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A Quick Overview Of UAE Banking System

The UAE is a country that has been ranked among the best places to live in the world. It is renowned for its breathtaking architecture and lovely beaches. However, there are many other aspects of this country that make it stand out from others. 

One of these aspects is its banking system which has evolved over time to meet the needs of its citizens and expatriates alike. Green Line UK is sharing an overview of the banking system in the UAE. Let’s get started. 

Banks in UAE

There are many banks in the UAE, but only a few of them are licensed by the Central Bank of UAE. The following banks have been approved by this authority:

  • National Bank (NB)
  • Al Rajhi Bank (ARB)
  • Emirates NBD International
  • First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB)

Currency used in UAE

The UAE uses the dirham as its official currency. This is a subdivision of the Arabic pound, which was used in Egypt until 1971 and has since been replaced by the Egyptian pound.

The dirham is divided into 100 fils (فيلس), which roughly equates to 0.0006 US dollars making it one of the smallest currencies in use today.

Banks for expatriates

There are many banks in the UAE, ranging from full-service to internet-only. Among the most well-liked are:

  • Bank Al Jaber – This bank has branches throughout the country and offers many services to expatriates as well as local residents. It also provides investment opportunities for those who wish to invest their money domestically or abroad.
  • First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) – FAB is one of the largest financial institutions operating within this region, offering products such as savings accounts, credit cards and mortgages among others. This bank has easy to use mobile banking features. One can do FAB balance check online easily and can also transfer funds to someone. It also offers foreign exchange services through its branches around town so that you can purchase things like groceries when needed without having any issues getting them delivered.

UAE banking and currency rules

The UAE banking system is very complex, and it came into existence as a result of many factors. It was formed by the union of several different banks throughout the country and is governed by laws that are unique to this country.

  • The first thing you’ll notice when looking at an Australian dollar bill or US dollar note is that they have different numbers on them than what you see in your wallet or purse.
  • They have serial numbers that correspond with those printed on each note (see image below). 
  • These serial numbers are important because they help identify the currency being used by different countries around the world.
  • If someone tries to use one of these currencies without knowing its value then there would be problems later down the road.

Credit card regulations in the UAE

The UAE has very strict credit card regulations. You cannot use a credit card in most shops and restaurants, as well as some other places. In order to use your credit card in these areas, you must go to a bank branch with cash or debit cards (which can be used at any location).

You can only use your credit card at the same branch where it was issued by the bank. If this is not possible, then please contact us so we can help.

There are various banks and currencies used in the United Arab Emirates.

The UAE banking system is a mix of foreign and local banks. There are three types of banks in the country:

  • Foreign Banks – These are mainly American, British and Canadian. They have branches all over the Emirates including Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.
  • Local Banks – These include National Bank of Abu Dhabi (Nabd), Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB), First Abu Dhabi Bank, etc which operate under their own brand names but are jointly owned by the government of UAE along with shareholders from other countries such as India or Sri Lanka.


The UAE is a country in the Middle East and one of the most diverse countries in the world. The country has many different cultures, religions, and nationalities. There are also many different types of banks in the UAE. 

This article will give you an overview of some of the different types of banks that exist in the UAE and how they work with each other so that you can make informed decisions about your financial well-being as soon as possible.

About the Author:

Saif is the editor at Zar Saf magazine that covers news, health, business, lifestyle, technology and digital marketing related stuff. He believes in the quality of the stuff on Green Line UK. He also loves travelling abroad for recreation.

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