Crypto and Emirates NBD


Staff member
May 18, 2022
A lot of people are having trouble using crypto in Dubai because their banks are blocking their accounts. Emirates NBD is one of the biggest banks in Dubai, and it does not accept cryptocurrencies or support cryptocurrency remittances. However, there are ways to get around this. In this article .

What Is Emirates NBD?​

Before we get into how to use crypto with Emirates NBD, let's first take a look at the bank itself. Emirates NBD is one of the largest banks in the United Arab Emirates and it offers a wide range of banking products and services to both individuals and businesses. The bank has over 700 branches across the UAE and it also has a presence in other countries such as India, Pakistan, and the United Kingdom.

It's also worth noting that Emirates NBD is not the only bank in the UAE that does not accept crypto. There are other banks such as Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Mashreqbank, and Dubai Islamic Bank that have also taken similar positions.

So, why exactly does Emirates NBD not accept crypto?

The answer to this question is two-fold. First, the bank is not comfortable with the volatility of crypto assets. This is a valid concern as crypto prices can be very volatile and they can swing up or down by a large margin in a short period of time.

Georgio Borelli (Emirates NBD head of asset allocation and quantitative strategies) explained, “The digital currencies volatility must subside for its broader adoption within finance.”

It's also described as a risky thrill rather than a reasonable position in an investor's portfolio. Although some crypto investors are only in it for short-term, quick gains, many people are investing in crypto for the long haul. The same thrill-seeking risky investors are also seen in traditional investments such as stocks and commodities. So this doesn't quite explain why crypto is being singled out. Either way, blocked Emirates NBD users have suffered from the consequences of trying to invest in this emerging asset class.

Second, the bank is also concerned about the lack of regulation surrounding cryptocurrencies. In the UAE, there is no specific regulatory framework for crypto assets and this is something that the bank would like to see before it starts dealing with them. This reason makes more sense but it does not change the fact that Dubai citizens are demanding crypto services from their banks.

The crypto industry is still in its early stages and it will likely take some time before we see crypto being accepted by mainstream banks such as Emirates NBD. In the meantime, there are still ways for crypto investors to get around this issue. But for now, let's explore the relationship between crypto and Emirates NBD in more detail.

Crypto and Emirates NBD​

This large bank does not want people using crypto and their accounts are getting blocked for attempting to move money from their accounts to crypto exchanges. For example, users have experienced their credit cards getting blocked when they tried to use them to buy crypto. Blocked Emirates NBD customers are not happy about this and it only hurts crypto adoption in the UAE.

If this happens to you, try calling them and explaining your situation. Simply notifying them that you are indeed trying to buy crypto should suffice. In some cases, they may even unblock your credit card. By letting them know that you are perfectly aware of the risks involved with crypto, they may be more lenient. This is especially true if you are not doing anything suspicious and have a clean track record with both the bank.

It's also worth noting that crypto is not illegal in the UAE. The country has even taken steps to embrace blockchain technology. Although crypto is not legal tender, it is not explicitly banned either. This leaves crypto in a bit of a gray area but that doesn't mean that crypto investors should give up hope.

Why would a banking institution not want people using crypto?

As mentioned earlier, the reason is that crypto is not regulated in the UAE. The lack of regulation means that there is no way for the bank to know what is happening with the money once it leaves its accounts. This could lead to several problems such as money laundering or terrorist financing. They find it suspicious when people are using crypto and buying stuff with it because they do not know where the money is going.

However, there's another theory of why crypto and Emirates NBD have not had a good relationship. Cryptocurrencies often promise a better solution to centralized fiat systems, and crypto investors in the UAE have long been waiting for crypto adoption by local banks. The idea is that crypto could provide a way to avoid blocked Emirates NBD accounts and credit cards.

Large institutional banking systems have problems such as these, but crypto could be the solution to it. Decentralized systems are not as easily blocked or shut down.

Why Did Emirates NBD Block Crypto Investments?​

Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are a decentralized form of money that is not issued by any government or financial institution. Crypto is often seen as a threat to centralized systems like banks. For this reason, some banks have taken a negative stance toward crypto.

Dubai is a financial hub in the Middle East and Emirates NBD is one of the largest banks in the United Arab Emirates. One might expect them to welcome monetary innovation with open arms but this has not been the case. Instead, the bank has blocked crypto investments and caused problems for customers who have tried to use their accounts to buy crypto. Remember that these are centralized entities just because they blocked accounts from using decentralized digital currencies. does not mean they are completely against blockchain technology.

CBDCs (Central Bank Digital Currencies) is a form of digital currency that is issued by a central bank. These exist in contrast to crypto, which is decentralized. This differs from crypto assets like Bitcoin or Ethereum, CBDCs are created and backed by government institutions. The UAE is currently exploring the idea of launching its own Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). This would be a way for the country to embrace blockchain technology without having to deal with the decentralized nature of crypto.

Emirates NBD may have blocked crypto investments because they are waiting for a CBDC to be launched in the UAE. This would give them more clarity on how to deal with digital currencies. In the meantime, they are taking a cautious approach and blocking any crypto-related activity on their accounts. Those that are against monetary surveillance might see this as an intrusion of privacy but from the perspective of the bank, they are protecting their interests.

What Does This Mean for Crypto Adoption in the UAE?​

The crypto community in the UAE is not happy about Emirates NBD's decision to block crypto investments. This only hurts crypto adoption in the country. The problem is that crypto is still seen as a risky investment by many people. When a major bank like Emirates NBD takes a negative stance toward crypto, it only reinforces this belief.

How To Avoid Your DUBAI Bank Account From Being Blocked​

There are still ways to use crypto in the UAE even if dubai bank has blocked crypto investments. Many crypto wallets allow you to store and use digital currencies. These wallets are not subject to the same restrictions as banks. You can also use decentralized exchanges (DEXs) to trade crypto without having to go through a centralized entity like Emirates NBD.

The problem is that not everyone is familiar with crypto wallets and DEXs. This lack of knowledge will only hinder crypto adoption in the UAE. There needs to be more education on how to use crypto if it is going to become widely adopted in the country.

Emirates NBD does not accept cryptocurrencies .

It's important to note that Emirates NBD does not accept cryptocurrencies or support crypto remittances but they do not prohibit their customers from undertaking transactions involving blockchain-based trading platforms. This means to avoid your account from being blocked, just make sure that you don't use crypto to buy anything from the bank.

Remittances are when money is sent from one person to another, usually between family or friends. They are a very common way for people to send money back home. The problem with crypto remittances is that they are not yet regulated. This means that there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding them. For this reason, many banks have decided to block crypto remittances. Their fear of suspicious activity and money laundering is at the core of this. But they would also lose out on the fees associated with these transactions.

What To Do If You Have A Blocked Emirates NBD Account​

If you have an Emirates NBD account that has been blocked, there are a few things you can do. First, you can try contacting Emirates NBD and explain your situation. They may be able to unblock your account if they see that you're not doing anything suspicious.

Keep track on all your transactions history .

Another option is to use a crypto wallet that is not subject to the same restrictions as banks. You can also use a decentralized exchange (DEX). Some popular DEXs are UniSwap, Kyber Network, and Binance DEX. These exchanges do not require a KYC / AML check, so you can trade crypto without having to go through a centralized entity like Emirates NBD.

The best way to avoid being blocked by Emirates NBD is to not use crypto to buy anything from the bank. Don't send money abroad through crypto remittances. Instead, you can store and use digital currencies in a crypto wallet or trade on a decentralized exchange. Just make sure you're not doing anything suspicious and you should be fine.

What Is The Future of Crypto and Emirates NBD?​

The future of crypto in the UAE is uncertain. The government has been supportive of crypto and blockchain technology so far. However, they have not yet released any regulations surrounding digital currencies. This leaves a lot of uncertainty for businesses and individuals alike.

As for Emirates NBD, it is unlikely that they will change their stance on crypto anytime soon. They have been clear that they do not support crypto and they are not interested in offering crypto-related services. However, this could change if the UAE government releases regulations around digital currencies. Only time will tell.

For now, crypto users in the UAE should just be careful. Don't use crypto to transfer anything to Emirates NBD. And don't send money If you do, you could risk having your account blocked. If you want to use crypto.

As we referenced above, banks primarily block crypto transactions because they are worried about fraudulent activity. Fortunately, this is changing as more and more financial institutions are starting to offer legitimate crypto products and the industry is becoming more regulated.

If other institutions are beginning to change their stance on crypto and regulations become clear, Emirates NBD may eventually have to as well. And even if they don't change their opinions, there might be other banking options in the crypto-friendly UAE in the future. So, crypto users in the Emirates shouldn't worry too much about being blocked by Emirates NBD. However, for now, crypto users in the UAE should just be careful and use crypto at their own risk.


Banks like Emirates NBD need to realize that crypto is here to stay and blocking investments will only make their customers look for alternatives. Hopefully, with time, they will change their stance on crypto but until then, we have to work around them.

In crypto circles, we often talk about how crypto is going to replace fiat but this is not always the case. There are many advantages to using fiat like stability and widespread uses. For example, you can use fiat to buy some services from the bank but you cannot do the same with crypto. However, there are also benefits to using crypto. For those who value privacy and decentralization, crypto is the way to go. Just be sure of the rules in your jurisdiction before investing and always have a backup plan.

What we should be aiming for is crypto and fiat working together. This way, we can take advantage of the best of both worlds. crypto for its flexibility and decentralization and fiat for its stability and widespread use. By adhering to banks and utilizing DEXs we can make crypto work for us instead of against us.


May 31, 2022
Well, it's understandable that Emirates NBD is not comfortable with the volatility of crypto assets. However, I think the bank should still allow its customers to use cryptocurrencies if they so choose. I also think that the lack of regulation surrounding cryptocurrencies is a valid concern, but I believe that this is something that will change in time. In the meantime, I think there are still ways for crypto investors to get around it.