With current or salary accounts paying no interest and savings accounts in the UAE getting savers a meager return, UAE residents are constantly on the lookout for better savings and investment products that earn them reasonable returns.

As it turns out accounts aren’t the only place to stash away all your extra cash. There are a range of products fit for every saver whether you’re looking to save for the short or long term, invest a small or big amount or take on high risk to no risk at all. Here we explore few saving and investment products which UAE residents can opt for, to secure better returns.

Park the extra cash in a Fixed Deposit

Don’t want to take on any investment risk but still earn some returns on the spare cash lying in your account? Fixed deposits could be a good choice for you. Most banks in the UAE offer short-term and long-term options with flexible tenures starting from a week or a few months, going up to one year to five years.

Returns are based on the tenure as well as amount of the fixed deposit. For example, a fixed deposit made for 12 months could earn you an interest rate of about 0.8-1.25 percent p.a. In case of Islamic banks, the profit rate would be declared every quarter.

What to watch out for

Most UAE banks have a minimum deposit requirement of AED 10,000 and in case you withdraw your fixed deposit amount before maturity, you will also have to pay a premature withdrawal fee.

Another aspect which could lead to fixed deposits not being a good investment is rising inflation and cost of living in the UAE. With the inflation rate touching 4.4 percent as of July 2015 year-on-year, the low deposit rates mean that money parked in deposits would lose value in the long run.

[Related: How will an interest rate hike affect your wallet?]

Give your luck a go with Millionaire accounts

Savings accounts earn you little to no interest but that’s not the only attraction of putting your money in one. Many banks in the UAE offer a unique proposition to their customers – a chance to win a million dirhams in cash with their savings account.

Various banks offer such savings accounts to UAE residents, for example, ADCB’s Millionaire Destiny Savings Account, ADIB’s Ghina Savings Account and Emirates Islamic’s Kunooz Savings Account. Grand prizes range from AED 1 Million to AED 3 Million, a luxury car or studio apartment with other multiple cash prizes ranging from AED 5,000 to AED 10,000 through daily or monthly draws.

What to watch out for

Watch out for minimum balance requirement as well as other eligibility criteria to participate in the draws. Most banks would penalize you for non-maintenance of the required minimum account balance, but apart from the fee you would also not be able to qualify for the prize draws held regularly.

Earn higher expected returns with National Bonds

The National Bonds corporation offers different types of savings products to individuals to suit various tenure and amount preferences. Based on the 2014 profit rates declared by National Bonds, Savings Bonds earned between 1.44 percent to 2.36 percent p.a., One Year Term Bonds earned 2.5 percent p.a. and Three Year Step-up Bonds earned the highest return of 4 percent p.a. for three years.

What to watch out for

A subscription fee of 1-2 percent will be levied if the bondholder redeems the Savings Bonds before maturity, based on the tenure of the plan. There is also a lock-in period of 30 days to 90 days based on whether the payment is made via cash/cheque or through credit card.

[Related: National Bonds: How good are they for saving?]

Invest in saving and retirement plans

Institutional saving schemes and pension plans offer the chance for investors to secure a steady pension or lump sum amount if they’re willing to save for a long term. Whether you’re looking to save a fixed amount every month or have a lump-sum amount to set aside for the future, there are various options to choose from. You can choose a plan and based on your risk appetite, select individual funds from conservative to risky and everything in between.

What to watch out for

There is no guarantee of returns when investing in equity directly or indirectly through such plans and funds. Also, since these plans are managed by big investment groups, you can only select from the funds and options made available in the plan based on the fund manager’s investment strategy. Investors must also read the fine print before investing to be aware of the liquidity of their investment and penalties related to withdrawal.

[Related: Got a financial plan for your retirement?]