Best ETF Trading Platforms In UAE

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Are you looking to trade with ETFs but you are struggling to find the right platform? In this guide our team of analysts has compared 89 online brokers that offer access ETFs in UAE in different 9 categories. The categories include customer support, platforms, fees, mobile trading apps, deposits & withdrawals, number of ETFs, research & education, regulation, and islamic account availability.

Using 214 variables overall to test the brokers and with 3500 data points collected and compared, this are the Best ETF trading Platforms in UAE.

Top 5 ETF Trading Platforms UAE – List

  • Interactive Brokers – Best broker for ETFs overall
  • Sarwa – Best for beginners and for investors
  • Saxo Bank – Best For professional traders
  • TradeStation – Best for active traders
  • Charles Schwab – Best For Research and Education
RANKBROKERGENERALPLATFORM SCOREBEST FORWEBSITE
#1Interactive BrokersExcellent platforms4.9 / 5Best broker for ETFs overallOfficial website
#2SarwaLow trading fees4.7 / 5Best for beginners and for investorsOfficial website
#3Saxo BankComplete overall offer4.9 / 5Best For professional tradersOfficial website
#4TradeStationZero commission on stock and ETF trading3.7 / 5Best for active tradersOfficial website
#5Charles SchwabMany trading tools4 / 5Best For Research and EducationOfficial website

The Top 5 ETF Trading Platforms Reviewed 

01. Interactive Brokers: Best broker for ETFs overall

interactive-brokers-rating

Interactive Brokers is a highly trusted global broker with a well-rounded offer of tradable markets, great educational content and sophisticated order type configuration. It is a high trusted and well capitalize company with an industry leading trading platform, a competitive fee structure and great global market access. Their low entry level and the Global Trader platform, which is intuitive and easy to use trading station, make this broker s great choice for beginners and advanced forex traders.

Professional and seasoned traders will appreciate the great selection of advanced trading tools and order type configurations available on their proprietary Trader Workstation desktop platform (TWS).

Pros:

  • Best market coverage in the industry (100k+ assets on different instruments)
  • Access to 16,500 shares and 8,000 stocks as CFDs
  • Professional trading platform suitable for different types of traders
  • Intuitive and easy to use mobile trading app
  • Industry leading fee structure
  • Compatible features for casual and professional traders
  • Responsive customer support

Cons:

  • Few deposit and withdrawal options
  • Research and education materials missing

Key features:

  • Margin loan rates on stocks of 1.3%
  • Access to 135+ global markets
  • Advanced order types, tools and features
  • Access to frictional shares
  • Lowest commissions in the industry

02. Sarwa: Best for beginners and Investors

sarwa-rating

Sarwa, founded in 2017, is the most popular DFSA and FSRA-regulated Robo-Advisor for both beginner and professional Dubai-based investors. It features an automated trading platform that offers investors the opportunity to invest in multiple mutual funds and ETFs or trade the markets themselves according to their risk appetite. 

Sarwa has low trading fees, offers personalized investment options, and is backed by robust technology, making investing and portfolio management easy and accessible to its users.  

Pros:

  • Suitable for both beginner and professional traders
  • Option to visit their offices in Dubai or Abu Dhabi and receive direct investment advice
  • Competitive trading fees

Cons:

  • Few banking options

Key Features:

  • Invest in or trade over 2,000 US stocks, ETFs, and cryptocurrencies
  • 5 differently diversified portfolios available to invest in
  • Physical offices in Dubai and Abu Dhabi
  • Well-suited for both beginner and advanced traders and investors
  • Multiple order types available 
  • Access to historical and real-time price data
  • Transfer money without paying any fees from local UAE bank accounts

03. Saxo Bank: Best For professional traders

saxo-bank-rating

Saxo Bank is a reputable global brand known for its complete overall offer and exclusive conditions for high volume traders and investors. Users can enjoy cutting edge trading technology paired with a premium interface and great trade execution on mobile and desktop. The Saxo Bank trading platform offers a feature rich trading experience, easy to use interface, competitive margin rates, and trading on over 40,000 financial instruments. This makes them an industry leader in trading assets coverage as an ECN broker.

If you can afford the minimum deposit of $10.000, this is the go to broker for traders and investors at all levels. They combine high-quality in-house research with top-tier third-party providers and a diverse portfolio of investment options.

Investors who are looking to trade in accordance with Sharia Law can open an islamic account. Saxo Bank also offers high quality customer service in Arabic and English language via phone, email or in person at their local office with guaranteed satisfying answers.

Pros:

  • Industry leading market coverage
  • Excellent Trading Features with SaxoTraderGo
  • Advanced order type and account protection features
  • Intuitive and easy to use mobile trading app
  • Great education and research materials
  • Competitive fee structure for active traders

Cons:

  • $10,000 minimum deposit for UAE users
  • High time investment to set up
  • Only for advanced traders

Key features:

  • 40.000 tradable symbols available (crypto derivatives, forex options and futures)
  • Advanced account protection and order types
  • Fast execution of trades
  • $2.000 minimum deposit
  • “Best in class” educational resources
  • Great ease of use level combined with advanced features

04. TradeStation: Best for active traders

trade-station-rating

Tradestation is a reputable online broker known for its technology-leading trading platforms, great selection of tools and zero commission stock and ETF trading. Their industry leading trading platform suite combines a desktop, web and mobile version which are all performing above industry average. Tradestation offers a great selection of most popular asset classes including stocks, cryptos, options, futures, ETFs and IRAs.

Their trading fees vary based on account selection. Pricing is below industry average on the most used accounts (select and GO).  Minimum deposit is $2000 and there are no monthly charges. 

Pros:

  • Great choice of trading instruments offered
  • Great mobile trading platform
  • Very professional trading platform

Cons:

  • Research and education section could be better

Key features:

  • Access to over 20,000 stocks, ETFs, options, futures, mutual funds, bonds, and other financial instruments.
  • Early-access to newly listed securities via TradeStation’s IPO trading platform
  • Broad range of research and analysis tools for advanced traders like FuturesPlus, TSCrypto, Discover, and Insights
  • Fully paid stock lending and margin trading available
  • Low floating spreads, commissions, and other trading fees
  • Perfect for both beginner and advanced traders

05. Charles Schwab: Best For Research and Education

charles-schwab-rating

Charles Schwab is a US-based FINRA and SEC-regulated broker that has been in business since 1971 at which users can trade stocks and ETFs without paying any commissions. Charles Schwab offers high-quality trading tools like stock research and detailed fundamental data to help you generate trading ideas.

Charles Schwab offers traders and investors the Schwab Intelligent Portfolios service, which is a robo-advisory service to help you optimize your portfolio and the StreetSmart Edge advanced desktop trading platform which includes a wide range of tools and features. 

Pros: 

  • Offers thousands of no-load, no-transaction-fee mutual funds
  • Commissionless stock and ETF trading
  • Excellent research tools and education 

Cons:

  • Not aimed at beginners 
  • No cryptocurrency trading available
  • Expensive managed accounts and financial advice 

Key features:

  • Access to over 3,000 US stocks and thousands of other financial instruments
  • Multiple advanced order types 
  • Provides own equity ratings and reports from Morningstar and Credit Suisse
  • Integrated with Google Assistant – Ask Google any stock price or market update
  • Commissionless stock trading 
  • Suitable for both beginners and advanced traders
  • Robo-advisor and financial advisors available

How do we choose Best ETF Trading Platforms?

Business24-7 analysts used a database of 89 online brokers that offer ETFs in UAE and weighted their services is 8 different categories. The categories include: number of available ETFs, mobile apps, platforms, ETF costs, withdrawal & deposit, regulation, research & education, and customer support.

  • Assets: Traders in the UAE can invest in ETFs, indexes, indices, mutual funds, forex, bonds, futures, commodities, options, swaps, and cryptos. Make sure your broker has global ETFs for trading.
  • Mobile Trading: Mobile trading platforms should operate on iOS and Android. Also pay attention to what features exist on the mobile platform, so you can use the trading tools you need. 
  • Fees: Fees for trading ETFs vary, so pay attention to how much you pay to trade. Brokers that offer low or no fees make good trades even better. 
  • Trading platforms: The trading platform you choose should give you fast execution, and access to breaking news and historical data. Any automated trading tools require a solid API, so make sure your broker has what you need. 
  • Deposit & Withdrawal: Look for brokers that offer zero fee options for deposits or withdrawals, and save money where you can. Also make sure the broker you choose has a deposit method you like. 
  • Regulation: Only choose brokers regulated by the FCA, CySEC, and the ASIC. There are great brokers that are compliant with regulations, so don’t bother with brokers who aren’t. 
  • Research & education: The ETF market is complex, so look for brokers that offer research on the latest developments in the ETF sector. 
  • Customer support: Brokers in the UAE offer support in multiple languages, so choose one that you can work with. Also, look for brokers that have full time support options, and make sure you get the support you need, when you need it. 

*Islamic Accounts: ETF traders in the UAE can trade with brokers that are in compliance with Sharia law. We only offer reviews of compliant brokers for investors in the UAE.

What Is ETF Trading?

An ETF, or Exchange Traded Fund, is a fund that trades like stock on an exchange. Shares in an ETF track the performance of an index, or sub-index, like the S&P 500, or large-cap tech companies that trade on the NASDAQ. When investors buy shares in an ETF, they gain exposure to the performance of the underlying securities. 

For example, SPY, which trades on NYSE’s Arca, tracks the performance of the S&P 500. When you buy a share of SPY, your share will move with the index. The trust that provides the ETF owns depository receipts from the companies in the S&P 500, which is why the SPY shares have the same value as the S&P 500. 

Related: how to invest in ETFs in UAE

Why should you invest in ETFs (pros and cons)

ETFs are an efficient way to own the broad markets, or invest in specific market sectors. Instead of buying all the stocks that represent a sector, you buy shares in the ETF, and have a security that tracks the performance. ETFs are cheaper to buy, and also deliver perfect index tracking. 

While ETFs are efficient, they don’t offer direct exposure to a company. You can’t rebalance an index to your preferences with ETFs. For example, if you want to own the NASDAQ, but also want to weight your NASDAQ holdings to a few major companies, ETFs aren’t the right way to go. 

Difference between ETF’s, Stocks and Mutual fund

There are big differences between ETFs, stocks and mutual funds. A stock is the equity of a single company, and is not a good way to gain exposure to the broad stock market’s performance. Mutual funds specialize in one area of the market by holding a range of assets, and a team of investors manages the holdings. An ETF is like a mutual fund, but, ETFs hold a wider range of assets. In addition, ETFs track markets as a whole, without concentrating on specific areas of the economy. 

Stocks, ETFs and Mutual Funds comparison table.

StocksETFsMutual funds
What it is? Single securityBasket of securitiesBasket of securities
RiskconcentrateddiversifiedMore diversified
FeesCommision, spreadCommision, spread, expense ratio, premium/discountCommission, expense ratio, sales load, early redemption
Whan can you tradeWhen the market is openWhen the market is openAt the end of the day
How you can buyBrokerBrokerBroker, Bank, Fund provider

How to buy an ETF online in UAE

Brokers sell shares in an ETF like any other share. EFTs trade with a ticker symbol, and the shares will trade in the open market in the same way stocks do. ETFs charge a fee for managing assets, and it’s called the expense ratio. The expense ratio’s cost quotes on an annual basis. An ETF with an expense ratio of 2% would cost an investor $20 for every $1000 invested annually.

Final Verdict 

After analysing and comparing 89 online brokers that offer ETFs in 9 different categories, we consider Interactive Brokers as the best ETF trading platform in UAE. They offer access to 35,000 different ETFs and Funds, a professional grade trading app and platform and a competitive fees structure.

 

FAQ 

Are ETFs And Mutual Funds Similar? 

No. ETFs can be bought and sold through day trading, while mutual funds are priced at the end of the day. ETFs are more liquid than mutual funds. Verify our in-depth reviews for more information on online brokers and assets. 

Are ETFs And Stocks Similar? 

ETFs and stocks trade similarly during the day, but they have some key differences. A stock is an ownership stake in an individual business. An ETF holds a basket of stocks or similar assets that offer traders access to a particular market index or sector.

Which Strategy Is Best For ETF Trading? 

ETFs are versatile and allow traders to use different investment strategies. Passive strategies are the ones in which you buy ETFs that track an index like the S&P 500. Active strategies for ETF trading involve identifying companies that a portfolio manager believes will outperform a market index. Market data shows that, in time, passive strategies outperform active ones.

Is A Minimum Investment Requirement For ETF Trading? 

In most cases, ETFs don’t have a minimum investment requirement besides the cost of a share and any commission from the purchase. This is a major plus when compared to mutual funds, which usually have a minimum of a few thousand dollars.

Are ETFs Tax-Free? 

No, you will likely be required to pay capital gain taxes on any profits achieved from ETF trading. But if your gains come within a tax-advantaged account like an IRA, you might benefit from tax-free trading.

What Are Leveraged And Inverse ETFs? 

A leveraged ETF is created to offer a magnified return on a benchmark index. For example, a 2X S&P 500 index ETF should rise 4 percent on a day when the index rises 2 percent, while a 3X fund should rise 6 percent.

An inverse ETF is created to offer the opposite return of a benchmark index. For example, an inverse S&P 500 index ETF should rise 3 percent when the index falls 3 percent. Both leveraged and inverse ETFs come with high risks. Read our in-depth review to learn more about online brokers and ETF trading.


Methodology 

The mission of Business24-7 is to provide comprehensive, unbiased ratings and reviews of online providers. User experience, the mobile experience, customer service, costs and fees, security, the quality of trade executions, the products available on their platforms are all part of our six-month evaluation of a providers’s platform. The rating scale was based on thousands of data points that have been weighted into the scoring system.

Providers were also required to fill out a multi-point survey regarding every aspect of their platform. In-person demonstrations and evaluations were provided by the majority of the online providers we reviewed.

Stefan Grasic, along with our team of industry experts, conducted our reviews and developed this methodology for ranking what form is used in online investing.

Business24-7 maintains high editorial standards and provides the best advice and recommendations. The products and companies that we review may compensate us when you click on the links on this website. Click below to find out more about our review process and methodology.

Disclosure

All trading involves risk. More than 80% of investors lose in spread bet and CFD trading. As these complex instruments allow for the use of leverage, there is a high risk of losing more money than you have deposited. Before attempting to participate in spread bets and CFDs, consider how well you understand them and if you can afford to lose your money.

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Braden Chase is an investor, trading specialist, and former research specialist for Forex.com who helps aspiring investors develop the confidence and habits they need to make an income from the market. Braden has served as a registered commodity futures representative for domestic and internationally-regulated brokerages and has also spoken & moderated numerous forex and finance industry panels across the globe.