Dubai Stock Market and Abu Dhabi Stock Market FAQs

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How do I get started at the Dubai stock market or Abu Dhabi stock market?

We have a page especially for you on Share Wadi - see the new investors page.

What are the names of the Dubai and Abu Dhabi stock markets?
  • Dubai stock market is the Dubai Financial Market (or DFM).
  • Abu Dhabi stock market is the Abu Dhabi Securities Market (or ADSM).
  • Both are regulated by the Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority (ESCA or SCA).
  • Dubai International Financial Exchange (DIFX) started trading international shares in 2005 and is regulated by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) in the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC). The DIFX is unrelated to the DFM.
What are all those acronyms again?
  • ADSM - Abu Dhabi Securities Market
  • DFM - Dubai Financial Market
  • DFSA - Dubai Financial Services Authority
  • DGCX - Dubai Gold & Commodities Exchange
  • DIFC - Dubai International Financial Center
  • DIFX - Dubai International Financial Exchange
  • DMCC - Dubai Multi Commodities Center
  • DME - Dubai Mercantile Exchange
  • ESCA - Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority
  • SCA - same as ESCA
I thought only Emiratis could buy shares on the local markets in Dubai and Abu Dhabi?

Public companies in the UAE are allowed to permit foreign ownership of their shares. Whether or not each company does that is a decision they make themselves. An increasing number of companies have voted to allow foreign ownership up to between 15% and 49%. For maximum foreign ownership allowances, visit the UAE company stock price estimates page.

When can I buy shares on the Dubai and Abu Dhabi markets?

Markets are open for trading from Sunday to Thursday, 1000 to 1300. Pre-opening session (you can place orders but nothing will be executed until 1000) is from 0930 to 1000.

How and where can I buy shares for the stockmarket in Dubai and Abu Dhabi?

You'll have to register as an investor with the market first (DFM or ADSM or both) and then open an account with a broker (see broker list for more details about brokerages in the UAE). Then you'll be able to buy shares at the stock market either by phone, fax, email, online or in person at the broker. The choice will depend on which broker you have signed up with.

Some brokers may arrange the investor cards for you if you sign up with them. That varies depending on the weather, how much money the broker made last month, how busy the markets are, what time you go there, if you know someone at the broker personally, and probably a bunch of other things. All you can do is ask, or check the broker section on the discussion forum.

The DFM market is located in the Trade Center building on Sheikh Zayed road. Many brokers are located there, some brokers have another office with a link to the main DFM market.

The ADSM market main office is in Al Ghaith Tower in Hamdan St, Abu Dhabi (tel 02 6277777, fax 02 6128728). Branches also in Marina Mall and Madinat Zayed in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain (tel 02 8841875), Sharjah (tel 06 5569999), Fujairah (tel 09 2233777), and Ras Al Khaimah (tel 07 2277000).

I don't have a resident's visa in Dubai. Can I buy shares on DFM and ADSM?

If you had a resident's visa and it expired after you obtained your investor card and opened a broker account, then you can just carry on trading.

If you're in Dubai without a resident's visa, then it is apparently possible now. Present yourself in person at the market with passport and copy of page with whatever visa you have (or just the information page if you don't) to obtain your investor card, then go to a broker with the card and open an account. If a broker is awkward about it because you don't have a resident's visa, don't worry about it, just go and try another broker. Several have said to us that it's fine to open an account without a resident's visa. Check in the brokers forum for discussions about individual brokers.

I don't live in Dubai or the UAE. Can I buy shares on the Dubai and Abu Dhabi markets?

Yes with a little bit of effort. You'll need to get a copy of your passport to a broker to open an account, and sign an account opening form from the broker. Not all brokers are the same and so you'll have to find one with a system that will work for you. It's probably easiest if you know someone in Dubai who can help out with paperwork. Then you can open an online account and trade from your computer. What's not clear is if you have to present yourself in person at DFM to obtain an investor number or if a representative (eg friend, relative or broker) can do this for you. In theory you can fax them your passport copy. In practice ...

How many companies are listed on the Dubai and Abu Dhabi stockmarkets?

As of May 2006 there are 103 companies listed on the Dubai Financial Market and Abu Dhabi Securities Market which includes 15 foreign companies. DIFX (Dubai International Financial Exchange) has listed a handful of companies since they first opened in 2005.

What time are the brokers open for trading shares on the markets?

Usually from about 0900 to 1400 Saturday to Thursday at the actual stock markets, sometimes a bit earlier or later. Their back offices are normally open till 1600 or 1700. Check with individual brokers for exact hours.

How much does it cost to buy or sell shares with a broker?

As of November 2005, 0.275% of trade value plus 10 dhs with minimum 75 dhs per trade (same for buying and selling). This is subject to change but there should not be any variation between brokers. Fee information also listed on list of brokers page.

May 2006 information from ADSM (fees set by ESCA but are not obvious on their website) about trading fees breakdown:

  • Broker's commission is 0.15%, minimum 30 dhs.
  • Exchange commission is 0.05%, minimum 20 dhs.
  • CSD commission is 0.05%, minimum 10 dhs.
  • Authority commission is 0.025%, minimum 5 dhs.
  • Additional 10 dhs fixed charge per trade (total minimum is 75 dhs).
Isn't buying shares a very risky kind of investment?


I have another question which isn't answered here.

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Disclaimer: and provide UAE stockmarket related information, but do not offer investment advisory services, or brokerage services. Investing in shares is risky, you can lose some or all of your money and/or other assets. Anything you read on this site should be regarded as the opinion of the author only and is not to be taken as advice to buy, sell, or hold shares and/or other investments. Do not make investment decisions without due diligence and/or professional advice. In particular, do not assume anything you read on this site is correct or accurate. You should make your own investigations to determine if information is accurate and ultimately, you should accept that you and you alone are responsible for any investing decisions you make.

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This page last updated 03-Nov-2007. E & OE.