Emaar founder to head UAE’s first digital bank

Mohamed Alabbar, the founder and former chairman of Emaar Properties will head Zand, the UAE’s first digital bank that will cater to retail and corporate clients.

“The UAE combines progressive regulations with commercial, financial, and technology hubs. This provides the perfect environment for a world-leading digital bank that can launch in the UAE and scale beyond,” Alabbar said in a statement on Monday.

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“As the first fully independent digital bank in the country, with a full UAE banking licence, Zand will provide innovative, effective financial solutions that help simplify businesses and lives, addressing the needs of both retail and corporate customers,” he said.

Zand will be a “digital economic accelerator” and serve as a platform for wider digital services that focus on businesses and individuals, according to the statement. The new entity is awaiting final regulatory approval and will launch imminently.

Olivier Crespin will be the chief executive of the new entity.

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