There are lots of different credit cards in the United Arab Emirates, which also means that there are plenty of sign-up bonuses to go with them.
However, in the UAE, these sign-up bonuses can be considerably different from those offered in other parts of the world, such as the UK or the US.
In the US, sign-up bonuses tend to be fairly straightforward.
You will become eligible for the likes of miles or points when you pay either the annual fee or the first transaction made by a new credit card.
The bonuses may in some instances be tied to a minimum spending amount that is usually easy to achieve.
However, things can be very different in the UAE.
One of the most hyped credit cards at present in the UAE is the Emirates Islamic Skywards Credit Card.
This card offers a sign-up bonus of 100,000 Emirates Skywards Miles, an offer that has been advertised in the likes of billboards, newspaper ads and tweets.
The offer is an appealing one, with 100,000 Emirates Skywards Miles being enough to cover a one-way Dubai to London trip in first class or a visit to New York flying business class.
However, the offer comes with a number of conditions.
There are actually two separate fees when signing up: an AED999 fee for Annual Membership and a Campaign joining fee of AED2,000.
Another condition is that in order to avail the bonus, your average retail spending in the first three months will have to be a minimum of AED12,500, and if you don’t, then you will actually be charged as much as AED500 per month.
Your yearly minimum spend with this card will have to be as much as AED150,000.
If you are certain that you will have no trouble spending the minimum monthly amount, then the credit card is an effective way to gain Skywards Miles.
The credit card also offers a number of other perks.
These perks include free selection of seats in economy class, priority check-in and boarding, an extra 12 kilograms of baggage allowance, and complimentary access to Emirates business class lounges.
Many other credit cards in the UAE also offer sign-up bonuses.
The Emirates Ultima Card, for example, gives 25,000 Skywards Miles on sign-up and a further 10,000 with every yearly credit card renewal.
However, your minimum monthly income to be able to apply for the card is as much as AED36,750, and the annual membership fee is as high as AED3,000.
When you sign up for the HSBC Black Credit Card, you will receive 200,000 air miles as a bonus.
These miles are able to be redeemed for return flights to the likes of London, the Maldives, Paris or Rome from Dubai.
There are also 100,000 anniversary air miles offered from the second year onwards.
In order to be eligible for the HSBC Black Credit Card, customers need to have a minimum monthly salary of AED50,000, and the annual fee is AED1,500.