Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank Owner

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank’s board of directors on Tuesday appointed Nasser Al Awadhi as the new group chief executive, following the approval of the Central Bank of the UAE.

Mr Al Awadhi, who previously worked as group chief of consumer banking at Dubai Islamic Bank, is tasked with leading ADIB through its next stage of expansion and will assume office from January next year.

ADIB chairman Jawaan Al Khaili said, with more than 33 years of banking experience, Mr Al Awadhi “brings a wealth of leadership experience in both Islamic finance and banking”.

“He will now lead ADIB through our next stage of expansion under our 2025 growth strategy,” said Mr Al Khaili.

Mr Al Awadhi’s appointment comes at a time when the biggest Sharia-compliant lender in the emirate is pressing ahead with its digital transformation strategy.

In August, ADIB partnered with the UAE’s Ministry of Interior to allow customers to open accounts remotely and digitally through facial recognition, becoming the first lender in the country to offer this service. The use of facial-recognition technology was approved by the UAE in February in a move to further develop digital services provided by private and government sector entities.

In the same month, ADIB also launched a digital-only bank to tap into the UAE’s growing segment of tech-savvy youths. The bank, known as Amwali (which means my money in Arabic), will sign up Generation Z youths between the ages of 8 and 18 through a smartphone app that comes with a debit card that can be connected to Apple Pay and other mobile wallets.

In September, the lender teamed up with Dubai-based digital payments provider Spotii to launch a virtual buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) prepaid card in the UAE.

“I wholeheartedly share ADIB’s vision to become the world’s most innovative Islamic bank combining the very best digital services with innovative Islamic products,” said Mr Al Awadhi.

During his time at DIB, the executive contributed to the development of various transformational programmes and implemented various strategic initiatives. He was also a board member of several leading national institutions.

Additionally, Mr Al Awadhi served as the head of strategic relationships at DIB from 2014 to 2018 and head of Business Development at Tamweel Company from 2011 to 2014.

Last month, ADIB reported a 43 per cent rise in its nine-month profit for 2021, to Dh1.6 billion ($436 million), on the back of lower provisions for loan losses and a rise in revenue due to the continued economic recovery.