DUBAI: New bank branch caters to women only


This article was originally on a blog post platform and may be missing photos, graphics or links. See About archive blog posts.

In a first of its kind, Dubai last week unveiled a new banking service that caters only to women.

The Emirates Islamic Bank newest branch in the United Arab Emirates offers women a financial zone free of men, but also custom-made banking products, including retail-outlet discounts, special travel packages and discounts on bank products in addition to exclusive ladies lounges, free Internet and text-message banking.


“Catering to the individual needs of our customers has always been a core part of our business model, and opening an exclusive Al Reem branch is an extension of that belief,” said Faisal Aqil, an official at Emirates Islamic Bank told the daily Gulf News.

‘’We understand and value the role of women in today’s society and have carefully tailored services and special offers to provide them with all they need to fulfill their personal dreams and ambitions,’ he said.

But some wonder whether such ‘innovations’ are signs of progress, showing Arab women’s increasing involvement in the world of business, or a dreary sign of increased gender segregation in the Persian Gulf.

— Khaled Hijab in Beirut

P.S. Get news from the Middle East in your mailbox every day. The Los Angeles Times distributes a free daily newsletter with the latest headlines from the Middle East, including the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. You can subscribe by logging in at the website here, clicking on the box for ‘L.A. Times updates’ and then clicking on the ‘World: Mideast’ box.