Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; 1 May 2019: First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) today officially inaugurated its Saudi Arabia operations during a ceremony at its new Riyadh branch. The opening is a key milestone in FAB’s international expansion plans that will help to further strengthen commercial ties between the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony was attended by H.E. Dr. Ahmed Abdulkarim Alkholifey, Governor of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA), H.E. Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Board Executive Committee of FAB, H.E Jassim Mohammed Al Siddiqi, Chairman of the Board Audit Committee of FAB and Abdulhamid Saeed, Group Chief Executive Officer of FAB, along with other members of the bank’s leadership.
The new branch, located in Al Cayan Tower, Riyadh, joins FAB’s international network which spans five continents, enabling customers in Saudi Arabia to draw on the bank’s global relationships, expertise and financial strength to grow stronger.
H.H. Sheikh Tahnoon Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of First Abu Dhabi Bank, said: “It gives me great pleasure to open our first Saudi Arabian branch and make a further contribution towards the Kingdom’s growth story by financing businesses, providing financial services to individuals and investing in the digital economy. Our expansion into Saudi Arabia represents an important milestone in our international business strategy as well as a testament to the strong ties between the UAE and Saudi Arabia. The Kingdom is of strategic importance to both FAB and the UAE, and it is for that reason we chose Saudi Arabia as the first destination in our international expansion plans since our merger. We look forward to growing our presence in the Kingdom and thank the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority and Capital Market Authority for their invaluable guidance and support throughout this auspicious journey.”
H.E. Dr. Ahmed Abdulkarim Alkholifey, Governor of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA), said: “We are delighted to welcome First Abu Dhabi Bank to the Kingdom, which further builds on the strong relationship between the UAE and Saudi Arabia. As Vision 2030 continues to diversify the economy and creates new opportunities for companies and individuals alike, FAB is well placed to play an important role as a key financial services partner to the Kingdom.”
The opening of FAB’s first branch in Saudi Arabia continues a journey for the bank that began last year. Following the official approval in February 2018 from the Capital Market Authority (CMA) to commence investment banking activities in the Kingdom as FAB Capital, the Abu Dhabi-headquartered bank was granted a licence from SAMA one month later to establish a commercial banking business in the country. The licence allows FAB to operate three branches in Saudi Arabia, with the Riyadh opening planned to be followed by Jeddah and Al Khobar later this year.
Since receiving the SAMA and CMA licenses in 2018, FAB has made steady progress in building a team and establishing its presence, with the Corporate and Investment Banking (CIB) Group capping a successful year by completing a debut Sukuk transaction in Saudi Arabia through FAB Capital. Strong leadership teams have been formed for both entities, with Layth Al-Shaiban Country Chief Executive Officer of FAB’s commercial banking operations in Saudi Arabia, and Mona Al-Tawil leading the investment banking business in the Kingdom as Chief Executive Officer of FAB Capital.
Through its presence in the Kingdom, FAB is well placed to be a key financial services partner to Saudi Arabia, especially given the strength of the UAE’s relationship with KSA and the complementary nature of the two countries’ economic development plans. With financial services being an engine of growth both for the UAE and wider region, FAB’s personal and corporate banking operations in the Kingdom will benefit individuals and businesses with interests in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and across the region.