Ahli United Bank Limited launches operations in Dubai International Financial Centre as first GCC Bank with Category 1 license

Press release
Published March 23rd, 2016 - 10:16 GMT
During the event
During the event

Dubai International Financial Centre welcomed Ahli United Bank Limited (AUBL), a 100% subsidiary of Ahli United Bank B.S.C., which has launched operations at DIFC, AUBL is the first bank in the GCC region to receive the Category 1 license from the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA). 

On opening the new quarters of the bank in DIFC, His Excellency Essa Kazim, Governor of DIFC, met a delegation from the bank management. The delegation included Adel El-Labban, Managing Director & Group CEO of AUB Group and C B Ganesh, who has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of AUBL’s new branch at DIFC. Through its offices in DIFC, AUBL offers corporate banking, private banking, wealth management, trade finance, treasury and cross-border financial products and services to clients based in the UAE as well as the wider Middle East region. 

The expansion into the UAE market, through a presence in DIFC, is in line with AUB Group’s strategy to develop an integrated banking presence in markets across the GCC region and to act as a preferred regional intermediary for clients with regard to securing their cross border banking needs. AUB Group is already present in the UK, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Egypt, Iraq and the UK. 

Speaking on the launch of operations of AUB Group at DIFC, His Excellency Essa Kazim, Governor of DIFC, said:  “We are pleased to welcome Ahli United Bank Limited to DIFC as the first GCC bank to receive a Category 1 license.  AUBL’s landmark decision to operate out of the Centre reinforces our 2024 Strategy and further strengthens DIFC’s position as a leading global hub for businesses and financial institutions seeking growth opportunities across the Middle East, Africa and South Asia. Our enabling and robust platform is continuously evolving to give clients the confidence to leverage new corridors for the continued expansion of their operations.” 

For his part, Adel El-Labban, Managing Director & Group CEO of AUB Group, said: “We are grateful for the support and cooperation we have received from DFSA and DIFC. The launch of our operations in the UAE, which is a strategic hub and market, represents yet another important milestone in AUBL’s evolution as a truly diversified regional bank. We look forward to effectively servicing our UAE and regional customers through a dedicated presence in this country as their trusted partner of choice.” 

C B Ganesh, CEO of AUBL at DIFC, said: “Our presence in DIFC allows us to work closely with our existing clients in the UAE and attract new client base. AUBL has already registered high interest from AUB Group clients across the UAE and the region. In the upcoming period, we will work to significantly develop and enhance these relationships through offering tailored, need-based services.”

Background Information

Ahli United Bank

Ahli United Bank BSC (AUB) is a full fledged commercial and investment banking group providing wealth management, retail, corporate, treasury, offshore and private banking services.

The Group's businesses consist of the operations in Bahrain, a wholly owned subsidiary in the UK and associates in Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Egypt and Iraq. In Kuwait, AUB has an effective holding of 75% in the Bank of Kuwait and The Middle East while in Qatar, AUB has a 40% stake in Ahli Bank QSC. In Oman, AUB has a 35% stake in Ahli Bank SAOG while in Iraq AUB has a 49% stake in the Commercial Bank of Iraq. In Egypt, AUB, its associate banks and other Gulf financial institutions together hold an 89.3% stake in Ahli United Bank SAE. Apart from these banks, AUB has a nominal stake of 75% in KMEFIC, a brokerage, asset management and corporate finance company based in Kuwait with operations around the Arabian Gulf.

Overall, the AUB Group, through its subsidiaries and associates, operates through a network of 93 branch offices and employs over 3,000 people. 

AUB’s stated mission is to create an unrivalled ability to meet customer needs, provide fulfillment and development for staff and to deliver outstanding shareholder value. AUB’s strategy is to expand through both organic growth and acquisition in order to act as a ‘multifaceted financial bridge’ between the international financial markets and its Gulf clients. It has sought to establish an operating presence in each of the Pan-GCC countries with a targeted 10% - 20% market share. To this end, AUB continues to develop and invest to increase its ability to acquire new businesses and rapidly integrate them with the bank’s systems. This development has helped accelerate progress in the delivery of financial services and penetration into targeted geographical markets.

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