United Arab Emirates - Services

BANKING. According to the CIA World Factbook, nearly 60 percent of the UAE workforce is involved in the service sector of the economy. The most important of these industries is banking, which has grown far too large. The National U.S.-Arab Chamber of Commerce estimated that there were 20 UAE-owned banks with more than 200 branches and 28 foreign banks with 119 branches in the UAE. Much of the industry is controlled by the "big five" commercial banks—Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Emi-rates Bank International, National Bank of Dubai, MashreqBank, and National Bank of Abu Dhabi. The UAE Central Bank is responsible for regulating the UAE banking industry and preventing fraud, a continuing problem in the UAE banking system in the 1990s. The UAE was closely involved in the 1991 Bank of Commerce and Credit International scandal and eventually paid nearly US$2 billion in compensation. In 1998 it was revealed that the Dubai Islamic Bank lost US$200 million due to the actions of a corrupt employee. A year later, Madhav Bhagubhai Pater, an Indian businessman, fled from Sharjah, leaving behind debts of US$130.5 million to UAE and foreign creditors.

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