It can be difficult for people in Dubai to resist getting a credit card, given that they are surrounded every day with holiday deals, buy-now-or-lose-out promotions, and shopping offers.

It is very easy to apply for a credit card in Dubai and elsewhere in the United Arab Emirates, but one lawyer is warning citizens that the decision to get a credit card is not one that should be taken lightly. 

Hani Hammouda, who works with the Kefah Al Zaabi Firm for Advocacy and Legal Consultancy, says that many people would actually be better off if they did not have a credit card, calling it dispensable unless it is “urgently and really needed.” Hammouda says that instead of using a credit card, people should plan their spending according to their level of income. 

Making use of a credit card in the UAE can be very convenient when someone sees an item that they would like to purchase but does not currently have the available funds allowing them to do so. If someone has a credit card, however, almost everything from new shoes and clothes to the latest technological marvel and stays in luxury hotels suddenly become more affordable.

Customer service staff members in banks are also always offering exclusive discounts and generous freebies associated with credit cards, making them even more tempting and desirable. However, clients can end up being stuck with increasing interest charges and penalties, and even end up in legal trouble if they cannot afford to pay them. 

Hammouda says that customers who need credit cards should always take them from the same bank in the UAE with which they have their standard account and then be aware of the limit that has been set for the card by the bank. However, banks have no right to send customers credit cards if they have not previously given their approval for them to do so. 

In addition to knowing their limits, there are other things that people who get a credit card need to do in order to remain safe in today’s world. Copies of credit cards or debit cards should never be shared via social media, as it is all too easy for hackers to use their resources to get hold of your bank details from even the smallest amount of information. 

Credit card owners should also never log into the unauthorised websites of retail stores. Customers need to be certain that the site is secure and that it is indeed the actual website of the store in question and not a fraudulent site designed to steal credit card details.

Hammouda says that customers should always make sure that a site is encrypted, protected and secure before making use of their credit card to perform an online transaction. The lawyer also advises against getting a credit card just to make use of promotions such as special offers and freebies, as subscription fees will start to be collected by retail businesses after the expiration of the free trial period. Hammouda also advises telling your UAE bank immediately if your card is lost, misplaced or stolen. 

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