The United Bank for Africa (UBA), Africa’s global bank that has been in existence for over seven decades, announced the official opening of its new branch in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

“By collaborating with our franchises in 20 African countries and the major financial centers of London, New York, and Paris, UBA (DIFC Branch) will facilitate the financing of trade transactions between the Middle East and Africa, enabling trade finance and investments,” says Tony O. Elumelu, Chairman of the UBA Group. “We had been looking forward to this day because it will be our first time in this region of the world. We understand that if we are not present in the Gulf, our international expansion will be incomplete.”

The United Bank for Africa (DIFC Branch) will operate under the Category 4 license and will be regulated by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), the financial regulatory agency of the special economic zone, the Dubai International Financial Centre. The UBA branch in the DIFC will service corporate & financial Institutions and customers across the Middle East with a core focus on correspondent banking, relationship management, and advisory services.

“Today, we are formally on four continents across the globe, operating in 24 countries, serving over 35 million clients, and still growing,” says Kennedy Uzoka, Group Managing Director/CEO of UBA. ” We are the only Nigerian-owned bank having operations in the United Arab Emirates. Those who came before us came through different areas, and it demonstrates the Dubai authorities’ firmness and respect for UBA”

“Our presence in Dubai demonstrates that UBA is a powerful franchise that is growing its global reach. The authorities and business climate in the DIFC are fantastic, and UBA sees Dubai as the entrance to Africa, which is why we are here: to be closer to our clients, cooperate with them, and promote business and trade flows into Africa through the UBA franchise. So we’re quite excited.”

Through this new expansion, the UBA Group will be able to harness opportunities in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia (MEASA), which comprise of 72 countries with an approximate population of 3 billion and a nominal GDP of $7.7 trillion and thereby, reinforce its strong franchise as Africa’s Global Bank, facilitating trade and capital flows between Africa and the rest of the world.

“Trade, trade, and investments in Africa are expanding in the Gulf Region and Asia,” says Vikrant Bhansali, CEO of UBA (DFIC). “UBA (DFIC) will strengthen the group’s ability to enable access of Gulf investors and banks to African markets by leveraging UBA Group’s presence in global financial centers. We will finance trade, enable commerce, and assist in the expansion of investment in Africa across all industries.”


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