EDB chief Ahmed Al Naqbi wins accolade for banking transformation in UAE

Al Naqbi plays a vital role in promoting the bank’s mandate of supporting the UAE’s economic diversification, says EDB chairman Dr Al Jaber

Ahmed Al Naqbi, chief executive of Emirates Development Bank. Photo: EDB

Ahmed Al Naqbi, chief executive of Emirates Development Bank, has been ranked “Best CEO for Banking Transformation in the UAE for 2021” by Britain’s International Finance magazine.

Mr Al Naqbi led the operational launch of the new EDB strategy, which includes an allocation of Dh30 billion ($8.17bn) to finance more than 13,500 small and medium enterprises, start-ups and corporates in priority sectors over the next decade.

The Abu Dhabi-based lender, a key financial engine of the UAE’s economic diversification and industrial transformation agenda, has lent more than Dh700 million in financing to SMEs and large caps in the country since January 2021, it said in a statement on Monday.

The award reinforces Mr Al Naqbi's “vital role in promoting the bank’s mandate of supporting the UAE’s economic diversification and boosting the country’s non-oil GDP [gross domestic product]”, said Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and chairman of EDB.

“The UAE is focusing on investing in enhancing the competencies of national human capital and providing them every opportunity to acquire the necessary skillset to empower their contribution to the progress and prosperity of the UAE across all sectors,” Dr Al Jaber said.

Mr Al Naqbi led the launch of two EDB initiatives with a total value of Dh10bn as part of the UAE’s Projects of the 50 campaign. The initiative allocated Dh5bn to support Emirati entrepreneurship and innovation, and another Dh5bn to accelerate industrial development and the adoption of advanced technology in the UAE, EDB said.

Mr Al Naqbi was also involved in the launch of the EDB Business Banking app, which offers SMEs access to “secure, on-the-go digital banking services”.

EDB is committed to positioning the UAE as a “hub for emerging sectors and an incubator for future industries”, Mr Al Naqbi said.

“This award is a recognition of the entire team at EDB, particularly the trust and direction of the bank’s board.”

EDB was formed in 2011 through the merger of Emirates Industrial Bank and Emirates Real Estate Bank. The lender has been active in forging local partnerships and funding industries such as health care, infrastructure, food security and technology.

Last October, it signed an agreement with the Abu Dhabi Investment Office to boost foreign direct investment and attract more businesses to the capital. A month earlier, it partnered with Ajman Free Zone to support the development of Emirati-led SMEs.

International Finance is a business analysis magazine published by Britain’s International Finance Publications.

Updated: February 22, 2022, 5:35 AM