The UAE government’s Vision 2021 projects SMEs participation in the non-oil economy to reach 70% by that year.

The UAE’s 400,000+ SMEs contribute above 60% of the UAE non-oil economy and provide employment to 86% of the private workforce.
SMEs in UAE makeup 73% of the wholesale and retail trade sector, 16 % of the services sector, and 11%of the industrial sector

What is SME Meaning?

“Small and Medium Enterprise.” to refer to businesses that meet certain criteria with regards size and other characteristics, as defined by Dubai SME, the government body which facilitates the development of SMEs in the emirate

Small companies

  • In General: A company with six to 50 employees and a turnover of Dh50m in the trading sector will be considered a small company.
  • In the manufacturing sector:  the requirement is 10 to 100 employees and revenue of Dh50m.
  • In the services sector: it’s between six and 10 employees and annual revenue of Dh20m,

Medium Size Enterprises

  • In the trading sector: a company with six 51 to 250 employees and revenues of Dh250m is considered a medium-sized company.
  • For the manufacturing sector:  the requirement is 101 to 250 employees and a turnover of Dh250m.
  • In services:  it’s 51 to 200 employees with a turnover of Dh200m.

Any enterprise above that is considered as a large company in the UAE.

Now that we have covered the Meaning of SME in Dubai, Let us now focus on how credit cards can be useful to the owners and employees of small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Credit card for SMEs

  • Credit Cards for SMEs and Startups

Credit cards can be a useful financial tool for SMEs because they give access to ready credit for personal and official expenses. As long as you follow the basic discipline, you have an instrument that will help you track most of your major monthly expenses. It works even better if you can keep separate cards for your personal and official expenses, the official expenses can straightaway be processed as a part of your company expenses.

SMEs employees can have credit cards as well to cover their official expenses. This will minimize the use of cash-based transactions, as well as allow for tracking of monthly expenses with minimum use of in-house resources. However, do ensure that there is a clear procedure in place on the use of credit cards, including what is allowed or not allowed as a part of credit card expenses. A few of the points worth considering are as follows:

  • Credit cards are normally issued in the name of the employee directly. They are personally liable for the consequences of misuse of the credit cards, including late payment of dues.
  • Define who will make the regular bill payments – the employee or the company. In case the employee makes the payments, decide on how they will be reimbursed for official expenses.
  • Authorization of expenses may be required from the employee’s superior. Often this is a reason for the delay in payment of monthly dues to the credit card issuer. Do look at the option of delinking the authorization process from the payment process.
  • Define how late payment penalties, interest charges on outstanding and other fees be handled, as this can be a potential source of friction between employee and employer.
  • Normally, company credit cards cannot be used for personal payments, however, do define how reimbursement can be made by the employee in case this happens inadvertently or in case of emergency.
  • Will benefits like reward point and cashbacks accrue to the employee or the employer?

There are many banks who would be happy to issue your organization with credit cards on favourable terms, as long as you have a good credit score and a decent business performance. Do remember that proper credit card usage will also hike the credit scores of the personnel who own the credit cards, just as defaulting or delaying payments will cause a reduction in credit scores, which will make it more difficult to access credit at favourable interest rates in future.

Here is the list of Top Business Credit Cards for SMEs in Dubai & UAE

1. ADCB Credit Card For Small Businesses

ADCB Credit Card for Business

Specially designed to cater to the needs of business customers, the ADCB Self Employed Business Credit Card has built-in features that a business establishment can benefit from while conducting regular business transactions.

ADCB Self Employed Business Credit Card is different from regular personal credit cards in the following aspects:

1. It is a joint and several liability credit cards issued to the business establishment and its designated employees.

2. It is issued based on the credit assessment of the business establishment.

3. It provides higher credit limit than the personal credit cards.

ADCB corporate card features :

  • Online expense management tool
  • Cards for all your business needs
  • Chip & PIN, Contactless and 3D secure cards

2. Mashreq SME Business Platinum Credit Card

Mashreq Credit Card for SMEs


The Mashreq SME Business Platinum Credit Card provides solutions that add value to your business operations and to the overall growth of your business.

  • Up to 99 Supplementary credit cards to partners/employees with control over individual limits
  • Save on your day to day business expenses

3. RAKBANK Titanium Business Credit Card

It is ideal credit card for all your business transactions worldwide. You can use it to pay for the purchase of goods such as new stock, raw materials or equipment as well as for services rendered by your local or overseas suppliers.

RAKBANK Titanium Business Credit Card comes with the following benefits:

  • No annual fee EVER!
  • Low-interest rate on outstanding Retail Purchases
  • Enjoy 1% Cashback* on all domestic and international retail, internet, cash transactions. Note: Maximum Cashback is AED 1,000 per month.
  • High Credit Limit
  • Cash Advance of up to 40% of your Credit Limit
  • Up to 55 days interest-free credit
  • Easy Credit Card Cheque (CCC) facility

4.CBD Business Credit Card

CBD credit card for business

  • Free for life cards with credit limits of up to AED 250,000
  • Interest-free credit period of up to 52 days for better cash flow management
  • Cash advance facility of up to 50% of the credit limit for urgent expenses
  • Access to a flexible line of revolving credit at low-interest rates of 2.99% per month (3.45% effective 09 Dec 2020)
  • Flexible repayment options, from 5% of the outstanding balance and up to 100%

Lifestyle benefits :

  • Free valet parking up to two times per month, at 30+ locations in the UAE through Valtrans.
  • Complimentary lounge access to over 1000 Airport Lounges worldwide.
  • 50% discount on up to four 2D Cinema tickets across the UAE every calendar month. For more information,

5.  Emirates NBD Business Credit Card

Emirates NBD Business Credit Card

Emirates NBD Business Credit Card brings you a host of added-value features, including Plus Points, high cash limits, airport lounge access and lifestyle benefits.

Enjoy a wide range of MasterCard benefits with your credit card, including a corporate liability waiver, discounted shipping costs, and reduced rates for rental cars and Careem chauffeur rides.

Additionally, there are many other benefits that come with your Emirates NBD Business Credit Card. A range of lifestyle offers, discounts on rental cars, and auto top-up facility for Salik, and online payment of your utility bills such as Etisalat, du, DEWA and EM post are all part of the package.

Lifestyle rewards :

Earn up to 5% Plus Points with your Emirates NBD Business Credit Card for your spending at home and abroad. With no minimum payment, use your card at hotels or in supermarkets, for government services, utilities, and expenses abroad, and you will earn Plus Points on both primary and supplementary card transactions.

Credit cards can be a great asset or a huge liability, depending on how you use them. But, start missing deadlines, pay less than full dues, and you will be trapped in a web of late fee, interest, and other charges, which tend to go up exponentially. It is not uncommon to have an interest rate of 3% to 4% per month or 36 % to 48% per year after 55 days interest-free period. Compare this to an Unsecured business loan interest rate of 14% to 18% per year, or a trade finance facility interest rate of 10%, and you start to understand why you need to be so careful not to get into a debt trap here.

So please introspect, whether you and your employees can handle credit cards, and once you are convinced that you are up to it, then go ahead and enjoy the credit lines banks are willing to offer you. This is just some free additional working capital available for you at no interest cost. Stay disciplined and stay safe!