Dubai – MENA Herald: The Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai, and Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB), the largest Islamic bank in the UAE, announced the official launch of the first-ever ‘Consumer Card’ in the UAE, a co-branded credit card dedicated to protect the rights of consumers and providing them with savings on their daily purchases. The card is an addition to the partnership initiatives being launched by DED along with the private sector and to the ongoing efforts to enhance the shopping experience in Dubai, and across the UAE.

Developed and designed in line with the spending habits and distinct needs of consumers in the UAE, the Sharia compliant card issued in partnership with Visa carries no hidden charges and has two variants, namely, the Rewards Consumer Card and the Platinum Consumer Card, both offering varied benefits on purchases. While enabling customers to make savings on everyday spends, the ‘Consumer Card’ also carries a host of discounts at over 450 outlets across the country. It’s the first consumer card in the UAE that offers up to 4% cashback across a number of outlets including supermarket or hypermarket, for all automobile servicing, on Etisalat and Du bills, Salik and Nol recharges, fuel purchases, utility bills and cinema tickets. The card users will be able to receive up to AED 1,000 cashback per month on their spends across the UAE.

The card was launched today at the Mall of the Emirates in the presence of His Excellency Sami Al Qamzi, Director General of DED, Mohammed Ali Rashed Lootah, Executive Director of the Commercial Compliance & Consumer Protection (CCCP) sector in DED, Dr. Adnan Chilwan, Group Chief Executive Officer at Dubai Islamic Bank, and Ihab Ayoub, General Manager MENA at Visa, in addition to senior managers from the organisations.

Commenting on the card and the partnership with DIB, Lootah said it highlights the effectiveness of public-private partnerships in bringing added value to businesses and consumers. “The ‘Consumer Card’ is part of the initiatives of the Department of Economic Development to promote trust and partnership between retailers and consumers. Dubai is a global shopping and entertainment destination and we focus on making the shopping experience in the emirate as convenient and rewarding as possible.”

Lootah added that the ‘Consumer Card’ also reinforces the efforts to replace cash payment with smart payment options, while there are also added benefits in terms of discounts and cashbacks”.

Sanjay Malhotra, Chief of Consumer Banking, at DIB said: “Domestic spending remains today the backbone of the UAE economy and we are keen to invest our expertise and resources in developing payment solutions that are favourable to spurring further growth. As one of the most innovative banks in the market today, we are pleased to offer our client base attractive payment solutions and savings on their daily purchases. Moving forward, we will continue to leverage our partnerships to present a unique banking experience while adhering to the highest standards of service excellence. While the market already offers benefits on credit cards, we have focused on areas where customers spend their money regularly thus maximising their gain. With this in mind, we have developed the ‘Consumer Card’ as a low-cost, high-value proposition in order to appeal to a larger number of customers and allow them to enjoy unique benefits. And as such, we are honoured to partner with the Dubai DED and develop this unique package of offers and features.”

Ihab Ayoub said: “We are delighted to partner with the DED and DIB in an initiative that enhances the use of electronic payments in line with Dubai’s goal of becoming a Smart City. The “Consumer Card” – a major step in this direction – will help in spreading further awareness about the benefits of electronic payments and the related cardholder rewards through a wide network of customers. Providing consumers with a safe and convenient way to pay is one of Visa’s main priorities, and our participation in this initiative is aligned with our ongoing efforts to promote financial literacy on the ways to save, spend and budget responsibly”.

“We are confident that through a partnership of public and private sectors, the “Consumer Card” initiative will support the UAE’s efforts to be a leader in developing innovative payment technologies, and drive its transformation into a cashless society,” added Ihab Ayoub.

Ahmed Al Zaabi, Senior Manager – Consumer Awareness, at DED said: “The Commercial Compliance & Consumer Protection sector constantly seeks to strengthen the relationship between the merchant and the consumer, and improve awareness among consumers on their rights and responsibilities. We also focus on regulating the market and launch programmes that protect businesses. The ‘Consumer Card’ is part of our efforts to raise the quality of services provided to customers and enhance their satisfaction and happiness. Our partnership with Dubai Islamic Bank and the advantages it brings to consumers and traders will strengthen economic activity in the UAE”.

DIB boasts today one of the largest retail bases in the UAE with over 1.5 million customers and 90 branches across the country. Indicative of the success of its offering, the bank has consistently won accolades for ‘Best Islamic Bank’ and ‘Best Islamic Retail Bank’ at the Banker Middle East Industry 2016.