Barca partners with UAE bank in Gulf region

UAB and Barca sponsorshipBy Mark Baber
September 9 - Barcelona announced on Sunday a three year deal with UAE's United Arab Bank (UAB) - its first partnership with a financial institution outside of Spain and Andorra.

The partnership was launched in Dubai's 465-store Mirdiff City Centre shopping mall and will see 1,000 UAB customers enjoy hospitality seats to watch FC Barcelona at the Camp Nou over the next three years whilst the Bank will enjoy the title of Barcelona's 'Official Partner in the UAE'.

UAB, reportedly the fastest growing retail bank in the UAE with half-year profits of AED260 million, representing a 35% increase over the same period in 2012, will create a range of customised Barca-themed products and offers

To mark the partnership and kick start the launch of a week-long promotion organised by the bank at Mirdif City Centre, a press conference was held at the venue and attended by officials from UAB and FC Barcelona.

At the press conference Paul Trowbridge, CEO of UAB said: "We are excited to partner with FC Barcelona - a brand that shares the same values as ours and embodies the spirit of winning."

Trowbridge added: "We believe that FC Barcelona is the one club that we as a bank and our customers can relate to, making it the perfect fit for us. The club enjoys tremendous popularity amongst UAE football fans and so the alliance creates a great platform for us to incentivise our clients with a range of FC Barcelona privileges including hospitality match tickets, Barca-themed banking products, official merchandise and more"

For the club, Javier Faus, Vice-President, Economic and Strategic area, said: "We are extremely pleased with the agreement reached with United Arab Bank, making UAB FC Barcelona's Official Bank in the UAE and our first financial partner outside of Spain and Andorra. We have chosen UAB for many reasons. These include its capacity for growth, being the fastest growing bank in the UAE, and the enthusiasm it puts into its projects. Our club and our members share the same passion for football."

UAB already has a major presence in the corporate sector in the UAE and has recently launched Islamic banking services. The deal with Barcelona marks an important milestone in its efforts to grow its retail customer base.

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