Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Accounts still valid for working women on a husband's visa

On your side: Is it worth suing the bank, no end-of-service benefits in the DIFC free zone and credit card fraud.

I have been working in the UAE for three years and am currently sponsored by my employer. I got married recently and am thinking about going on to my husband's visa. If I switch to a spouse visa, do I need to notify my bank? Am I still entitled to keep my bank account as my salary will still be paid into it? Also, if I discontinue work in the future but remain living here, can I still keep my bank account? - KW Al Ain

There is no problem with a married woman on her husband's visa having her own bank account. The banks will not have an issue with this. If someone changes their visa status, banks often want a copy of the latest one for their records. In most cases, it is not a problem for a woman who is not working to keep the same bank account. But if the bank in question is not amenable, there are several banks that offer accounts specifically for women without regular salaries.

My husband has been having some major issues with a bank. He took out a loan of almost Dh80,000 and has been paying it off every month for the past few years. He has now paid back Dh75,000, but was informed by the bank that he still owed Dh79,000. He tried to talk with them, show them they were mistaken and come to an agreement, but to no avail. Not only were they extremely rude, but they blacklisted him so he cannot take out any more loans. They threatened to open a court case and put out a warrant for his arrest, so he went on the offensive and opened a case against them. He had to pay Dh8,000 to open the case, which lasted two months, and was informed two days ago that he won and only has to pay Dh29,000 as opposed to Dh79,000. It bothers me that they not only tried to cheat him out of Dh50,000 extra, but blacklisted him and threatened him with a jail when they were clearly in the wrong. We want to sue the bank. Is it worth it? SS Abu Dhabi

In most cases, people contact me earlier so I can liaise with the bank and resolve problems before they get this far. As SS's husband has had a judgement in his favour, it is unlikely that he will get any further with the courts as they will see the case as settled. He could end up paying out more money in additional legal and court fees and not getting anything back. I don't think it is worthwhile for him to go any further with this.

I am about to join a company that is based in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), but there is no gratuity mentioned in my contract. When I addressed it, their answer was that the UAE law applying to end-of-service benefits is not applicable in the DIFC free zone. Can you advise me if that is so? AB Dubai

Although the UAE Labour Law (Federal law number 8 of 1980) is designed to cover all employees, there are a number of exceptions, including government entities. Different laws apply in some of the free zones, such as the DIFC and Dubai Healthcare City. For the DIFC, the relevant employment law is DIFC law number 4 of 2005. This has some provisions that differ from the UAE Labour Law, but the end-of-service gratuity is still payable to employees of companies registered with the DIFC. The only difference is that the gratuity is not reduced if an employee leaves of their own accord. In this case, AB has been misinformed by his employer and to deny someone the gratuity is illegal. An employee is entitled to receive this after one full year of service, no matter where they are working in the UAE.

I have recently been advised by my bank that both my debit and credit cards are being replaced, even though both of them are valid until the end of 2013. I rang the bank to find out why and was told that it was due to fraud and that a lot of cards were being replaced as many had been "compromised". They refused to give any additional information. By changing my cards, the bank has caused me quite a bit of inconvenience because I make various regular payments from my credit card and these now need to be altered. There have not been any fraudulent payments from my cards, so why do the banks make our lives so difficult? WB Dubai

Your card, or at least card number, appears to have been caught up in a larger fraud. The banks will generally not provide any details because your card is part of a police investigation. By "compromised", the bank means that your details have been recorded by someone who should not have them, or at least it suspects that the details may have been wrongly taken. This could have happened at any time. Again, no bank will disclose how or where it thinks this has occurred. Although your card has been compromised, fortunately, it has not been used fraudulently so no money has been taken from your account.

Keren Bobker is an independent financial adviser with Holborn Assets in Dubai. Contact her at keren@holbornassets.com



Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 The Greens, villas: Q1 no change. 3BR - Dh210-250,000. 4BR - Dh210-260,000. 5BR - Dh220-300,000. Q1 2013-Q1 2014 5% rise. Pawan Singh / The National

In pictures: Where Dubai rents have risen and fallen, Q1 2014

Find out how rental prices in the prime locations in Dubai have altered during the first three months of the year and the current rates you will pay according to data provided by Asteco.

 Above, the private pool of Ocean Heights' five-bedroom penthouse flat. Courtesy Christie’s International Real Estate

In pictures: Penthouse flat is height of Dubai luxury living

A five-bedroom penthouse in Ocean Heights in Dubai Marina is on sale for Dh25 million and comes with a private pool and an unparalleled view of Dubai.

 The cooling towers of the Temelin nuclear power plant near the Tyn nad Vltavou in Czech Republic. The country wants to continue expanding nuclear energy capacity despite cancelling a tender to build two new units. David W Cerny / Reuters

In pictures: Best business images for the week to April 17, 2014

Here are some of the best business images for the week to April 17, 2014.

 Three generations of the Hakimi family tend to their stall Crawford Market in Mumbai. Subhash Sharma for The National

In pictures: Shopper’s delight at Crawford Market in Mumbai

Crawford Market is an old British-style covered market dealing in just about every kind of fresh food and domestic animal imaginable. Later on renamed Mahatma Jotirao Phule, the market remains popular among locals and visitors by its old name, taken from Arthur Crawford who was the first municipal commissioner of the city.

 The Wind, Energy, Technology and Environment Exhibition takes place from April 14 to April 16. Above, the Dewa showroom during last year’s Wetex. Jaime Puebla / The National

April corporate and economic calendar for the UAE and overseas

From Cityscape to Wetex to stock-market holidays to nations reporting first-quarter GDP figures, here is our helpful calendar of April's business events in the UAE and internationally.

 Get the latest information on credit cards, bank accounts and loan products in the UAE. Mark Lennihan / AP Photo

Rates report: Latest on UAE loans, accounts and credit cards

Souqamal.com brings you the latest interest rates on banking products in the UAE.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National