Dubai: Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB), the largest Islamic bank in the UAE and the second-largest Islamic bank in the world has reinforced its position as the region’s most progressive Islamic financial institution, by becoming the first Islamic bank in the UAE to go live with the Arab Monetary Fund’s Buna system – a move that is strongly in line with DIB’s digital transformation strategy.  

Buna is the foremost regional cross-border payment platform for the Arab Region, that will enable financial institutions and Central Banks to send and receive cross-border multicurrency payments in a safe, cost-effective, risk-controlled and transparent manner.

Incorporated in the UAE and operated by the Arab Regional Payments, Clearing and Settlement Organization, a subsidiary of the Arab Monetary Fund, Buna offers its participant members modern payments solutions that comply with international requirements against financial crime and adhere to the highest standards of information security and data protection. Buna aims to establish itself as the payment platform of choice, across the Arab world and beyond, by providing real-time payment solutions that empower Arab economies and promote greater regional integration.

By joining the platform, Buna will offer DIB a unique value proposition, notably safe and affordable products, including retail and interbank transfers and remittances.

Commenting on the initiative, Dr. Adnan Chilwan, Group Chief Executive Officer at Dubai Islamic Bank, said “We are proud to be the first Islamic bank in the UAE to join the Buna platform. This platform, which is progressing towards achieving its objectives and has forged alliances with Arab and international trade partners, reinforces DIB’s commitment to be part of strategic initiatives that provide a seamless payment infrastructure. Through this partnership, we promise our customers a unique experience by offering modern payments solutions that are aligned to the highest standards of information security and international compliance.”    

“The UAE leadership’s vision for a world-leading digital economy inspires us, driving our commitment to innovation and the economic growth it creates. Being the first Islamic bank to partner with Buna underscores our focus on making Islamic finance a key facet of the country’s strategic directions.”

Mehdi Manaa, Chief Executive Officer of Buna said: “We are pleased to welcome Dubai Islamic Bank in Buna’s network of participants. Buna caters equally for the needs of different types of financial institutions, including Islamic banks, with its safe, secure, and efficient cross-border payment solutions. We look forward to collaborating with DIB and the Islamic banking industry to continue enhancing cross-border payments for individuals and corporates and jointly contribute to the economic development in the Arab region and beyond. At this occasion, I would also like to thank the Central Bank of UAE for its continuous support to Buna.”    

Operating to global compliance standards, Buna will be transparent, low cost and affordable, offering a single-entry point to dynamic markets, with real-time settlement, 24/7 payment submission and multicurrency support.


About Dubai Islamic Bank:

Established in 1975, Dubai Islamic Bank is the largest Islamic bank in the UAE by assets and a public joint-stock company listed on the Dubai Financial Market. Spearheading the evolution of the global Islamic finance industry, DIB is also the world’s first full-service Islamic bank and the second-largest Islamic bank in the world. With Group assets over USD 75bln and a market capitalization of more than USD 10bln, the group operates with a workforce of more than 10,000 employees and around 500 branches in its vast global network across the Middle East, Asia and Africa. Serving over 5 million customers across the Group, DIB offers an increasing range of innovative Shariah-compliant products and services to retail, corporate and institutional clients.

In addition to being the first and largest Islamic bank in the UAE, DIB has a significant international presence as a torchbearer in promoting Shariah-compliant financial services across several markets worldwide. The bank has established DIB Pakistan Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary that is the first Islamic bank in Pakistan to offer Priority & Platinum Banking, as well as the most extensive and innovative portfolio of Alternate Distribution Channels. The launch of Panin Dubai Syariah Bank in Indonesia early in 2017 marks DIB’s first foray in the Far East, the bank owns over 25% stake in the Indonesian bank. Additionally, in May 2017, Dubai Islamic Bank PJSC was given the license by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) to operate its subsidiary, DIB Kenya Ltd. DIB has been designated as D-SIB (Domestic Systemically Important Bank) in 2018 in UAE. In early 2020, DIB completed the acquisition of Noor Bank, which solidifies its position as a leading bank in the global Islamic finance industry. In 2021, DIB increased its foreign ownership limit to 40% reflecting the increasing confidence of global investors towards the bank.

The Bank’s ultimate goal is to make Islamic finance the norm, rather than an alternative to conventional banking worldwide. DIB has won a range of accolades that are testament to these efforts across diversified areas, including retail, corporate and investment banking, as well as CSR and consultancy services. DIB has been named the Best Islamic Bank in various prestigious ceremonies and recognized for its outstanding performance amongst the world’s Islamic Banks, marking it a clear indication of the bank’s leadership position in the Islamic finance sector.

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About Buna

Buna is the cross-border payment system owned by the Arab Monetary Fund and aiming at enabling financial institutions and central banks, in the Arab region and beyond, to send and receive payments, in local currencies as well as key international currencies, in a safe, cost-effective, risk-controlled and transparent environment. Buna offers participants modern payment solutions that comply with the highest international standards of information security and requirements against financial crime. With its cross-border payment solution, Buna increases opportunities for economic and financial integration in the Arab region and strengthens investment ties with the global trading partners. Buna welcomes the inclusion of all banks that meet the eligibility criteria and conditions for participation.

For more PR information, please contact:

Dubai Islamic Bank
Kashif Moosa
Head of Investor Relations & Strategic Communication

Weber Shandwick
Tameem Alkintar
Account Director