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Best Futures Trading Platforms in UAE 2023 (UPDATED)

Page Summary

This guide helps users to find online brokers in UAE with the best platforms for futures. Futures trading and investing is a popular way among retail and institutional traders in UAE to hedge against price volatility in underlying commodities. With the rising number of brokers that offer trading with futures, it can be hard to choose the ideal option for individual financial goals and preferences.

Investors that skip researching, comparing, and grasping important information about brokers can select a trading platform with high commissions, slow execution, a low number of assets, and poor regulation.

This guide assesses 78 online brokers in UAE for users to review and find the ideal platform for their needs. To help them make an informed decision, a list of the best trading platforms in UAE for futures is shared below, followed by detailed reviews and comparisons.

Top 5 Futures Trading Platforms in UAE

  1. TradeStation – Best for futures overall
  2. Interactive Brokers – Lowest fees on futures
  3. Optimus Futures – Ideal trading platform for futures
  4. Saxo Bank – Top for professionals
  5. Charles Schwab – Best for Research & Education

Top 5 Trading Platforms for Futures Trading Reviewed

Online brokers with the highest rated futures trading platforms in UAE are reviewed below including their pros, cons and key takeaways. 

1. TradeStation – Best Overall Futures Trading Broker in UAE

Tradestation Global logo

Rating: 4,9/5

Min Deposit: $0 ($2000 – Margin account; $25000 – Day Trading account; $5000 – Futures account)

Fees: 4.8

Assets available: 5.0

Total Fees:

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 FuturesPlus Key Features:

  • 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.

TradeStation is a CFTC-licensed futures commission merchant (FCM) and member of CME, NFA, SIPC, FINRA futures exchanges. This allows them to offer index options and futures contracts to self-directed investors and traders.

TradeStation Futures Key Features

Minimum Deposit $5,000 for futures accounts
Available Futures and Options 350+
Trading Fees Commission-free, $1,50 per contract, per side when TradeStation Select member
Trading Platform Web-based platform & mobile app (FuturesPlus)
Account Types Demo, individual, joint, retirement, entity
Type of Broker Broker dealer
Regulatory Bodies SEC, CFTC, and FINRA
Deposit Methods Wire transfer
Maximum Leverage Ratio 4:1

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

2. Interactive Brokers – The Trading Platform With the Lowest Fees on Futures for UAE Traders

Interactive Brokers

Rating: 4,9/5

Min Deposit: $0

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.

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.

Interactive Brokers is SEC, FCA and CFTC-regulated and is a member of the SIPC. Your IBKR account holding funds are protected by a compensation scheme in the case of insolvency, which makes this broker a safe choice to trade with.

Interactive Brokers Key Features
Minimum Deposit None
Available Futures and Options 35+ global futures and futures options markets
Trading Fees $0,25 – $0,85 per futures contract, depending on pricing plan chosen
Trading Platform Web-based platform & mobile app (Trader Workstation)
Account Types Individual investor or trader, family office, small business, family advisor, non-professional advisor, registered investment advisor, hedge or mutual fund, money manager, proprietary trading group, introducing broker
Type of Broker Broker dealer
Regulatory Bodies SEC, CFTC, and FCA
Deposit Methods Bank wire transfer, ACH transfer, check
Maximum Leverage Ratio 2:1

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
Open account

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.

3. Optimus Futures – Best Trading Platform for Futures Trading for UAE Traders

Optimus Futures logo

Rating: 3,5/5

Min Deposit: $500

Fees: 3.5

Assets available: 1.3

Total Fees:

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.

Optimus Futures users can choose between 40 futures trading platforms available on multiple devices and also a cloud-based version. Account options are available as: individual, joint, and corporate.

Optimus Futures Key Features
Minimum Deposit $500
Available Futures and Options Depends on connected FCM
Trading Fees Micro contracts: $0,05 to $0,25 per side, futures contracts: $0,10 to $0,75 per side
Trading Platform 40+ different trading platforms with Optimus Flow as main trading platform
Account Types Individual, joint, and corporate
Type of Broker Introducing broker
Regulatory Bodies NFA member and CFTC-regulated
Deposit Methods Bank wire transfer
Maximum Leverage Ratio Depends 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

4. Saxo Bank – Best Futures Trading Platform for Professional UAE Traders

Saxo

Rating: 4,9/5

Min Deposit: $5000

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 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.

Saxo Bank Trading Fees
Futures Contract Denomination Classic Account Platinum Account VIP Account
EUR 6 EUR / contract Min. 10 EUR 3 EUR / contract Min. 10 EUR 1 EUR / contract Min. 10 EUR
GBP 5 GBP / contract Min. 8 GBP 2,5 GBP / contract Min. 8 GBP 1 GBP / contract Min. 8 GBP
SGD 15 SGD / contract Min. 20 SGD 7.5 SGD / contract Min. 20 SGD 2 SGD / contract Min. 20 SGD
USD 6 USD / contract Min. 10 USD 3 USD / contract Min. 10 USD 1,25 USD / contract Min. 10 USD
HKD 30 HKD / contract Min. 0 HKD 25 HKD / contract Min. 30 HKD 15 HKD / contract in. 30 HKD
Saxo Bank Key Features
Minimum Deposit $5,000
Available Futures and Options 270+ from over 28 global futures markets
Trading Fees Depends on account type
Trading Platform SaxoTraderGO, SaxoTraderPRO
Account Types Saxo, Joint, Corporate, Professional
Type of Broker ECN broker
Regulatory Bodies FSA, FCA, Swiss Federal Banking Commission, CySEC, ASIC, DFSA, the Central Bank of the UAE & many others
Deposit Methods Bank wire transfer, debit card deposit. Stock transfer from other broker
Maximum Leverage Ratio 3,3:1

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
Open account

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

5. Charles Schwab – Best Futures Trading Platform for Research & Education in UAE

Charles Schwab logo

Rating: 4,1/5

Min Deposit: $25.000

Fees: 5.0

Assets available: 4.8

Total Fees:

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.

View the available futures markets at Charles Schwab in the table below.

Charles Schwab Futures Markets
Futures Market Available Futures
Financial Futures E-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 Futures EUR, GBP, JPY, CHF, CAD, AUD, CME Bitcoin, USD, BRL KRW, NZD, MXN, ZAR, and SEK
Energy Futures Crude oil, natural gas, heating oil, gasoline, ethanol, and Brent crude oil
Metal Futures Gold, silver, copper, platinum, HRC Steel Index, palladium
Grain Futures Corn, soybean, wheat, oats, rough rice, soybean oil, and soybean meal
Livestock Futures Live cattle, feeder cattle, and lean hogs
Food & Fiber Futures Coffee, sugar, cocoa, cotton, orange juice, lumber, milk, and cheese

Charles Schwab charges a fixed fee of $2,25 per futures contract which doesn’t include NFA fees. This is higher than the other brokers mentioned in this best futures trading platforms in UAE guide. The minimum deposit required to open a futures trading account with Charles Schwab is also quite high, being $25,000.

Charles Schwab Key Features
Minimum Deposit $25,000
Available Futures and Options Hundreds of futures and options on futures across 7 markets
Trading Fees $2,25 per contract
Trading Platform StreetSmart Edge, All-in-One Trade Ticket, and Schwab Mobile Trading App
Account Types Individual, Joint tenants with rights of survivorship, tenants in common, corporate
Type of Broker Broker dealer
Regulatory Bodies SEC, FINRA, and CFTC
Deposit Methods Bank wire transfer, stock transfer from other broker, check
Maximum Leverage Ratio 10:1

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 Find The Right Broker For Futures Trading?

The most important criteria for finding a broker with the ideal platform for trading with futures in UAE are listed below.

  • 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 regard to futures trading)
  • Available banking methods
  • UAE availability (whether UAE residents can open an account and make use of all offered futures trading services)

Top Brokers For Futures Trading Compared

Key features of online brokers with the highest ranked platforms for futures trading are compared in the table below.

BrokerAvailable FuturesMinimum InvestmentTrading PlatformsAvailable Risk Management ToolsDeposit & Withdrawal MethodsCustomer Support OptionsRegulators
TradeStation600+ futures and futures options$500 for cash account, $2000 for margin accountTradeStation 10, TradeStation Web Trading, TradeStation MobileBracket Orders, Trailing Stops, OSO and OCO ordersWire Transfer, Check, ACH (Automated Clearing House) TransferPhone, Live Chat, EmailFINRA, NFA, SIPC
Interactive Brokers35 + futures and futures options markets$0 for IBKR Lite, $10,000 for IBKR ProTrader Workstation, Client Portal, IBKR Mobile, IBKR WebTraderStop Orders, Trailing Stop Orders, Profit Take Orders, Bracket OrdersBank Transfers, Check, Online Bill Pay, Direct Rollover, Trustee-to-TrusteeLive Chat, Phone, EmailSEC, FINRA, NYSE, FCA and other regional authorities
Optimus Futures20 micro futures and all major futures markets$500Multiple including Sierra Chart, MultiCharts, Firetip, R TraderBracket Orders, Trailing Stops, Stop-Limit OrdersWire Transfer, Check, ACH TransferPhone, Email, Live ChatNFA
Saxo Bank300+ futures from 29 exchanges$2,500SaxoTraderGO, SaxoTraderPROStop Orders, Trailing Stop Orders, Limit Orders, Market OrdersBank Transfers, Debit CardsPhone, EmailFCA, ASIC, SFC, JFSA, MAS, and others
Charles Schwab70+ futures contracts$500 – 5,000 for futures tradingStreetSmart Edge, Web Platform, Schwab MobileStop Orders, Trailing Stop Orders, Conditional OrdersBank Transfers, Check, WirePhone, Live Chat, Email, BranchesFINRA, SEC

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.

Conclusion

The various online brokers in UAE offering different platforms and tools, makes it tough to find the optimal choice for individual needs. Comparing the services of different providers requires time and knowledge.

This guide does the hard grind by evaluating top platforms for different types of traders and investment goals. The results of our analysis and comparison of the best futures trading platforms in UAE are wrapped up in the table below.

RANKBROKERPLATFORM SCOREBEST FORWEBSITE
#1TradeStation3.7 / 5Low commissionsOfficial website
#2Interactive Brokers4.9 / 5Professional investorsOfficial website
#3Optimus Futures4 / 5Competitive trading feesOfficial website
#4Saxo Bank4.9 / 5Trading platform featuresOfficial website
#5Charles Schwab4 / 5Balanced offeringOfficial website

FAQ

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.

Is futures trading recommended for beginners?

Trading with futures is not recommendable for beginners as it involves high risk, requires trading with leverage, and high volume positions.

How much margin is required for futures trading in UAE?

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

What is the most popular futures exchange in the UAE?

The most popular futures exchange in the UAE include TradeStation, Interactive Brokers, Optimus Futures, Saxo Bank , and Charles Schwab.

Are futures Halal?

Futures trading is considered Gharar (prohibited by Islamic law) based on their nature, involving uncertainty about future prices.

Which are the biggest futures exchanges in UAE?

The most important futures exchanges in UAE include the Dubai Gold & Commodities Exchange (DGCX), the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) and the Nasdaq Dubai.

Disclaimer

eToro is a multi-asset platform which offers both investing in stocks and crypto assets, 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. 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.
This communication is intended for information and educational purposes only and should not be considered investment advice or investment recommendation. Past performance is not an indication of future results.
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