Gulf African Bank - Our History

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The Beginning

The genesis of Gulf African Bank (GAB) can be traced back to 2005, when a group of motivated Kenyans envisioned establishing an Islamic bank as an alternative to conventional banking in the country. By conducting business on the principles of Shari'ah, the bank would provide an ethical and fair mode of banking for all.

Gulf African Bank is the first and largest Islamic Bank in Kenya and one of the fastest growing banks in the history of the banking sector of the country. The bank offers fully Shari'ah compliant products and services that address the needs of not just Muslims, but everyone in the country including individuals, corporate companies, and institutions.

The bank was incorporated on August 9th, 2006 and started operations as a commercial bank in January 8th 2008, in a historic event, where it was granted the country’s first fully-fledged commercial banking license as a dedicated Islamic bank, by the Central Bank of Kenya.

Why choose Gulf African Bank?

We are set to revolutionise your banking experience in Kenya. Our business is based on the core principles of ethics and fairness, and we shun undue commercial enrichment at the expense of you - our customers. It is these principles that make Gulf African Bank the ideal choice for all sections of Kenyan society.

The Bank was promoted by premier Gulf-based institutions along with prominent institutional and individual investors from Kenya. The shareholders are fully committed to the vision of growing the bank into a strong regional financial institution which is the leading provider of Islamic financial services in East Africa.

With us you can be rest assured that your finances are managed by a team of dedicated, professional and experienced bankers who are committed to providing the best to the customer. The Bank, on the strength of its highly motivated staff and backed by state-of the-art information technology platform, is capable of delivering on our promise of providing you with excellent customer centric service with a full range of products.

Gulf African Bank is the first Shari’ah compliant bank in Kenya which was licensed by the Central Bank of Kenya. We are dedicated to Shari’ah Banking and adhere strictly to the principles of Shari’ah and are recognized today as Kenya’s truly premier Shari’ah Compliant Bank.

Commitment to excellence

Gulf African Bank is more than just a financial services provider. We are your partner in growth. The foundation of our belief and constant endeavour to ensure excellent customer service lies in our philosophy of operating with a relationship management style that focuses on you, the customer and provides personalised banking solutions with a commitment to add value to all your endeavours.

Our employees - our most valuable asset

Gulf African Bank is an equal opportunity employer. We realise that our human capital is the most important and valuable asset that we possess. We therefore provide our employees with long-term career opportunities to encourage them to grow with us. We invest adequately in training and human resource development to ensure that employees progress over time, are appropriately rewarded for their efforts and emerge as the best in the industry. We aim to be the “Employer of Choice”

Our image – first for you

We strive to be identified as the first in Kenya and the foremost in the region in Shari’ah compliant banking. Our brand will stand for ethical world-class banking, economical empowerment of our customers, partnership, social responsibility and superior performance.

Whenever we communicate with you, our customers, whether in our advertisements, brochures, leaflets or letters, we will strive to be honest, informative, and ethical, thereby enabling you to make informed decisions that suit your circumstances, and meet your needs.

Profile of our major shareholders:

Istithmar World PJSC: Established in 2003, it is a subsidiary of Dubai World, which in turn is majority owned by the Government of Dubai. Istithmar World is a premier investment company with a broad international portfolio across North America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa. Its activities span a variety of verticals, ranging from consumer, industrial and financial services to hotels and commercial property. Istithmar World is headquartered in Dubai, with offices in New York, London and Cape Town.

BMI Bank BSC (c), (formerly BankMuscat International): Bahraini retail and commercial banking institution, BMI Bank is a retail bank, registered in Bahrain and regulated by the Central Bank of Bahrain. The Bank offers its customers a complete range of innovative and unique financial products and services through its extended network of 10 branches and 31 ATMs. BMI Bank operates an international branch in Qatar, owns and operates the Diners Club cards franchise in Bahrain, has a 21.33% shareholding in Gulf African Bank – Kenya, and has an equal stake in an Offshore Bank in the Seychelles (a joint venture with Nouvobanq). BMI Bank’s shareholders include some of the strongest and most respected financial institutions across the GCC, including BankMuscat (SAOG) the flagship financial institution in the Sultanate of Oman. With assets worth over USD 18 billion, BankMuscat (SAOG) is the leading financial services provider in Oman with a strong presence in Corporate Banking, Retail Banking, Investment Banking, Treasury, Private Banking and Asset Management. BankMuscat has the largest network of 134 branches, 409 ATMs, 141 CDM’s and 4500 POS terminals in Oman

Sheikh Abdullah Mohammed AbdulAziz AlRomaizan: is one of the leading investors from Saudi Arabia. He commands the largest market share of the gold business in Saudi Arabia and is a major investor in most large Saudi Banks. He is well recognized as a financially strong and a leading investor with several investment holdings across the globe.

GulfCap FZC: is an investment company registered in the United Arab Emirates. The shareholders of GulfCap include prominent and financially strong investors from the Gulf having diversified investment holdings across the globe.

PTA Bank : - The Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank (PTA Bank) was formed in 1985 as a financial arm of the integration arrangement envisaged under Common Market for Eastern and Southern African States (COMESA). The Shareholders of PTA Bank include the Africa Development Bank and 18 countries within the COMESA Region. PTA Bank’s support will be invaluable in helping Gulf African Bank to grow into a regional bank.

IFC - International Finance Corporation :, a member of the World Bank Group.

Individual Investors: A selection of prominent business and opinion leaders in Kenya, and the Gulf have also invested in their personal capacities, sharing our vision of developing a major financial institution.