New Credit Cards – ADIB Emirates Skywards

close-up of several credit cards

Till now, there was an unspoken practice in UAE. Banks headquartered in Abu Dhabi had co-branded Etihad Guest credit cards – First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB), Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB), Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB).

Similarly, banks headquartered in Dubai had co-branded Emirates Skywards credit cards – Emirates NBD, Emirates Islamic and Citi.

However, things have gotten mixed up now. Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) has introduced two interesting co-branded credit cards in the market. Read below to find out if they are a good fit for your wallet.

ADIB Emirates Skywards Credit Cards

There are two variants here – Skywards World Elite MasterCard and Skywards World MasterCard. There benefits are similar with the World Elite version being the more premium one. There are several interesting benefits including

1. Skywards Gold Membership

If you travel with Emirates often, a Skywards Gold membership is a great perk to have. The key benefits of the membership are:

  • 50% bonus Skywards miles on Emirates / flyDubai flight
  • Access to Emirates Business Class Lounges (cardholder + 1)
  • Unlimited in-flight WiFi
  • Priority baggage
  • Free seat selection in Economy class
  • Additional 16 kg baggage allowance
  • Double-dip on Skywards and Marriott World Rewards (click here to find-out more)

It is worth understanding the value of these perks. For example, if you are on a flight from Dubai to London,

  • Seat selection will cost you AED 125 each way
  • Excess baggage costs US$ 30 per kg (approximately)
  • 150MB worth WiFi costs US$ 10
  • Business-class lounge access costs US$ 100 per passenger

In other words, if you end up using all the above benefits, you can save in excess of AED 600 each way. Assuming you use only 50%, you save approximately AED 300 per one-way trip.

2. Complementary Airport Transfers

ADIB Skywards Credit Card gives you complementary airport transfers to / from Dubai Airport. This also includes rides from other Emirates. So, let us assume you will save AED 100 on each trip.

3. Complementary Home Check-in Service

This is a feature no other credit card offers. With ADIB Skywards Credit Card, you will get complementary home check-in service if you are flying Emirates. This means Emirates will issue your boarding pass and pick-up your luggage from your home / hotel or any other place.

With World Elite Credit Card, you get four check-ins annually and with World Credit Card, you get two.

4. MasterCard Benefits

Both MasterCard World and MasterCard Elite Cards are premium versions of MasterCard. There are many benefits you get in UAE. You can find them here.

Comparison Between ADIB Skywards World Elite and World Credit Cards

The table below will show the comparison in a simple manner

ADIB Skywards World Elite ADIB Skywards World
Joining Bonus 50,000 miles 40,000 miles
Spend-linked Bonus 70,000 miles 20,000 miles
Emirates Membership Skywards Gold on spending AED 5,500 with Emirates Skywards Gold on spending AED 5,500 with Emirates and AED 150,000 in total
Earnings rate per US$ spent 3 miles on Emirates / flyDubai

2 miles on forex

1.5 mile on local spends

0.25 mile on select merchants*

2.5 miles on Emirates / flyDubai

1.5 miles on forex

1 mile on local spends

0.25 mile on select merchants*

Airport Transfers Four free airport transfers anywhere within UAE Two free airport transfers anywhere within UAE
Complementary Home check-in Four times per year Two per year
Annual Fee AED 4,500 + VAT AED 1,500 + VAT

* Select merchants / categories include supermarkets, government services, utilities, education, fuel, real estate agents, public transport, road tolls, charities/religious organisations.

Final Thoughts

It is easy to save on ADIB Skywards Credit Cards if you fulfill two criteria. One, you do not have Silver or Gold membership of Emirates Skywards. Two, you fly Emirates at least 4-6 a year in Economy. With each trip, you could save about AED 500.

Still, the annual fee for both cards is quite steep. Especially, the World Elite Card which has one of the highest annual fee in UAE.


  1. Hi, thank you for the review. Can we get your views on the ADCB etihad guest infinite card. It appears to have been revamped of late.

  2. Hi, thank you for the review. Can we get your views on the ADCB etihad guest infinite card. It appears to have been revamped of late.

          1. Thanks. Was hoping for a fully fledged review of the ADCB offering. With all the different metrics you use to compare different cards. I feel the card is a compelling proposition. Wouldn’t be surprised if FAB reinstates some of their generous offers.

          2. Apologies. I got your question mixed up with another.
            As you said, ADCB card looks very compelling particularly for high-spenders (>AED 15,000 a month).
            The Etihad miles earning rates are one of the best and you get 5,000 miles extra if you spend more than $5,000 in a month. And then there are the upgrade vouchers which can be extremely valuable.
            There are two issues I see though
            – Reduced miles on education/ utility etc
            – FAB card frequently offers as much as 120,000 miles as a sign-up bonus during promotions. This would be twice was ADCB offers. Both have the same fee AED 2,500 + VAT.

  3. Looks interesting. Do you know what the re-qualification criteria for Gold are? i.e. What do you have to spend to retain the gold status in the second year? Is it just the same spend?

    1. The T&Cs aren’t clear yet. I will let you know if I hear from someone in ADIB. Most likely, Gold status will be complementary only for first year. From second year onwards, it depends on your tier miles.

  4. Hello,
    I presume there hasnt been any offers in the market hence the lack of activity on the page. Etihad has been revamping its rewards programme so i think new partnerships with banks may emerge.

    Separately, would you consider doing a piece on Private/Exclusive Banking based on minimum salary hurdles. All the big banks have an offering and i feel a meaningful comparison would be useful.

  5. Wao, it’s look interesting to me but don’t know if my clients will agree to the terms on not?
    i also have a question, do you know the list of best banks in UAE? I have received one for my VVIP client but before i send him i want to search internet about it.
    the guide i received is also from a Dubai based blog, please check and suggest me if you can help me in this regard.
    Thank You

  6. By the way, you cannot currently book emirates flights online using this card because it hasn’t been set up yet with Mastercard securecode yet.

  7. Good morning, by my calculations this is probably the best card to get if you can spend the amount to get the bonus 70K miles. How would you say this compares against the Citibank Ultima card?

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