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Unlike other countries in the Middle Eastern region, the United Arab Emirates has taken many steps to integrate the widely popular online forex trading into its regulatory framework. The main governmental body charged with the oversight of foreign currency exchange is the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates (CBUAE). The institution also works closely with the Securities and Commodities Authority which mainly assures the brokerages’ compliance with the strict rules of the CB, as well as maintains a healthy business-friendly environment for interested investors.
In order to preserve online trading as lawful and low-risk as possible, forex brokerages have to meet serious capital requirements before receiving the proper license to operate legally. There is a minimum capital requirement of one million dirham ($275 000) and at least 60 percent of it has to be national shareholding. Furthermore, the intermediary – which in this case is the forex broker – has to be an UAE citizen. Foreign brokerages are also welcome as long as they have a domestic representative and comply with the rest of the requirements. Transparency and safety of the clients funds are among the top goals of the two main regulatory bodies and traders should expect a very professional attitude both from the legitimate brokerage firms in the country and the government officials.
The most popular payment methods remain Visa, MasterCard and EuroPay. CASHU is also a popular payment method in the Middle East with an office in Dubai as well. In 2017 the Central Bank issued the so-called “e-payment regulation” which dealt with the newly emerged alternative payment gateways in the country – Mobile Wallet, Etisalat Wallet, Beam Wallet, NOL cards, Apple Pay and Samsung Pay. However, they are not widely used yet.
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