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.
In order to rank the best DFSA brokers we have taken into consideration a multitude of factors:
- An active DFSA license
- The commissions charged on forex
- The general quality of the broker
- The deposit/withdrawal currencies accepted
Table of contents
- HotForex: best trading features
- XM: no requotes
- Pepperstone: best for day traders & scalpers
- IG Markets: total number of assets
- HYCM: overall trading experience
- Amana Capital: wide range of trading platforms
- Axi: top-algo trading
- XTB: best for educational resources
CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage.
Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs.
You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money
Top 8 DFSA Forex Brokers: 2022 Review
Here is a look at the top DFSA regulated brokers we have chosen who can provide you with the very best trading experience.
- HotForex is regulated by DFSA n° F004885 with the trading name HF Markets (DIFC) Limited.
- Only 3 HotForex account types are available. These are the Premium, Premium Pro, and VIP accounts.
- The minimum deposit under DFSA starts from 400 AED on the HotForex premium account.
- HotForex accepts AED as the account base currency under DFSA regulation.
- HotForex charges low spreads on forex starting from 0.3 pips on EUR/USD.
- An Islamic account is available on request under DFSA for the HotForex premium account type, though spreads will start from 0 pips.
- Leverage is capped at 30:1 due to DFSA regulation but if you qualify as a professional trader with HotForex the ratio is higher up to 400:1.
- The HotForex local registered office for DFSA regulation is in Index Tower, Dubai, UAE.
- XM is regulated in Dubai as Trading Point MENA Limited by the DFSA, license n° F003484.
- XM has a physical office in Emirates Financial Towers, Dubai, UAE.
- AED deposits are available with XM through local exchangers though are not supported as the account currency even when trading under DFSA regulation.
- XM provides for one of the best Islamic accounts keeping the same trading conditions without any swap under DFSA regulation.
- XM is able to provide low spreads on forex from 0.6 pips on the EUR/USD pair.
- XM won the award for the “Best FX Educational Broker in the MENA region” for 2021.
- Pepperstone Financial Services (DIFC) Limited is the entity regulated by the DFSA with license n° F004356.
- Pepperstone’s physical office for the DFSA regulation is in Currency Tower, Dubai, UAE.
- Pepperstone does not support AED for account currency in the DFSA entity though you can use it for deposits and be liable to conversion fees.
- Pepperstone is known for the low spreads charged from 0 pips on the forex pair EUR/USD.
- An Islamic account is available on request though the spread starts from 1 pip on Pepperstone DFSA.
- The DFSA imposes maximum leverage of 30:1 which can be raised to 500:1 if you qualify as a professional trader with Pepperstone.
- High-volume traders can join the Pepperstone active trader program to further reduce costs and get other benefits.
4. IG Markets
- IG Markets operates in the UAE as IG Limited, a DFSA regulated entity with license n° F001780.
- IG Markets physical office for the DFSA regulation is in Al Fattan Currency House, Dubai, UAE.
- IG Markets provide access to over 17,000 assets including more than 80 forex pairs with spreads from 0.6 pips on the EUR/USD.
- If you qualify as a professional trader with IG Markets you can avail of higher leverage up to 222:1 on forex under DFSA oversight.
- IG Markets no longer offer an Islamic account for swap-free trading even for traders under DFSA regulation.
- IG Markets supports AED under DFSA and there is a minimum deposit of 20,000 AED to open the account.
- HYCM Capital Markets (DIFC) Limited is authorized by the DFSA with a license n° F000048.
- HYCM registered office for DFSA is in Liberty House, Dubai, UAE.
- HYCM provides an Islamic account on request for those traders who require no swap fees with DFSA oversight.
- Spreads with HYCM start from 0.1 pips on the EUR/USD and you can also trade with fixed spreads from 1.5 pips on the EUR/USD.
- HYCM accepts AED deposits as well as accounts with AED as the base currency with the DFSA regulated entity.
- HYCM was the winner of the “Best Forex Broker” award in the UAE for 2020.
- Amana Capital is regulated in Dubai by the DFSA, license n° F003269 with the business name Amana Financial Services (Dubai) Limited.
- The DFSA physical office of Amana Capital is in Central Park Offices, Dubai, UAE.
- Amana Capital provides access to over 800 CFDs of which 54 are forex pairs where spreads start from 0.1 pips on EUR/USD.
- Islamic accounts are available on request at Amana Capital DFSA where fees are applied in case trading positions are held open for more than five days.
- Under DFSA Amana Capital doesn’t support AED as base currency so you will incur conversion fees if used for deposits.
- AxiCorp Financial Services Pty Ltd is regulated by the DFSA with license n° F003742.
- The Axi physical office registered for DFSA regulation is in Al Fattan Currency House, Dubai, UAE.
- AED is not available as the base currency so depositing with AED will come with a conversion fee under Axi DFSA.
- Traders with DFSA have Islamic accounts available with Axi providing more than 140 trading instruments.
- Axi allows trading on more than 70 forex pairs with low spreads starting from 0.1 pips on EUR/USD.
- Maximum leverage available is 30:1 on forex under DFSA but it may increase up to 500:1 if you qualify as a professional trader with Axi.
- Axi collected the “Best Forex Broker in Middle East” award for 2019.
- XTB operates in Dubai as XTB MENA Limited which is authorized and licensed by the DFSA, n° F006316.
- The XTB physical office for DFSA regulation is in Happiness Street, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
- XTB allows trading on over 1,900 global markets and 57 forex pairs charging spreads from 0.8 on EUR/USD.
- Leverage for professional traders under the DFSA entity of XTB is available up to 100:1 on forex majors.
- AED accounts are not available on XTB though you can still deposit in local money with DFSA oversight.
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.
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 broker’s business name. This name may be different, though it can often be found at the bottom of the broker’s 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