Best Trading Platforms in UAE for Short Selling

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This guide breaks down the best trading platforms in UAE for short selling. Considering the high risk exposure and speculation level involved with this trading strategy, we only assessed brokers available in the UAE that reached a certain level of security and regulation. To get our list of top brokers for short selling, we additionaly checked how they perform in: fees, availability of assets to short sell, shorting platforms and features, research and education.

Below is a list of top choices, that will help you make an informed decision.

Top 5 Shorting Trading Platforms in UAE

  1. Interactive Brokers – Best for Short Selling in UAE Overall
  2. TradeStation – Best for Active Short Selling Traders
  3. Charles Schwab – Best Short Selling Platform for Research
  4. eToro – Best Shorting Platform for Beginners
  5. Zacks Trade – Best Short Selling Platform for Mobile Trading

RANK BROKER GENERAL PLATFORM SCORE BEST FOR WEBSITE
#1Interactive BrokersZero commission stock and ETF trading4,9/5Best for Short Selling OverallOfficial website
#2TradeStationGreat choice of different trading instruments4,7/5Best for Active Short Selling TradersOfficial website
#3Charles SchwabSmartEdge trading platform4/5Best Trading Platform for ResearchOfficial website
#4eToroCommission-free stock and ETF trading4,9/5Best Shorting Trading Platform for BeginnersOfficial website
#5Zacks TradeGreat choice of different trading instruments2,2/5Best Trading Platform for Mobile TradingOfficial website

Best Brokers in UAE for Short Selling Reviewed

The section below will discuss the best brokers in UAE for short selling, including their pros, cons, and key features.

01. Interactive Brokers: Best for Short Selling Overall

interactive-brokers-rating

With over 83 stock markets available for short-selling and low trading fees, Interactive Brokers is one of the best brokers in UAE for shorters. They margin loan charges star between 5,33% and 6,33% and allow occasional overnight. 

Interactive Brokers allows traders to short-sell stocks, ETFs, and bonds, including the QQQ, SPY, and NYSE. Users can trade via both their desktop PCs as well as their mobile devices via IBKR GlobalTrader and IBKR Mobile Trading Platforms.

The Trader Workstation (TWS) platform features 30-second candlestick charting, a real-time news feed, powerful technical analysis tools such as indicators, and an extensive drawing toolkit, allowing quick decision-making and opportunity spotting. 

With over 100 available order types and algos, short-sellers can optimally manage their risk and profit from declining markets. Additionally, short-sellers have access to powerful APIs and customizable market scanners to find opportunities easily.

Interactive Brokers Trader Workstation and IBKR GlobalTrader Key Features for Short-Sellers

  • Wide Range of Short-Selling Assets – IBKR allows traders to short-sell stocks, ETFs, and bonds on over 150 global markets.
  • Advanced Desktop Trading Platform – The Traders Workstation (TWS) allows short-sellers to trade multiple asset classes from a single platform with low margin requirements, trading fees, and lending rates. 
  • IBKR GlobalTrader and IBKR Mobile mobile trading platforms – The IBKR mobile trading platforms contain the IBKR Securities Loan Borrow (SLB) system, which provides short-sellers with essential information regarding shortable securities and advanced traders can place bulk order requests from their mobile devices with a single tap.
  • Advanced Analytical and Market Research Tools – IBKR provides real-time access to comprehensive research news and analysis from third-party providers such as Dow Jones, MTNewswires, Trading Central, Briefing.com, Accesswire, Astris Corporate Advisory Japan, Benzinga, and more. 
  • Allows Algorithmic Trading – IBKR allows algorithmic trading via Expert Advisors, trading scripts, and other automated trading software via its freely available APIs. Traders can place over a hundred different order types and deploy all sorts of algos directly from within TWS as well. 

Traders have to open a margin account to be able to short-sell on IBKR. The minimum deposit requirement for this account type is $2,000, which can be funded by bank wire transfer, ACH transfer, check, or stock transfer from another broker. 

Minimum DepositNone
Available Financial InstrumentsStocks, Options, Futures, ETFs, Warrants, SSFs, Forex, Metals, Indices, Mutual Funds, Fixed Income products
Trading FeesCommission-free US stocks and ETF trading, Either fixed at $0,85 per contract or tiered from $0,25 to $0,85 per contract, based on monthly trading volume options and futures trading fees, between 0,08 and 0,20 basis points, based on monthly trading volume on forex pairs.
Trading PlatformTrader Workstation, IBKR EventTrader, Client Portal, IBKR Mobile, IBKR GlobalTrader, IMPACT
Account TypesIndividual, Joint, Trust, IRA, UGMA/UTMA Accounts
Type of BrokerMarket Maker
Regulatory BodiesUS SEC and CFTC
Deposit MethodsBank wire transfer, ACH transfer, transfer from another broker, check
Maximum Leverage Ratio4:1

Pros

  • Great choice of different trading instruments for short-selling
  • Zero commission stock and ETF trading
  • Fast order execution and over 100 different order types available

Cons

  • Some research tools are not for free
  • Trading platform may be overwhelming for beginners
  • Very complex fee structure

02. TradeStation: Best for Active Short Selling Traders

trade-station-rating

TradeStation is the best trading platform for active short-sellers because it charges no commissions on stock and ETF trades up to $10,000. The margin requirements on short stocks and ETFs are 25%, and the margin interest rates are between 11,50% and 12,50%, depending on the account balance. 

Tradestation users can short-sell over 12,000 assets with up to 4:1 leverage, including options and futures. All trading platforms are accessible on desktop PCs and mobile devices, and allow traders to connect Expert Advisors and deploy trading scripts via the broker’s freely available APIs. 

TradeStation offers fast order execution (0,38 MS) which is great for short-sellers that profit from short-term price movements. They also offer extensive range of market insights and research tools that provide short-sellers with useful trade ideas.

TradeStation requires a minimum deposit of  $2,000 to open a margin account.

TradeStation Key Short-Selling Features:

  • Wide Range of Short-Selling Assets – TradeStation allows traders to short-sell over 10,000 stocks and 2,000 ETFs commission-free.
  • Two Different Trading Platforms – TradeStation has a specialized platform for options and futures trading called FuturesPlus and a separate one for stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, and bonds. Both trading platforms are accessible by browser, desktop, and mobile devices.
  • Algorithmic Trading – Connect Expert Advisors, trading scripts, and other types of automated trading software via TradeStation’s TradeManager to place your short-sell trades on auto-pilot.
  • Market Insights and Research Tools – TradeStation provides users with market insights through daily blog posts and analyst top buys and sells. Traders can use TradeBites, the Fundamental Research Window, RadarScreen, and Hot Lists to conduct both technical and fundamental analysis. 
Minimum Deposit$5,000 for futures accounts, $2,000 for margin accounts
Available Financial InstrumentsStocks, ETFs, options, futures, futures options, crypto, IPOs, mutual funds, bonds
Trading FeesCommission-free stocks and ETFs, $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

  • Great choice of different trading instruments for short selling
  • Competitive trading fees; zero commission stock trading
  • Very professional proprietary trading platform for both desktop and mobile usage

Cons

  • Not compatible with MetaTrader 4/5, cTrader, or any other external trading platform
  • Charges fees for some market research tools
  • No Islamic accounts available

03. Charles Schwab: Best Trading Platform for Research

charles-schwab-rating

Charles Schwab’s StreetSmart Edge® trading platform contains robust trading tools, in-depth investment research from 3rd-party providers and access to real-time market data, making it a great option for for research. 

Charles Schwab does not charge any commissions on stocks and ETFs, except from a base margin rate of 10,75%. Users can trade on over 3,000 US stocks and 2,000 global ETFs. 

Schwab guarantees high-quality order execution longs and short-sells which are even better than the National Best Bid and Offer (NBBO) prices.

Charles Schwab Key Short-Selling Features:

  • Wide Range of Short-Selling Assets – users can short-sell over 3,000 US stocks and 2,000 global ETFs.
  • Excellent Proprietary Trading Platform – StreetSmart Edge® contains custom screeners, watchlists and technical tools. Traders can place orders quickly with All-in-One Trade Ticket and monitor orders in a single glance.
  • Desktop, Web, and Mobile Availability –  StreetSmart Edge® is available on desktop PCs, laptops and mobile.
  • Trading Ideas – Traders can generate trading ideas via custom stock screeners or the Idea Hub™, which explores trade ideas based on sentiment and trading strategy.

Charles Schwab minimum deposit  for non-US clients is $25,000.

Minimum Deposit$25,000 for margin accounts
Available Financial InstrumentsMutual funds, ETFs, money market funds, stocks, bonds, fixed income products, options, and futures
Trading FeesCommission-free stocks and ETFs and $2,25 per options contract
Trading PlatformWeb-based platform & mobile app (FuturesPlus)
Account TypesBrokerage & Trading Account, Retirement Account, Robo & Dedicated Advice
Type of BrokerBroker dealer
Regulatory BodiesSEC, CFTC, and FINRA
Deposit MethodsWire transfer, check, stock transfer from another broker
Maximum Leverage Ratio2:1

Pros

  • Great choice of different trading instruments for short-selling
  • Very good proprietary trading SmartEdge trading platform
  • Zero commission trading on stocks and ETFs

Cons

  • Only USA and Canadian markets available
  • High Minimum deposit required
  • No Islamic accounts available

04. eToro: Best Short Selling Broker for Beginners

etoro-rating

eToro offers a beginner-friendly trading platform that allows users to get in touch with short selling in a safe and easy way. Traders have access to basic trading tools and over 3,000 stocks and 300 ETFs commission-free.

Beginners can make use of the eToro Academy, eToro Plus, and eToro Investing 101 guides to learn basic moves of short selling. They can additionally find favorable opportunities with the Popular Investment Program and the Etoro Earnings Report Calendar. The CopyTrader feature additionally enables beginners to copy professional traders and automate their short-selling strategy.

eToro max leverage is 30:1 for retail traders and up to 400:1 for professional traders. Beginner traders can practice short-selling with eToro’s freely available $100k demo account and Muslim traders can open a special Islamic swap-free account. 

eToro Key Short-Selling Features:

  • Social/Copy Trading – allows users to choose a trader, set an amount, and copy professional traders’ positions and automate their trades
  • Zero Commission Stock and ETF Trading – users can trade over 3,000 stocks and 300 ETFs completely commission-free on eToro.
  • eToro Plus – allows traders to read daily, weekly, and quarterly summaries to catch up on the latest market trends and dive deeper into the markets with eToro Plus.
Minimum Deposit$50
Available Financial Instruments3119 stocks, 73 cryptocurrencies, 27 commodities, 49 currencies, 18 indices, 317 ETFs
Trading FeesCommission-free stocks and ETF trading, 1% cryptocurrency trading
Trading PlatformProprietary desktop, web, and mobile trading platforms.
Account TypesDemo Account, Standard Account, Professional Account, Islamic Account
Type of BrokerBroker-dealer
Regulatory BodiesCySEC, FCA, ASIC, and FSA
Deposit MethodsCredit/debit card, bank wire transfer, PayPal, Neteller, Skrill, Rapid Transfer, iDEAL, Klarna, Sofort, Poli, Payoneer, Przelewy24
Maximum Leverage Ratio30:1 for retail clients and 400:1 for professional clients

Pros

  • Commission-free stock and ETF trading
  • Beginner-friendly trading platform with easy-to-use research and analytical tools
  • Low minimum deposit required, high leverage offered, and demo and Islamic accounts available

Cons

  • Algorithmic trading is not possible
  • Trading platform lacks some advanced features
  • High non-trading fees

05. Zack’s Trade: Best Short Selling Platform for Mobile Trading

zacks-trade-rating

Zack’s Trade allows users to short-sell hundreds of US stocks and global ETF’s from as little as $1. Margin rates start at 7,33%, and all users gain access to a broad range of research tools and market insights, such as Dow Jones, MorningStar, The Motley Fool, Thomson Reuters, and the Volatility lab. 

Zack’s Trade Handy Trader mobile trading platform contains all regular desktop and web platforms trading features such as news feed, broad range of technical indicators, an extensive drawing toolkit, and the option to place multiple order types. 

Zack’s Trade Key Short-Selling Features:

  • Offer of  Stocks and ETFs for Short-Selling – Users are allowed to short-sell hundreds of US stocks and global ETFs 
  • Zack’s Trade Pro Trading Platform (Desktop) – The Zacks Trade Pro platform has all the short selling functionalitiesincluding a news feed, technical research and analysis tools, an extensive drawing toolkit.
  • Handy Trader Trading Platform (Mobile) – The Handy Trader allows users to enter and manage orders, view executions, monitor portfolios and trade stocks, options, and other securities on the go. 
  • Research Tools and Market Insights – Users can make use of algos, portfolio rebalance tools and market scanners such as Basket Trader, Probability Lab, SpreadTrader, Options Strategy Lab, and Volatility Lab.

Although traders can open a Zack’s Trade account from $0, the broker doesn’t offer demo or Islamic accounts as of writing this guide.

Minimum Deposit$0
Available Financial InstrumentsStocks (including penny stocks and OTC stocks), options, bonds, ETFs, mutual funds, warrants, and IPOs
Trading Fees$0,01 per share stock and ETF trading, $0,75 option contracts
Trading PlatformZack Trade Pro, Client Portal, Handy Trader Mobile App 
Account TypesStock Cash Account, Stock Options Level 1 Account, Stock Options Level 2 Account
Type of BrokerDirect Market Access Broker
Regulatory BodiesSEC, SIPC, FINRA, and NYSE-member
Deposit MethodsBank wire transfer
Maximum Leverage Ratio6:1

Pros

  • Great choice of different trading instruments to short (stocks, ETFs, and options)
  • $0,01 per share stock and ETF trading, $0,75 option contracts, and only 7,33% margin rate or less, depending on balance
  • Great trading platform with a robust set of research tools, including 20 free subscriptions on the Dow Jones, MorningStar, The Motley Fool, Thomson Reuters, and Benzinga

Cons

  • Desktop trading platform is not beginner-friendly
  • Some research tools are not free
  • No Islamic accounts available

How to Choose the Right Broker for Short Selling?

To get our list of top trading platforms in UAE for short selling, we have analyzed and compared 112 online brokers available to UAE traders across seven different categories. We have checked:

  • Shorting Availability – if the broker offers stocks and ETFs for short selling; other non-margin trading instruments like bonds, mutual funds, and cryptocurrencies where a a plus 
  • Trading Fees – brokers trading fees and their trading conditions
  • Trading Platforms – availability of a desktop trading platform and a web-based or mobile trading platform
  • Trading Platform Features – availability of features that ease short selling, such as live market prices, dynamic charting tools, news feeds, and support multiple order types.
  • Research and Education – availability of tools that assist traders in their fundamental and/or technical analysis, such as indicators, historical stock price data, backtesting software, trading simulators, and trade idea generators.
  • Customer Support – availability of customer support 24/7 via live chat, email, and by phone in both English and Arabic.
  • UAE Availability – if UAE residents can open an account and make use of all offered short-selling trading services.

What is Short Selling? (Definition)

Short selling is an advanced trading strategy where the trader speculates on the declining price of an asset. Traders can use short-selling to speculate on the markets whilst investors can use it to hedge long positions. 

In short selling, traders open positions by borrowing shares or assets from the broker when they expect these will decrease in value. The trader then sells the borrowed assets back to the broker at the market price at a later time. 

The trader makes profit when the price of the borrowed assets continues to decline as the trader is able toreturn the assets back to the broker cheaper.

Example of Short Selling for Profit

If a trader believes that a certain stock, trading at $100, will decline in price. He borrows 100 shares from the broker and sells them to another trader. The trader is now ‘’short’’ 100 shares because he didn’t own the stocks but borrowed them from the broker. 

The stocks drop to $90 within a week and the trader decides to close the short position. Behind the scenes, the trader now buys 100 shares at $90 each to replace the borrowed shares. His profit, excluding trading fees, overnight fees, and interest, is $1,000 ($100 – $90 = $10 x 100 shares = $1,000). 

Short Selling Stocks

Shorting stocks (also called margin trading) uses borrowed money as collateral. This means that if the trader doesn't meet the brokers' minimum margin maintenance requirements, the broker might margin call or liquidate his position.

If many traders short a stock, there is a risk of a short squeeze. This happens when the stock price increases and short sellers cover their positions by closing their short positions. This normally causes the shares to attract attention from buyers as they see the price increase rapidly, leading to even higher prices, which causes short sellers to incur significant losses on their short positions.

Short Selling Crypto

Short selling crypto means that a trader tries to sell the cryptocurrency at a higher price than than his buying price. Instead of buying low and selling high, the trader is selling high and buying low. 

The most common reasons to short-sell crypto are:

  • Overvaluation – when investors think a particular cryptocurrency is overvalued and is in a price bubble, waiting to burst. 
  • Hedging risk – when cryptocurrency traders short digital assets to hedge the risk of their larger crypto portfolio.
  • Skepticism – when advanced cryptocurrency traders spot short-term trends and can sense when there are bearish sentiments towards the cryptocurrency markets. With short sells, they profit from this momentum.
  • Volatility – volatility is a trader’s lifeblood, and short-selling crypto traders make use of the huge price swings of cryptocurrencies, both up and down. 

Short Selling Regulation in UAE

Short selling in UAE is regulated by the UAE Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA). Short selling is only legal in UAE when used by financial institutions and brokers.

Individual traders from the UAE can use short selling only with offshore brokers.

FAQs About Short Selling

Why do short sellers have to borrow stocks?

Short sellers have to borrow stocks because they cannot sell stocks that don’t exist. Every company has only a set number of shares available and a short seller first needs to find a seller who owns the stocks and is willing to short-sell them.

Is short selling a bad practice?

It is common that traders find it unethical to ‘’bet against the market’’ but in reality short selling provides liquidity and makes the financial markets more efficient.

Can I sell short with my trading account?

By opening a live margin account with any brokers mentioned in this guide, users are able to short-sell stocks and other assets. 

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Stefan Grasic (Dipl.-Jur) is the World Wide Director of research for Business24-7 and has considerable experience in the financial and investment niche, but also enjoys writing articles for the general readership. Stefan is an active Crypto, Forex and general investment researcher advising blockchain companies at their start up level. He keeps fit by mountain biking, surfing, skiing and lots of other adrenaline sports.

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