About Us

The Arab Bankers’ Association (ABA) is a London-based not-for-profit professional organisation whose members work in banks and related industries in the Arab world and in the United Kingdom. Through its programmes and events, the ABA fosters improved relations, information sharing and understanding between Arab and British private and public financial sectors.

The ABA was founded in London in 1980 and is the only professional body in the U.K. dedicated to representing and promoting the interests of Arab banks and financial professionals who work with Arab banks.

The Association now boasts hundreds of members, both individual and corporate, based in the U.K., the Middle East and further afield.

The ABA’s current Chief Executive Officer, Gaby Fadel, was appointed in April 2024 (please refer to the “Home” page for Gaby’s “Welcome” message). Gaby succeeded George Kanaan, who had led the ABA since 2009. George remains involved with the Association with the title of Honorary Chairman. 

Fawzi Dajani, Managing Director of National Bank of Kuwait (International) plc, serves as Chairman of the Association, and Yasser Ibrahim, the General Manager of Arab National Bank's London branch, as Vice Chairman. 

Click here for details of our Board of Directors

History of the Arab Bankers Association


The Arab Bankers Association was formed in 1980s partly, but not exclusively, by Arab bankers who had relocated from Lebanon when it became clear that there was no end in sight to the country’s civil war. Several had been involved in Beirut’s Foreign Banks Association.

The ABA’s inaugural Annual General Meeting was held in March 1980 and was attended by 80 people, including proxies from overseas. Bachir Zouheiri of European Arab Bank was elected Chairman and Antoine Zananiri of Crocker National Bank was elected Secretary General.

The names of the members of the inaugural executive committee, and the banks for which they were working at that time, is given on page 27 of the Autumn 2013 edition of the Arab Banker. (The names feature as part of a profile of Antoine Zananiri.)

Many people have contributed to the success of the ABA since its foundation more than 30 years ago. We cannot recognise all of them, but the list below gives the names of previous Chairmen.

Bashir Zouheiri, 1980-85

Hikmat Nashashibi, 1985-89

Mustapha Serageldin, 1989-92

George Kardouche, 1992-98

Mohamed El-Erian, 1999

Khaled Abdel Meguid, 1999

Samir Ansary, 2000-2001

William Khouri, 2001-2002

George Kardouche, 2002-2009

Antoine Sreih, 2010

Safwan Affifi, 2011

Hany Kablawi, 2012-2013

Abdulaziz Al-Khereiji, 2014 - 2024

Fawzi Dajani, 2024 - 


The Arab Bankers Association Team


Gaby Fadel

Chief Executive Officer

The ABA is led by Gaby Fadel, who took over as Chief Executive in April 2024. 

Gaby is a seasoned banker with many years experience in international finance. He has been based in London since 1982. Gaby began is banking career with Credit Lyonnais and then joined Byblos Bank, first in Beirut and then in Brussels. From 1993 until 1999 he worked for Banque Francaise de l'Orient (part of Credit Agricole). From 1999 until he retired in 2022 he was General Manager of Byblos Bank's branch in London. 

In his role as CEO of the Arab Bankers' Association, Gaby is assisted by several members of staff, both full time and part time:

Andrew Cunningham

Editor in Chief

Andrew writes and edits the ABA’s content for the ABA’s website and other publications and he advises the Editor of Arab Banker Magazine. Andrew is based in London. His email is

Tabitha Morgan-Butt


Tabitha writes and edits content for the ABA’s website and other publications including our quarterly newsletter. She is based just outside London. Her email is

Melissa Hancock

Editor, Arab Banker magazine

Melissa produces Arab Banker magazine, commissioning, editing and writing editorial copy. Arab Banker is the annual publication the Association. She is based in London. Her email is

Gabriella Sidoli

Accounting and Administration

Gabriella Sidoli, Account Manager and Administrator works in our London office. Gabriella manages all of the ABA’s administrative and financial affairs. Her email is

Hanan Almasood

Business Development & Press Relations Manager

Hanan Almasood, Business Development and Press Relations Manager, works in our London office. Her email is

Talar Joulhajian

Business Development

Talar Joulhajian, Business Development Manager, is based in Beirut. Talar provides administrative and technical support in all areas of the Association’s work. Her email is