cards is, AED 8K and AED 5-30K, respectively. Both these products come with many additional benefits for the customers. Apart from that, the bank offers several savings accounts with attractive features such as the ADBI Smart Banking Account.

RAK Bank 

Named after the emirate Ras Al-Khaimah, the National Bank of Ras Al-Khaimah was established in the year 1976. It has its headquarters in Ras Al-Khaimah and offers an extensive range of commercial and retail banking services to the customers. There are five main segments that the RAK Bank operates through namely Business Banking, Treasury, Wholesale Banking, Retail Banking, and Insurance Business. It has 27 branches in the UAE. It has bagged many awards in the banking sectors including “SME bank of the year” (2016), and the “best internet banking product of the year” in the Middle East. 

Popular Products and Services

The bank offers 4 different kinds of business loans of up to AED 3 million, ideally engineered to suit every need. There are 4 kinds of credit cards available with the bank as well. The minimum salary requirement to avail of the credit cards is AED 5-35K depending on the variant. 

The bank also offers a wide selection of savings accounts with a zero minimum balance savings account variant. The fund transfer services of RAK bank to India, Nepal, Siri Lanka and the Philippines are also admired by the customers. 

National Bank of Fujairah

One of the top banks of the emirate Fujairah, the National bank of Fujairah is one of the very few banks that have achieved sparkling recognition several times for its services. Established in 2017, the bank has 5 different titles to its name including “Best Treasury Management”. The National Bank of Fujairah has a total of 14 branches in the country. Out of all the savings accounts offered by the bank, the NBF savings account is by far the most popular one among the customers. 

Standard Chartered 

With its branches spread all across the world, Standard Chartered Bank is an international bank that provides both Sharia-compliant and conventional banking services in the UAE. The very first UAE branch of Standard Chartered Bank was opened in Sharjah in the year 1958. Now has it has 10 different physical branches in the country, 5 electronic banking branches, and over 100 ATMs. 

Popular Products and Services

Standard Chartered Bank Xtra Saver Account is one of the best savings accounts in the country. It offers an interest rate as high as 1.1% and is available in AED as well as USD. It also offers an international debit card with the account. The bank also provides personal finances that are based on Islamic banking law with an interest rate of 7.55% /pa. 

Laxita Gautam
Laxita Gautam134 Posts

Senior Content Writer | She functions on classic British fiction, Japanese manga, and strong americanos. Laxita is tailor-made to create engaging, interactive pieces that offer simplified insights into complex subjects.