Dubai banks take measures to overcome Coronavirus in UAE

Dubai's growth in the UAE
April 24, 2020

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Dubai’s government has given a business support package to residents to reduce the impact of Coronavirus pandemic in the UAE. The five major banks of Dubai have rolled out a multitude of relief mechanisms for their individual and corporate consumers. Emirates NBD, Dubai Islamic Bank, Mashreq Bank, Emirates Islamic Bank, and Commercial Bank of Dubai have contributed to mitigate the effect of COVID-19.

This initiative is part of the relief measures that the authorities have taken in their fight against the global pandemic. The relief package began from 1st April 2020 and ran to 30th June 2020. It had been declared on the directives of His Royal Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, The Vice President and The Prime Minister of the UAE and The Ruler of Dubai.

The role of UAE’s Central Bank to offset COVID-19

UAE’s Central Bank had already announced a stimulus package of AED 100 billion in support of its residents. In addition, the instructions of the Central Bank of the UAE were in line with this directive as well. These measures played a part to levy the woes of Emirati nationals and expatriate people in the time of need.

We understand the need to protect the people who can easily fall prey to the COVID-19, and thus are the most vulnerable. Therefore are wholeheartedly committed to giving a helping hand to them during this unpredictable time. We were amongst the first to recognize the needs and demands of our consumers. The measures we are taking will supplement and enhance the reduced charges we already put in place for our corporate banking customers a fortnight ago.

Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum — Chairman of Emirates NBD, and Chief Executive of the Emirates Group

Read more: Opening a bank account in Dubai

Customer-bases that COVID-19 relief package of UAE targets

The COVID-19 relief package of Dubai banks caters to these customer-bases separately.

Dubai banks know that the demands and needs of are both customer-bases are distinctive from one another.

Individual customers

Among individual customers are sole proprietors, budding entrepreneurs, small business owners, employees, part-timers, freelancers, and daily wagers, etc. The three major commercial banks announced that those employees placed on unpaid leave by their companies, can request them for restitution of up to three months with zero interest and charges. Also, they can get a one-month repayment leave with zero expense on personal loans, automobile loans, and mortgages to people.

Besides, patrons can receive a refund on prices on cash withdrawals done by debit cards on all ATMs and other banks. Credit card consumers can derive benefit from interest-free installment programs laid out by the bank to ease the payment of school fees. Moreover, credit card holders can make grocery purchases with no additional processing fees for up to six months thanks to the relief package.

These measures are in addition to existing irresistibly attractive low interest, installment plans available for our customers for all retail acquisitions, the banks said in their joint announcement. Furthermore, those clients who want to revoke their travel and flight bookings done on their credit or debit cards will get a full refund of the foreign currency transaction fees imposed by the bank. Thus, clients using credit cards for cash withdrawals will have a fifty percent reduction in the cash advance fees.

First-time home buyers will derive benefit from a five percent raise in loan-to-value ratio and a full waiver on processing charges. Earlier, Abu Dhabi-based banks have also announced similar measures to help and support their retail and corporate customers. While disclosing details of incentives for small and medium businesses, the three commercial banks said those clients who have availed merchant, equipment, or business vehicle loans and have been heavily affected by the ongoing Coronavirus situation could apply for compensation or repayment plan of three months with zero interest and additional fees.

Likewise, the three banks have reduced the monthly minimum balance requirement for basic business banking accounts to Dh 10,000. The minimum balance charges for the basic business banking account will be waived for three months. Therefore, these measures did help individual customers big time.

Also readUAE’s 1st digital business bank servicing residents amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Corporate customers

For large corporate customers, the three banks are extending refinancing repayment deferrals or lower payments where needed. Also, they are offering to reduce bank charges for trade finance clients as well as enhanced credit and trade lines to handle their operational costs. Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB), the country’s largest Shariah-compliant bank, offered a slew of measures to ease the pain of its customers that are greatly affected by the coronavirus pandemic, the relief measures are as follows.

  • A one-month repayment holiday on all individual loans
  • Free cash withdrawal from any other banks’ ATMs
  • Fifty percent decrease in bank charges for those customers who use a credit card for cash withdrawals
  • Zero processing fee on payment of school fees, among other things

DIB said current and new customers impacted by COVID-19 and facing unpaid leave or any other monetary difficulties could request up to three postponed monthly installments without any additional fees and profit charges. Hence, debt consolidation will be presented to the bank upon its request. The moneylenders will work alongside and help and support those investors who are faced with margin calls on their shares portfolio.

DIB is combat-ready to act quickly and efficiently to ensure that our customers are fully supported in this troubling period. [So,] the economic burden created by the COVID-19 outbreak is shared equally between the banks and the customers fairly.

Mohammed Ibrahim Al Shaibani — Director-General of His Royal Highness The Ruler of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Islamic Bank

In this regard, DIB has taken the necessary actions to ensure both the physical and financial health. Thus, it maintains the security of their entire client base. Plus, they have assured everyone that they remain dedicated to the UAE and all its residents as a trusted and reliable business and financial partner.

Read further: Getting personal loan for people new to Dubai

Views of other Dubai banks on the matter

Measures are entirely aligned under the supervision of the government and the Central Bank of the UAE to assure the clients that we will continue our operations successfully. The combination of deferring payments, lessening or suspending selected fees, and supporting those whose jobs have been affected will allow corporations and individuals throughout the UAE to weather these unprecedented trials and tribulations together. We urge our clients to reach out to us, preferably through digital modes of communication, to utilize the relief package implemented to its fullest.

Humaid Al Qutami — Chairman of Commercial Bank of Dubai

Tip: Dubai is global destination for foreign direct investment

Emirates Islamic Bank would proceed to create significant and meaningful additional measures to help and support those who are affected most with the Coronavirus outbreak.

Hesham Abdulla Al Qassim — The Chairman of Emirates Islamic Bank

Insight: Economy of Dubai to bounce back from the Coronavirus

This relief package would decrease the risk to an extent that is faced by many consumers. Including being exposed to temporary cash-flow shortfalls and no means of earning during this troublesome period. Following this announcement, banks will display more flexibility to stressed consumers throughout this challenging time. [They] will bestow their support towards the retail, SME, and corporate clients by several distinct initiatives targeted at reducing their financial burdens.

Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair — The Chairman of Mashreq Bank

Bonus: Obtaining a loan for business in Dubai

COVID-19 precautionary measures by Dubai banks

The major Dubai banks have additionally announced that all their branches proceed to remain open to serve their customers. The banks have undertaken necessary precautionary measures against the Coronavirus across all of their branch networks. It includes ATMs and cash deposit machine places, including additional deep cleaning and sterilization protocols for the safety of their customers. And placing hand-sanitizers, disposable gloves, and masks at all their entry and exit points.

Idea: Get a golden visa of UAE


In case of any further inquiries, feel free to discuss with business setup consultants in Dubai now. After all, they are capable and proficient in their domain. Henceforth, they strive to give ultimate care to all their clients and promise to give top-tier business setup services.

Contact us at KWS Middle East and book your commitment-free call with our experts today.

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