Best OTC Trading Platforms In UAE 2024 (UPDATED)

Page Summary

This guide helps users to find online brokers in UAE with the best OTC (over the counter) trading platforms. OTC securities (bonds, shares, derivatives) are a popular investment in UAE to achieve financial gains as they provide opportunity for significant returns. The fewer regulatory requirements on OTC markets make it difficult for traders to separate reliable from unreliable brokers and select the optimal service for their needs.

Due-diligence and comparison of online brokers can help investors making an informed decision and selecting a platform with proper regulation, vast range of OTC securities, competitive fees and wide range of technical analysis tools.

This guide assesses 101 OTC online brokers in UAE. To help users find the ideal option for their needs, the best OTC trading platforms in UAE are listed, reviewed and compared below considering fees, mobile trading apps, customer support, platforms, tradable assets, deposits & withdrawals, regulation, research & education, and Islamic account availability.

Top 5 OTC Trading Platforms In UAE

  1. Interactive Brokers – Best For Penny Stocks
  2. eToro – Best for beginners
  3. Charles Schwab – Ideal for mutual funds
  4. AVAtrade – Optimal for forex and CFD
  5. TradeStation – Top choice for active traders

Best OTC Platforms in UAE Reviewed

Key features of online brokers with the highest rated OTC platforms in UAE are reviewed below.

1. Interactive Brokers – Best For Penny Stocks

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.

Interactive Brokers finished at number one as the best brokers for penny stocks in UAE. It is a highly trusted global broker with a well-rounded offer of different stocks, great educational content and sophisticated order type configuration. Users get access to a sophisticated trading platform, a competitive fee structure and great global market coverage. 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 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).

By offering access to 16,500 shares, 8,000 stock CFDs and 2,300 penny stocks, Interactive Brokers is a great choice for investors looking to trade with stocks and penny stocks. You can compare Interactive Brokers with the best stock brokers in UAE here.

Pros

  • Great choice of OTC trading instruments (over 1 million available)
  • OTC trading instruments traded via professional trading platforms suitable for both active traders and investors
  • Competitive trading fees for OTC trading

Cons

  • Different trade execution for IBKR Lite and IBKR Pro clients

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
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.

2. eToro – Best for beginners and cryptocurrency

eToro logo

Rating: 4,9/5

Min Deposit: $100

Fees: 4.8

Assets available: 4.8

Total Fees:

Open account Read review

eToro is a multi-asset investment platform. The value of your investments may go up or down. Your capital is at risk.

eToro is a reputable global brand and industry leading broker for copy trading. Their robust and cutting edge copy trading platform and social trading features allow users to copy trades and portfolios from professional traders and investors.

As a CFD multi asset broker, eToro allows users to trade on over 3075 different symbols including stocks, forex, cryptos, indices and commodities. Trading spreads are wide, deposits are free and account minimum is low. There are conversion and inactivity fees. eToro provides a comprehensive list of technical tools, charts, and newsfeeds. Their customer support is available through email and live chat in Arabic and English.

eToro is a well established market maker broker with a clean history record, regulated by top tier regulators.

68% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Pros

  • Social trading service (you can trade OTC instruments by matching popular traders trades)
  • Wide choice of Crypto trading instruments; Easily withdrawal Crypto holdings from the platform
  • Low Forex and CFD trading fees

Cons

  • Trading platform for OTC trading is lacking some features that more experienced traders would like to have

Key features

  • Sophisticated social-copy trading features
  • Multiple different payment options
  • Crypto exchange and brokerage services on the same dashboard
  • Super fast registration and KYC on-boarding process
  • Zero commission stock trading
  • Great ease of use level
Open account

eToro is a multi-asset investment platform. The value of your investments may go up or down. Your capital is at risk.

3. Charles Schwab – Best for mutual funds

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

  • Great choice of OTC trading instruments
  • Competitive trading fees for OTC trading instruments; some trade commission-free
  • Fractional share trading

Cons

  • No Forex and a limited number of Crypto trading instruments

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

4. AVAtrade – Best for forex and CFD

AVAtrade logo

Rating: 4,9/5

Min Deposit: $100

Fees: 4.9

Assets available: 4.9

Total Fees: 0.9 pip

Open account Read review

71% of retail CFD accounts lose money

AVAtrade is a well trusted global online broker for forex and CFD trading. Their multi-asset trading platform and mobile trading app enable traders to access 1365+ tradable symbols overall, including 1200+ CFD’s, major currency pairs with low forex spreads and premium options.

Beside their proprietary platform AVAtradeGo and MetaTrader, AVAtrade has great selection of copy trading solutions including ZuluTrade, DupliTrade and AVAsocial.

Account opening is fast, deposits and withdrawals are free of charge. The minimum deposit is $100.

Choose AVAtrade if you are a beginner or semi advanced forex trader, looking to trade major forex currency pairs, options or CFDs as stocks, cryptos, indices or commodities with premium services.

Check the full AVAtrade review for more information.

Pros

  • MT4 platform (The best for Forex and CFD trading) is available; MT5 also
  • Good trading fees for CFD trading
  • Social trading service (you can trade OTC trading instrument via copy trading)

Cons

  • Comparatively few trading instruments;  offers Forex, CFDs and Binary Options

Key features

  • Access to 1250 CFDs and 44 forex options
  • Excellent copy trading features
  • Advanced mobile trading app (AvaOptions)
  • Industry average pricing
  • Perfect for casual and advanced traders
  • Access to the full meta trader suite
Open account

71% of retail CFD accounts lose money

5. TradeStation – Best for active traders and for futures

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 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 OTC trading instruments
  • Competitive trading fees for OTC trading instruments; some trade commission free
  • Professional and reliable trading platform with fast OTC trade execution

Cons

  • Forex trading not available

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

How To Find The Ideal OTC Broker and Platform in UAE?

Criteria to be considered to select an online broker with the optimal trading platform for OTC securities are listed below.

  • Fees:  To make profits, investors need to know how much a transaction costs. Fees range from 0.03% to 0.5% at OTC brokers, but choosing a 0% commission broker is a good idea. 
  • Trading platforms: A good trading platform offers access to historical data, breaking news, and portfolio tracking. Bonus points for APIs and swipe up gestures, which make your trading easier. 
  • Mobile Trading: Trade on the go with mobile trading platforms, and have access to the markets all the time. Mobile versions aren’t the same as the online or desktop version, so make sure the features you want are in the mobile app. 
  • Deposit & Withdrawal: Don’t pay for deposits or withdrawals, and check to see what kinds of payment methods the broker accepts. 
  • Assets: Make sure that the broker you choose offers full coverage of the OTC assets you want to trade. When analyzing and comparing brokers we considered the following OTC asset classes: Penny stocks, Bonds, Cryptocurrencies, Forex, CFDs, Options and Futures
  • Regulation: Traders in the UAE should only invest with brokers that hold top-tier licenses, and are compliant with FCA, CySEC, and ASIC regulations. 
  • Research & Education: New traders should choose a broker that offers news and research. A personal account manager will also help traders get the most from their resources. 
  • Customer support: You need to choose a broker that delivers great customer support in a language that you understand. 

Top OTC Brokers Compared

Key features of OTC brokers with the highest rated trading platforms are compared in the table below.

Broker NameOTC Trading instrumentsTradingPlatformCustomerSupportMobile PlatformFeesResearch & EducationDeposit & WithdrawalOverall
Interactive Brokers5.05.04.55.05.04.63.55.0
eToro4.23.55.04.44.05.05.0
Charles Schwab5.04.64.54.45.05.03.54.9
Trade Station5.05.04.75.04.34.23.54.8
Ava Trade3.54.44.54.84.25.04.64.7

What is OTC (Over the Counter Trading)?

OTC trading is trading any kind of security over a broker-dealer network. Instead of using a centralized exchange, securities move between counterparties on a direct basis in the OTC. 

Numerous kinds of securities trade in the OTC market including micro-cap stocks, credit swaps, and options. For investors in the UAE, the OTC markets offer investments that aren’t available in the local exchanges, such as futures, mutual funds, US-based ETFs and shares of smaller foreign companies. They also offer derivatives that track the price of commodities, forex, and cryptos

Pros and Cons of OTC Trading

The vast amount of securities that trade in the OTC markets make it attractive for investors in the UAE who want access to a range of investment options. But, many of the securities that trade in the OTC markets are risky. 

Besides large foreign companies, small companies that aren’t able to list on major exchanges trade on the OTC markets. Smaller companies offer big returns, and they also carry large risks. Liquidity also tends to be lower on the OTC markets, which may impact the ability of an investor to sell an asset. 

Pros

  • Inexpensive stocks that trade on OTC Markets earn huge returns.  
  • Investors buy companies on the OTC Markets that can’t list on larger exchanges due to regulations.
  • Companies that don’t list on exchanges in the UAE are accessible in the OTC Markets. 

Cons

  • Investing in small companies that don’t follow UAE exchange regulations is risky. 
  • Liquidity in the OTC Markets is lower, and selling a position is difficult in a low-liquidity market. 
  • With fewer regulations, less information is available, which leads investors to spend money on fraudulent companies. 

Why are OTC stocks risky?

There are many kinds of securities that trade on the OTC market. Because many of these companies aren’t subject to the same kinds of regulations that apply to companies on an exchange, the risks are higher. 

Investors will have trouble finding information about companies in the OTC market, and the data found is subject to fraud. 

When an investor wants to sell securities on the OTC markets, changes to the price happen. The market moves based on the sale, and illiquid markets are volatile. In a centralized exchange, more liquidity means selling at a given price is easy. 

Because it is easy to move the prices in the OYC markets, some fraudsters run “pump-and-dump” schemes. A small amount of money in an illiquid market makes the shares rise, and attract the interest of traders. Then the fraudster sells their shares at a higher price and leaves the investors who came late holding shares that aren’t worth a lot. 

How do beginners buy penny stocks in UAE?

Step ONE: Work with the right broker. The broker you choose should have a good reputation and offer the services you need. Make sure you understand the fees before you start trading. 

Step TWO: Do research before you buy. You need to dig into the company you want to buy before you start picking up shares. Look out for pump-and-dump operations that will hurt your portfolio. 

Step THREE: Have a trading plan. When you start trading, make sure you know where you will buy or sell your position. You can’t know what the market will do, so you have to know what you will do when the market moves. 

Step FOUR: Diversify your holdings. Don’t buy one penny stock and hope for the best. Your portfolio should have more than one company, and they should not all be small companies. Buy a range of assets, and make sure you have solid, large-cap exposure as well. 

Step FIVE: Take a long-term view. Buying small companies means being patient, and waiting for a great idea to pay off. You will never make 10x on a position if you sell it when it doubles. Learn how to have faith in a company, and let it create big returns. 

You can find a detailed listed of the best penny stock trading platforms here.

Conclusion

There are many online brokers in UAE with different services and conditions, making it hard to find the ideal option for individual needs. Researching offers to avoid choosing an unreliable provider can be stressful and requires time and knowledge.

This guide does the hard work by comparing and evaluating 101 brokers for different types of traders and trading goals. The results of our analysis of online brokers in UAE with the best trading OTC platforms are wrapped up in the table below.

Leveraged and speculative product. Not suitable for all investors. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. Capital is at risk.

RANKBROKERGENERALPLATFORM SCOREBEST FORWEBSITE
#1Interactive BrokersGreat choice of different trading instruments4,9/5Penny StocksOfficial website
#2eToroGood research and educational tools4,9/5BeginnersOfficial website
#3Charles SchwabLow trading fees4,9/5Mutual FundsOfficial website
#4AVAtradeGreat trading platforms (Desktop & Mobile)4,9/5Multiple platformsOfficial website
#5TradeStationGreat Social trading service4,9/5Active tradersOfficial website

FAQ

Is OTC trading legal in the UAE?

Yes, OTC trading is regulated by the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA)and is legal in the UAE. Specific regulations may apply depending on the asset class and other factors.

What types of securities can be traded OTC in the UAE?

Securities that can be traded over the counter in the UAE include forex, certain stocks and bonds, derivatives like swaps, and other financial instruments.

Is OTC trading recommended for beginners?

OTC trading is generally not recommended for beginners as it exposes the trader to counter-party risk, liquidity risk, and the risk of insufficient price transparency.

Can I Short Stocks in the OTC Market?

Investors can short stocks in the OTC market. However, this is exposing the trader to significant risk as the OTC markets have generally lower liquidity.

Do all Brokers Allow OTC Stock Trading?

No, not every broker will allow OTC stock trading. If you want to trade OTC stocks, make sure your broker allows OTC stock trading.

What is an Illiquid Market?

A market that doesn’t have many investors is an illiquid market. Prices can move fast in an illiquid market because a small amount of money can make the prices volatile.

Are OTC stocks exposed to manipulation?

The risk of manipulation in the OTC markets compared to other markets is much higher, because the shares are cheap, and small amounts of money are used to make a big impact on prices.

Disclaimer

eToro is a multi-asset investment platform. The value of your investments may go up or down. Leveraged and speculative product. Not suitable for all investors. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. Capital is at risk. 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 does not amount to investment advice. The value of your investments may go up or down. Your capital is at risk. Crypto assets are unregulated& highly speculative. No consumer protection. Capital 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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