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Forex Broker Solutions

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and most specifically, Dubai is one of the fastest growing financial centers in the world, partly due to its population which has a highincome level and an abundance of individuals searching for investment ideas. The favorable conditions in this region of the Middle East attracts many brokers to the Forex market, although there are still a number of brokers with an offshore Forex license in existence offering services that are not regulated. However, this does not mean that the UAE falls short on regulated Forex brokers – on the contrary, hence it is advisable to ensure you become fully regulated before you decide to go about obtaining a broker license in this region.

The Central Bank of the UAE, besides having responsibility for monetary policy and banking, is in charge of supervising Forex brokers and activities conducted. The Central Bank is also authorized to grant licenses to brokerage companies dealing in currency trading and commodities or intermediary companies.

Specific Provisions for UAE Forex Brokers

Getting a license from the Central Bank of UAE is no easy task, as there are multiple provisions in place, making sure those brokers who do get licensed offer high-quality services and conduct their business in a fair and transparent manner. The bank works closely with the SCA (Securities and Commodities Authority) to make sure all the prerequisites are fulfilled prior to issuing a license. The most important among these requirements are:

  •  The intermediary (Forex broker) should be a UAE citizen
  •  At least 60% of the total paid-up capital in the company in question should be national shareholding
  •  The minimum capital ranges between 1 and 3 million dirham,

depending on the scope of activities These stipulations make it clear that regulated UAE Forex brokers undergo a lot of scrutiny, making sure they can provide proper services to their clients. Offshore brokers are welcome, but they need to have a domestic representative in the country, and, naturally, they have to prove their liquidity. A Forex broker without sufficient cash on hand is a disaster waiting to happen.

forex

Benefits for Forex Broker

Government Incentives for Brokers

Population With High Income Level

Zero Percent Corporate Tax

World Class Infrastructure

Business – Friendly Environment

Mature Legal and Regulatory System

Available Forex Trading Companies in the UAE

There are a number of forex brokerage business registrations available. If you are interested in offering Forex trading services in the UAE, know that this is a regulated activitiy. You cannot just register with any free zone. We explain the three regulated options first.

But keep reading, because we also reveal the option of establishing a foreign branch in a normal free zone without a regulatory burden, and what you can do when you trade with your own money.

There are 3 regulated routes available to you: Mainland Company, ADGM and DIFC.

Anyone familiar with conducting business in the UAE should be aware of its Mainland Company structure, especially its 51% local ownership requirement. However, it is undeniable that a Mainland Company provides you with the maximum freedom to access local markets and customers.

Any mainland company that intends to provide forex trading services are regulated by the Central Bank of the UAE, and licensed by the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA).

Free Zone options

The UAE government also offers several options for potential investors to set up a financial business in the region but retain 100% ownership of their businesses. Both ADGM in Abu Dhabi and DIFC in Dubai are exclusive economic zones for financial companies, such as forex trading. The only limitation for Free Zone companies is that they are not allowed to directly trade with the local market.

UAE free zones have their own registration regimes, practices, and procedures. Some of them even have their own regulatory body and courts for services providers of regulated activities.

ADGM is an international financial center strategically located in the capital of the UAE. It is established by the UAE Federal Decree with three independent authorities – the Registration Authority (RA), the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA), and ADGM Courts — together these ensure the provision of a world-class environment and infrastructure for investors.

The Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) is the regulatory body for financial entities operating within the ADGM financial free zone.

DIFC is a special designated area in Dubai that operates under an independent regulatory and legal system as a financial free zone. As one of the world’s leading financial centres, DIFC aims to provide a secure and efficient platform enabling financial institutions and businesses to develop and expand in the region and beyond.

Forex brokers in DIFC are regulated by its own regulatory body Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA). It is the independent regulator of financial services conducted in, or from the DIFC.

Besides having the benefits of gaining access to the Middle East market and 0% taxation advantages, both Mainland and Free Zone Companies may assist the shareholders and employees to apply for the UAE residency permits.

If you don’t intend to conduct forex trading in the UAE, or you already have a regulated foreign company, a representative office in any normal free zone would be more suitable.

Representative Office of a Foreign Forex Company

In some cases, foreign investors have already set up their companies and obtained the relevant licenses in other countries. However, they might be interested to expand their business in the UAE and the Middle East region. Instead of investing too much to establish a new UAE Licensed company, the investors can also opt to incorporate a representative office in any free zone, such as DMCC.

This options allows you to have Dubai presence but without applying for a specific Forex License!

The investor could use its representative office in Dubai for marketing purposes to promote its forex products and services and get connected with more customers from around the region.

Furthermore, this type of representative office is also able to provide some outsourcing services related to Forex, such as training in the Forex industry

If you are trading with your own money, a DMCC FZ Company with specific membership is available as well.

Dubai Multi Commodities Center (DMCC)

DMCC is located in the heart of Dubai and recognized as the world’s premier free zone. It is the global commodities trading centre in the MENA region.

Regarding forex trading, there are 2 types of activities allowed in the DMCC.

a. Trading in FX, OTC and Exchange Traded Derivatives on its own behalf with counterparties deemed acceptable by DMCC: includes firms whose main activities are based on the trading of their own money in Forex or OTC and Exchange Traded Derivatives with counterparties which are regulated by authorities deemed acceptable by DMCC. Instead of a specific license, it is required that the firm obtain a membership of the Dubai Professional Trading Group.

b. Trading for a proprietary account on regulated exchanges: includes firms whose main activities are based on the trading of their own money in FX, OTC and Exchange Traded Derivatives on regulated exchanges. The firm is required to obtain the membership of Dubai Gold & Commodities Exchange (DGCX).

To sum up, the UAE provides foreign investors with various options for them to choose and decide the most suitable structure according to their needs. The zero percent corporate tax, an extended double tax treaties network, world-class infrastructure, and business-friendly environment have already attracted many famous forex companies to come here and establish their offices or headquarters.

Our Dubai team is equipped with professional specialists with knowledge of the UAE legal and regulation systems, enabling us to assist you to incorporate your proposed company and applying for the relevant licences and relieve you from the complicated preparation and application process.