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Best Crypto Exchanges in Dubai & the UAE in 2024

Updated on May 13, 2024
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Cryptocurrencies seem to be here to stay! So, investors must find secure and reliable platforms to buy, sell, and store their assets.

With over 600 crypto exchanges globally, it is hard to choose the ideal platform. Investors need to be wary of scams and understand the differences between different platforms, considering that there is no investor protection in case the exchange goes bust.

Since we have the experience and the expertise to help you, we tried to summarize the information you need to make an informed decision when choosing the best crypto exchange in the UAE. Remarkably, estimates indicate that around 27% of the UAE population already owns cryptocurrencies.

In this article, we will compare and review the best cryptocurrency exchanges in Dubai and the UAE to help you find the perfect match for your investment needs.

Best Cryptocurrency Exchanges in the UAE for 2024

  1. eToro: Best for crypto portfolios
  2. Crypto.com: Best for NFTs and crypto card
  3. Kraken: Best for beginners
  4. Sarwa: Best for low amounts
  5. Binance: Best for various cryptocurrencies
  6. Coinsfera: Best for OTC crypto trading
  7. OKX: Best for low trading fees

Conversely, we advise against Cryptodesk, Cryptoexchange.ae, and Botoasis. Further explanation will be provided later in the article.

Award Winner

eToro logo
#1 Best for crypto portfolios
Min. deposit of $50
Crypto debit card available
Demo account
See broker summary
Visit BrokerRead review
Broker summary
Crypto portfoliosYes
Nº of cryptocurrencies70+
RegulatorsFCA, CySEC and ASIC.
Fees1% (on buy and sell positions - other fees may apply)
Currency Conversion FeeFrom 1.50%
Visit BrokerRead review

51% of retail CFD accounts lose money.

Crypto logo
#2 Best for NFTs and crypto card
AED Fiat wallet available
Several ways to earn crypto or interest
NFT marketplace
See broker summary
Visit Broker
Broker summary
Min. Deposit20 AED/USD
Nº of cryptocurrencies250+
RegulatorsProvisional approval for a Virtual Asset MVP License from the Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA)
FeesBetween 0.075% and 0.05% for spot and margin trading
Currency Conversion FeeFree
Visit Broker
Kraken logo
#3 Best for beginners
Min. deposit: $10
User-friendly interface
Demo account
See broker summary
Visit Broker
Broker summary
Crypto StakingYes
Nº of cryptocurrencies230+
Financial Services Permission by the FSRANone
FeesBetween 0% and 0.26%
Currency Conversion FeeFree
Visit Broker

Award Winner

Best Crypto Exchanges in Dubai & the UAE in 2024 1
#4 Best for low amounts
Auto-invest feature
Min. deposit $5
User friendly interface
See broker summary
Visit Broker
Broker summary
Free local transfersYes
Nº of cryptocurrencies10
RegulatorsDFSA
Fees$0 fees, 0.75% spread
Currency Conversion FeeFree
Visit Broker
Binance logo
#5 Best for various cryptocurrencies
Min. deposit $1
Usage of BNB for fee discounts
Peer-to-Peer feature available
See broker summary
Visit Broker
Broker summary
Crypto StakingYes
Nº of cryptocurrencies350+
RegulatorsNone
Fees0% to 0.6%
Currency Conversion FeeFree
Visit Broker
Coinsfera logo
#6 Best for OTC crypto trading
OTC trading in Dubai
Fast transaction processing
AED exchange for crypto
See broker summary
Visit Broker
Broker summary
Min. DepositNo minimum
Nº of cryptocurrencies500+
RegulatorsNone
FeesNot disclosed
Fiat Currency AcceptableAED & USD
Visit Broker
OKX logo
#7 Best for various cryptocurrencies
Low trading fees
350+ cryptocurrencies
Min. deposit: $1
See broker summary
Broker summary
Crypto StakingYes
NFT MarketplaceYes
RegulatorsProvisional approval for a Virtual Asset MVP License from the Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) and Malta’s Virtual Financial Assets Act
FeesBetween 0% and 0.1%
Currency Conversion FeeFree

Comparison of Dubai’s Crypto Exchanges

Exchange Minimum deposit Number of crypto-supported Staking available Crypto card available Insurance against theft
eToro $50 70+ X
Crypto.com 20 $/AED 250+ X
Kraken $10 230+ X X
Sarwa $5 10+ X X X
Binance $1 350+ ✔*
Coinsfera $1 500+ X X X
OKX $1 350+ X X

*Binance has built a $1 billion insurance fund to protect users from hacks.

Best Cryptocurrency Exchanges in Dubai & the UAE Reviewed

1# eToro

eToro logo
Visit brokerRead review

eToro at a glance

Nº of cryptocurrencies70+
Minimum deposit$50
Regulation and LicensesFinancial Services Permission by the FSRA
Fees1% (on buy and sell positions - other fees may apply)
Crypto credit/debit card
Staking
Visit eToroRead review

51% of retail CFD accounts lose money.

eToro was founded in 2007 and expanded into the crypto market in 2013, having today one of the best crypto exchanges in the UAE. It is the leading social trading platform in the world, allowing investors to discuss the world of crypto and copy other traders’ strategies, including professional traders.

Many features and services led us to choose eToro as the best option for UAE crypto traders:

  • Extensive Crypto Portfolio: eToro offers a diverse selection of over 70 crypto assets, featuring leading cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and Binance Coin (BNB), catering to the preferences of every investor.
  • Innovative Staking Rewards: Engage in crypto staking with eToro and enjoy the dual benefits of contributing to network security and earning passive income. The platform’s staking program includes options for Cardano (ADA) and Tron (TRX), with rewards distributed monthly in the same cryptocurrency, depending on the collective earnings of all participants.
  • User-Friendly Platforms: With its intuitive web and mobile applications, eToro stands out for its ease of use. The platform is enriched with educational resources, webinars, and social trading features, making it an ideal choice for both novice and experienced investors.
  • Seamless Asset Management: The eToro Money crypto wallet enables fast withdrawal and management of your cryptocurrencies, offering unparalleled flexibility in how you store and transfer your cryptocurrencies.

eToro has received In-Principle Approval from the Abu Dhabi Global Market to operate as a securities and crypto broker in Abu Dhabi, which allows the broker to safely deal with crypto assets in the MENA region. 

Still, please note that when trading crypto, you are not protected by any investment scheme, which means that if the broker goes bankrupt, there is no guarantee that you will recover your crypto investment. However, unlike other exchanges, eToro’s provision of traditional financial products places it under the watchful eyes of regulators, significantly reducing the risk of bankruptcy and ensuring a safer trading environment. 

For a deeper dive into eToro’s offerings and how it can enhance your trading experience, make sure to check out our detailed eToro review!

eToro's dashboard

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 51% 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# Crypto.com

Crypto logo
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Crypto.com at a glance

Nº of cryptocurrencies250+
Minimum Deposit$20 with a credit/debit card
Regulation and LicensesProvisional approval for a Virtual Asset MVP License from the Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA)
FeesBetween 0.075% and 0.05% for spot and margin trading
Crypto credit/debit card
Staking
Visit Crypto.com

Crypto.com is one of the largest crypto exchanges by volume of transactions. It was founded in 2016 and serves over 80 million users from 90 countries. It is a popular choice among UAE users due to its variety of services that allow investors to earn passive income and access financial services in its vast crypto ecosystem, which makes it one of the best crypto exchanges in the UAE.

With Crypto.com, users gain access to innovative features like a crypto savings account, a Visa card that converts cryptocurrencies for everyday purchases while rewarding users, and a user-friendly NFT marketplace. Additionally, leveraging the platform’s native token, Cronos (CRO), can significantly reduce fees and amplify rewards, especially when utilizing the crypto debit card.

Achieving provisional approval from Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority for its Virtual Asset MVP License underscores Crypto.com’s adherence to stringent anti-money laundering protocols and consumer protection standards, although investment protection remains limited. Despite its comprehensive services and competitive fees, newcomers might find navigating the platform challenging. However, its extensive service range and asset offerings undoubtedly earn Crypto.com a spot among the best crypto exchanges for UAE investors.

Crypto.com track coins dashboard

3# Kraken

Kraken logo
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Kraken at a glance

Nº of cryptocurrencies230+
Minimum deposit$10
Regulation and LicenseFinancial Services Permission by the FSRA
FeesBetween 0% and 0.26%
Crypto credit/debit card
Staking
Visit Kraken

Founded in 2011, Kraken ranks among the world’s largest and oldest cryptocurrency exchanges. With a diverse selection of cryptocurrencies available at competitive fees (starting as low as 0.26%), Kraken serves traders globally, including those in the UAE. It provides 24/7 customer support through live chat and upholds high-security standards, ensuring a reliable and secure trading environment.

Kraken goes beyond trading by providing extensive educational materials, including comprehensive “Crypto Guides,” informative videos, and an engaging podcast. These resources are designed to assist both beginners and seasoned investors in making well-informed decisions. Furthermore, Kraken’s staking services offer the potential for significant returns, with interest rates exceeding 20% on select cryptocurrencies, presenting an attractive opportunity for passive income generation.

The company is committed to transparency and security, and it offers a combination of cold storage and multi-signature wallets that protect user funds. It operates in the UAE with a Financial Services Permission from the FSRA. But, as usual, your funds invested in crypto will not be protected if the exchange goes bankrupt.

Kraken Trading Platform

4# Sarwa

Best Crypto Exchanges in Dubai & the UAE in 2024 1
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Sarwa at a glance

Nº of cryptocurrencies10
Minimum deposit$5
Regulation and LicenseDFSA
Fees$0 fees, 0.75% spread
Crypto credit/debit card
Staking
Visit Sarwa

Founded in 2017, Sarwa is a Dubai-based online platform that makes investing in global markets simple and affordable. They consolidate all your investment needs into a single, user-friendly app. Whether you’re interested in crypto or stocks, Sarwa provides a seamless experience for investors to initiate and manage their wealth by offering 4 main services/products:

  • Sarwa Save: A savings account to earn interested on your cash;
  • Sarwa Trade: A trading account that allows you to trade US-listed stocks and ETFs on your own;
  • Sarwa Invest: A robo-advisory solution that allows you to create and manage ETF portfolios automatically
  • Sarwa Crypto: An account that allows you to trade cryptocurrencies

The platform is acclaimed for its low fees, accessibility, transparency, and the promo code bonus. It is a great option for beginners or those looking for a local solution.

Unlike other platforms, Sarwa operates on a closed-loop system, eliminating the need for a crypto wallet. Users can trade seamlessly by funding their accounts with fiat currency, simplifying the trading process. Moreover, Sarwa does not charge any commission on local transfers, making depositing and withdrawing funds cost-free. They give you access to 10 cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH).

Sarwa Crypto Dashboard

5# Binance

Binance logo
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Binance at a glance

Nº of cryptocurrencies350+
Minimum deposit$1
Regulation and LicenseNone
Fees0% to 0.6%
Crypto credit/debit card
Staking
Visit Binance

Binance has emerged as a global leader in the cryptocurrency space, providing a comprehensive platform for crypto enthusiasts worldwide. It was founded in 2017 by Changpeng Zhao, and now stands as one of the largest and most widely used platforms, facilitating the seamless trading of cryptocurrencies.

Binance is renowned for its extensive offerings, including futures trading, staking, savings accounts, and the innovative Binance Visa Card. With its utility token, Binance Coin (BNB), users enjoy reduced fees, access to exclusive token sales, and the power of the Binance Smart Chain, enhancing the platform’s functionality.

Binance does not charge any deposit fees for cryptocurrency deposits, while fees for fiat deposits vary based on the currency and deposit methods. Trading activities on Binance incur a standard fee of 0.1% per trade for regular users, a rate that can be reduced to 0.75% by using BNB to pay for fees. Additionally, VIP users get personalized fee structures.

On the downside, despite its user-friendly design catering to various experience levels, Binance’s trading interface might be overwhelming for beginners due to the availability of advanced tools. recent developments saw Binance’s CEO, Changpeng Zhao, stepping down and pleading guilty to violating U.S. anti-money laundering laws, facing charges related to misrepresentation, operation of unregistered entities, and participation in unregistered securities sales.

Binance Trading Platform

#6 Coinsfera

Coinsfera logo
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Coinsfera at a glance

Nº of cryptocurrencies500+
Minimum deposit$1
Regulation and LicenseNone
FeesNot disclosed
Crypto credit/debit card
Staking
Visit Coinsfera

Founded in 2015, Coinsfera stands as a reputable Over-the-Counter (OTC) desk giving customers access to buy and sell over 500 cryptocurrencies securely with cash and credit cards.  Although they do not mention their charged fees on their website, they claim to offer competitive pricing with fast execution. Their platform boasts a substantial customer base, with over 11,800 customers and 24,000+ successful transactions.

The process to buy and sell Cryptocurrency with Coinsfera is straightforward:

  1. Calculate: Check the amount you want to exchange using the calculator on the Coinsfera website.
  2. Appointment: Contact the Coinsfera team via WhatsApp, Telegram, or phone number to schedule an appointment.
  3. Buy & Sell: Visit Coinsfera offices in Dubai to complete the transaction.

#7 OKX

OKX logo

OKX at a glance

Nº of cryptocurrencies350+
Minimum deposit$1
Regulation and LicenseProvisional approval for a Virtual Asset MVP License from the Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) and Malta’s Virtual Financial Assets Act
FeesBetween 0% and 0.1%
Crypto credit/debit card
Staking

OKX, formerly OKEx, was founded in 2017 and is a significant player in the cryptocurrency exchange industry. It distinguishes itself by offering various trading options, including spot, margin, futures, and options trading, catering to the needs of various investors. In addition to traditional trading, OKX is at the forefront of offering innovative Web 3.0 services. These include flexible and fixed staking, lending, and liquidity mining on decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols and a comprehensive NFT marketplace, positioning OKX as a holistic platform for digital asset enthusiasts.

OKX prides itself on competitive trading fees, with a distinct maker/taker fee structure starting at 0.06%/0.06% for regular users, which can decrease to as low as -0.005%/0.015% for VIP users. Fee tiers for regular users are based on their OKB token holdings, while VIP tiers depend on 30-day trading volumes and daily asset balances, with daily updates to reflect users’ current status.

They offer Peer-to-peer (P2P) trading with zero fees, encouraging users to leverage the platform’s vast community as a Super Merchant. Their trading platform offers enhanced flexibility with over 900 local payment methods and supports more than 100 currencies, including AED.

Recently, OKX obtained a Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) license from Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA), authorizing it to offer spot and spot-pairs trading services to both qualified retail and institutional clients. Additionally, OKX is committed to transparency and regulatory compliance, publishing regularly their Proof of Reserves and adhering to the regulations under Malta’s Virtual Financial Assets Act.

OKX trading platform

Not recommended platforms

While the cryptocurrency landscape offers numerous exchanges catering to diverse needs, it’s essential to approach certain platforms cautiously based on user experiences and public announcements. Here are notable crypto exchanges that warrant careful consideration:

  1. Cryptodesk: Several users reported concerns about Cryptodesk, citing the closure of its office for renovations with no reopening in sight. As such, the lack of transparency raises caution, urging potential users to explore more reputable alternatives.
  2. Cryptoexchange.ae: Limited user engagement and recommendations suggest Cryptoexchange.ae may not be highly recommended. You can select other exchanges with established credibility and a broader user base for a safer trading experience.
  3. Bitoasis: Bitoasis temporarily suspended onboarding new clients in July, citing VARA (Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority) compliance requirements. Potential users should be aware of this restriction and explore alternatives with smoother onboarding processes during this period.

We always recommend that you prioritize exchanges with transparent operations and positive reviews.

How to choose the best crypto app in the UAE

There are many aspects you should consider when choosing the best crypto exchange in the UAE to make your investments. Some of the features you should consider are the following:

  • Safety and Regulation: all the exchanges presented are licensed and regulated in the UAE.
  • Range of cryptocurrencies available to trade: you must assess whether the platform offers a wide range of crypto assets or only the most established ones.
  • Fees: exchanges may charge above-average prices for buying, selling, or swapping cryptocurrencies.
  • User interface and ease of use: how easy it is to find the crypto you are looking for and trade it.
  • Deposits: how can you top up your wallet in the exchange? Is there a minimum deposit amount?
  • Services offered: exchanges offer different types of services. If you want to take on riskier investments, maybe you could consider using exchanges that allow you to trade derivatives. If you need to use your cryptocurrency investments to make payments in your day-to-day life, an exchange with a crypto debit or credit card may be more helpful. If you want to hold your assets for a long period, maybe look for exchanges that will pay you higher rates for staking.

How to safely purchase Bitcoin and crypto in the UAE

To securely purchase Bitcoin and various cryptocurrencies in the United Arab Emirates, you can follow these steps:

  • Choose a Crypto Exchange: Explore reputable cryptocurrency exchanges and choose one that adheres to strict regulation standards, such as the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) or the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA).
  • Create and Verify your Account: Register on the chosen platform and complete the Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements by submitting the necessary identification documents and proof of residence.
  • Deposit Funds: Use secure payment channels like bank transfers or credit cards to fund your cryptocurrency trading account.
  • Navigate the Trading Section: Access the trading section of the platform, choose the desired cryptocurrency, and execute your purchase.
  • Secure Asset Storage: If you wish to hold your coins in a cold storage wallet, you can transfer them to an external wallet.

By diligently following these steps, you guarantee a secure and regulation-compliant approach to investing in digital currencies in the UAE.

Bottom line

To summarize, here’s the list of “Best Crypto Exchanges in Dubai & the UAE for 2024”:

  1. eToro
    Best for crypto portfolios
  2. Crypto.com
    Best for NFTs and crypto card
  3. Kraken
    Best for beginners
  4. Sarwa
    Best for low amounts
  5. Binance
    Best for various cryptocurrencies
  6. Coinsfera
    Best for OTC crypto trading
  7. OKX
    Best for low trading fees

The world of cryptocurrency trading is exciting and filled with opportunities. However, choosing the right exchange is critical to ensuring a positive experience and protecting your digital assets to avoid scams and unsafe platforms. In this article, we reviewed the best crypto exchanges in the UAE and want to help you decide.

Please consider each of the unique strengths and advantages of the exchanges, always thinking of your needs and preferences. Cryptocurrencies are highly volatile and partially unregulated in the UAE, your investment will not be as protected as it would be if you would buy stocks. Also, remember that tax on profits may apply!

Take your time to do more research and evaluate the platforms. Stay informed and stay safe! We hope this article was informative and wish you the best of luck in your investments!

If you are looking for information on Forex or the best trading brokers, we encourage you to explore our dedicated reviews on “Best Forex Trading in the UAE” and “Top Trading Platforms in the UAE” for further insights.

FAQs

What is a crypto exchange?

A crypto exchange is an online marketplace where you can trade cryptocurrencies for other cryptocurrencies, digital money, fiat money, or many other tokens, such as NFTs. Typically, crypto exchanges are centralized, similar to stock exchanges. These platforms will work as intermediaries matching transactions between buyers and sellers, offering more safety when selling or purchasing cryptocurrencies. Crypto exchanges may also be decentralized. In this case, the platform will use blockchain technology to facilitate the exchange of your asset with another party without the intervention of the platform.

What are the best crypto exchanges for beginners?

We believe all options in this list are a few of the best exchanges for beginners, although they have unique strengths and differences. 

Can I buy Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies with UAE dirhams?

Yes, several crypto exchanges in the UAE allow you to purchase Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies using UAE dirhams.

Is there a minimum investment required for using crypto exchanges?

The minimum investment requirement varies among crypto exchanges. Some may have no minimum, while others might set a specific amount.

Can I use international crypto exchanges in the UAE, or are there restrictions?

Generally, residents of the UAE can use international crypto exchanges. However, we recommend that you choose a regulated crypto exchange when buying cryptocurrencies.

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About the author
Toni Nasr, CFA, FRM
Fintech Analyst

Toni is a Fintech Analyst with over 8 years of experience in the financial industry where he worked as a financial control analyst at a regional bank and later conducted independent investment research analysis.

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