Empowering African Businesses

Nairobi: Dubai Islamic Bank eyes EAC market with Kenya’s entry

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Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB), the largest Islamic Bank in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is seeking to expand its operations in East African region following the approval by the Central Bank of Kenya last month (May).

The nod by the regulator will now see its Kenyan franchise, operate under the banking encryption DIB Bank Kenya (100 per cent owned subsidiary of Dubai Islamic Bank PJSC) and will follow the Sharia’h acquiescence used in other banks across the world. The Sharia’h compliant law forbids riba or interest.

“Dubai Islamic Bank has been following an expansionary agenda in both its home market of UAE and the international operations in Asia and Africa”, said Dr. Adnan Chilwan, the bank’s Group chief executive.

The franchise in Pakistan has already been aligned to the Group’s strategic intent and is on a clear growth path as we speak. Now, we are focusing on Indonesia and Kenya to pursue a similar agenda supporting the bank’s overall objective to mirror Far East and Asia, to Middle East and the East African region.

The lender announced Monday that it intends to use the Kenyan subsidiary as a launching pad to other EAC market in an effort to tap into the existing opportunities within the region.

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“DIB Group is fully committed in its overall vision to spearhead the proliferation Islamic banking and finance across Africa and the establishment of a fully owned subsidiary in Kenya is a testament to the same. We are very excited about what the future holds for Africa and view ourselves as a strong and key partner supporting the development and economic advancement of the continent in the coming years,” said Mr. Chilwan.

DIB Bank Kenya will have initial network of 3 branches (Goodman Branch in Westlands, Upper Hill Branch at the Head Office and Kilindini Branch in Mombasa). The bank will be headquartered at the junction of Bunyala and Lower Hill Road in Nairobi’s Upper Hill.

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