Dubai, January 26, 2009 - Fifty years ago, with the opening of its official representative office in Cairo, Deutsche Bank began to systematically increase its involvement in the Middle East and North Africa.
The Bank’s interest in the Middle East goes back to Deutsche Bank’s early years. It began to operate in the region only two decades after its foundation (1870), on projects such as the important Baghdad railway infrastructure project. In 1914, a sub-branch was opened in Baghdad, which had to be closed down during World War I.
The Cairo office opened in January 1959 and was responsible for taking care of business in the entire region: Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Sudan, and from November 1959, Ethiopia and Libya. Egypt was initially the focus of activity, but this has increased over the years.
The main task of the Cairo office was to maintain contact with the representatives of the Bank’s German customers abroad and to provide information on the region to other branches of Deutsche Bank; it was not intended to carry out the standard business of a branch office.
In 1967 a further representative office was opened in Beirut, which was responsible for the region west of the Suez Canal. Due to the civil war, this office had to be closed for good in 1981.
With the growing economic importance of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, a re-organization was needed, as it was thought that the increasing business of the Arabian Peninsula would be better managed by local representation. For this purpose, another representative office was opened in Bahrain in 1983.
In 1999 Deutsche Bank began expanding into the GCC countries and opened an office in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE. In 2001 the Bank opened another representative office in Dubai and finally in 2005, it opened a branch in the Dubai International Financial Centre in order to better capitalize on opportunities in the region. In 2006/07 Deutsche Bank increased it presence with branches in Riad (Saudi Arabia) and Doha (Qatar).
Today Deutsche Bank is a leading foreign supplier of a wide range of services in MENA, in the sectors of investment banking, asset management, private wealth management and global transaction banking.