Best DFSA Regulated Forex Brokers in 2021

logomark Filippo Ucchino calendar Last Updated: November 2021 timer 20 min read
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At InvestinGoal, we adhere to strict standards to ensure an unbiased review process. We conduct our reviews by examining each broker’s offering and performance across 4 key categories. A final rating is produced for each forex broker based on a total of 187 data points. Learn more about our review process and methodology.

Are you a Dubai or UAE based trader searching for a great broker?

If the answer is yes, then we have just the collection for you. We have taken many of the top brokers in the industry to create one of the best fx brokers list of choices for you. There is something here for everyone as we take a look at the very best DFSA regulated brokers around.

Table of contents

What is the DFSA?

The DFSA is the Dubai Financial Services Authority. They are the regulatory body of the special economic zone of Dubai in the UAE. This means, if you are a forex broker and looking to provide services in Dubai, you must be DFSA regulated. The only alternative to this regulation for brokers operating in Dubai would be to register with the Central Bank of Dubai, though DFSA regulation is more recognized and respected all over the world.

Top 8 best DFSA Forex Brokers

Here is a look at the top DFSA regulated brokers we have chosen who can provide you with the very best trading experience.

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71.64% of retail investor accounts lose money

1. HotForex

The first broker to feature on our listing of the top DFSA brokers is HotForex. They are a global name and broker, well-regulated here under the number F004885. On top of being an excellent international broker, they are one of the very best in the MENA region.

Once you are here you will find 3 different account types on offer to cater for all trading needs. These are the premium account which has a minimum deposit starting at 400 AED, the premium pro account where the minimum deposit starts at 2,000 AED, and the VIP account with your own account manager and lower spreads from 7,400 AED. A swap-free account is available on all types and with a very competitive low spread that starts from 0 pips depending on your account type choice.

As is allowed by the DFSA, the maximum leverage you will have available to you at HotForex is 50:1 on major forex pairs.

81
Rated: Excellent
Security 94
Cost 86
Trading 69
Education 70

Platforms: MT4 Dekstop, MT4 Web, MT5 Desktop, MT5 Web Regulations: MIFID-ESMA, CYSEC, Offshore, FSC (Mauritius) Minimum Deposit: 5
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73.57% of retail investor accounts lose money

2. XM

Next on the list of the best DFSA regulated brokers is XM. Again, they are one of the most recognizable names in the world of forex trading. They are regulated under number F003484 and have a great value minimum deposit that starts from only $5.

XM offers one of the most trustworthy and transparent trading experiences in the entire industry with several account type choices available to suit all manner of traders. This even includes a stock brokerage account with a $10,000 minimum deposit if you want to trade stocks. AED deposits here may be available locally through exchangers, and you will be glad to note that not only do XM offer an Islamic swap free account, but that it is one of the very best around.

The broker also does a great job in providing for a very cost-effective trading experience throughout. Spreads here start as low as 0 pips.

77
Rated: Excellent
Security 94
Cost 74
Trading 65
Education 68

Platforms: MT4 Dekstop, MT4 Web, MT5 Desktop, MT5 Web, MAC Platforms Regulations: MIFID-ESMA, ASIC, CYSEC Minimum Deposit: 5
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74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs

3. Pepperstone

Pepperstone is the next top DFSA broker to be featured. They are regulated under number F004356 and are both well-known, and award-winning across the industry. They make the maximum leverage of 50:1 available to traders on forex, which can rise to 500:1 if you are a professional trader.

Here the AED base currency is not supported, though other common base currencies are, so you can easily convert to these. What Pepperstone does provide is a top-quality swap-free account which is completely in line with Sharia, and very competitive spreads and trading costs throughout. You can take advantage of very low spreads that start from 0 pips and an excellent active trader program which can help further reduce your costs and provide access to additional premium services for free. These services include advanced tools to help improve your market insight, among other great features.

Such features combined with excellent costs and a top reputation have worked to keep Pepperstone as a very popular DFSA regulated broker choice.

90
Rated: Excellent
Security 94
Cost 75
Trading 100
Education 71

Platforms: cTrader desktop, cTrader web, ZuluTrade, MT4 Dekstop, MT4 Web, MT5 Desktop, MT5 Web, MAC Platforms Regulations: FCA, MIFID-ESMA, ASIC, DFSA, CYSEC, Offshore Minimum Deposit: 0
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76% of retail CFD accounts lose money

4. IG Markets

IG Markets are the next top broker to feature who are also well regulated by the DFSA under number F001780. They are respected as one of the best available international brokers in the industry and offer a huge selection of more than 10,000 assets in total for trading. These assets include more than 26 forex pairs.

When trading at IG Markets you will benefit from a very attractive spread which starts from 0.6 pips on forex. You will also be able to choose between two different account types here, one which is Standard Risk, and the other which is Limited Risk and provides negative balance protection which is a great option for traders. A great IG Markets swap-free account is also available, and the minimum deposit at the broker starts from $300 with AED deposits available locally.

Here you will also be able to utilize the maximum leverage available under the regulator which is 50:1 on certain markets.

90
Rated: Excellent
Security 98
Cost 62
Trading 100
Education 84

Platforms: Proprietary Web Platform, MAC Platforms Regulations: FSA, MAS, FINMA, FCA, CFTC, MIFID-ESMA, ASIC, FMA, FSCA, DFSA Minimum Deposit: 300
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72% of retail investor accounts lose money

5. HYCM

HYCM is another excellent choice as a DFSA regulated broker who has a great reputation worldwide. They are regulated under number F000048 and offer an excellent selection of account types for you to choose from no matter what type of trader you are. These different account types also come with minimum deposits to suit every budget.

The HYCM minimum deposit ranges from $100 to $10,000 depending on your account type choice, though what you can be sure of no matter your account type choice, is an excellent swap-free account being available, and a very competitive spread which starts from 0.2 pips on forex trading with low associated trading costs.

AED deposits are also very much available with the broker through both wire transfer, and credit/debit card deposit for your convenience. Added to this, you will be able to use the maximum available leverage of 50:1 on major forex pairs if you need it.

70
Rated: Medium
Security 94
Cost 40
Trading 63
Education 68

Platforms: MT5 Desktop Regulations: CFTC, MIFID-ESMA, SFC, CYSEC Minimum Deposit: 100
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(Your capital is at risk)

6. Amana Capital

The next broker on our list of the best to be DFSA regulated is Amana Capital. They are DFSA regulated under the number F003269 and provide an excellent all-round trading experience.

Here you will find not only a great forex trading account, but also a top offering with the shares trading account. The minimum deposit with this broker is set at $1,000 though a swap-free account is also readily available. The spread is slightly higher starting at 1.4 pips on forex, but you can still benefit from great leverage of up to 50:1 and a wonderful free education section. This can help you to continue learning and growing as a trader and is one of the most attractive features of Amana Capital for many of their traders.

72
Rated: Excellent
Security 92
Cost 68
Trading 60
Education 57

Platforms: MT4 Dekstop, MT4 Web, MT5 Desktop, MT5 Web, MAC Platforms Regulations: MIFID-ESMA, DFSA, CYSEC, Offshore Minimum Deposit: 50
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79% of retail investor accounts lose money

7. Swissquote

Swissquote are another huge name in the industry and they too are DFSA regulated. When it comes to their operations in the UAE, although Swissquote is also a top broker, they offer more in the line of banking and stockbroking services to traders in the UAE and Dubai. With this in mind, there are no forex assets available for trading, but there are a host of others including stocks, ETFs, and bonds.

Another fantastic and innovative feature offered here is the robo-advisor service which will automatically trade based on your own personal requirements and set criteria. This, backed by a no minimum deposit needed policy, are one of the reasons why Swissquote is hugely popular here. Although there is no minimum deposit required, you can benefit from making a certain level of deposit. A deposit of $1,200 will unlock the first level of benefits, while a $2,000 minimum deposit will unlock even more.

If you don’t need forex trading, and are open to trading other assets, then Swissquote could be the perfect DFSA broker for you.

84
Rated: Excellent
Security 98
Cost 76
Trading 75
Education 80

Platforms: ZuluTrade, MT4 Dekstop, MT4 Web, MT5 Web, Proprietary Web Platform, MAC Platforms Regulations: FINMA, FCA, MIFID-ESMA, SFC, DFSA Minimum Deposit: 0
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74-89% of retail CFD accounts lose money

8. ADSS

Last but not least on our top DFSA broker listing is ADS Securities. They are regulated by the Central Bank of Dubai under the numbers 126/5/1995, and 164/8/1994. This allows the broker which was founded, and is based in Abu Dhabi, to offer services in Dubai. They are a great choice if you are looking for a more local broker option but with an international reputation.

ADS Securities are an all-round broker. Not only do they offer forex trading, but they also feature stockbroking, as well as trading in commodities and indices. This is all offered with a great and low minimum deposit starting from $100 which keeps them accessible to all. A great swap free account is also available through the broker, and you will be pleased to note that spreads can start from as low as 0.1 pips.

79
Rated: Excellent
Security 93
Cost 75
Trading 73
Education 62

Platforms: Proprietary Web Platform Regulations: FCA, SFC, DFSA Minimum Deposit: 100

How the DFSA works

Taking a closer look at exactly how DFSA regulation works, the United Arab Emirates is of course made up of 7 different Emirates. The emirate of Dubai is one of these. Within this region, Dubai is treated as a special economic zone operating with its own laws, entities, courts, and more.

All of this means that if a financial firm wishes to start operating in Dubai, they must be regulated by the DFSA and follow the rules set out by the regulator. The only alternative here is to be regulated by the Central Bank of Dubai which is also acceptable. If you are based outside of Dubai, then standard UAE financial regulation is sufficient.

The DFSA plays several roles when it comes to keeping you safe and secure as a trader. These include having financial oversight in the region, as well as oversight of brokers and any other types of financial firms. The main purpose of this is to promote growth in the region, but also to protect traders and investors in all ways possible.

Characteristics and benefits of DFSA

When you are trading and doing business in Dubai, the first point to be aware of is the seriousness with which these dealings are taken. This means that only reputable major brokers should really be applying for, and receiving regulation in the Emirate.

That regulatory process is stringent and works to ensure 100% compliance with DFSA guidelines. This has trademarked the regulator as one of the best, and most trusted not only among Dubai-based traders, but across the whole Middle East and the rest of the world.

Under DFSA regulation, you can expect that the maximum leverage will be 50:1 which is great, though you should be mindful that both ICF coverage, and negative balance protection are not mandatory in the region.

Prohibitions with DFSA

When considering things that are prohibited under DFSA regulations, there are not too many points to note from the regulation itself. The main prohibitions in the area come from Shariah law. This typically means that spread betting is not allowed, as it is considered to be gambling, which is not permitted according to Sharia law. Another point of the laws is that you should only open swap-free accounts. This is since the swap is an interest that you pay or receive, both of which would not be permitted under the laws.

Differences between DFSA Regulated and DFSA Licensed Brokers

Being a DFSA regulated broker means that you have to pass through an entire regulatory process, which as we have outlined, can be expensive, long, and challenging. On the other hand, if you are a licensed broker, you can operate within that area without the need to complete a lengthy regulation process so long as you respect the local laws.

In Dubai, this can happen with brokers who are regulated by the Central Bank of Dubai. The DFSA recognizes this regulation, and these brokers are licensed to provide services in the region.

How to check if a broker is DFSA regulated

It is always a good idea to double check that your broker is fully DFSA regulated. In order to do this, you simply need to head over to their official DFSA website and use the search function to input the brokers business name. This name may be different, though it can often be found at the bottom of the brokers homepage.

In the case that you want to check if a broker is regulated by the Central Bank of Dubai, all you need to do is contact the authorities there. This can be done by going to the DCB Official website, and inputting the required details. Both processes should take no longer than a few minutes.

How DFSA intervene in case of financial abuse?

As an independent financial regulator, the DFSA has widespread power to take action against any fraudulent firms within the area. This is evident in their 2019 case against a Deutsche Bank compliance officer who gave misleading information to the DFSA. This resulted in a fine, though there is no record of any banned brokers to date.

How DFSA can help you

If you suspect a case of financial abuse, or other breaches of DFSA regulations, you can report the information to DFSA authorities by visiting their official website. They will take the needed steps to investigate your complaint as quickly as possible.


About the Author

Filippo Ucchino

Co-Founder - CEO - Broker Expert
Filippo is the co-founder and CEO of InvestinGoal.com. He has 15 years of experience in the financial sector and forex in particular. He started his career as a forex trader in 2005 and then became interested in the whole fintech and crypto sector.
Over this time, he has developed an almost scientific approach to the analysis of brokers, their services, and offerings. In addition, he is an expert in Compliance and Security Policies for consumers protection in this sector.
With InvestinGoal, Filippo’s goal is to bring as much clarity as possible to help users navigate the world of online trading, forex, and cryptocurrencies.

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