Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank
A good local lender that requires no minimum monthly balance in your account, so there’s less chance you will face penalty charges.
Salam Street, Abu Dhabi (02 800 2030; www.adcb.com), plus various branches across Dubai
Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank
An option if you want a local lender that adheres to Islamic (Sharia) banking practices.
Bainuna Street, Abu Dhabi (02 610 0600; www.adib.ae), plus various branches across Dubai
Formerly known as the Arab Bank for Investment & Foreign Trade. It was founded in 1976 so you can be assured they have experience of the local market.
Baniyas Street, Deira (04 221 2100); Dream Palace Hotel Building, Al Muraqqabat Street, Deira (04 229 7999; www.al-masraf.ae)
Arab Bank PLC
Offers a full range of direct banking services including internet, phone, SMS and ATM services, so it's quite a good option.
Bank of Sharjah
A current account with this local bank requires a minimum monthly balance of Dhs3,000 and offers unlimited free transactions.
Al Garhoud Street (04 282 7278; www.bankofsharjah.com)
A name you’re certain to be familiar with. It has a better reputation for customer care than some of the other major international lenders in the city.
First Floor, Building 4, Emaar Business Park, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 428 6000; www.barclays.ae), plus various branches across the city
Major international lender offering a wide range of services, including personal banking, credit cards, loans, business banking, insurance, investment and wealth management.
Khalid Bin Al Waleed Street, Bur Dubai (04 5074 104, 04 5074 643); Al Wasl branch, Sheikh Rashid Road (04 6044 157, 04 6044 180; www.citigroup.com/uae)
Commercial Bank of Dubai
Local lender offering a range of accounts, saving schemes and credit cards, as well as e-services.
Deira (04 212 1000; www.cbd.ae), plus various branches across the city
Commercial Bank International
A relative newcomer to the UAE banking scene, established in 1991. Probably not the best option for Western expats.
Al Riqqa Street (04 227 5265; www.cbiuae.com), plus various branches across the city
Offers a wide range of products and services that conform to the rulings of Sharia law.
World Trade Centre, Sheikh Zayed Road(04 332 8989; www.dubaibank.ae), plus various branches across the city
Dubai Islamic Bank
Describes itself as the world’s first fully-fledged Islamic bank.
Deira (04 295 9999; www.dib.ae), plus various locations across the city
Emirates Islamic Bank
Another local lender that is good if you want to save the Islamic way.
Al Gurg Tower 2, Riggat Al Buteen (04 213 1660; www.emiratesislamicbank.ae), plus various branches across the city
The best option if you want to bank with a local lender. Branches and ATMs are everywhere, so it's very convenient. You’re also not charged for using the cash machines of Dubai Islamic Bank and Emirates Islamic Bank with them.
Various branches across the city (04 310 0155; www.emiratesnbd.com)
First Gulf Bank
Range of banking options, including current and savings accounts, credit cards, loans and mortgages.
Khalid bin Walid Road, Bur Dubai; Abu Baker Al Siddique Road, Deira and Sheikh Zayed Road (600 525 500; www.fgb.ae)
Habib Bank AG Zurich
Swiss banking giant which has an arm in the UAE as well as in Kenya and the UK.
Baniyas Square (04 221 4535; www.habibbank.com) Other locations: Al Fahidi Street (0 4 353 4545); Sheikh Zayed Road (04 331 3999); Jebel Ali (04 881 2828)
The world’s local bank is a popular choice among expats in the city, but it has had some problems in the past with customer service.
Al Muraqqabat, Deira (04 228 1714 www.hsbc.ae), plus various branches across the city
Came out best international lender in a 2010 survey, but minimum salary transfer and balance are high.
Al Wasl Road, Jumeirah (04 342 2000; www.lloydstsb.ae), plus service centres at Arabian Ranches and Uptown Mirdiff
The largest private bank in the UAE with a good reputation among the local lenders.
Various branches across the city (04 424 4444; www.mashreqbank.com)
National Bank of Abu Dhabi
Ranked one of the 50 safest banks in 2010 by Global Finance. NBAD was also named the country’s best bank for the second year running by the prestigious Euromoney.
Khaled Bin Al Waleed Street, Bur Dubai (04 359 9922; www.nbad.com), plus various branches across the city
National Bank of Dubai
Another popular choice. The banks has it all from personal services to credit cards to loans and detailed savings plans.
Baniyas Road, Deira (04 228 3000; www.nbd.ae), plus various branches across the city
RAK bank (National Bank of Ras Al Khaimah)
A good choice if you want a decent all-rounder.
Deira, Maktoum Street (04 224 8000; www.rakbank.ae), plus various branches throughout the city
Standard Chartered Bank
Branches are always busy, so visits there can be frustrating, but you can perform most services online.
Al Mankhool Road, Bur Dubai; Deira, Al Nasr Square (600 5222 88; www.standardchartered.ae)
Union National Bank
Abu Dhabi-based lender provides personal as well as comprehensive corporate banking options.
Salam Street, Abu Dhabi (02 674 1600; www.unb.co.ae), plus various branches across Dubai
United Arab Bank
There's just ten branches across the entire country, so you might not come across this one too often.
Al Maktoum Street, Deira (04 222 0181; www.uab.ae), plus various branches across the city