Wednesday, 21 January 2009

You're not a lawyer are you?

How bizarre is this? The banks in Dubai have a list of occupations that are now barred from applying for bank loans and credit cards. Along with anyone in the construction field, real estate or believe it not banking, lawyers are now on the list of barred occupations. However, 'non-professional' employees of law firms are not included in the ban. So as a result, we have the strange situation where a partner in a law firm earning a 6 figure salary cannot apply for a credit card or bank loan, but his secretary can. One of our secretaries has just applied for a credit card from a UK bank that starts with Bar......, no problems, she's been pre-approved and they even sent someone to the office to collect her completed application form. The bank rep asked her several times to confirm what occupation is shown on her labour card, when she said "Archiving Clerk" the bank rep said "Oh that's fine, as long as it doesn't say legal advisor" (the UAE term for lawyer). Just to clarify, secretarial positions in the UAE by law must be filled by Emirati Nationals so you'll find that Western secretaries here in Dubai have strange occupations written on their work permits: for example, instead of "secretary" I know of many"filing clerks", "archiving clerks", an "accounts clerk" who proudly admits she failed maths and the best paid telephone operator in Dubai!


  1. I can understand bans on people in construction and real estate with things being the way they are at the moment in Dubai, but banking???? I guess they aren't very confident in their own industry.

  2. Makes no sense at all. As a ex-banker I find the current logic strange...

    Example, the company I work for is in real estate, but we are still in a excellent position and will remain so. We are not higly leveraged. Yet I will get a automatic decline on any credit application.

    Not that I borrow any money anyway...

  3. This sort of procedures can be found in every country.Always dubai realestate investors are given first preferance.