Banking in the United Arab Emirates

Banks of the United Arab Emirates are becoming more and more popular among those, who are seeking tax efficient solutions. Thanks to the cooperation between local legislators and the Central Bank, UAE has now an internationally respected financial center.

Bank accounts opened in the UAE have all necessary and the most modern online interfaces and these accounts proved to be excellent opportunities for local firms and for those companies, which were formed in the offshore economic zones. The Emirates became one of the most important tax planning and offshore company forming jurisdiction since the many double tax treaties have been concluded.

Interestingly, those can benefit the most from the  offshore banking in the UAE, who formed their company in the United Arab Emirates and applied for a work permit through their firm.

There are two different types of commercial banks in the Emirates:

– Banks established locally, these operate typically as public shareholding companies.
– Local branches of foreign banks, these can operate with the Central Bank’s licence in the Emirates. Branches of foreign and local banks have been already operating in the UAE long before the foundation of the Central Bank. In fact, thank the fast economic development of the UAE, an increasing number of foreign financial institutions want to settle and open new branches in the United Arab Emirates. That’s why they had to create the new legislation, which enables foreign banks to open only 8 local branches in the rich country.

Click here for the links to all commercial banks in the United Arab Emirates. 

Local investment banks may not accept bank deposits with less than two years of maturity, but they can raise loans from their own branches and also from local and international banks.

Financial institutions are operating in each free-trade economic zone, planned especially for the needs of foreign bank account holders. Some of the most important such banks in the UAE are Mashreq Bank, Noor Bank and the Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank.


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