Bringing banking to the UAE

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About this collection

Frank Johnson, an experienced and ambitious banker, arrived in Dubai by flying boat on 3 January 1946. He saw an opportunity to introduce modern banking services along the Trucial Coast. A branch of The Imperial Bank of Iran was duly opened on 12 October 1946, following his successful negotiations with Dubai’s Ruler. The firm (later renamed The British Bank of the Middle East, and now HSBC Bank Middle East) expanded to Sharjah in 1953, and Abu Dhabi in 1959. We gradually extended our reach to customers across all the emirates and we continue to play a key role in the growth of the UAE today. Take a tour of the branches and people who built this enduring partnership.