The new hi tech Emirates NBD branch at Emirates Towers. The futuristic banking space showcases an array of realistic, and in many cases, already functional digital solutions. Image Credit: A.K Kallouche/Gulf News

Dubai: Dubai Holding, the global investment holding company of Dubai, on Monday announced plans to launch a digital bank in the UAE that will eventually expand services across the Middle East and North Africa region.

The investment conglomerate with operations in 12 countries plans to invest up to Dh1 billion over the next five years to launch a next generation digital bank. The plan is in line with UAE’s goal of becoming a cashless digital economy.

Leveraging the high smartphone penetration rates in the UAE, one of the highest globally, Dubai Holding’s digital bank will aim to provide an on-demand, fully customisable and engaging experience to individuals and businesses alike.

“Through our investment in Dubai Holding Digital Bank, we are enabling digital opportunities with the potential to empower individuals and businesses to leverage new financial technologies for additional convenience and to unlock new business opportunities, in support of the vision of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai for a smarter and cashless society,” stated Abdullah Al Habbai, Chairman at Dubai Holding.

Leveraging Dubai Holding’s vast ecosystem of work, play, live offerings, the digital bank will offer unique perks and services to users, as well as providing bespoke banking services that extend beyond the traditional bank offering. Customers will have access to the region’s first truly personalised and dynamic loyalty programme.

Dubai Holding’s Digital Bank aims to provide a platform to facilitate digital transactions and accelerate the drive towards a cashless society and facilitate the exchange of data and insights between individuals and businesses.

Apart from serving individual consumers, this bank will be among the first pure digital players in the UAE to serve the SME and mid-size corporate segment. Dubai Holding will leverage its exposure to UAE SMEs to create a state-of-the-art loan and deposit offerings. The new bank plans to address key SME pain points through transparent reporting across all SME accounts, cash management platform linked to receivables, payroll and payments.

The digital bank will be a new addition to Dubai Holding’s many successful ventures.

Established in 2004, Dubai Holding today manages a Dh130 billion portfolio of assets, which supports the strong development of Dubai’s non-oil economy across sectors including; tourism, hospitality, real estate, media, ICT, education, design and trade.