With the favorable regulatory environment and a growing interest in digital currencies, UAE and Dubai have become a popular destination for cryptocurrency enthusiasts and investors. This article explores the best crypto exchanges in UAE and Dubai and how to pick the best platform to meet your crypto trading needs.

Key takeaways:

  • The top crypto exchanges in UAE and Dubai include MEXC, OKX, Binance, Bybit, Uphold, eToro, Bitget, and Kraken.
  • Regulatory compliance, supported cryptocurrencies, a user-friendly interface, security measures, charges, and payment methods are the critical factors to consider when selecting a crypto exchange in the UAE and Dubai.

List of the Best Crypto Exchanges in UAE and Dubai

In Dubai and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the cryptocurrency market is gaining momentum, and several crypto exchanges offer a platform for investors to buy, sell, and trade digital assets. Here is a list of eight of the top cryptocurrency exchanges in UAE and Dubai:

  1. MEXC: Best crypto exchange in UAE and Dubai
  2. OKX: Leading platform in investment options in UAE and Dubai
  3. Binance: Best crypto exchange for high trading volume in UAE and Dubai
  4. Bybit: Best crypto exchange for leverage trading in UAE and Dubai
  5. Uphold: Leading crypto exchange in debit card payments in UAE and Dubai
  6. eToro: Best crypto exchange for social trading in UAE and Dubai
  7. Bitget: Best crypto exchange for copy trading in UAE and Dubai
  8. Kraken: Best customer support service in UAE and Dubai

Top 8 Cryptocurrency Exchanges in UAE and Dubai

1. MEXC

Mexc-Global-Exchange

MEXC Global stands out as one of the world’s top cryptocurrency trading platform, boasting a global user base surpassing 10 million. Based in Seychelles, the platform is popular for delivering an extensive range of products and services designed to cater to the varied interests of its users. 

Operating as a centralized exchange, MEXC provides a user-friendly trading platform that facilitates the exchange of numerous cryptocurrencies. The platform offers a robust set of key features, making it a comprehensive solution for cryptocurrency enthusiasts.

Users can engage in spot trading, providing a straightforward avenue for buying and selling various crypto assets.

The inclusion of leveraged trading further enhances the MEXC’s flexibility, enabling you to amplify your market exposure. Additionally, the staking program allows you to earn rewards by participating in the network’s operations. 

Pros

  • Supported a wide range of cryptocurrencies, with 1700+ tokens, 2600+ trading pairs
  • Offered a user-friendly interface. 
  • Offered the mobile app on both Android and IOS devices.
  • Offered nearly zero trading fees for users.

Cons

2. OKX

Okx Homepage

Formerly known as OKEX, OKX stands out as a crypto trading platform offering you access to an extensive range of over 350 crypto coins and trading pairs across various markets, including spots, futures, and multiple avenues to generate income from cryptocurrencies, such as lending, mining, and using DeFi products.

With millions of customers spanning over 100 regions, OKX is a prominent player in the crypto space, boasting a stellar matching engine, robust APIs, low trading fees, and a strong emphasis on security. 

Facilitating convenient transactions, OKX supports various payment methods like Apple Pay, Visa, Mastercard, MoonPay, and bank transfer. Moreover, OKX has its public chain, named OKT, which integrates with Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) and Inter-Blockchain Communication (IBC) protocols.

In 2023, the platform secured a temporary virtual asset license to operate as a crypto exchange in Dubai. OKX has become one of the best bitcoin trading platforms in the UAE.

Pros

  • Offered low trading fees, typically 0.10% or less for most trading pairs.
  • Supported a diverse range of tutorials and articles suitable for all skill levels
  • Provided the opportunity to support new DeFi projects and earn their tokens by staking OKB (the native coin of OKX)
  • Offered the ability to earn Bitcoin daily by completing simple tasks on the mobile app

Cons

  • A complex fee structure and advanced financial services make it unsuitable for beginners.

3. Binance

Binance Exchange Overview

Binance is a widely recognized name within the cryptocurrency trading platforms community, boasting over 90 million registered users. The exchange was founded by Changpeng Zhao. Initially headquartered in China during its launch, the company relocated its base to the Cayman Islands in the Seychelles in response to growing government pressures to regulate cryptocurrency.

Binance’s extensive accessibility contributes to its widespread popularity. The platform is available in over 100 countries, including the UAE, New Zealand, and some countries in Europe. Moreover, Binance is available across various platforms, enhancing convenience for traders. The Binance desktop app caters to Mac, Windows, and Linux users, while an Android and iOS application is accessible on their respective app stores.

Facilitating user-friendly transactions, Binance offers a diverse range of payment options. You can effortlessly buy crypto on Binance through credit or debit cards, international or local bank transfers, e-wallets like PayPal and Advcash, or engage with peer-to-peer merchants.

Pros

  • Offered over 600 cryptocurrencies with high trading volume
  • Provided educational resources for beginner traders under the Binance Academy
  • Supplied various trading options and an array of convenient payment methods

Cons

  • Binance’s ongoing legal battles with the SEC create regulatory uncertainty, causing concern among users about the platform’s future compliance and operations.

4. Bybit

Bybit-Exchange

Founded in March 2018 by Ben Zhou, a former forex broker, Bybit has proven to be a prominent platform specializing in crypto derivatives trading. Headquartered in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, the platform has gained a substantial user base, priding itself with over 18 million users and facilitating daily trades exceeding USD 6 billion.

Bybit offers a range of trading options, allowing you to engage in futures trading on various crypto coins like Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP, EOS, and many more.

The exchange supports spot trading, enabling you to buy and sell cryptocurrencies at the prevailing market prices. With leverage of up to 100x, Bybit allows you to borrow funds and amplify your trading positions.

Beyond futures trading, Bybit extends its services to other crypto-related activities. You can participate in new projects, earn rewards, and engage in the creation and collection of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Overall, Bybit emerges as a comprehensive platform catering to various aspects of the crypto market.

Pros

  • Supplied helpful training resources for beginner traders.
  • Offered advanced trading tools for experienced traders.
  • Highly secure thanks to measures such as cold storage and insurance
  • Offered a well-designed mobile app

Cons

  • Unavailable in countries like the USA and Singapore due to regulatory concerns

5. Uphold

Uphold-Exchange-Review

Uphold, operating globally, provides a versatile platform to trade cryptocurrencies, fiat currencies, and precious metals. With a presence in more than 180 countries, including the United Arab Emirates, Uphold facilitates the trading of 27 currencies, 4 precious metals (gold, silver, platinum, and palladium), and over 260 crypto coins, such as BTC, ETH, XRP, XDC, DAG, ADS, CSPR, and QNT

Adhering to regulatory standards, the platform follows the rules of FinCEN (U.S.), FCA (U.K.), and FCIS (Lithuania), maintaining real-time visibility of all crypto assets and liabilities while upholding high-security standards.

Uphold offers a user-friendly interface on web browsers, iOS, and Android devices. Plus, you can initiate regular transactions, place limit orders, and leverage unique features like the Anything-to-Anything trading experience and the Uphold Card.

The Anything-to-Anything feature allows you to exchange any asset for another seamlessly within the Uphold platform. This includes the transitioning from Bitcoin to XRP, GBP to Silver, or even converting assets like Tesla to Platinum. This straightforward and distinctive trading approach will enable you to engage with various asset classes easily.

Pros

  • Enabled you to exchange crypto coins with other assets with the Anything-to-Anything feature
  • Complied strictly with financial regulations
  • Provided abundant of educational content to guide novice traders

Cons

  • Advanced trading features, such as margin trading, are likely missing.

6. eToro

Etoro Exchange

Established in 2007, eToro is a premier social trading platform and cryptocurrency exchange that facilitates trading in stocks and various assets. With a global presence, the platform is regulated by multiple authorities worldwide, providing a secure environment for its vast community of over 30 million users.

One of eToro’s features that sets it apart is its social aspect, allowing you to connect with fellow investors, learn from their strategies, and replicate their trading activities. Additionally, you can opt for smart portfolios, curated collections of assets centered around themes such as green energy, digital assets, or gaming.

The eToro platform provides a gateway to over 3,000 diverse financial assets, encompassing stocks, cryptocurrencies, Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs), indices, currencies, and other commodities. You can invest in these assets with or without leverage, offering you a broad spectrum of short-term, mid-term, and long-term investment opportunities.

Pros

  • Offered a social aspect to crypto trading, allowing you to connect with other traders
  • Provided a variety of trading options, including stocks and ETFs,
  • Simplistic design with a user-friendly interface
  • Allowed you to move your holdings to another crypto trading platform with ease

Cons

  • Relatively higher charges on trading (up to 1% for each trade)

7. Bitget

Bitget Homepage

Bitget, registered in Seychelles, is a cryptocurrency trading platform in multiple countries, including the UAE, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, and the U.S. This exchange has gained popularity for its focus on crypto coin margin trading, enabling you to buy, sell, store, and earn digital currency like Bitcoin and Ethereum with leverage to gain higher profit.

The platform provides comprehensive services, including copy, futures, spot, and margin trading. Additionally, Bitget features a Web3 trading wallet that supports over 90 mainnets and 100 decentralized exchanges (DEXs).

As one of the largest crypto copy trading platforms globally, it boasts a community of more than 100,000 experienced traders and 410,000 followers. The exchange prioritizes high-security measures, competitive trading fees, swift execution, and round-the-clock customer support service to enhance your trading experience.

Pros

  • 24/7 customer support 
  • Advanced trading features such as copy trading
  • User-friendly interface with multiple language support for global users
  • Supported over 500 crypto coins

Cons

  • Bitget is currently restricted in some countries, such as the USA, Singapore, Hong Kong, etc.

8. Kraken

Kraken Homepage

Established in 2011 by CEO Jesse Powell, Kraken came into existence following Powell’s personal encounter with the challenges of seeking customer support during the Bitcoin hack at Mt. Gox.

Currently, this exchange imposes a minimum trade requirement of 0.0001 BTC, allowing users flexibility in their trading activities. However, you should be aware of trading and transaction fees, mainly when using a debit card to buy crypto, which can go up to 5%. 

It’s worth noting that fees on KrakenPro are generally low. The exchange supports an extensive range of cryptocurrencies, with over 230 available, and offers over 130 crypto-to-crypto trading pairs to enhance your trading options. Although Kraken doesn’t provide insurance for your crypto holdings, it has established a solid reputation for digital security, ensuring the safety of your assets.

Moreover, Kraken distinguishes itself with responsive customer service, offering 24-hour live phone and chat support to assist you with your inquiries and concerns.

Pros

  • 24/7 customer support service with various contact options
  • Highly secure crypto trading platform
  • Educational material available for beginner traders
  • Highly reputable app for mobile devices

Cons

  • Relatively high charges on fiat currency trading

How to Buy Cryptocurrency in UAE and Dubai 

If you’re considering getting into cryptocurrency in the UAE and Dubai, then below you’ll find a complete guide to help you buy and trade crypto coins using any crypto exchange in the UAE.

  • First, select a trustworthy UAE crypto exchange such as MEXC, Binance, OKX, Kraken, or any other platform that meets your preferences. 
  • Once you’ve chosen a platform, create a trading account by providing the necessary information for verification, including identity documents. 
  • Deposit funds into your exchange account using options like bank transfer or credit/debit cards, considering your local currency, the United Arab Emirates Dirham (AED).
  • Now that your trading account is funded, browse the available cryptocurrencies on the exchange platform. Common choices include Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and others.
  • Decide on the amount you want to invest and place a buy order, choosing between market orders (at the current market price) or limit orders (setting a specific buying price).

After buying your crypto:

  • Transferring your cryptocurrencies to a secure wallet is advisable if you do not believe in the exchange’s storage service. Consider using hardware wallets or reputable software wallets to enhance security.
  • Additionally, diversify your portfolio instead of concentrating all your funds on one cryptocurrency. This practice helps spread risk and potentially improves returns. 
  • Be aware of and adhere to any cryptocurrency regulations in the UAE and Dubai, and stay updated on changes in regulatory policies.
  • Regularly monitor your cryptocurrency portfolio and adjust based on your investment goals and market conditions. 
  • Always exercise caution, conduct thorough research, and make informed decisions aligned with your financial situation and risk tolerance.

Factors to Consider When Selecting the Best Crypto Exchange in UAE and Dubai

Selecting a single crypto trading platform from the pool of the world’s best trading platforms can be a challenging but crucial task. Below is a guide on things you should keep in mind to select the best crypto exchange in UAE:

Regulatory compliance

Check the regulatory status of each shortlisted exchange. Ensure that your preferred crypto trading platforms comply with local regulations in the UAE and Dubai.

Opt for top crypto exchanges with proper licensing and adherence to legal requirements, providing an extra layer of security for your investments.

Supported cryptocurrencies

Evaluate the range of cryptocurrencies offered by each exchange. Choose a crypto trading platform that supports diverse digital assets, including popular ones like Bitcoin and Ethereum, to give you flexibility in your investment choices.

User-friendly interface

Consider the user interface of each exchange. Opt for crypto trading platforms with intuitive and user-friendly designs, especially if you are a beginner.

A straightforward interface can enhance your overall trading experience.

Security measures

Prioritize the exchanges with robust security measures. Look for features like two-factor authentication, cold storage for digital assets, and a history of successfully handling security incidents. 

Remember: Security is paramount in the cryptocurrency world.

Trading Fees

Different platforms may have varying fee models, including trading, withdrawal, and deposit fees. As such, examine the fee structures of the crypto exchanges you’ve shortlisted and select the platform that strikes a good balance between price and features. It’s best to go for a simple trading platform that offers the best trading costs and multiple trading options.

Payment Methods

The importance of payment methods lies in accessibility and convenience. Accessible methods ensure you can quickly deposit and withdraw funds without any issues.

The most convenient payment options, like bank transfers or credit/debit cards, make transactions quick and easy, thus creating a seamless trading experience.

Customer Support

Assess the customer support services each exchange offers and opt for top crypto exchanges with responsive customer support, preferably available 24/7.

Crypto exchanges that provide multiple support channels, including live chat and email, are generally better.

Mobile Accessibility

Mobile accessibility can be crucial for on-the-go trading. Therefore, always go for crypto exchanges with reliable and user-friendly mobile applications that are compatible with your device. And some of the top crypto exchange platforms offer mobile applications.

Conclusion: Is Cryptocurrency Trading Regulated in UAE and Dubai?

Crypto is thriving in Dubai and the UAE. However, the regulatory framework for cryptocurrency in the United Arab Emirates is complex due to the country’s federal structure, which has seven emirates, each having its own regulations.

The Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE) and the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) oversee monetary and capital markets, while entities like the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) and Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) regulate specific economic zones within Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

A government committee in Abu Dhabi in 2018 concluded that cryptocurrencies pose no threat to financial stability, recognizing their potential for economic diversification and growth if properly regulated.

Since then, efforts have been made to introduce comprehensive regulations at both federal and emirate levels, signaling a positive approach to integrating crypto assets into the UAE’s economy.

FAQs

Does Dubai have a crypto exchange?

Yes, there are several cryptocurrency exchanges operate at the national level and are accessible to residents in Dubai. Some exchanges catering to the UAE market include MEXC, Binance, OKX, and others.

Can I trade cryptocurrency in UAE?

Yes, you can trade cryptocurrency in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Cryptocurrency trading is legal in the UAE, and several cryptocurrency exchanges operate there.

Residents in the UAE, including cities like Dubai and Abu Dhabi, can access various platforms that facilitate the buying, selling, and trading cryptocurrencies.

Is Binance legal in the UAE?

Binance is legal in the UAE. It has an operational license to conduct cryptocurrency activities in the region. However, it’s always advisable to stay informed about any updates or changes in regulatory requirements and guidelines to ensure a secure and legal trading experience.

Which exchange is best in the UAE?

The best crypto exchange in Dubai and the UAE is MEXC, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchange platforms with over 10 million users. This exchange is best known for its advanced trading features that could enhance your investments and trading experience. Its leading competitors include OKX, Binance, Bybit, Uphold, eToro, Bitget, and Kraken.