HSBC in the United Arab Emirates

Our services

HSBC in the United Arab Emirates has grown with the country, expanding from a single branch beside the Dubai Creek to build HSBC Group’s biggest business in the Middle East, supporting the growth ambitions of its customers from governments and multinationals to international corporates, family conglomerates, entrepreneurs, and individuals.

HSBC UAE serves our personal and business banking customers through a full range of services including: Wealth and Personal Banking, Commercial Banking and Global Banking & Markets.

Our headquarters

HSBC Tower
Downtown Dubai
United Arab Emirates


Mohamed Al Marzooqi
Chief Executive Officer

Our history in the UAE

HSBC’s presence in what is now the UAE dates back to 1946 when The Imperial Bank of Iran, a forerunner of HSBC Bank Middle East, opened its doors to the merchants and citizens of the Emirates.

Following its withdrawal from Iran, the bank was renamed the British Bank of The Middle East (BBME).

In 1959 BBME was acquired by The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (HSBC).

The bank played a key role in the establishment of a banking sector across the MENA region.


The 1940s was a period of great change with the decline of operations in Iran (which closed in 1952) and expansion into the Arabian Peninsula and the Levant.

The bank was a leader in financial services in the states that are now referred to as the Gulf Cooperation Council, opening branches in Kuwait (1942), Bahrain (1944), the area now known as the UAE (1946), Oman (Muscat 1948) and Saudi Arabia (Al Khobar and Jeddah 1950).

Branches were also opened in the cities of the Fertile Crescent: Beirut (1946), Damascus (1947), Tripoli (1948), Amman (1949) and Aleppo (1951).

Regional expansion

HSBC is the largest and most widely represented international banking organisation in the Middle East, North Africa and Türkiye (MENAT), with a presence in nine countries across the region: Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Türkiye and the United Arab Emirates. In Saudi Arabia, HSBC is a 31 per cent shareholder of Saudi Awwal Bank (SAB) and a 51 per cent shareholder of HSBC Saudi Arabia for investment banking in the Kingdom.

Modern structure

In 1994, the bank’s head office was transferred to Jersey and in 1999 it was renamed HSBC Bank Middle East (HBME). In 2001, the Group’s shareholding in Egypt increased to 94.5 per cent. In June 2016, the bank confirmed that it had transferred its place of incorporation and head office from Jersey to the Dubai International Financial Centre. As a result of the transfer, HBME is now lead-regulated by the Dubai Financial Services Authority, but remains locally regulated in each of the countries in which it operates by the country’s Central Bank and its other regulators.

Find out more information on HSBC’s role in the growth and development of the UAE by visiting the HSBC Archives website.

Making a difference

Meet Naveen, our Regional Sustainability and Financial Inclusion Lead in the Middle East. She’s dedicated to enabling underbanked communities, such as migrant workers, to manage their money better, and also helps launch sustainable finance products to support customers on their journeys to net zero.