Best ETF Trading Platforms In UAE

Page Summary

Are you looking to trade with ETFs but 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, these are the Best ETF trading Platforms in UAE.

Top 5 ETF Trading Platforms UAE – List

  1. Interactive Brokers – Best broker for ETFs overall
  2. Sarwa – Best for beginners and Investors
  3. Saxo Bank – Best For professional traders
  4. TradeStation – Best for active traders
  5. Charles Schwab – Best For Research and Education
RANKBROKERGENERALPLATFORM SCOREBEST FORWEBSITE
#1Interactive BrokersGreat choice of different trading instruments4,9/5Best broker for ETFs overallOfficial website
#2SarwaSuitable for both beginner and professional traders4,2/5Best for beginners and InvestorsOfficial website
#3Saxo BankGreat offer of different trading instruments4,9/5Best For professional tradersOfficial website
#4TradeStationGreat mobile trading platform4,9/5Best for active tradersOfficial website
#5Charles SchwabCommissionless stock and ETF trading4,1/5Best For Research and EducationOfficial website

The Top 5 ETF Trading Platforms Reviewed 

1. Interactive Brokers – Best broker for ETFs overall

Interactive Brokers logo

Rating: 4,9/5

Min Deposit: 0 ($2000 for margin account)

Fees: 4.9

Assets available: 4.9

Total Fees:

Open account Read review

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.

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

  • Choice of tradable ETFs (10k+)
  • Research & Education for ETFs and ETF trading
  • Commission free ETF trading

Cons

  • Fees for some research tools

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

2. Sarwa – Best for beginners and Investors

Sarwa logo

Rating: 4,2/5

Min Deposit: $5

Fees: 4.5

Assets available: 4.5

Total Fees:

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

  • Personal visit to broker’s offices (Dubai or Abu Dhabi) for investing advice (about ETFs) possible
  • Great choice for long term ETF investing
  • Zero commission on some ETFs

Cons

  • Only sells ETFs from UAE and US market

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

3. Saxo Bank – Best For professional traders

Saxo Bank logo

Rating: 4,9/5

Min Deposit: $2000

Fees: 4.7

Assets available: 4.9

Total Fees:

Open account Read review

69% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

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

  • Wide choice of tradable ETFs (6400+)
  • Professional trading platform with ETF analytical tools
  • In-depth analysis for ETF trading

Cons

  • No commision free ETF trading

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

4. TradeStation – Best for active traders

Tradestation Global logo

Rating: 4,9/5

Min Deposit: 0

Fees: 4.8

Assets available: 5.0

Total Fees:

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

  • Good choice of tradable ETFs (2000+)
  • Commission free ETF trading
  • Sophisticated ETF trading platform with fast execution

Cons

  • ETF Trading platform complex for beginners

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

5. Charles Schwab – Best For Research and Education

Charles Schwab logo

Rating: 4,1/5

Min Deposit: $25.000

Fees: 5.0

Assets available: 4.8

Total Fees:

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

  • Good choice of tradable ETFs (2000+)
  • Commission free trading for all ETFs from US market
  • Industry leading ETF screener and ETF Select List
  • Excellent ETF research tools

Cons

  • Only ETFs from US and Canadian market are available

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 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 weigh 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

Stocks ETFs Mutual funds
What it is?  Single security Basket of securities Basket of securities
Risk concentrated diversified More diversified
Fees Commission, spread Commission, spread, expense ratio, premium/discount Commission, expense ratio, sales load, early redemption
Whan can you trade When the market is open When the market is open At the end of the day
How you can buy Broker Broker Broker, 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.

Conclusion 

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 fee 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.

Disclaimer

eToro is a multi-asset platform which offers both investing in stocks and cryptoassets, as well as trading CFDs.

Please note that CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 68% 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.

Past performance is not an indication of future results. Trading history presented is less than 5 complete years and may not suffice as basis for investment decision.

Copy trading is a portfolio management service, provided by eToro (Europe) Ltd., which is authorised and regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission.

Cryptoasset investing is unregulated in some EU countries and the UK. No consumer protection. Your capital is at risk.

eToro USA LLC does not offer CFDs and makes no representation and assumes no liability as to the accuracy or completeness of the content of this publication, which has been prepared by our partner utilizing publicly available non-entity specific information about eToro.

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