Human Resources

A smiling woman.


By maintaining our exceptional employee value proposition, ADCB’s Human Resources (HR) function delivers the Bank’s strategic objectives, cultivating its distinctive culture, unparalleled working environment, and progressive digitisation. We remain committed to ensuring our employees’ ongoing health, well-being, and professional development and the empowerment of UAE Nationals.


Human Resources played a critical role in empowering our people in 2021, focusing on performance, training, and career development to create an even more robust and efficient organisation to support our ambitious five-year strategy.

We promoted leadership skills and continued to cultivate a high-performance culture across the Bank. We introduced a new performance management system and increased training opportunities, with a focus on digital. At the same time, the Bank intensified its drive to attract and develop UAE National talent to make ADCB the employer of choice in the financial services industry.

To nurture effective leadership in the coming years, we identified the most critical roles in the organisation and developed a detailed and comprehensive individual development plan for each. We also established a successor for these vital roles while creating a tailored support programme to build capabilities. We review each key role regularly to ensure they reflect the needs of our fast-changing business and strengthen our resilience as an organisation.

In parallel, the Bank created individual development plans for every employee, embedding continuous feedback as the cornerstone in our approach to performance management. The plans clearly define roles and responsibilities and a set of agreed objectives, with specific performance indicators. These KPIs are closely connected to our strategy and relate to the performance of the Bank, each department and individual. Variable pay is based on achieving targets, which are assessed and monitored regularly.

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Total Employees1

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Total learning hours

  1. Represents FTE positions at ADCB and Al Hilal Bank

The Bank also continued to invest significantly in training. We delivered more than 275,000 learning hours in 2021, externally and through our in-house Ambition University, which provides a wide range of courses available to all employees. Our comprehensive programme is a significant differentiator in the industry and highly popular among employees, receiving a net promoter score of 92 in 2021.

A digital fluency programme was a significant new addition to our curriculum, designed to support the rapid pace of the Bank’s digital transformation. We worked with Group Business Services (GBS) to produce content relevant to each business area, ensuring that technical knowledge was complemented by practical application. For example, our ‘Digital Learning Bytes’ series provided insight into topics such as blockchain, application programming interface (APIs), customer experience, and data & analytics.

In response to the ongoing challenges presented by the global pandemic, the Bank has organised vaccination programmes and regular PCR testing across the organisation to promote the welfare of our employees and ensure business continuity. We also introduced a new digital portal to facilitate the recruitment, onboarding, e-learning modules and documentation completion for new employees.


Focusing on diversity and inclusion helps us to serve customers better, and to attract, develop and retain top performers. This is particularly important as the Bank seeks to embed wider skillsets in line with its digital transformation.

We are proud to have over 80 nationalities represented in the Group’s employee base, enriching our culture and contributing to an open-minded environment. The Bank scores highly in gender diversity, with women comprising 44% of employees in the Group,² with an increasing number advancing to middle and senior management roles, including the positions of Chief Group Compliance Officer and Group General Counsel at ADCB.

Chart graphic displaying ADCB employees by gender and by age profile.
  1. At ADCB and Al Hilal Bank
  2. Figures represent FTE positions at ADCB and Al Hilal Bank

To assess how the Bank is performing on culture, we carried out an Organisational Health Index (OHI) survey in 2021, which achieved a response rate of 80% from employees. The OHI exercise complements our annual employee survey by going beyond workplace engagement to analyse leadership and management capabilities and a wide range of other organisational assessments.

The results reinforced the positive findings from a previous survey conducted two years earlier and placed us firmly among the top decile when measured against the global OHI average of the last three years. A large majority, 83% of employees, said they feel that their work environment was either the same or better than 24 months earlier, a significant achievement given the global pandemic and the additional responsibilities associated with completing a complex three-way merger.

The Bank ranked in the top decile for coordination and control, innovation and learning, and external orientation. It remained in the top quartile for direction, leadership, capabilities, accountability and the work environment.

As part of the survey, we received more than 17,000 comments, many of which reflected support and commitment to colleagues and customers during the global pandemic.

Nurturing National talent

Attracting and developing UAE national talent is a key pillar of our strategy and provides the Bank with a strong competitive advantage as the country presses ahead with initiatives to create skilled jobs in critical industries.

A man and woman review a portfolio, while two others speak in the background.

ADCB is proud to have attracted approximately 18% of the Emiratis in the UAE banking sector at the end of 2021. Our learning programme, opportunities for professional advancement, and a highly engaged workplace have established ADCB as a top choice for UAE nationals pursuing a rewarding career in banking and finance. 42% of our Emirati employees started their careers at ADCB.

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Percentage of Emiratis working in the UAE banking sector employed by ADCB

In 2021, we continued to honour our long-standing commitment to Emiratisation. We recruited 477 UAE nationals during the year, 75% of whom consider ADCB Group as their first employer. The number of Emirati staff at the ADCB Group reached 1,854 by the end of the year. UAE nationals now represent 38% of employees in the Group, while Al Hilal Bank has one of the highest Emiratisation ratios among UAE banks at 51%.

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UAE nationals represent 38% of employees in the Group, while Al Hilal Bank has one of the highest Emiratisation ratios among UAE banks at 51%

Furthermore, Emiratis are acceding to senior positions, holding 30% of ADCB’s Executive Management Committee positions and 95% of management roles across our branches.

Female Emiratis account for 80% of the Group’s total UAE national employee base. Our dedicated Tamooha programme promotes the development of a long-term career path for Emirati women by giving access to professional opportunities without compromising social values. Tamooha welcomed 26 new candidates in 2021, taking the number of total participants to 195. The programme is recognised as one of the most successful social initiatives in the country, providing women with a supportive environment to apply their talents and contribute to the national economy.

The Bank also enhanced its comprehensive training programme, increasing the number of modules and scope of support available. For every Emirati who joins ADCB, we now provide eight years of structured learning and development opportunities, empowering a new generation of talent. We invested in more than 100,000 hours of high-quality, tailored learning for our UAE nationals during the year.

This personal and professional training is delivered in-house and in partnership with leading international organisations, such as MIT, Harvard, London Business School, and London Institute of Banking and Finance.


Our focus will remain on helping our people to develop personally and professionally—to grow as the Bank grows. We will continue to invest in upskilling our workforce, adding additional modules and courses to build expertise and capability. Our commitment to Emiratisation and cultivating diversity and inclusion across the Bank remains a fundamental priority in 2022 and beyond.