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UAE online sports betting: Is it legal?

Gambling is certainly not an activity that has received government approval within the UAE as of yet.  There have been many examples of police crackdowns on public illegal gambling operations such as this example of seven men arrested for their connections to a Dubai gambling den.  Although most of the police incidents occur in Dubai and involve ex-patriots from East and South Asia, these operations would also be seen as illegal in Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah, and Umm Al Quwain.  Although the United Arab Emirates has shown its authority on this matter by arresting people that operate illegal gambling rooms in public spaces, the government has not moved to block all reputable sports betting sites that are accessed and enjoyed by people from the privacy of their homes, nor have they looked to prosecute those that use these services.  


Will the UAE allow development of resorts that include casinos & sportsbooks?

Regulatory gambling advancements may be forthcoming soon in the UAE, as US gambling & casino operators Caesars and Wynn have plans to operate resorts in both Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah.  While there is no imminent change in the laws just yet, casino companies are not in the habit of investing billions to merely operate yet another, regular hotel. They do it for the inevitable opportunity to offer gambling in the form of sportsbooks, casinos and poker rooms. We think they have information from the regulators that a change is coming at some point. This may also bode well for online betting in the country.


Does the UAE block access to offshore online bookmakers?

The UAE, through its telecommunications regulatory authority has the ability and the right to block any illegal content.  While they do block a lot of content, for a significant period of time, sports betting sites have not been blocked.  This is likely due to several key reasons.  Firstly, it is home to many ex-patriots from countries like the UK and Germany where sports betting is legal.  In an effort to ensure that these people can feel at home, it seems as though UAE authorities are happy to allow individuals access to what is essentially a harmless vice in betting on sports, as long as people do it from the privacy of their own homes, in a way that is not disrespectful of Islamic culture in a public manner.  Online sports betting allows people a private and more respectful way to bet on sports, as opposed to a public gambling room.

Furthermore, the UAE and some of its prominent individuals have invested heavily into sport.  Allowing people to bet on sports is a good way to ensure that people may stay engaged with the teams and sports in which they have invested.  An example of this is Manchester City of the English Premier League, which is owned by a prominent Abu Dhabi leader.  Man City has an official partnership with MarathonBet - which now no longer serves the UAE.  In other words, this leader of the UAE is directly in business with a top gambling brand.  Is it really then wrong to gamble on sports from the UAE?  That would be a bit hypocritical to say the least.  Although access to these betting sites has been open for a long time from the Emirates, if you do find that a given online bookmaker has been blocked for you, you may simply use a virtual private network or VPN to access UAE sports betting sites.  


How to select a reputable sports betting site from the UAE

When it comes to selecting the right sports betting site from the UAE, it really comes down to preference.  If you can bet in English, you will have more choice and a better experience.  If you prefer to play at completely Arabic betting sites, BetVictor offers an Arabic site version for you.  All sites offer English.  If you prefer to take advantage of bonus offers and promotions, all the other listed betting sites will present you with bonus offers when you click or tap to visit, even of you do not see a banner.  (Betway also has a special UAE bonus offer for new customers) .  If you think you might bet from your mobile as you move around the UAE and abroad and want the best mobile betting, each of these sites has invested to develop fast and intuitive mobile versions of their sites.  


Banking methods for UAE online sports betting

Each sports betting site that serves the UAE supports different methods for payment.  Credit cards are available at all these sites.  Given the progressive nature toward online sports betting when done in private, you likely need not worry about using your local payment method like bank transfers or credit cards with these betting sites.  However, if you prefer to have an intermediate payment solution that provides you with more anonymity, these methods listed below will certainly provide that.  Ideally you will use the same currency for both the payment solution and your betting site account.  This will minimize currency exchange fees for you.

EcoPayz is an e-wallet that allows you to link your local credit card or bank account to make payments.   MuchBetter is an e-wallet mobile app that you may download from the app store and then fund via your UAE cards or bank account.  Pre-paid solution, paysafecard, is available at retail locations across the Emirates.  With paysafecard, you simply find a retailer at paysafecard UAE, go to the location and buy one or more cards.  At the betting site cashier page, enter the code on the back of the cards.  (E-wallets PayPal, Skrill and Neteller are NOT available for use with betting sites from the UAE).

UAE sports betting sites with Emirati dirham (AED) accounts

When it comes to a much wider range of available currencies, Betway  offers many national currencies including UAE dirhams (AED).  This means that if you wish, you can avoid the hidden cost of exchanging your currency.  Your credit card or bank transfer will be able to transact directly in dirhams.  

Most betting sites offer somewhere between four to fifteen different currencies to be used for a betting account.  For your purposes from the Emirates, banking will be easiest if you select US Dollars, Euros or British Pounds.  If interested, you may see the current exchange rates for the UAE Dirham versus the top sports betting currencies as used from the Emirates with AED to USD and AED to EUR.

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UAE Bookies

Notable points of interest for UAE bettors

Dedicated Arab bonus. Amazing ‘The Ten Club’ for VIPs. Solid odds. Elegant interface. Early cash out. Horses + Casinos.

Review or Visit

Find the best UAE betting sites - Online bookmakers that serve the UAE in 2022.

Established

2003

2000

Perhaps the best interface. Early cash out feature. Football Bet Builder. Horses, Casinos, Poker, Bingo & more.

2011

Bonus offer. Excellent platform. Cash out. Many markets + competitive odds. Horses, Poker, Casinos, Bingo + more.

UAE Bookmaker Bonuses

2006

Largest UAE bonus. Excellent interface. Early cash out. West Ham sponsor. Horses, Casinos + more. AED accounts.

What sports are available to bet on at these sites from the Emirates?

Just about anything you like, really.  If you wish to bet on the UAE Arabian Gulf League, you will be able to do so at all of the above bookmakers.  This goes for just about any top football league in the GCC region.  International events that are held locally like UFC events on Fight Island, or the Abu Dhabi F1 GP will also of course be available.  Beyond these you will find supreme coverage of the most popular European football leagues, as well as American sports, tennis, golf and so on.  The number of betting markets, or ways you may bet on these events are more varied than ever before.  Live betting is also generally available on nearly every match.


Do these UAE betting sites allow access to other types of online gambling ?

Most of them do provide access, yes.  However, the array of what is on offer can differ between providers.   Online and live casino games such as blackjack, baccarat, roulette and slots with a vast array of variations of these games are available at all of the other companies listed above.  However, if you are particularly interested in having access to an online poker room to play against other real players, or access to online bingo in the same way, these are tougher to come by as they require a large customer base that are always online playing, so that you might have enough customers to play against at any given moment.  To get access to poker and bingo in addition to casino and sport betting, your best options are bet365 and Unibet.  If you have an interest in learning more, you can read about UAE casino sites for a far more detailed analysis on the issue.


Do any of these UAE betting sites offer a website in Arabic?

Yes. BetVictor has recently moved to become a top provider for the UAE and other GCC markets. So recent in fact, we have not finished our review of them yet.  They will be in our list above soon.  You probably know BetVictor from their several past EPL club partnerships.  As a company, they’ve been in business since the 1940s, as they started as a regular bricks and mortar bookmaker business in the UK, known as ‘Victor Chandler’.  Now online as BetVictor, you get excellent football coverage, odds and a focus on the Arab and GCC customers.  If you want your betting site in Arabic, BetVictor is an amazing option. They also provide Arabic customer support.

Many betting sites do not make their new customer bonus offers available to UAE customers.  This is not the case here.  We have included several offers below that are available to new customers in the UAE.

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