Best Futures Trading Platforms in UAE 2022

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Are you looking for the best futures trading platforms in the UAE? There are 80 brokers in UAE offering access to futures trading all with slightly different conditions.

To help you make the right choice we have analyzed all brokers in UAE offering futures and compared them across 8 different categories. In the end, we came up with a list of the 5 best futures trading platforms in the UAE that all won in separate categories.

Top 5 Futures Trading Platforms in UAE

  1. TradeStation – Best for futures overall
  2. Interactive Brokers – Lowest fees on futures
  3. Optimus Futures – Best trading platform for futures trading
  4. Saxo Bank – Best for professionals
  5. Charles Schwab – Best for Research & Education
RANKBROKERGENERALPLATFORM SCOREBEST FORWEBSITE
#1TradeStationReliable tools and learning materials3.7 / 5Best platforms with low commissionsOfficial website
#2Interactive BrokersPremium services and tools4.9 / 5Best pricing for professional investorsOfficial website
#3Optimus FuturesBest trading platform for futures trading4 / 5Very competitive trading fees for futuresOfficial website
#4Saxo BankBest for professionals4.9 / 5Very professional trading platformOfficial website
#5Charles SchwabFlagship downloadable platform4 / 5Best balanced offeringOfficial website

Top 5 Trading Platforms for Futures Trading Reviewed

Below is a detailed breakdown of the top futures trading platforms in UAE including their pros, cons and key takeaways. 

01. TradeStation: Best Overall Futures Trading Broker in UAE 

trade-station-rating

TradeStation offers 24/7 access to over 350 futures option products, lightning-fast trade execution speeds (26ms), and up to 4:1 leveraged trading possibilities. 

UAE traders can only trade on the FuturesPlus trading platform which allows them to trade international futures markets including the CME and ICE on multiple devices (web, desktop and mobile). The platform also allows traders to place conditional ‘’what if’’ orders based on volatility and other market conditions.

TradeStation key platform features are:

  • Autofit vol curve – allows users to generate theoretical values and to apply their own vol curves using the built-in Vol Curve Manager. The platform also allows traders to place conditional ‘’what if’’ orders based on volatility and other market conditions. 
  • Tradestation’s Trade Monitor – allows traders to view all market activity for options and futures on a per-product basis. 
  • Send RFQs directly from Strategy Creation, Market Grid, Watchlist, RFQ Viewer, or Options Chain. 
  • TradeStation’s Watchlist – allows traders to monitor and customize their futures trading strategies by using first and second-order Greeks before sending RFQs.
  • Access to Micro E-mini futures – allow users to purchase 1/10th the size of ‘’normal’’ futures ( fractional option contracts with leverage).

With 0.266 seconds per filled order, the TradeStation platform offers one of the fastest trade execution speeds and is a great choice for algo and high-frequency traders. 

With no commission on future trades of up to $10,000/trade, TradeStation is among the cheapest brokers for trading with futures. Users get charged in the form of overnight fees ( $1,25) per trading day and certain option strategies may incur costs in the form of spreads, straddles, and collars. 

Key Features:

Minimum Deposit$5,000 for futures accounts
Available Futures and Options350+
Trading FeesCommission-free, $1,50 per contract, per side when TradeStation Select member
Trading PlatformWeb-based platform & mobile app (FuturesPlus)
Account TypesDemo, individual, joint, retirement, entity
Type of BrokerBroker dealer
Regulatory BodiesSEC, CFTC, and FINRA
Deposit MethodsWire transfer
Maximum Leverage Ratio4:1

Pros:

  • Overall best futures trading platform for UAE residents
  • Dedicated futures and options trading platform available on all kinds of devices
  • Vast range of research tools and fast order execution

Cons:

  • Not compatible with MetaTrader 4/5, cTrader, or any other external trading platform or software
  • High minimum deposit required
  • Some futures research and educational material isn’t free

02. Interactive Brokers: The Trading Platform With the Lowest Fees on Futures for UAE Traders

interactive-brokers-rating

With trading fees ranging from $0,25 to $0,85 per futures contract and access to over 35 global futures and futures options markets (agriculture, currency, energy, equity index, fixed income, metals, and high-volatility futures), Interactive Brokers is a great choice for traders looking for variety and low fees.

The broker offers two competitive pricing plans for US futures and futures options:

  1. Fixed rate pricing – charges a fixed low commission that includes regulatory and clearing fees of $0,85 per contract 
  2. Volume-tiered pricing plan – trading fees decrease as you trade in large volume and range from $0,25 to $0,85 per contract

The Interactive Brokers trading platform allows users to trade on a variety of assets besides futures and futures options, including stocks and ETFs. Platform users also have access to great trading insights through daily futures arbitrage, interest tables, a US futures market scanner, and the Trader’s University.

To top if off, users are allowed to use a great variety of (third-party provided) order types and algos, including Good-til-Canceled (GTC), Market if Touched, One-Cancels-All (OCA), CSFB Blast, CSFB Sniper, and Fox Dark Attack. 

Key Features:

Minimum DepositNone
Available Futures and Options35+ global futures and futures options markets
Trading Fees$0,25 – $0,85 per futures contract, depending on pricing plan chosen
Trading PlatformWeb-based platform & mobile app (Trader Workstation)
Account TypesIndividual investor or trader,, small business, family advisor, non-professional advisor, registered investment advisor,
Type of BrokerBroker dealer
Regulatory BodiesSEC, CFTC, and FCA
Deposit MethodsBank wire transfer, ACH transfer, check
Maximum Leverage Ratio2:1

Pros:

  • Trading platform with the lowest futures trading fees
  • Broad range of tradable markets (35+)
  • Many different order types, algos, and research tools for futures trading

Cons:

  • Charges fees for some futures research tools
  • Trading platform might be overwhelming for beginners
  • Customer service could be better

03. Optimus Futures: Best Trading Platform for Futures Trading for UAE Traders

optimus-futures-rating

Optimus Futures is a CFTC-regulated online broker specializing in futures trading. Its trading platform (Optimus Flow) offers a great variety of futures trading tools for casual to advanced traders including dynamic charting tools, live data, market depth, volume analysis tools, TPO profile chart, Power Trades and commission rebates. 

Users can also use multiple order types like Market, Market on Open, Market on Close, Market if Touched, Stop, Limit, Stop Limit, and One Cancels Other. This makes Optimus Futures an interesting choice for investors looking for a vast range of trading features and order types.

Its trading fees are among the lowest in the industry, ranging from $0,05 to $0,75 per side per contract. Optimus Futures charges withdrawal fees of $30. 

Key Features:

Minimum Deposit$500
Available Futures and OptionsDepends on connected FCM
Trading FeesMicro contracts: $0,05 to $0,25 per side, futures contracts: $0,10 to $0,75 per side
Trading Platform40+ different trading platforms with Optimus Flow as main trading platform
Account TypesIndividual, joint, and corporate 
Type of BrokerIntroducing broker
Regulatory BodiesNFA member and CFTC-regulated
Deposit MethodsBank wire transfer
Maximum Leverage RatioDepends on connected FCM

Pros

  • Very competitive trading fees for futures
  • Broker specializes in futures trading
  • Offers multiple account types for different types of futures traders

Cons

  • No mobile application for futures trading
  • High withdrawal fee ($30)
  • Only supports bank transfers as banking method

04. Saxo Bank: Best Futures Trading Platform for Professional UAE Traders

saxo-bank-rating

Saxo Bank offers a professional futures trading platform where users can trade over 200 futures contracts and 70 options futures contracts from 28 global exchanges.

The broker has a very professional trading platform that consists of advanced futures tools like Depth Trader and offers the ability to trade directly from the charts. 

Saxo Bank allows its users to make use of advanced futures trading tools and multi-legged trading strategies by placing multiple orders on the same order ticket. 

UAE residents are not allowed to use Saxo Bank’s futures spread betting tools! Instead they can can place and manage orders based on the Level 2 order book (Depth Trader) which provides all bids and offers waiting to be executed in real-time.

Futures Contract DenominationClassic AccountPlatinum AccountVIP Account
EUR6 EUR / contract Min. 10 EUR3 EUR / contract Min. 10 EUR1 EUR / contract Min. 10 EUR
GBP5 GBP / contract Min. 8 GBP2,5 GBP / contract Min. 8 GBP1 GBP / contract Min. 8 GBP
SGD15 SGD / contract Min. 20 SGD7.5 SGD / contract Min. 20 SGD2 SGD / contract Min. 20 SGD
USD6 USD / contract Min. 10 USD3 USD / contract Min. 10 USD1,25 USD / contract Min. 10 USD
HKD30 HKD / contract Min. 0 HKD25 HKD / contract Min. 30 HKD 15 HKD / contract in. 30 HKD

Key Features:

Minimum Deposit$5,000
Available Futures and Options270+ from over 28 global futures markets
Trading FeesDepends on account type
Trading PlatformSaxoTraderGO, SaxoTraderPRO
Account TypesSaxo, Joint, Corporate, Professional
Type of BrokerECN broker
Regulatory BodiesFSA, FCA, Swiss Federal Banking Commission, CySEC, ASIC, DFSA, the Central Bank of the UAE & many others
Deposit MethodsBank wire transfer, debit card deposit. Stock transfer from other broker
Maximum Leverage Ratio3,3:1

Pros:

  • Great choice of different futures trading instruments (28 markets)
  • Advanced order types, market research and charting tools
  • Very professional trading platform

Cons:

  • High minimum deposit required to open account
  • The trading platform is not beginner-friendly
  • High fees compared to other alternatives

05. Charles Schwab: Best Futures Trading Platform for Research & Education in UAE

charles-schwab-rating

Charles Schwab offers an extensive Research Center providing users with the latest research, news and market commentary on futures moves. They also host ”Looking to the Futures”, a daily analysis podcast that predicts futures market movements. On top of that users have access to industry-leading analysis reports (Hightower and Wyckoff reports) which makes it easy to understand why Charles Schwab is an interesting choice for research & education. 

Charles Schwab allows traders to trade hundreds of futures with up to 10:1 leverage across 7 global markets. They also allow short selling, meaning users can hedge their positions by trading options on futures. 

Futures MarketAvailable Futures
Financial FuturesE-Mini S&P 500, E-Mini Nasdaq, E-Mini Russell 2000, Mini Dow Jones, E-Mini Mid-Cap 400, Micro E-minis, Bloomberg Commodity Index, Nikkei 225, Volatility Index, U.S. Treasury Bonds, Eurodollars, Federal Funds, and Ultra Bonds
Currency FuturesEUR, GBP, JPY, CHF, CAD, AUD, CME Bitcoin, USD, BRL KRW, NZD, MXN, ZAR, and SEK
Energy FuturesCrude oil, natural gas, heating oil, gasoline, ethanol, and Brent crude oil
Metal FuturesGold, silver, copper, platinum, HRC Steel Index, palladium
Grain FuturesCorn, soybean, wheat, oats, rough rice, soybean oil, and soybean meal
Livestock FuturesLive cattle, feeder cattle, and lean hogs
Food & Fiber FuturesCoffee, sugar, cocoa, cotton, orange juice, lumber, milk, and cheese

Key Features:

Minimum Deposit$25,000
Available Futures and OptionsHundreds of futures and options on futures across 7 markets
Trading Fees$2,25 per contract
Trading PlatformStreetSmart Edge, All-in-One Trade Ticket, and Schwab Mobile Trading App
Account TypesIndividual, Joint tenants with rights of survivorship, tenants in common, corporate
Type of BrokerBroker dealer
Regulatory BodiesSEC, FINRA, and CFTC
Deposit MethodsBank wire transfer, stock transfer from other broker, check
Maximum Leverage Ratio10:1

Pros

  • Very good choice of different futures trading instruments (8 markets)
  • Many useful research and educational tools for futures trading
  • Up to 10:1 leverage on futures and options on futures offered

Cons

  • High account minimum for non-US clients
  • Relatively high trading fees
  • All deposits, withdrawals, and trading in USD only

How To Choose The Right Broker For Futures Trading?

To get our list of the best futures trading platforms in UAE we have compared 80 online brokers in 8 different categories including:

  • Amount of futures trading instruments offered
  • Futures trading fees and conditions
  • Trading platform features that influence futures trading
  • Mobile futures trading features
  • Quality of the customer support
  • Research and education offered (in regards to futures trading)
  • Available banking methods
  • UAE availability (whether UAE residents can open an account and make use of all offered futures trading services)

What are Futures?

Futures are financial contracts where two parties (a buyer and a seller) agree to trade an underlying asset for a fixed price at a future date. The underlying asset can be a commodity (soybeans, wheat, or corn) or other type of tradable financial instruments like currencies, fixed-income, and energy products. 

Both speculating traders and companies that want to take actual physical delivery of the underlying asset trade futures contracts. While traders mostly hedge or speculate with futures, companies lock in their purchase prices.

Tips to Get Started With Futures Trading

  • Make Use Of Online Brokerage Services – The easiest way to get started with futures trading is by using an online broker. You simply open an account with a broker that offers futures, get it approved and you can get started.
  • Be Honest With Your Trading Experience – Futures brokers will ask you to share your trading and investing experience, your current income, and your total net worth. Make sure to fill l in these questions honestly as the broker will personalize your trading experience based on your answers (allowed risk, required margin, and maximum position sizes). 
  • Keep an Eye On Trading fees – Make sure to check futures trading fees and they vary from broker to broker and even by trading volume. 
  • Start With a Paper Account – It is important to test your trading strategy on a demo account using virtual money. This helps you to familiarize with the trading platform before depositing your hard-earned money.

FAQ 

We review futures trading brokers with real money and accounts. We use 105 criteria, including safety, platforms, and tools. 

How much money do I need for future trading?

Trading futures involves margin and leverage and therefore requires you to have at least $500 to $1,000 on your trading account.

Do you recommend futures trading to beginners?

Trading with futures is not recommendable for beginners as it involves high risk, combined with leverage trading and bigger volumes.

How much margin is required for futures trading in UAE?

The most common required margin for futures trading in UAE is 40% to 50%

What is the most popular futures exchange in the UAE?

The most popular futures exchange in the UAE is TradeStation, followed by Interactive Brokers, Optimus Futures, Saxo Bank, and Charles Schwab


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.

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