The United Arab Emirates is controlled by an elective monarchy of seven emirates that include Abu Dhabi, Al Quwain, Fujairah, Dubai, Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah, and Ajman. Despite Islam being the official religion and gambling in the UAE being illegal, its citizens enjoy relative anonymity online.
However, its restrictive laws have resulted in many UAE citizens bypassing the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority via their mobiles. This allows them to discreetly access a wide range of betting services, from sports to casino, poker and bingo.
The premise of this best betting sites in the United Arab Emirates is to identify the top betting sites in the UAE. It also explores the legality of gambling in the UAE, addresses any restrictions and explains how to choose the betting sites in the United Arab Emirates.
UAE TOP Betting Sites
Despite gambling being illegal in the UAE, many of the best online bookmakers offer their services to UAE players. Resultantly, the list of online betting sites in United Arab Emirates has exploded in recent years. While this opens the door to increased opportunities, punters need to know where to bet in United Arab Emirates.
As such, we have provided summary reviews for the top betting sites in the United Arab Emirates below. Each bookie is licensed, respected and provides a safe environment for UAE bettors to indiscriminately punt without restrictions.
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Established in 2013, Betfinal has now become one of the most popular betting platforms in the Middle East. It’s highly appreciated among the players from the United Arab Emirates, as it offers a full Arabic version of its services. In addition, Betfinal stands out with its excellent odds and various betting features.
This brand’s portfolio includes all the favourite sports and even more uncommon disciplines, such as kabaddi and virtual sports.
The fans of casino entertainment won’t be disappointed either, as the slot and live dealer games deserve the customers’ attention.
- Arabic translation of the website
- Excellent design
- Various sports betting markets
- Useful betting features
- A bit limited payment methods
Opened in 2020, Sportaza has grown into one of the top bookmakers available to punters from the United Arab Emirates. Having developed itself into a recognizable brand, Sportaza offers coverage for a wide range of sports. This is of particular interest to UAE punters who wish to bet on the latest football matches or bet in horses. Even moreso, with the addition of live betting, bettors have access to the latest odds for top leagues like the Premier League.
Along with Sportaza’s list of over 26 sport types, the bookmaker provides a variety of other gaming options. These are geared towards casino punters who enjoy playing table games, slots and live casino games. Additionally, there are options for virtual sports betting, esports and a long list of tournament opportunities.
- Nice selection of sports
- Odds are competitive
- Generous welcome bonus
- Does not offer mobile apps or live streaming
Founded in 2018, Cyber.bet is a up and coming entry into our top betting sites in the United Arab Emirates. Cyber.bet focuses on a small yet popular selection of fourteen sport types as a multi-service provider. Perfect for UAW punters, the list includes football, tennis, rugby, baseball, cricket and mixed martial arts. To increase their competitiveness, Cyber.bet offers an average of 1,000 plus pre-match and live betting opportunities.
Furthermore, the bookie has gone above and beyond by introducing a respectable selection esports into its betting platform. In addition to esports, bettors can access over 1,800 casino games such as slots and table games from 30+ software developers. Included within the casino are over100 live dealer games and an ample supply of tournaments. Moreover, they include live streaming as part of their esport coverage and offer real-time odds.
- Coverage for international sport leagues
- Cryptocurrency payment options
- Over 1,60 casino games
- Live streaming only available for eSports
With more than 1,000 events every month, 18Bet is an excellent platform for bettors from the United Arab Emirates. Licensed by the Malta Gaming Authority, they offer coverage of international sports leagues like the FIFA World Cup. Along with their international league coverage, bettors can choose from sports like football, baseball and badminton. All sports are available for live and pre-match betting and offer competitive odds. Likewise, 18Bet includes hundreds of betting markets for each event and extends those opportunities to virtual and esports.
As for its other gaming options, they include TV Games, live dealer games and a long list of casino games. All the favourites are available for play, from featured titles to table games, sports games, and video slots. Moreover, 18Bet offers exclusive promotions for both the sportsbook and casino and routinely features free bets and cashback.
- Hundreds of monthly betting opportunities
- Competitive live betting odds
- Free live streaming
- Mobile apps unavailable
The betting platform 10Bet opened its virtual doors in 2003 and are known as a reliable UAE betting partner for sports and casino entertainment. 10Bet’s popularity stems from its simple to navigate platform that focuses on sports, casino and live bets. Within is player-friendly design features, bettors have immediate access to the latest odds. Available in three formats, the bookmaker also provides access to live results, statistics, and an extensive catalogue of betting rules.
Whether on the prowl for the latest releases, jackpot games or live dealer, the 10Bet casino delivers the goods. To make them more appealing, 10Bet has opted to strengthen their place in the hearts of bettors with the introduction of esports. This includes top leagues like Counter-Strike, League of Legends and Starcraft, while the casino offers 1000+ games. In addition, the 10Bet Club offers sports punters a first-class betting experience.
- 30+ local and international sports
- Large variety of international sport leagues.
- Favourable betting odds
- No Live streaming
Melbet is one of the more established entries in our list of top bookmakers in the United Arab Emirates. Based out of Cyprus, Melbet is owned by Alenesro Ltd and includes substantial coverage for over 30 sports markets. In addition to their sports market coverage, Melbet features high odds, a huge variety of markets and bet types.
Licensed by the government of Curacao, the list of alternative betting options is as good as it gets for UAE punters. While esports, bingo and TOTO are included within the list of options, that main focus is slots and live dealer games. With slots totalling into the hundreds, the live casino offers content from the likes of Evolution, Ezugi, and Asia Gaming. In addition to the casino, bettors can opt for hundreds of fast games and a generous promotional schedule.
- Thousands of monthly events
- Casino, bingo, TOTO and Esports
- Multiple cryptocurrencies payment methods
- Betting resources unavailable
The brand Betwinner has built a remarkable reputation since opening its virtual doors in 2018. As a sportsbook, the available sports number 31 and all feature pre-match events with competitive odds and betting markets. Combined with Betwinner’s in-play betting features and the availability of live streaming, the bookmaker includes play-friendly betting products. The most predominant beyond steaming is their multi-live option and cash out feature.
Furthermore, Betwinner is packed with other features such as virtual sports, bingo, poker, live dealer games, casino and more. They offer a level of diversity most bookies are unable to deliver and include lotteries and other games. Moreover, the bookie makes good on its reputation by offering a never-ending variety of promotions.
- A large number of sports markets
- Available in over 60 languages, including Arabic
- Player-friendly betting features
- Does not accept the Emirati Dirham
Why Choose Online Betting in United Arab Emirates
The reasons in favour of choosing online betting in the United Arab Emirates far outweigh those against it. For starters, online betting sites offer a significant number of variety of options for sports punters. More importantly, all betting services are regulated by offshore gaming authorities to ensure an authentic betting experience. Not only does that apply to the odds and payouts, but UAW punters will be pleased to learn this includes the protection of personal information.
Likewise, if your preference leans more geared towards playing casino games, the opportunities are nothing less than outstanding. Best of all, they include far more than traditional casino games such as slots. The introduction of live casinos has been a game-changer for most players, as has the options for unrestricted mobile gaming.
Is Online Betting Legal in the United Arab Emirates?
The simple answer to whether online betting is legal in the United Arab Emirates is no; gambling is not legal. As a country governed by the laws of Islam, this type of activity is expressly forbidden and is a punishable offence. However, while legalized gambling in the UAE is unlikely, many interested in gambling regularly do so. Mainly, this is resultant of the safety and privacy mechanisms offered by mobile sportsbooks and casinos. Still, UAE citizens should understand that there is a risk betting online, and if caught, they could find themselves facing fines.
Trivia/Did you know that…
- While most forms of gambling are illegal in the UAE, citizens are free to wager horse races is legal at the Nad Al Sheba and Jebel Ali race tracks.
- The only other form of gambling that is legal in the United Arab Emirates is raffles. UAE citizens who purchase raffle tickets can win money and luxury prizes.
- Cruise ships must close their casinos prior to entering waters controlled by the UAE. Failure to do so will result in fines and the possibility of being refused future entry in rare cases.
- Unlike some countries with strict gambling laws that allow tourists to gamble, that is not the case in the UAE. Anyone tourists found gambling will face fines and the risk of imprisonment.
Are there restrictions on players from the UAE by some bookmakers?
Generally, most operators do not restrict players from the UAE from accessing the various products they offer. However, this is resultant on their license and the regulations pertaining to whether they can operate within the UAE. Setting this aside, any restrictions experienced by UAE bettors are not resultant on the bookmaker or casino. As they rely of software providers to power their platforms, players from the United Arab Emirates will experience some service denials.
Gambling Facts at a Glance
There is no denying the United Arab Emirates is a country full of interesting landmarks and rich oil reverses. Despite that, it is also known for its stable economy, ex-pat communities and limited opportunities for gambling. In the event you’re planning on travelling to the UAE, you will likely find the following gambling facts interesting.
The Emirati Dirham is considered one of the top currencies in the world for stability. Unlike other nations, the Dirham is the only currency accepted in the United Arab Emirates.
Based on the most recent population projections, there are an estimated 9.89 million people residing in the UAE. This is made up of one million locally born citizens and 8.84 million expats.
- Active players
Unfortunately, this type of data is not available, nor is it collected by the United Arab Emirates. Mainly, this is due to the laws governing gambling and it being deemed an illegal activity under the laws of Islam.
- Regulatory authority
The United Arab Emirates remains an unregulated gaming jurisdiction and therefore, hasn’t the need for a regulatory authority. As such, bettors are urged to punt with licensed online operators who adhere to strict regulatory control.
- Licensed gambling products
As of 2022, the only licensed gambling products in the United Arab Emirates is horse betting and state-approved raffles. All other gambling products are unlicensed and considered illegal.
- Types of operators
The types of operators UAE punters will find at their disposal are all located offshore. As mentioned, only horse racing and raffles are legal, and therefore, land-based operators are essentially non-existent.
How to Choose the Right Online Betting Site
There are multiple factors that come into play when choosing the right online betting site. Nowhere else is this more important than when selecting a bookmaker. With such a large number of sites to choose from, knowing what to look for is critical. As such, here are the different features you should look for in an online bookie:
Reputation – For most punters, reputation is among the most crucial factors used to determine a bookmakers value. Therefore, investigate a bookmakers reputation and compare it to a checklist of must-haves. Remember, like any business, a bookie is only as good as the service they deliver,
Betting Odds – Odds are king in the world of sports betting, and nowhere is that more important than when punting online. Never take a bookmakers word at face value – always compare the odds to ensure they are fair and competitive.
Sports markets – The sports markets a bookmaker offers is similar in importance to its reputation and odds. This is especially important if punting with new betting sites, as they often offer fewer sports than more established bookies. Always allow time to verify what sports are available and whether they come with an appropriate number of betting options.
Special Features – Most bookmakers offer a variety of special features to attract bettors to their sportsbook. While these can be regional favourites, in-play betting, live streaming and early cash out options are the three most frequently available.
Bonuses for Players from the United Arab Emirates
It is common to see a variety of bonuses for United Arab Emirates customers being offered by international online betting sites. Some of those include odds boosts, and competition themed promotions and accumulator bonuses. While most bonuses are not specifically targeted towards UAE players, they do benefit from their existence. Generally, they include new player bonuses, free spins, free bets and other promotions such as exclusive prize giveaways.
Most Popular Sports to Bet on in United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates is definitely a country that offers a unique variety of sports. While camel racing is a popular pastime, the most popular sports emulates many of those popular around the world. As such, here is a list of the top six most popular sports to bet on in the United Arab Emirates:
- Horse Racing
- Formula 1
Mobile Betting in United Arab Emirates
The state of mobile betting in the United Arab Emirates is closely tied to the strict laws governing gaming-related services. As this is an illegal activity in the UAE, most punters rely on mobile sites as a form of added privacy. While apps are also available, they require downloading and, for this reason, they are seldom chosen.
Are Online Casinos Popular in the United Arab Emirates?
Yes, online casinos are popular, although sports betting is preferred to due the majority of UAE bettors being male. However, the best online casinos in the United Arab Emirates remain a viable choice for punters who enjoy games of chance. In terms of game popularity, table games rank high amongst UAE players, as do video slots and live dealer games.
Supported Payment Methods
United Arab Emirates players enjoy the same liberal freedoms as most bettors when it comes to supported payment methods. Generally, these range from traditional payment methods like credit cards and e-wallets. However, the more preferred method for payment is cryptocurrencies, as they provide a greater degree of privacy and traceability. It should be noted that when transacting via crypto, there are fees applied with each transaction.
Is there tax on winnings in the United Arab Emirates?
One benefit to gambling being illegal in the United Arab Emirates is taxation is a mute topic. As such, punters are not required to report winnings to authorities. Nor are online operators required to report income generated by players from the UAE from gambling.
Do online bookmakers accept players from the United Arab Emirates?
Yes, players from the United Arab Emirates are accepted by most online bookmakers.
Is gambling legal in the United Arab Emirates?
No, gambling is not legal in the United Arab Emirates, with the exception of raffles and horse racing.
Which bookmaker offers the best odds?
After careful examination and comparison, two of the best bookmakers for odds is Melbet and Sportaza.
What is the best sportsbook for live streaming in the United Arab Emirates?
Based on the number of events streamed live, Betwinner is the best sportsbook for live streaming in the UAE.
How can I verify a UAE betting site is licensed?
The most efficient way is to visit the betting site and review the website’s footer information. This is where you will find information on its license, address, and contact methods.
Do online casinos restrict United Arab Emirates customers from playing live casino games?
No, online casinos that offer live casino games do not restrict access to United Arab Emirates customers.
How old must I be to register with a UAE sportsbook?
The general age of consent for most sportsbooks is 18. If under the age of 18, you will be unable to open an account and carry out financial transactions.
Do United Arab Emirates bookmakers offer instructional videos on how to bet online?
Generally, most bookmakers do not offer instructional videos on how to bet. Although, some will include instructional text new punters can refer to when betting on sports.
Due to the United Arab Emirates status as a Muslim country, gambling is a topic most people shy away from discussing. While many in the UAE want the liberty to gamble, very few options are at their disposal. Unfortunately, their only choice is to bet online with a reputable sportsbook or casino for anyone residing in the country. Fortunately, most betting sites are accessible, and that opens the door to a wide range of opportunities for naturalized citizens and expatriates.