Dubai stock exchanges

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Stock exchanges in Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the UAE

There are two stock exchanges in Dubai, and one in Abu Dhabi, making a total of three stock exchanges in the UAE.

Dubai International Financial Exchange (DIFX)

The DIFX stock exchange opened in 2005 (not 2004, as given in several sources) in the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) to provide a stock market for international and local stock listings. Stocks are denominated in US$ rather than UAE dirhams (the currency of Dubai and the UAE), although listings can be in other currencies.

The normal working week at DIFX stock exchange is Monday to Friday, in line with many other stock exchanges around the world, but out of sync with the UAE working week and the other Dubai stock exchange, which is Sunday to Thursday.

Since the DIFX launched, trading on the exchange has been thin with only a handful of stocks listed, for which the Dubai stock market is a secondary listing for most of them. Trading is also thin with most stocks seeing very few or no trades most of the time.

In November 2007, DP World, a Dubai government company, announced it would hold an IPO and subsequently list on the stock exchange later in the month. Interest and trading has picked up significantly since then, although the level of interest in DIFX listed stocks is still not comparable to the other UAE stock markets. That may improve as more companies list on the exchange.

During 2007 there was a series of news announcements relating to Borse Dubai (a holding company for the government ownership of the 2 stock exchanges in Dubai), the OMX - a Scandanavian stock exchange operator, and the NASDAQ - a US stock exchange. A complicated deal resulted in Borse Dubai buying some of the OMX and then swapping it for a stake in Nasdaq - the US stock exchange was originally in line to get a piece of the OMX. Part of the deal struck will result in a rebranding of the DIFX as the Nasdaq-DIFX.

Dubai Financial Market (DFM)

The Dubai Financial Market, or DFM, is the other stock exchange in Dubai and has been around since 2000. The DFM trades mostly Dubai based companies, along with a few other companies elsewhere in the UAE, and some secondary listings for companies based in the Gulf and Middle East, particularly Kuwait.

Trading volumes are much greater than on the DIFX, and there are more stocks listed. Trading hours are 10am to 2pm from Sunday to Thursday (increased from 10 am to 1pm in January 2008).

Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX)

The Abu Dhabi Securities Market (ADSM) was renamed as the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) in May 2008. The ADX is obviously not in Dubai, but is the 3rd stock exchange in the UAE. The main trading floor is in Abu Dhabi, and there are other locations in the UAE where investors can buy and sell stocks on the Abu Dhabi stock exchange.

The ADX also has secondary listings for several companies elsewhere in the Middle East and North African (MENA) region. Trading hours are the same as for the DFM.

List of exchanges in Dubai and the UAE

Dubai is also home to other commodities exchanges such as the

  • Dubai Diamond Exchange (DDE)
  • Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange (DGCX)
  • Dubai Mercantile Exchange (DME)
  • Dubai Multi Commodities Center (DMCC)
  • Dubai Pearl Echange (DPE)
  • Dubai Tea Trading Center (DTTC)

Watch out for scams claiming to be a Dubai based exchange of some sort, for example the Dubai Options Exchange in 2007. To avoid being conned or scammed, one quick check is to check the website. If it has .ae at the end of the domain name, it is far less likely to be a fraud since the control of those names is regulated much more strictly than for .com or many others.

Links to more information


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 20-Oct-2008. E & OE.