Weddings and funerals in the Emirates each have separate social gatherings—one for men and one for women.
For a long time in the UAE women have been able to go to a separate line to pay their water and electricity bill. With the line usually being shorter, this is a bonus for the female gender. In a veiled society a separate queue reduces the amount of time that women have to linger in the gaze of men.
Many of the tertiary Colleges in the Emirates have separate Men’s and Women’s Colleges which, even though the management is often the same, makes for a much more expensive operation.
The Dubai Bank recently (6 June 2009) announced the launch of a new service for its female customers. It is named 'Amirah' (meaning princess in Arabic) which conveys that the bank is given a royal customer service.
The service involves the creation of exclusive areas within some of its branches, enabling women to carry out their banking transactions with greater comfort and privacy. It is to be supported by a team of female banking professionals.
This is also a sign that women are playing an increasingly active role in financial transactions for themselves, their families and businesses.
If it works and women will be treated as princes and men will be treated as princes, this could be a bank worth watching.
Do you get treated like a princess or a prince at your bank?
Dr Geoff Pound
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