Mohammed to inaugurate Al Hilal Islamic bank

General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed will open the bank on Thursday. (WAM)

The UAE's largest Islamic bank will be inaugurated in Abu Dhabi on Thursday. The new Shariah-compliant bank plans to open branches across the country.

General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces will patronise the opening of Al Hilal Bank, one of the world's largest Shariah-compliant banks in terms of capital, which is set at Dh4 billion.

"The Al Hilal bank will be inaugurated on Thursday under the patronage of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed," a Bank source said.

With the creation of Al Hilal, the UAE capital will have its second Islamic bank, which will increase the UAE's total number of Islamic banks to eight.

Currently, the Dubai-based Noor Islamic Bank is the largest with a capital of around Dh3.2bn, followed by Dubai Islamic Bank with a capital of Dh2.9bn at the end of 2007 and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, whose capital was at nearly Dh1.97bn at the end of March.

The other Islamic units are Sharjah Islamic Bank, Emirates Islamic Bank, Dubai Bank and Ajman Bank.

Al Hilal is owned by the Abu Dhabi Investment Council but it was not immediately clear if there are any plans by the new bank to have private shareholders in the near future.