About a month ago, I got a call from my bank offering me a credit card. As with practically every other credit card offer I've ever received, I naturally said, "yes." Today, almost a month after getting the call that the card was ready, I went to the bank to pick it up.
Because I dread doing anything official here, I was expecting the worst, but was pleasantly surprised. After the woman who was helping me couldn't find the card, I told her to forget about it because I wasn't interested in coming back. She went and talked to someone and as it turned out, the reason she couldn't find the card is because I had qualified for a platinum card with a 44,000 dirham limit.
As with anything in Abu Dhabi, a lot of things require a leap of faith. All I had to do was sign a check for 44,000 dirhams (about US$ 12,000) for the bank to hold on to in case I left the country suddenly without settling my debts. After getting over my initial trepidation with that, I asked a few more questions and found out that the first year is free and after that there is a mere 1000 dirham (about US$ 275) annual fee. Though, I could cancel it at any time. That was enough for me to say no thank-you.
Immediately, the woman helping me brought me into a large office with a very pleasant Emirati woman behind the desk. She offered me some water and coffee and explained to me the benefits of having a platinum card. She assured me that I could cancel at any time. Even the branch manager, a really friendly guy who had helped me earlier, came in a joked that he would be disappointed if I didn't take this great offer. Naturally I reconsidered, signed the big check, and started the process. What could possibly go wrong?