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Banks in the UAE are beneficiaries of higher interest rates amid relatively lower inflation in the region. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: The UAE’s banking sector continues its momentum-building run, as evidenced by the impressive first-half results of top banks like FAB, Emirates NBD, and ADCB. These banks have not only shown improvement in asset quality but also witnessed robust growth, attracting global investors who are enticed by the country's appealing investment opportunities.

Dubai’s biggest lender, Emirates NBD reported a whopping 78 per cent jump in profit to Dh6.2 billion. While its balance sheet surpassed Dh800 billion for the first six months of 2023 as it added Dh53 billion of deposits during the period. Similarly, First Abu Dhabi Bank, the UAE's largest lender, experienced a surge in earnings that surpassed expectations, benefiting from higher rates and improved margins.

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During the initial half of the year, Emirates NBD experienced a significant increase in loans and advances, reaching Dh479 billion. This marked a 13 per cent rise from the Dh425 billion recorded a year earlier. Concurrently, the bank saw a substantial 50 per cent year-on-year decrease in impairment allowances, indicating an improvement in credit quality. This positive trend has been consistent among UAE banks, as evident from the latest financial reports.

Despite facing 11 rate hikes between March 2022 and the end of July 2023, the demand for debt remains robust among both businesses and retail clients in the country. This unwavering appetite for borrowing has further strengthened the position of UAE banks as prominent lenders in the financial landscape.