The Emirates Islamic Bank newest branch in the United Arab Emirates offers women a financial zone free of men, but also custom-made banking products, including retail-outlet discounts, special travel packages and discounts on bank products in addition to exclusive ladies lounges, free Internet and text-message banking.
“Catering to the individual needs of our customers has always been a core part of our business model, and opening an exclusive Al Reem branch is an extension of that belief,” said Faisal Aqil, an official at Emirates Islamic Bank told the daily Gulf News.
“‘We understand and value the role of women in today’s society and have carefully tailored services and special offers to provide them with all they need to fulfill their personal dreams and ambitions,” he said.
But some wonder whether such “innovations” are signs of progress, showing Arab women’s increasing involvement in the world of business, or a dreary sign of increased gender segregation in the Persian Gulf.
— Khaled Hijab in Beirut