Best Online Trading Platforms in UAE 2021

10 Min/ 03 August 2021

The United Arab Emirates has been a hub of trading activity for centuries. With the financial markets currently offering a wide range of investment opportunities, the best stock brokers in the UAE are satisfying client demand by providing high quality, low-cost access to asset classes.

Those in the UAE who have opened an online trading account can access markets ranging from forex, real estate, exchange traded funds and shares listed on the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) stock exchange.

The Best Trading Platforms in UAE

  1. Plus 500
  2. FXTM
  3. eToro
  4. Pepperstone
  5. XTB

#1 Plus 500

Trader Rating
What We Liked
  • Ideal for beginners.
  • Easy to understand and good value pricing. Tight spreads and no additional trading commissions.
  • No hidden administration fees. Zero fees charged on rolling positions, live price feeds, charting packages, and cash withdrawals.
  • Guaranteed stop losses are available.
  • Islamic account, which is fully Shariah-compliant.
  • User-friendly trading platform with great graphics and intuitive functionality.
  • Free demo account.
  • Thousands of markets in forex, indices, crypto, commodities, shares, options and ETFs.
  • Great education section. The broker’s ‘Trading Guide’ is a great tool for beginners.
  • News and research services — with an emphasis on using them to identify trading opportunities.
  • Minimum deposit of $100.
  • Rebates and bonus offers to new and existing clients.

Plus500 is a global broker with a client base of millions of traders. Its recipe for success is that it offers traders a simple and secure trading experience backed up by a range of neat, innovative features that appeal to beginners and more advanced traders as well.

The Plus500 trading experience is one of the best in the market and registering for a demo account is highly recommended.

Broker Fees

Plus500 trading fees are low. There are no additional trading commissions or deposit and withdrawal fees. Rolling positions, price feeds and charting packages are also provided free of charge.

The broker makes most of its revenue on the difference between buy and sell prices in markets, the bid-offer spread. These spreads are relatively narrow compared to the broker’s peer group.

Plus500 UAE Alerts

Source: Plus500

Trading Limit

Plus500 is a global broker with offices and regulatory licenses around the world. UAE based clients operate using trading limits set by the FSA, which means that maximum leverage is accordingly 1:300.

The minimum deposit is $100 or the equivalent for credit cards and electronic wallets.

Features

Regulation

As noted on Plus500’s website: “Plus500SEY Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Seychelles Financial Services Authority (Licence No. SD039)” (source: Plus500). There are other factors that also confirm it as a safe broker.

Platform

The Plus500 platform has a simple design, which is very user-friendly, but there are enough tools and indicators included to satisfy more advanced trading strategies.

The high-performance charts allow traders to carry out in-depth analysis of the markets and there is also an impressive news flow service.

Customer Support

The Plus500 platform is extremely easy to use, but in the unlikely event that you need to contact the broker’s customer support team, they are available around the clock. They can be contacted using live chat or email.

#2 FXTM

Trader Rating
What We Liked
  • One of the big global brokers.
  • A reliable platform with more than 2 million existing clients.
  • Islamic account, which is fully Shariah-compliant.
  • Beginner-friendly and the ‘Cent’ account allows new traders to start trading in small size.
  • $10 minimum opening balance (Cent account).
  • Competitive pricing — spreads starting from 0 pips and no commissions on selected ECN accounts.
  • Institution-grade infrastructure ensures reliable and fast trade execution.
  • Islamic Account for Shariah-compliant trading.
  • Winner of the World Finance, Best Trading Experience award, 2020.
  • User-friendly mobile apps, perfect for those who want to trade on the move.
  • 24-hour customer support available in 18 different languages.
  • Free demo account.
  • Lots of additional extras, including Trading Signals and FXTM Pivot Point Strategy

FXTM offers an extremely popular trading platform that is packed full of neat and innovative features specifically designed to make trading easy. Thanks to this approach, the broker continues to pick up industry awards and new clients.

It gives its users everything they need to trade, but it’s laid out in a easy to access way, which makes the platform ideal for beginners. A lot of the features are unique to FXTM and visiting the platform to try out its service is highly recommended.

FXTM UAE Awards

Source: FXTM

Some of the upgrades such as the Cent Account appear no-brainers and raises the question why other brokers don’t offer them as well. With a low minimum deposit of $10, the Cent Account allows traders to take the step up from trading in a demo account and into live trading without the risk of burning through their entire cash pile.

The firm is also one of the best in the sector in terms of the information it provides clients about the operational efficiency of the site. Transparent reporting is a sign of a confident broker and one that is aware that it is doing a good job of supporting its clients.

Broker Fees

FXTM offers three types of account types, Standard, Stock CFDs and Cent, so that clients can find a best fit. The T&Cs vary across the accounts, but all are very competitive.

FXTM UAE Services

Source: FXTM

Trading Limit

Leverage terms are flexible and can even be adjusted on a trade-by-trade basis. FXTM clients that open accounts are covered by the Mauritius regulator FSC and can access leverage up to 1:300.

FXTM UAE Quotes

Source: FXTM

Features

Regulation

As stated on FXTM’s website: “Exinity Limited is regulated by the Financial Services Commission of the Republic of Mauritius with an Investment Dealer License bearing license number C113012295”. (Source: FXTM)

Platform

FXTM offers its clients the world’s most popular retail trading platform, MetaTrader MT4 and its sister platform MT5. Both of the industry-leading dashboards are available in desktop, WebTrader and mobile app format. FXTM clients can take comfort from knowing they’ll never be too far from the markets.

MT4 has user-friendly functionality and is packed full of powerful charting and analytical tools. It’s an ideal platform for those starting out in trading and comes with an easy to use but professional-grade charting package. The MT4 / MQL5 online community a great place for beginners to seek out the ideas of other more experienced traders. Some of them are even willing to share their trading signals.

The second platform on offer is the second-generation MetaTrader5 product, which has more indicators and time-frame settings than its predecessor. MT5 offers a slightly different way of doing things, and as both are high-spec, selection often comes down to which platforms functionality you prefer.

FXTM UAE Support

Source: FXTM

The free VPS hosting service is a big plus point and having your trading servers near to the global exchanges means better pricing and more reliable execution. There’s nothing more frustrating than picking a good trade entry point but finding market price moves before you have a chance to get into it.

FXTM Invest is a copy trading service that offers another way to get exposure to the financial markets. This is popular among beginners and those who don’t have the experience or time to develop their own strategies. There are more than 5,000 traders offering their ideas to be copied and the minimum opening balance is only $100.

The Copy Trading service provides another example of FXTM’s client-friendly approach — you only pay copy trading fees on profitable trades.

Customer Support

FXTM was awarded Best Trading Experience at the World Finance Awards in 2020. Customer support is available in 18 languages and the easy to reach dedicated account managers are also multilingual.

FXTM customer services can be contacted via email, telephone and live chat and are available around the clock.

#3 eToro

Trader Rating
Open Demo Account 67% of retail CFD accounts lose money
What We Liked
  • CySEC, ASIC and FCA Regulated
  • Copy trading and self-trading in one place
  • Wide range of instruments including crypto
  • User-friendly platform, ideal for beginners
  • Free demo account
  • Islamic account

The fact that eToro supports 13 million clients speaks for itself. The broker has combined having a global outlook with developing a unique user experience for the traders that use it.

For some time, eToro has been widely regarded as providing one of the best trading platforms for beginners. This hasn’t stopped it improving its service or introducing a range of neat, innovative features, which make accessing the financial markets a user-friendly experience.

The registration process for opening a live trading account at eToro takes minutes to complete. If you want to try out its free demo account before-hand then opening that account takes moments. Setting up a demo account requires little more than an email address, but you can then trade virtual funds and find out why so many make eToro their broker of choice.

Broker Fees

eToro supports trading in stocks, ETFs, commodities, forex, crypto and indices. Clients can buy assets outright or take advantage of leverage using CFDs.

There are no trading commissions charged at eToro. Instead, the firm makes its money from the bid-offer spread.

Trading Limit

The maximum number of open trades is 2,000. Leverage terms are set according to investor domicile. Being a regulated broker, eToro ensures the T&Cs it offers clients are in line with local rules and regulations.

Features

Regulation

eToro is regulated by the Cyprus Securities & Exchange Commission (CySEC), the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and also the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which makes the platform safe to trade by those in the UAE.

Platform

The eToro platform was designed and developed by the firm to be an ideal entry-level service for those looking to trade online. It offers user-friendly access to the global markets. For example, if you want to tap into opportunities in US tech stocks, you can do that via online trading from Dubai.

Support services include daily research notes, in-depth analysis reports and online tutorials and seminars covering the basics of online trading.

Customer Support

The intuitive functionality of the eToro platform means that most users can get up and running very easily. If you do have any further questions, the customer service team are ready to help and can be contacted via phone or email.

#4 Pepperstone

Trader Rating
What We Liked
  • Well regulated, including by DFSA
  • Choice of three platforms
  • Low-cost trading, raw spreads and low-latency
  • Demo account
  • Zero account inactivity fees
  • Islamic account
  • Negative balance protection

Pepperstone started out as a forex broker but has, due to popular demand, expanded into other markets. It now offers markets in a range of instruments including CFDs, stocks, indices, metals and energy commodities.

Despite the broker’s growth in size, it’s kept true to its core strengths. It provides low-cost, high-quality access to the international markets and is known for having award-winning levels of customer service.

Broker Fees

Part of the secret to being considered one of the best online trading platforms is keeping costs down. Low fees are crucial to making a profit from trading.

Execution spreads at Pepperstone are super-tight. The average spread for major forex pairs like EURUSD is 0.16 pips. Spreads are variable, so as market liquidity improves, so do trading terms, and spreads in some currency pairs can be as tight as 0.0 pips.

The average spreads in gold markets are an impressive 0.18 points.

Trading Limit

There’s little chance of running out of space at Pepperstone. It’s possible to open up to 100 trading accounts.

Features

Regulation

Pepperstone is also authorised and regulated by a range of top-grade global regulators. The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is one regulator that monitors the activities of the brokers, others include well-regarded names such as FCA, CySEC, BAFIN, CMA, SCB and ASIC.

For this reason, Pepperstone can be considered one of the safest, as well as one of the best, trading platforms in the UAE.

Platform

Pepperstone offers its clients the choice of three market-leading platforms, MT4, MT5 and cTrader. These are all third-party services, which come with considerable reputations. MT4, for example, is the world’s most popular retail trading platform for forex. They are available in desktop, web-browser and mobile app format.

If you’re looking for copy trading, then you can access the Zulu Trade platform from your Pepperstone account. Those wanting to have more control over their decision-making can access a wide range of educational material and research tools.

The Pepperstone platform is designed to accommodate beginners, but also be able to take your trading to the next level.

Customer Support

The Pepperstone customer services team keeps on winning industry awards. The team’s reputation for being professional, prompt and informed spans the globe. This is important because there are possibly going to be times when live positions are at play and the quality of customer support can be the difference between making a profit or a loss.

#5 XTB

Trader Rating
What We Liked
  • Low-cost trading
  • Innovative tech features
  • Wide range of markets to trade including stocks, ETFs and crypto
  • Micro-lot trading — great for beginners
  • Top-tier proprietary platform — xStation 5
  • Islamic accounts

XTB is so confident about its trading spreads (which go as low as 0.1 pips) that it offers a live-data table of what they are.

The broker provides cost-effective online share trading in Dubai with spreads on US stocks as low as 1 cent.

Active traders can receive improved T&Cs and up to 30% discount on fees.

Trading Limit

Maximum leverage for international clients is 1:500.

Features

Regulation

XTB is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) and Belize International Financial Services Commission (IFSC).

The broker has more than 200,000 clients and has been in operation for 15 around years. This makes it a broker that can be categorised as safe.

Platform

The XTB platform, xStation5, is a proprietary product, meaning the only way get to use it is to open an account with XTB. If you want to know quite how good a trading platform can be, we recommend trying out the XTB demo account by taking a few moments to register here.

It is an intriguing blend of simplicity and super-powerful software. Beginners will find it easy to jump on and get a good understanding of the markets. Intermediate and advanced traders will find a range of professional-grade tools, which are capable of supporting even the most complex strategies.

The XTB platform supports a wide range of trading strategies, including scalping and hedging. It is compatible with desktop, tablet and mobile devices.

Customer Support

Customer service can be contacted by live chat or phone. Support is available in Arabic language.

Email: sales_int@xtb.com

Account Opening: +357 257 25356

24/5 – Customer Service Ogrodowa 58, 00-876 Warszawa, Poland: +44 2036953086

HOW TO CHOOSE A SUITABLE STOCKBROKER

Identifying Your Needs

All of the above-mentioned brokers are well-positioned to provide a professional service to anyone in the UAE. They are, in fact, global brands with millions of existing clients. The trick is finding the one which is better for you. Are you looking to trade full-time, or fit investing in with your current workload and lifestyle?

Are there particular asset groups of trading strategies you think might suit you? Answering these questions will help you get a better understanding of what your aims are, and in the process, make you a better trader.

Why Stocks?

Those looking to get exposure to the financial markets might want to consider stocks. The markets are regulated, the instruments are relatively easy to understand — even if they can prove hard to master.

The US stock market, for example, carries a lot of tech stocks, while European markets tend to be weighted towards value stocks. Each have their own merits, and with an online broker, the choice of what areas to focus on comes down to you.

Why Forex?

The currency markets are so large in size that fees associated with trading them are as low as they get. It’s hard to beat bid-offer prices of zero.

Forex has long been a market targeted by those with a shorter holding period, looking to make a profit on short term moves. By choosing to use one of the best online trading platforms, you’re giving yourself the best chance of achieving your target.

Regulation

When choosing a broker, make sure you go for a trusted one and avoid having sleepless nights about your money being safe — or not. Choosing an unregulated broker is unfortunately equivalent to kissing your money goodbye.

The above brokers can all lay claim to having the best trading platform in the UAE, but we’ve shortlisted them because of the efforts they have taken to protect their clients.

Conclusion

Choosing the right broker is as important as the act of buying and selling shares, forex, ETFs or whatever asset group interests you. Be aware that a broker favoured by millions might not be 100% good for you.

The way to solve the problem is to shop around. All the listed brokers offer users in the UAE the use of no-strings, free to use, demo accounts. These allow you to try risk-free trading using live price feeds.

Demo accounts allow you to get to know more about the markets and the brokers. There’s nothing stopping you setting up a demo account at several brokers and experimenting with them. It’s also a great idea to make any newbie mistakes while you’re still practising with virtual funds.

Once you’ve chosen a broker, you can take confidence from having carried out appropriate research and choosing a partner best positioned to help you make a positive return on your capital.