Banks in the UAE

The UAE banking system consists of the Central Bank, local and foreign banking institutions. The UAE Central Bank performs key functions in the country’s economy and is an established financial structure. It provides advice and financial support to the Government of the United Arab Emirates, issues national currencies (dirhams of the United Arab Emirates), maintains control over the activities of UAE banks, etc.

There are 23 local UAE, and they can be divided into four types:

  • Commercial banks
  • Industrial banks
  • Investment banks
  • Islamic banks

Large banks dominate the country’s banking sector, with the five largest banks accounting for about 60% of the sector’s assets.

Islamic Banking

In the UAE there are 8 full-fledged Islamic banks and 23 Islamic banking branches operated by ordinary banks, which together account for 19% of the total assets of the banking sector.

The main advantages of UAE banks:

  • Lack of government control
  • Stable and reliable economy
  • The modern and reliable banking system

Top Ten UAE Banks

  1. First Abu Dhabi Bank
  2. Emirates NBD
  3. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank
  4. Dubai Islamic Bank
  5. Mashreq
  6. Islamic Bank of Abu Dhabi
  7. Commercial Bank of Dubai
  8. RAK Bank
  9. Nur Bank
  10. Sharjah Islamic Bank

Opening Hours

Banks in the UAE are usually open from 8.00 am to 3.00 pm from Saturday to Wednesday, and 8.00 am to noon on Thursday and like other businesses, they are closed on Fridays.

UAE Currency

The name of the currency in Dubai and the United Arab Emirates is the Dirham. AED or Dirham of Arab Emirates also often shortened to Dhs or DH.

The dirham has 100 fils. Banknotes have denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000 dirhams. The inscription on the front side of the note is in Arabic, and on the reverse side in English.

Currency Exchange

Foreign currencies of almost any denomination can be exchanged across the United Arab Emirates.

You can exchange money at hotels and in one of the authorized exchange centers in the UAE, which are located at airports, shopping centers, and public markets.

There are many foreign banks’ branches in the UAE, and their ATMs are located in different places in public places offering withdrawals in the local currency.

Credit cards, currency cards, and travelers’ cheques are usually accepted in the UAE.

ATMs usually offer the best exchange rates (even if you consider the possible exchange costs at your home bank), but travelers’ cheques in US dollars or British pounds are advised to avoid additional exchange costs.

List of Banks in the UAE

SWIFT/BIC Codes of Banks in the UAE

Full list of the UAE banks’ BIC/SWIFT codes that are used to make domestic and international payments and money transfers in the UAE.

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