x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Deals of the Week: UAB's lower rates reward long-term residents

The flurry of lower interest rates is expected to bolster the nation's property market.

The dark days of UAE mortgage rates at levels of 9 per cent or even 10 per cent appear to be behind us thanks to the recent lowering of interest rates by several UAE institutions.

The latest announcement comes from United Arab Bank (UAB), which last week dropped its interest rates to 4.99 per cent - currently the lowest rate in the Emirates.

Its new mortgage rate follows HSBC Middle East's announcement of a 5.49 per cent interest rate for 25-year mortgages, while Barclays is offering 5.99 per cent.

The flurry of lower interest rates is expected to bolster the nation's property market, which has struggled to recover from the damage caused by the recent financial crisis. New mortgage lending has dropped steadily since last November, when UAE banks issued Dh164.2 billion in mortgage loans.

UAB hopes its new rate will help to revitalise the market because it is intended for Emiratis and long-term expatriates who are committed to living and working in the UAE.

"We strongly believe this will bring renewed impetus to the mortgage market and give our target customers an opportunity to own their own home with the most competitive interest rate in the market," says Paul Trowbridge, the bank's chief executive.

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Arabian Automobiles has launched a new finance programme offering customers the chance to refinance, return, retain or upgrade their Nissan, Infiniti or Renault models.

Called "Nissan Freedom", the personal contract purchase programme offers customers the chance to settle 50 per cent of the loan amount on their new car over three years before choosing one of the four options mentioned above.

The programme complies with the UAE Central Bank's new regulations on consumer lending, which includes a 20 per cent deposit on all new cars and a maximum loan period of 48 months.

Michael Ayat, the chief executive of Arabian Automobiles, says: "We work towards providing our valued customers with promotions and finance programmes which suit their budgets and make car purchases a less stressful affair for them."

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Najm credit card has upped its cash-back scheme by offering customers double the rewards across all levels of cards.

The credit card, which is operated by Majid Al Futtaim Finance, offers cash back on everything you spend and even more on any purchases made at Carrefour.

Under its new scheme, the top-tier Gold card customers can earn 4 per cent cash back on all Carrefour purchases and 2 per cent on all other spends, giving card holders the chance to earn back as much as Dh6,000 a year.

Silver card members also have increased benefits of 3 per cent at Carrefour and 1 per cent on all other transactions. And Free-For-Life Najm card holders can now earn rewards for the first time, with 2 per cent on Carrefour spends and 1 per cent elsewhere.

The Najm credit card also offers exclusive discounts on retail, entertainment and leisure activities, such as a 30 per cent discount on both Ski Dubai and Playnation.