Lebanon’s BankMed has been awarded a category 1 licence to operate in the Dubai International Finance Centre (DIFC), allowing it to offer financial services within the UAE and GCC region.

BankMed is the first bank from the Mena region to obtain the licence, which is granted by the Dubai Financial Service Authority (DFSA). The services it will offer in the region will range from credit to trade finance and treasury.

“Establishing a branch in Dubai was a strategic step forward for the Bank’s international footprint. The UAE’s dynamic growth and its leaders’ strategic and futuristic vision have put the country on the international financial map, making it one of the main global hubs worldwide,” says Mohammed Al Hariri, chairman and general manager of BankMed.

MedSecurities Investment, a fully owned subsidiary of BankMed, was also granted a category 3 licence to operate in the DIFC.

BankMed has been offering services in the Mena region and beyond for over 70 years. Its presence includes Switzerland, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Cyprus, and Iraq. BankMed’s office in DIFC officially opened on February 9, employing a staff of 14, as reported by the local press.