Dubai: Noor Bank is looking to Turkey and other international markets to escape tougher competition at home and take advantage of a booming global Sharia-compliant finance industry, its chief executive told Reuters on Tuesday.

Banks in the UAE have been expanding heavily abroad, as fierce rivalry among 51 lenders battling for a share of the domestic market drives down profits.

Emirates NBD bought the Egyptian operations of BNP Paribas in 2013. National Bank of Abu Dhabi/sand First Gulf Bank have been opening offices in Asia, while Mashreq is scouting Egypt and Turkey for possible acquisition targets.

Unlike other Emirati lenders eyeing expansion overseas, unlisted Noor does not plan to open any foreign branches — but it will offer additional services and products, expanding on its Turkish experience, Hussain al-Qemzi told Reuters in an emailed response to questions.