Best Banks in UAE 2022-23 - A Complete Guide & Overview

Written by Muhammad Qadeer

The United Arab Emirates is rapidly evolving into a financial hub of the Middle East. Banks, financial institutions and insurance service providers cater to the demands of an ever growing heterogeneous population. Banks in particular offer a myriad of perks to its customers all year round – enabling everyone to pursue their ambitions.

In this blog, we look at the best banks in UAE in terms of products offered, customer service, accessibility and technology.

Top 6 Banks in UAE for Expats

1. Emirates National Bank of Dubai (ENBD 2. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) 3. Dubai Islamic Bank
4. Standard Chartered 5. Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) 6. Mashreq Neo

1. Emirates National Bank of Dubai (ENBD)

Emirates National Bank of Dubai (ENBD)

With presence in more than 10 countries over 3 continents, ENBD is by far the largest and most reliable bank originating from the UAE. The bank was formed in 2007 after a merger between the National Bank of Dubai and Emirates Bank International. Headquartered in Dubai, the bank offers a plethora of services to its customers. From priority banking solutions to bespoke investment management solutions; the bank caters to individuals, corporations, HNWIs and institutions. Furthermore, the bank has the most number of ATMs in the country. Even if you’re camping on the outskirts of Fujairah, you’ll find an ENBD ATM nearby.

What’s Unique About Them

A wide range of products on offer and countrywide access to services.

Nearby Communities

2. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB)

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB)

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) was formed in 1985 as a public shareholding company with limited liability, following the mergers between Emirates Commercial Bank, Federal Commercial Bank, and Khaleej Commercial Bank, which was established in 1975. The Government of Abu Dhabi through the Abu Dhabi Investment Council (ADIC) holds 62.52% of ADCB shares; the remainder is held by other institutions and individuals. ADCB is the third-largest bank in the UAE in terms of balance sheet size and offers a range of commercial and retail banking services to its customers. As of 30 September 2018, it employs over 5000 people serving retail and corporate clients. Aside from 56 branches in the UAE, it has 1 branch in Jersey. It also operates out of representative offices in Singapore and London.

What’s Unique About Them

Exceptional customer service

Nearby Communities

3. Dubai Islamic Bank

Dubai Islamic Bank

Established in 1975, Dubai Islamic Bank is the largest Islamic bank in the UAE by assets and a public joint-stock company listed on the Dubai Financial Market. Spearheading the evolution of the global Islamic finance industry, DIB is also the world's first full-service Islamic bank and the third-largest Islamic bank in the world. The Bank currently operates 90 branches across the UAE, is present in seven markets worldwide and is expanding its global footprint to further grow and develop the industry. Serving close to 1.7 million customers, DIB offers its growing consumer base an increasing range of innovative Sharia-compliant products and services.

The bank guarantees attractive profit rates based on Shariah compliant investments, and also offers account opening facility for minors with no hidden or maintenance charges.

What’s Unique About Them

The leading Shariah compliant bank in the UAE

Nearby Communities

4. Standard Chartered

Standard Chartered

As one of the leading international banks in the world, Standard Chartered offers exceptional banking solutions to its clients; with a keen focus on customer service and automation of processes. It was one of the first banks to introduce automated teller machines; and continues to lead the way in terms of technology and innovation.

The bank’s popular products include Standard Chartered Xtra Saver Account, which offers an attractive interest-rate of 1.2% per annum. The account can availed in USD and AED; with the bank providing an international debit card to go with it. Standard Chartered Saadiq Personal Finance provides personal finance options based on Islamic principles. This account lets customers attain a yearly profit of 7.55%; and provides a free cheque book and debit card. Moreover, the bank offers various priority banking facilities that offers a cashback of up to AED 7000.

Moreover, SC offers comprehensive and fool-proof insurance solutions. These include Futura; which provides lifetime insurance coverage, and Global Choice; which lets customers give their children a head-start with a regular savings policy.

What’s Unique About Them

A globally recognized bank that ticks all boxes

Nearby Communities

5. Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB)

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB)

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank was established on 20 May 1997 as a Public Joint Stock Company through the Amiri Decree No. 9 of 1997. The Bank commenced commercial operations on 11 November 1998, and was formally inaugurated by Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Information and Culture on 18 April 1999. All contracts, operations and transactions are carried out in accordance with Islamic Shari'a principles.

ADIB also offers a GTB service, which is short for Global Transaction Banking that offers cost-effective and seamless cash and trade management solutions to meet the working capital requirements of corporate and financial institutions.

What’s Unique About Them

Combines Islamic finance with contemporary banking solutions to meet the needs of customers.

6. Mashreq Neo

Mashreq Neo

An offshoot of the oldest bank in UAE, Mashreq Neo is the first digital bank in the UAE. The bank is completely branchless and paperless; and offers all the conventional banking services as well as several unique offerings to attract a young customer-base. The smartphone bank application offers plenty of exciting solutions; such as Quick Remit; which allows individuals to send money to more than 20 countries without any charge. This facility offers excellent exchange rates, and is used by expats to send and receive money in a blink of an eye.

Other than that, Mashreq Neo has a lot of early bird discounts and cashback offers – even referring the app to a friend entitles you to reward points and cashback. In terms of security, the digital bank has been ranked as the leading and most secure mobile banking app in the Middle East by World Finance in 2020. Users of the Mashreq Neo smart bank praise it for its simplicity, intuition and safety features; with the app being updated every week to eliminate any loopholes.

What’s Unique About Them

A full-fledged bank in an app that holds green credentials, saves time and offers plenty of rewards and cashbacks to its customers.

The banking sector in UAE is growing at an unprecedented rate, but there are only a few that can live up to the billing of the perfect bank. Emirates National Bank of Dubai (ENBD), Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB), Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB), Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB), and Mashreq Neo are our top picks.

International Banks in Dubai

The presence of international banks in Dubai indicates the city's attractiveness as a global financial centre. With a deep understanding of local markets and strong relationships with key stakeholders, international banks are well-positioned to help everyone to achieve their visions.

HSBC, for example, has been operating in Dubai for over 50 years. These international banks offer a wide range of services to businesses and individuals in Dubai. From corporate banking and investment services to personal banking and lending, they can cater to the needs of almost any customer. They play a vital role in supporting businesses and helping the investors to grow and prosper. They also provide essential financial services to individuals, enabling them to live and work in Dubai.

Have a look at the list of top 10 international banks in Dubai:

  • ​HSBC Middle East
  • BNB Paribas Middle East
  • Standard Chartered Bank
  • Citibank N.A
  • Royal Bank of Canada
  • Credit Suisse AG
  • Arab African International Bank
  • Habib Bank A.G. Zurich
  • BanqueLibanaise Pour Le Commerce