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Awards for excellence - UAE

Best bank

Emirates Bank International

Emirates Bank International narrowly beats National Bank of Dubai to be this year's best bank in UAE. Both banks are highly regarded, having invested heavily in recent years. Both have solid financials, good ownership structures and good asset quality and are well capitalized and deliver good profitability, though Emirates Bank beats National Bank of Dubai in this regard.

Emirates Bank International is regarded as Dubai's flagship banking institution by market analysts. It has full support from the government, its largest shareholder. It is making great efforts to develop e-banking in the region.

Bad debts have, however, increased in recent years, partly because of problems overseas and a downturn in the domestic economy. This picture is looking brighter as local and government spending rise. There are limited opportunities for the bank to grow, though, as the banking sector is overcrowded.

This situation will not improve for Emirates Bank as foreign banks such as Citibank, ABN AMRO and HSBC build up a bigger presence. To date these global players have each established a position in the market but they have yet to make a significant impact on the domestic banks.

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