The online brokers available to traders in the UAE are all vying for attention, but which are the best? Fear not – we have done all the legwork for you. Through our stringent assessment process of 69 brokers, we have whittled down the competition to the top 5. Here we present the results:
These are the best 5 trading apps for traders based in the UAE in 2020
- Interactive Brokers: Boasting incredible research tools, a varied product selection and competitive trading fees, this is the best online broker available to UAE traders.
- Saxo Bank: Just edged out into second place, Saxo Bank is a top-notch trading brokerage. Varied products and excellent research options make it a solid choice.
- Swissquote: Reputable, high quality and a one-stop shop for several products and markets. Enviable fee structure.
- Tradestation: Mobile friendly and with a strong focus on education, Tradestation has an extremely competitive ETF and stock fee schedule.
- XTB: Rounding up our top 5 is XTB, where account opening is seamless and intuitive, with rapid withdrawals and deposits (free of charge too). Very competitive fees for forex and stock index CFDs.
What separates the best online brokers from the worst?
A competitive fee schedule and a strong focus on safety and security are paramount. But the ease of account opening and fund deposits is just as important. A holistic and thorough product range is also crucial, and of course the trading experience should be second to none.
To separate the wheat from the chaff, we drill down into hundreds of trading standards, conducting regular re-assessments of each to ensure the most accurate and up-to-date overview possible. Check our methodology now for a summary of our ranking approach.
The sheer number of trading brokers on the market can be overwhelming. That’s why we created our broker selection feature. Simply state your country of residence and you’ll see what choices are available to you. If you want to whittle the selection down further, then check our broker comparison schedule.
But for now, let’s focus on our top 5 for 2020 and go into more depth on exactly why they are the best options available to traders in the UAE. Let’s take it from the top, the cream of the crop: Interactive Brokers.
BEST OVERALL: Interactive Brokers
In our 2019 review, Interactive Brokers has ranked second overall because of its vast array of tools for advanced investors that track global investing trends. The firm can connect to any global electronic exchange, which means trading futures, equities, and options around the world is easy and straightforward, whether from your mobile device or your desktop.
Even though Interactive Brokers is an excellent advisory, new investors may find its extensive capabilities to be overwhelming and distracting, and we recommend that they start trading somewhere else.
If you are a trader that can afford a minimum deposit of USD 10,000 (or GBP 500 for the UK), an excellent forex broker for you is Saxo Bank. Saxo Bank stands out since it provides a unique trading platform, competitive prices, professional research, more than 40,000 trading instruments, and outstanding customer service.
Saxo Bank is exclusive, as you will have to comply with a minimum deposit of USD 10,000 (GBP 500 in the UK, or SGD 3,000 in Singapore). This deposit will offer access to an entry-level `Classic` account. The Platinum and VIP accounts have a minimum deposit of USD 200,000 and 1,000,000, respectively.
Overall, the user experience with the Saxo Trader is exceptional. You will get access to 40,000 trading instruments and a knowledgeable customer service team. Also, we like the incredible pricing on the platform and the exclusive SaxoTraderGO flagship platform. You will get everything you need to perform well in the market.
Swissquote is a trustworthy and well-regulated online broker, operating with two units. Its Swiss unit offers, among others, stock, features, funds and options while the London-based unit is specialized in Forex and CFDs trading.
Both units are regulated by respective state regulators and considered safe and reliable.
The pricing and fee structure are different depending on the unit. In this review, we are mostly focused on the UK’s division.
Generally speaking, however, Swissquote spreads on trades are wider in comparison to the competition.
Traders don’t have to pay for inactivity, account or deposit. There is a $10 withdrawal fee though.The broker has an average amount of financial assets. Swissquote (CH) excels in the diversity of bonds, funds and features while UK’s broker offers forex and CFDs trading.
Our assessment shows that TradeStation is a leader in trading technology. It has one of the most reliable desktop platforms in the industry. Also, this online broker ranks first in the following categories: Mobile Trading, Futures Trading, Options Trading, Professional Trading, and Day Trading.
TradeStation has several excellent tools thanks to a platform suite with web-based, desktop, and mobile variants. We think all of these are outstanding. Besides, the $0 trading cost with TS Go and TS Select accounts make TradeStation the best broker choice in 2020.
As is the case with its competitors, TradeStation might disappoint when it comes to standard research for casual investors. We discovered that the platform is just 'ok' for research and education materials.
XTB is primarily a CFD and forex broker regulated by the most trusted financial regulators including the FCA and is also listed on the Warsaw stock exchange.
We would recommend this platform to users looking for fast deposit and withdrawal + great research tools.
What sets the best online brokers apart from the best?
With our top 5 brokers revealed, it’s likely that you’re wondering why they made the cut. To help, let’s break things down into bite sized chunks: What exactly do online brokers do? What makes an online broker trusted and reputable? What criteria are considered when deciding which online brokers are the best?
What do online brokers do?
In the 1990s, things were different. Traders would instruct their brokers by phone to execute their buys and sells, paying a commission for the privilege. Think Trading Places with Eddie Murphy and Dan Ackroyd. Slick haired traders in sharp suits screaming at each other. But the internet changed everything forever. Now things are far more civilised. If you want to buy Amazon stock, all you need to do is find an online broker, deposit your funds, and place your order. This, in a nutshell, is how an online broker functions. You take control of your own destiny. Your human broker has now been replaced with a digital version.
What about safety and security?
Regulated brokerages undergo strict testing and are required to comply with a plethora of criteria to retain their status. Their backgrounds range from exchanges to banks, and this ensures that scams are incredibly rare.
But crises still happen. Remember Nick Leeson and Barings Bank? What about Lehman Brothers’ fall from grace? Despite regulation, you still need to know what can happen in the worst-case scenario. You need to be 100% sure that broker bankruptcy doesn’t leave you caught short.
If things do take a turn for the worst, you can take some comfort from the fact that most countries have compensation schemes in place to protect investors’ funds up to certain limits.
What is Business24-7’s methodology when choosing the best online brokers for UAE citizens?
Here at Business24-7, we prefer practice over theory – putting real money on the line to figure out exactly who to recommend. Drilling down into hundreds of different standards, we group these into five key areas.
Here are our 5 key ranking groups when selecting which online brokers are best:
- Fees: With fees for one equity trade varying by as much as up to 50 times between brokers, it pays to know your broker’s fee schedule.
- Account Opening: You’d be surprised by how much some online brokers require from traders to get started. Some have no minimum requirements – others do. It makes a big difference.
- Withdrawals and Deposits: Doing your research here can mean the difference between waiting hours and days. Time is money.
- Markets and Products: Some brokerages specialise, some generalise. The last thing you want is to open an account somewhere only to realise that your favoured asset class isn’t available.
- Trading Platform: An intuitive UX cannot be overestimated. Trading is tough, and the last thing you need is your discomfort heightened by clunky design or a lack of mobile optimization.
The last word
Having examined the fine print, let’s take a look at the bigger picture. Here we present the top online brokers for UAE traders in 2020:
Boasting incredible research tools, a varied product selection and competitive trading fees, Interactive Brokers is the best online broker available to UAE traders.
To rank among our top 5 brokers is an extraordinary feat, and so each of them can be relied upon to provide excellent service. But only you will know what’s really best for you. We have reserved some space in the comments section below to hear your thoughts and comments, so please do share your personal experiences.
Any lingering doubts? Take some time to get familiar with our broker selection feature or get better acquainted with how best to invest your hard earned cash.
- 1 BEST OVERALL: Interactive Brokers
- 2 Saxo Bank
- 3 Swissquote
- 4 Tradestation
- 5 XTB Trading
- 6 What sets the best online brokers apart from the best?