Thursday 13 June 2024

Thursday 13 June 2024

The CBUAE issues its 2023 Annual Report

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IBAN stands for the internationally-accepted International Bank Account Number used by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) 13616-1:2007 to make or receive international payments.

The IBAN does not replace a sort code and account number. It is an additional number with extra information to help overseas banks to identify the right account for payments

First adopted as a standard to govern European bank account numbers, IBAN was created with international standards and is applied worldwide, including in the UAE. An IBAN serves to promote faster and more reliable electronic customer fund transfers.

IBAN Standard Structure

The IBAN structure is defined in ISO 13616-1, and consists of a two-letter ISO 3166-1 country code, followed by two check digits and up to thirty alphanumeric characters for a BBAN (Basic Bank Account Number) which has a fixed length per country and a bank identifier included within it, with a fixed position and a fixed length per country. The check digits are calculated according to the scheme defined in ISO/IEC 7064 (MOD97-10).



IBAN formatting example


GR1 6 0110 10 5 0 0000 10 5 4 7 0 2 3 7 9 5

Great Britain

GB 3 5 MIDL 4 0 2 5 3 4 3 2 1 4 4 6 7 0

Saudi Arabia

SA 8 0 8 0 0 0 0 3 7 5 6 0 8 0 101 9 01 6 0


CH 5 1 0 8 6 8 6 0 0 1 2 5 6 5 1 5 0 0 1


AE0 7 0 3 3 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 012 3 4 5 6

The characters that may be used in an IBAN are numerals '0' to '9' and the 26 upper case alphabetic characters 'A' to 'Z'. This applies even in countries such as Greece, Saudi Arabia and others where these characters and/or numerals are not used in the national language.

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Geographical Usage

All banks in Europe (except for the Commonwealth of Independent States) provide an IBAN identifier for their accounts, as well as nationally-recognised identifiers, which are mandatory within the European Economic Area. In addition, Kuwait, Lebanon, Mauritius, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Turkey also provide IBAN format account identifiers.

Some banks outside Europe may not recognise IBAN, although this is expected to diminish over time. Non-European banks typically accept an IBAN as a bank account numbers for accounts in Europe, although they might not treat an IBAN differently to other foreign bank account numbers. In particular, they might choose not to check that the IBAN is valid before sending the payment.

In the absence of an IBAN, it remains necessary to use the current ISO 9362 Bank Identifier Code system (BIC or SWIFT code) in conjunction with the BBAN.

IBAN Implementation for UAE

The IBAN implementation for the UAE closely follows the international implementation standards. 

The IBAN for the UAE is based on the following components: 



Field ID








The ISO 3 1 6 6 -1 alpha-2 country code





The ISO 7 0 6 4 mod 9 7 -10 check digit





The 3-digit institution identifier.





The domestic account number within the institution. Fixed length of 1 6 and prefixed with 0 if the domestic account length within an institution falls short of the expected length of 1 6.

Validate your IBAN

Click here to see how to validate your IBAN.

Validate an IBAN
IBAN standard structure

FAQ on the International Bank Account Number (IBAN)

IBAN is the acronym for an ISO 13616 standard compliant International Bank Account Number. An IBAN is a unique customer account number which can be used to make or receive payments confidently within a country and abroad (excluding cheques or credit cards). This confidence comes from two sources: the first is the internationally-accepted standard for numbering bank customer accounts, and the second is the ISO standard methodology for verifying the IBAN’s accuracy.

Banks in the UAE with customer accounts used for electronic payments are authorised to generate an IBAN. No other party is permitted to generate an IBAN for bank customers.

Bank customers who receive or make electronic payments in the UAE or abroad will require an IBAN. If you have more than one account at your bank, you will require an IBAN for each of your accounts.

Since November 19, 2011, each of your account numbers have been converted into IBAN format, and your bank informed you of the details. Since that same date, your bank have also printed your IBAN on your bank statement(s).

The main benefit of IBAN to the customer is the assurance that their transactions are being made to the correct account and processed efficiently with no delay. Since banks check the IBAN’s accuracy at the point of payment initiation, they can only make payments that carry the correct IBAN.

According to the ISO-compliant IBAN Standards issued by the Central Bank of the UAE, all IBANs have a fixed length of 23 characters.




An IBAN has 3 components - the Country Code, the Check Digit and the Basic Bank Account Number

The country code (an IBAN’s first and second characters) helps to identify the country in which the account resides. It contains the ISO two-letter country code ‘AE' (the ISO country code for the UAE)

The Check Digits (an IBAN’s third and fourth characters), generated by a bank in UAE, help to verify the IBAN internationally and ensure that the account number is correct - or otherwise.

The BBAN helps to identify a customer’s account number, as well as their domestic bank. It comprises the Bank Identifier (which identifies the account holding bank) and the customer account number. In the case of the UAE, the Bank Identifier is the three digits following the Check Digits.

The remaining part of the BBAN is the customer account number, whose length in the IBAN is fixed as 16 characters. It can ONLY contain numbers (0 to 9).

An IBAN can always be distinguished from a normal customer account number by the following:

  • Two letters at the beginning of the IBAN, which refer to the country code where the account resides;
  • Two numbers (in the third and fourth position of the IBAN), which represent the check digits;
  • Three numbers (after the check digits) to identify the respective bank where the beneficiary maintains his/her account; and
  • The length of the IBAN – 23 characters

When you write or print an IBAN on a document, it should be split into groups of four characters each, e.g.: AE07 0331 2345 6789 0123 456 to support easy recognition. The last group of the IBAN for a customer in the UAE contains three characters. 

When entering the IBAN in an electronic payment message, there should be no spaces. The IBAN should be presented as a continuous string of characters i.e., AE070331234567890123456 

No. Your existing account number will continue to be valid. An IBAN is not a new account number; it simply represents the existing account number in an electronically-recognisable ISO standard format. The adoption of IBAN in the UAE does not require changing or replacing the existing account numbers.

An IBAN can be used for the domestic and cross-border payments. Additionally, the IBAN is required for use in the Wages Protection System.

No. Customers must use an IBAN to make and receive international and domestic electronic payments.

Since 12 April 2012, banks started to process transfer requests which contain a valid IBAN account number. There may be additional rejection charges applied to transfers without a valid IBAN (applicable only for payments made to beneficiaries in the UAE).

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Last updated on: Thursday 28 July 2022

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