The UAE is overbanked with around 49 players, making it a fragmented and highly competitive market. Penetration is high and consumers are well informed and sophisticated, but the large number of expats in the UAE (over 90% of the population) creates unique requirements. Reputation is key, and customers favor established providers and traditional structures. Although online channels are gaining ground, awareness of fintech and peer to peer (P2P) providers remains low, and partnerships with existing banks are the best way of breaking into the market.Key Findings
- State-owned banks dominate the retail sector, with Emirates NBD accounting for almost a quarter of accounts, while international banks have made limited headway. Ethical values, reputation, and convenience are important, but 64% of customers prefer a local brand.
- Recommendations and convenience of branch location are the top drivers of choice of savings provider, while rates are also key due to the competitive nature of the sector. Property purchase is the most popular reason for saving, and branch enquiries are still preferred over online applications.
- The mortgage sector is highly competitive and banks struggle to achieve significant market share. Incentives are important to attract customers, but ease of use and online presence are also vital. Banks like RAKBANK are benefiting from investment in digital solutions.Synopsis
Table of Contents
Bank infrastructure & regulation
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