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Articles / Best Trading Platforms in Dubai & the UAE (2023)

Best Trading Platforms in Dubai & the UAE (2023)

Conor Scott, CFA| Updated March 10th, 2023

Finding a platform that best suits your trading needs is challenging, especially if you intend to trade actively or invest for the long term. Choosing the best trading platform can help you optimize your trading experience, simplify your daily tasks, and save you time while you actively work towards your financial goals. 

Other features you want to see include easy order placement, competitive price execution, investment watchlists, trading alerts, and an economic calendar. If social (copy) trading is not available, then you should have ample investor education covering topics such as cryptocurrencies or trading indicators. 

For the busy professionals and nomad capitalists that call Dubai and the UAE home, we’ll present and compare the five best trading platforms identified through our in-depth research.

Best Trading Platforms in the UAE for 2023

eToro | Best for global traders

With over 30 million users, eToro is the leading social investing platform (copy and follow other traders/investors). It offers commission-free stock trading.

Interactive Brokers | Best for complete portfolios

Founded in 1978, IBKR is one of the world’s most trustworthy brokers. It offers an enormous range of financial products (stocks, options, ETFs, etc.), and low currency conversion fees. Interactive Brokers also launched IBKR GlobalTrader, a modern mobile trading app handling a wide range of financial products, ideal for novice investors.

Freedom24 | Best for IPO subscriptions

A European broker well-known for its exclusive feature of IPO subscriptions for individual investors (previously accessible only for institutional investors). It also offers stocks, ETFs, bonds, futures, and options on major American, Asian, and European exchanges.
Disclaimer: Investing involves risk of loss.

Plus500 | Ideal for CFD trading

One of the world’s leading CFD brokers, it offers no commissions when trading CFDs in indices, forex, commodities, cryptocurrencies, shares, options, and ETFs. It also recently launched Plus500 Invest for those who want to invest in real shares.
Disclaimer: 84% of retail CFD accounts lose money.

XTB | Best for low-fee CFD and forex trading

One of the world’s largest stock exchange-listed brokers, XTB provides traders access to hundreds of markets through forex, indices, commodities, CFDs, and cryptocurrencies. It also features low spreads and commission-free trades.
Disclaimer: 81% of retail CFD accounts lose money.

Top-tier regulators supervise all the companies mentioned here, like the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) or the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC).

#1 eToro

Best Trading Platforms in Dubai & the UAE (2023) 1
Visit eToro
81% of retail CFD accounts lose money.

eToro at a glance

0% Commission(only Stocks)
Mobile App
ProductsETFs, Stocks and CFDs on Indices, Commodities, Forex, and Cryptocurrencies
Minimum Deposit$50
RegulatorsSySEC, FCA, ASIC

Founded in 2006, eToro is a well-known, worldwide fintech startup and the leader in social trading (following other people’s trades), with over 30 million users globally. You can also invest in other products through their intuitive platform, like CFDs and cryptocurrencies, making it ideal for those who want to learn the art and science of trading. They offer commission-free stock and ETF trading for most names. 

Opening an account and depositing is easy, and you can even try it out with virtual money. On the downside, spreads can be high for some products. The only currency accepted is the USD, which means that you’ll be charged currency conversion fees upon deposit and withdrawal if you deposit in another currency.

eToro does offer an Islamic (swap- and interest-free) account to all who contact customer service and fund their accounts to at least 1,000 USD. 

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 81% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

#2 Interactive Brokers

Best Trading Platforms in Dubai & the UAE (2023) 2
Visit Interactive Brokers

IBKR at a glance

0% Commissions
Mobile App
ProductsCFDs, ETFs, Stocks, Bonds, Funds, Commodities, Options, Futures, Cryptos, and Forex
Minimum Deposit€/$/£0

Founded in 1978 and publicly listed in NASDAQ (ticker: IBKR), Interactive Brokers is a global online broker which survived several financial crises, demonstrating a resilience and proven risk management framework. 

Interactive Brokers offers an advanced investment platform that includes a wide range of products from over 150 markets, solid trade execution (IB SmartRouting), and a set of technical and fundamental tools to help you in your investment decisions. It now even accepts UAE dirhams (AED)!

Beginners and intermediate investors have educational tools to explore, but the learning curve will be steep. That’s why we mainly endorse it to more advanced traders. However, their customer service team gives crystal clear answers to almost all questions. 

On the downside, Interactive Brokers’ fee structure is complex, the registration process is lengthy (but online), and the broker offers limited commission-free trading. However, when considering FX fees, narrower spreads, and the stock loan program, Interactive Brokers’ clients still get significant savings compared to most brokers.

Interactive Brokers also launched IBKR GlobalTrader, a modern mobile app for stocks, options, and ETFs, ideal for beginner investors. Some of the features of IBKR GlobalTrader include automatic currency conversions, fractional shares, a demo account, and more.

Want to know more about Interactive Brokers? Check our Interactive Brokers Review.

#3 Freedom24

Best Trading Platforms in Dubai & the UAE (2023) 3
Visit Freedom24
Investing involves risk of loss.

Freedom24 at a glance

0% Commissions
Mobile App
ProductsETFs, Stocks, Bonds, Options, Futures, new shares at IPO prices
Minimum Deposit$0
RegulatorsCySEC, BaFin, SEC

Founded in 2015, Freedom24 has already offered to its 400,000-plus worldwide clients the stocks of 260-plus new companies at IPO prices, as well as countless stocks, stock options, bonds, and ETFs on the largest exchanges in Europe, Asia, and the United States. 

Freedom24’s trading platform can be accessed through PC and mobile app versions. Both trading platforms are adequate for executing trades. They are well-designed and intuitive, with features such as “InvestIdeas” and “News,” but lack customization options.

Freedom24’s flagship product is clearly its offering of new stocks at IPO prices for hundreds of companies to-date. There is excitement around this feature since it was only previously available to institutional investors.

On the downside, it requires a minimum of 2,000 USD for IPO participation, charges 7 EUR per withdrawal, and presents an above-average currency conversion fee.

Want to know more about Freedom24? Check our Freedom24 Review.

#4 Plus500

Best Trading Platforms in Dubai & the UAE (2023) 4
Visit Plus500
84% of retail CFD accounts lose money.

Plus500 at a glance

0% Commissions(Only with Plus500 CFDs)
Mobile App
ProductsCFDs, Stocks (Plus500 Invest)
Minimum Deposit€/£/$100

Founded in 2008, Plus500 is an online broker offering a wide range of financial products, including stocks and CFDs on forex, indices, shares, commodities, options, ETFs, and cryptocurrencies. It is available in over 50 countries and is listed on the London Stock Exchange.

There are two distinct account types:

  • Plus500 CFD: Only CFD products
  • Plus500 Invest: Can also trade stocks

The web platform you will use is WebTrader, Plus500’s proprietary platform, offering a stable trading experience and easy access from multiple devices, including a mobile app. All platforms are easy-to-use and responsive, and you can start testing the features by opening a demo account.

Their spreads are low, and they offer accounts in sixteen currencies, including USD, EUR, and GBP. Still, they charge a 0.70% currency conversion fee and a $10 monthly fee following three months with no activity. On Plus500 Invest, they only charge a small commission per trade (US market: 0.006 USD/share).

Plus500 does offer Islamic (swap-free) accounts for residents of the UAE. 

Finally, Plus500 is one of the few companies which has opened a subsidiary dedicated to the United Arab Emirates: Plus500AE Ltd, which is authorised and regulated by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA – F005651).

Want to know more about Plus500? Check our Plus500 Review.

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 84% of retail investors’ accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this broker. It is important to understand how CFDs work and the risks involved in trading, like losing all the invested capital.

#5 XTB

Best Trading Platforms in Dubai & the UAE (2023) 5
Visit XTB
81% of retail CFD account lose money.

XTB at a glance

0% Commissions(Stock and ETF CFDs)
Mobile App
ProductsCFDs, Stocks, Commodities, Forex, and Cryptocurrencies
Minimum Deposit$0

Founded in 2002, XTB presents itself as a market player with extensive worldwide experience, regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange. Its software is more oriented towards CFDs and forex trading with competitive costs.

XTB charges high commissions on CFDs of cryptocurrencies but low costs for forex. You will face an inactivity fee of 10 EUR/month after one year of non-trading and if you have not made a deposit in the last 90 days. Opening an account and transferring money is a quick and hassle-free process. A demo account is available.

Like Plus500, XTB also has offices in the United Arab Emirates through the entity XTB MENA Limited, which has a license from the DFSA (Dubai Financial Services Authority) to operate in the region.

XTB does offer Islamic (swap-free) accounts for residents of UAE.

Which Platform Is Best for the UAE?

As a resident of the UAE, there are several key factors to keep in mind when choosing an online broker: 

  • Is it regulated by a top-tier institution such as FCA, CySEC, or SEC?
  • Is it authorised by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA)?
  • Does it provide an Islamic account?
  • What’s the full range of products on offer?
  • Is there an intuitive and modern mobile app?
  • Do they provide social trading or substantial investor education?
  • Are there fees competitive?

The best online broker for you depends on your specific profile, preferences, and objectives. Our research suggests that each of reviewed brokers is a “best trading platform” in its own way:

Best Trading Platforms in Dubai

#1 eToro Global traders
#2 Interactive Brokers Complete portfolios
#3 Freedom24 IPO subscriptions
#4 Plus500 CFD and stock trading
#5 XTB Low-fee CFD and forex trading

Explore the websites above and decide for yourself! If you have any questions or would like to leave some feedback, please don’t hesitate to do so in the comments below. 

Please note that the above should not be seen as investment advice and should be considered information only. Investors should do their own due diligence about the best-suited services and opportunities for their risk levels, return objectives, and ESG considerations.

Other FAQs

Which trading platform is best for the UAE?

We find that the best platform for global traders remains eToro, while Interactive Brokers is best for those looking to build complete portfolios. However, choosing an online broker continues to be a personal choice, and we’ve dedicated our website and our time to helping you make the most informed decision. 

Which has the best mobile trading app for the UAE?

Each of the brokers above have great trading apps. Generally, you want to see an app that is intuitive, streamlined, and presents all the necessary information within a few seconds. 

What is an islamic account? 

An islamic account follows the principles of shari’a, or islamic law, that forbids the use of interest or interest-based lending in any form. Fortunately, many online brokers can accommodate muslim traders and offer interest- or swap-free accounts. Swaps often bear an interest element. 

Why is the UAE an attractive region? 

Dubai has long been a top destination for nomad capitalists or globally minded professionals for many years. Recently, as Covid-19 abates, renewed interest has made Dubai and Abu Dhabi great cities for new expatriates. 

What is the minimum balance to start trading in the UAE?

Many brokers do not require a minimum balance, meaning you can start trading for as little as 1 AED, USD, or EUR, for example.

Conor Scott, CFA

Conor is a CFA charterholder who has been active in the wealth management industry since 2012, continuously researching the latest developments affecting portfolio management and cryptocurrency.