Gulf African Bank - Our History

gulf logo


The Beginning

The genesis of Gulf African Bank (GAB) can be traced back to 2005, when a group of motivated Kenyans envisioned establishing an Islamic bank as an alternative to conventional banking in the country. By conducting business on the principles of Shari'ah, the bank would provide an ethical and fair mode of banking for all.

Gulf African Bank is the first and largest Islamic Bank in Kenya and one of the fastest growing banks in the history of the banking sector of the country. The bank offers fully Shari'ah compliant products and services that address the needs of not just Muslims, but everyone in the country including individuals, corporate companies, and institutions.

The bank was incorporated on August 9th, 2006 and started operations as a commercial bank in January 8th 2008, in a historic event, where it was granted the country’s first fully-fledged commercial banking license as a dedicated Islamic bank, by the Central Bank of Kenya.

Why choose Gulf African Bank?

We are set to revolutionise your banking experience in Kenya. Our business is based on the core principles of ethics and fairness, and we shun undue commercial enrichment at the expense of you - our customers. It is these principles that make Gulf African Bank the ideal choice for all sections of Kenyan society.

The Bank was promoted by premier Gulf-based institutions along with prominent institutional and individual investors from Kenya. The shareholders are fully committed to the vision of growing the bank into a strong regional financial institution which is the leading provider of Islamic financial services in East Africa.

With us you can be rest assured that your finances are managed by a team of dedicated, professional and experienced bankers who are committed to providing the best to the customer. The Bank, on the strength of its highly motivated staff and backed by state-of the-art information technology platform, is capable of delivering on our promise of providing you with excellent customer centric service with a full range of products.

Gulf African Bank is the first Shari’ah compliant bank in Kenya which was licensed by the Central Bank of Kenya. We are dedicated to Shari’ah Banking and adhere strictly to the principles of Shari’ah and are recognized today as Kenya’s truly premier Shari’ah Compliant Bank.

Commitment to excellence

Gulf African Bank is more than just a financial services provider. We are your partner in growth. The foundation of our belief and constant endeavour to ensure excellent customer service lies in our philosophy of operating with a relationship management style that focuses on you, the customer and provides personalised banking solutions with a commitment to add value to all your endeavours.

Our employees - our most valuable asset

Gulf African Bank is an equal opportunity employer. We realise that our human capital is the most important and valuable asset that we possess. We therefore provide our employees with long-term career opportunities to encourage them to grow with us. We invest adequately in training and human resource development to ensure that employees progress over time, are appropriately rewarded for their efforts and emerge as the best in the industry. We aim to be the “Employer of Choice”

Our image – first for you

We strive to be identified as the first in Kenya and the foremost in the region in Shari’ah compliant banking. Our brand will stand for ethical world-class banking, economical empowerment of our customers, partnership, social responsibility and superior performance.

Whenever we communicate with you, our customers, whether in our advertisements, brochures, leaflets or letters, we will strive to be honest, informative, and ethical, thereby enabling you to make informed decisions that suit your circumstances, and meet your needs.

Profile of our major shareholders:

Istithmar World Istithmar World is a premier global investment company focused on value creation and growth across a broad range of investments. Our portfolio consists of investments in private and public equity, real estate and alternative asset classes across several industry verticals and geographies. We have invested in and backed some of the world’s leading brands, concepts, companies and management teams to create a truly exceptional platform which we continue to develop with a firm belief that there is a huge opportunity for further growth.

Istithmar World’s unique portfolio has been established based on the most optimal way to participate including majority and minority stakes, joint ventures and partnerships, public equities, debt securities and fund investments. We are focused on actively managing the portfolio and work closely with management teams, shareholders, partners and co-investors to maximise value together.
Istithmar World’s portfolio is truly global with investments in North America, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. With our headquarters in Dubai and offices in London and Cape Town our team is well positioned to deliver on our ambition.

Al Salam Bank-Bahrain B.S.C.: Al Salam Bank-Bahrain B.S.C (ASBB) is an Islamic bank headquartered in the Kingdom of Bahrain and is licensed and regulated by the Central Bank of Bahrain.
ASBB was established on 19 January 2006 in the Kingdom of Bahrain with paid-up capital of BD 120 million (US$ 318 million) and was the largest Initial Public Offering (IPO) in the Kingdom’s history with subscriptions reaching over BD 2.7 billion (US$ 7 billion). The Bank commenced commercial operations on 17 April 2006. ASBB was listed in Bahrain Bourse on 27 April 2006 and subsequently on Dubai Financial Market (DFM) on 26 March 2008.

ASBB, one of the pioneering Shari’ah-compliant Banks in the Kingdom, offers its customers a comprehensive range of innovative and unique Shari’ah-compliant financial products and services through its extended strong network of branches and ATMs utilizing the state-of-art technologies to meet various banking requirements. In addition to its Retail Banking services, the Bank also offers Corporate Banking, Private Banking, Investment Banking as well as Treasury Services. The Bank’s high-caliber management team comprises of a highly qualified and internationally experienced professionals with proven expertise in key areas of banking, finance and related fields.

Sheikh Abdullah Mohammed AbdulAziz AlRomaizan: is one of the leading investors from Saudi Arabia. He commands the largest market share of the gold business in Saudi Arabia and is a major investor in most large Saudi Banks. He is well recognized as a financially strong and a leading investor with several investment holdings across the globe.

GulfCap FZC: is an investment company registered in the United Arab Emirates. The shareholders of GulfCap include prominent and financially strong investors from the Gulf having diversified investment holdings across the globe.

PTA Bank : - The Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank (PTA Bank) was formed in 1985 as a financial arm of the integration arrangement envisaged under Common Market for Eastern and Southern African States (COMESA). The Shareholders of PTA Bank include the Africa Development Bank and 18 countries within the COMESA Region. PTA Bank’s support will be invaluable in helping Gulf African Bank to grow into a regional bank.

IFC - International Finance Corporation :, a member of the World Bank Group.

Individual Investors: A selection of prominent business and opinion leaders in Kenya, and the Gulf have also invested in their personal capacities, sharing our vision of developing a major financial institution.