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How to Buy Bitcoin Dubai: A Beginner’s Guide

Read our user-friendly guide below to find out how to buy Bitcoin in Dubai today.
Kane Pepi
Author: Kane Pepi
Last Updated: 08 July 2020

Based in the UAE and looking for the easiest way to buy Bitcoin with a debit card online? If so, there are heaps of methods available to you as a first-time buyer. In this beginner’s guide, we show you the many different ways that you can buy Bitcoin in Dubai, as well as the best online broker to do this with.

We also give you some handy tips on what you need to consider before buying Bitcoin from an online source – such as regulation, commissions, payment methods, and deposit fees.

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    Our recommended Dubai Platform

    Don’t have time to read through our guide and simply want to buy Bitcoin right now?

    The regulated online platform listed below allows you to buy Bitcoin at the click of a button. Simply open an account, upload a copy of your government-issued ID card, and deposit funds. You can do this with a debit/credit card, e-wallet, or bank account – and there are no deposit fees or trading commissions to contend with.

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    Bitcoin in Dubai and the UAE

    As of 2020, Bitcoin and other leading cryptocurrencies like Ethereum and Ripple are not viewed as legal currency by UAE authorities. As a result, usage does not fall within the same legal remit as the Dirham (AED). With that being said, buying, selling, and trading Bitcoin in Dubai is completely legal.

    Although the central bank has issued various warnings to UAE citizens on the risks of investing in the space, doing so is permitted nonetheless. As such, there are now heaps of offline and online providers that allow Dubai residents to buy Bitcoin with a credit card easily.

    Regarding the former, this even includes a fully-fledged ATM machine that allows you to insert cash, and in return, you’ll receive Bitcoin. One ATM that is popular with both locals and tourists alike is located in the plush Rixos Premium Dubai Hotel. This is option is especially sought after by those looking to buy Bitcoin anonymously, as there is no requirement to provide ID. And the latter – there are dozens of regulated online brokers that accept investors from Dubai, so options are plentiful.

    It is also important to make reference to the UAE government’s recent announcement that it plans to launch a customized blockchain protocol in 2021. The overarching concept is to use the blockchain to process and store 50% of government-backed transactions. Not only will this promote transparency, but it is believed the initiative will reduce printed documents by just under 400 million pages annually.

    What is the Best Way to Buy Bitcoin in Dubai?

    When it comes to purchasing Bitcoin in Dubai as a first-time buyer, there are a number of options at your disposal. For example, you can insert physical cash into a Dubai Bitcoin ATM, albeit, fees are somewhat high. Dubai is also home to an ever-growing peer-to-peer space, meaning that you purchase the coins directly from local users.

    With that said, this can be risky, especially if you are planning to make the trade in-person. In fact, it was reported in 2018 that a Dubai heist resulted in more than 7 million AED worth of Bitcoin being stolen at gun-point. As a result, the safest way to get your hands on Bitcoin is to use a regulated online broker. In doing so, you can be 100% sure that your funds are safe – especially if using a debit/credit or e-wallet.

    On top of ensuring that your investment is secure, using an online broker is also the easiest way to buy Bitcoin in Dubai. It takes minutes to open an account, and you can verify your identity by uploading a copy of your passport or driver’s license. Regulated UAE brokers do this is to ensure they remain compliant with laws on anti-money laundering.

    Once you’ve opened your account, you can then deposit funds with a number of everyday payment options. As noted above, this includes the likes of Visa, MasterCard, and Maestro debit/credit cards, e-wallets like Paypal, Skrill, and Neteller, or a bank wire. Then, you simply need to decide how much Bitcoin you wish to buy in exchange for AED.

    How to Buy Bitcoin in Dubai: Step-by-Step Tutorial

    If you’re looking for the safest, easiest and most cost-effective way of buying Bitcoin in Dubai, we would suggest using a regulated online broker like eToro. The platform holds multiple regulatory licenses – including that of the UK’s FCA and ASIC in Australia. Furthermore, if you’re keen to short-sell Bitcoin or apply leverage, this is also supported by the broker.

    If you’re ready to proceed with your purchase, be sure to review the step-by-step guidelines outlined below.

    Step 1: Open an Account

    As you are using a heavily regulated broker, you will first need to open your Bitcoin account with eToro. To process rarely takes more than 5 minutes, and simply requires some personal information from you.

    This includes your:

    • First and Last Name
    • Home Address
    • Nationality
    • Date of Birth
    • UAE Tax Number
    • Contact Details

    As per the requirements stipulated by the FCA and ASIC, eToro will also need to ask you a few questions about your trading experience. This is to ensure that you have a firm grasp of the underlying risks of investing in Bitcoin.

    Step 2: KYC & Verification

    Before you can deposit funds you will need to have your identity verified by eToro. The good news is that the broker has the capacity to do this automatically, there is no need to wait days on-end for a manual verification team to review your documents. As such, upload a clear copy of your government-issued ID to get your account verified.

    Step 3: Deposit Funds

    Once you’ve had your account verified, you can then proceed to deposit some funds. You’ll need to meet a minimum deposit requirement, which in the case of eToro is $200 (about 734 AED).

    Deposit options include:

    • Debit Card
    • Credit Card
    • Local Bank Transfer
    • Skrill
    • Paypal
    • Neteller
    • RapdiPay

    There are no fees to deposit funds at eToro, which is in stark contrast to other beginner-friendly Bitcoin brokers like Coinbase – who charge a whopping 3.99% to use debit/credit cards. Take note, unless you are opting for a bank transfer at eToro, all deposit methods are instant.

    Step 4: Go to Bitcoin Trading Page

    Now that your eToro account is funded, you can head over to the cryptocurrency section of the site to buy Bitcoin. If you don’t fancy scrolling through the many assets hosted at the platform, simply enter ‘Bitcoin’ into the search box at the top of the screen, and click on the result that pops up. Once the page loads, click on the ‘Trade’ button.

    Step 5: Buy Bitcoin

    You are now at the required page to buy Bitcoin. Although the investment process may seem daunting at first glance, it is relatively straightforward. However, you will need to set up some trading parameters to get your Bitcoin order processed.

    As such, we strongly recommend that you read through the bullet points outlined below. In doing so, you can set up your Bitcoin trading order to meet your personal requirements.

    • Buy/Sell: If you want to invest in Bitcoin because you think its price will increase, leave the order box set as a ‘buy’ order. If you think that the price will decline, change it to a ‘sell’ order.
    • Market/Limit Order: By leaving the order box set as a ‘market order’, you will be taking the next available price. If you want to enter the market at a specific price, change the box to a ‘limit order’ and enter your preferred trigger point.
    • Leverage: You can also apply leverage on your Bitcoin trade. Tread with caution, as leverage is a high-risk strategy to employ – especially if you are a newbie.
    • Stop-Loss: Choose a stop-loss price before confirming your trade. This will ensure that your Bitcoin investment closes automatically when the markets go against you.
    • Take-Profit: If you want to cash out your Bitcoin investment at a certain price target (for example, 10%, 20% etc.), set up a take-profit order.

    Finally, click on ‘Buy’ to complete your Bitcoin purchase. If you’re shorting the market, click on ‘Sell’.

    What to Look for in a Dubai Bitcoin Broker

    So now that you know that Bitcoin brokers are the safest and most efficient way of investing in cryptocurrencies, you now need to think about the specific platform that you wish to sign up with. Although we would recommend using our top-rated broker – Toto, for this purpose, you might want to employ your own research before signing up.

    If this is the case, be sure to consider the following factors in your search for a Bitcoin broker.

    • Licensing

    The most important factor that you need to look out for is whether or not the Dubai Bitcoin broker is regulated. As the UAE is yet to install a regulatory framework surrounding cryptocurrencies, the broker doesn’t need to be regulated by a domestic licensing body. On the contrary, the best online brokers hold licenses with tier-one bodies overseas. This should include the likes of the FCA (UK), ASIC (Australia), or CySEC (Cyprus) eToro, for example, if regulated by all three.

    • Supported Cryptocurrencies

    You then need to explore what cryptocurrencies the broker in question supports. Virtually every broker in the online cryptocurrency space will offer Bitcoin, which is great. However, if you’re also planning to invest in other digital currencies like EOS or Ripple, you’ll need to check if your preferred coin is supported.  

    • Payment Methods

    You will need to deposit your hard-earned AED when buying Bitcoin online, so you’ll want to think about the most convenient payment methods to do this. Most Bitcoin brokers in the regulated arena allow you to deposit funds with a debit/credit card or bank transfer. Some, but certainly not all, also permit e-wallet deposits. You should check this before signing up.

    • Trading Fees and Commissions

    You will need to pay a fee to buy Bitcoin online. This might start at the very offset with a deposit fee. You might also need to pay a trading commission. Even if the Bitcoin broker allows you to trade on a commission-free basis, you still need to make some considerations regarding the spread. This is the difference between the buy and sell price of the asset (for example, BTC/USD), so it’s a fee that you pay indirectly.

    • Leverage and Short-Selling

    If you’re only looking to buy Bitcoin as a long-term investment, you won’t need to worry about sophisticated trading tools. With that said, if you’re looking to trade Bitcoin on a short-term basis, you’ll want to choose a broker that gives you the option of going short. Similarly, if you have a slightly higher appetite for risk, check to see whether or not the Dubai Bitcoin broker supports leverage.

    • Customer Support

    Finally, don’t forget to explore the level of customer service offered by the Bitcoin broker. As the best platforms are based in Europe, you’ll want to choose a broker that offers support around the clock. Otherwise, you’ll be required to make contact during the night.

    Other Ways to Buy Bitcoin in Dubai

    Don’t like the sound of using an online broker to buy Bitcoin in Dubai? Or maybe you’re looking to explore what other options are on the table?

    Either way, check out the alternatives listed below.

    Bitcoin ATMs

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    As noted above, there are a number of Bitcoin ATMs located in Dubai. This allows you to purchase Bitcoin with your local currency. Moreover, some ATMs do not ask you to provide ID.

    Here’s how it works:

    1. Once you find your nearest Bitcoin ATM, enter the amount of AED that you wish to exchange for Bitcoin. You’ll need to enter this in full note denominations. For example, while 500 AED is perfectly fine, 550, is not.
    2. You will then be shown a full breakdown of your order – including the exchange rate and applicable fees. If you’re happy to proceed, enter the cash into the machine.
    3. You will now get to choose how you wish to receive the Bitcoin. If you already have a Bitcoin wallet, scan the wallet’s QR Code from your mobile phone.
    4. Alternatively, if you don’t have a Bitcoin wallet, the machine will print a receipt. This will contain a unique wallet address, alongside its respective QC code. You can then claim the wallet funds by following the instructions on the receipt.

    On the one hand, Bitcoin ATMs in Dubai are great if you wish to keep things simply by entering physical notes. However, expect to pay at least 10% in fees, which is huge.

    Peer-to-Peer Websites

    The peer-to-peer space is getting popular in Dubai -especially when it comes to buying and selling cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. The way it works is you get to deal directly with users that are looking to sell Bitcoin for AED. If facilitating the exchange with an online site like LocalBitcoins, you will be protected by the platform’s escrow service.

    Here’s how it works:

    1. You head over to LocalBitcoins, set the UAE as your country, and enter 1,000 AED as the amount of Bitcoin you wish to buy.
    2. The system will then give you a list of local sellers. Each seller will state the payment methods that they are happy to accept (such as a local bank transfer), alongside their respective AED-to-BTC exchange rate.
    3. Opting for a local bank transfer, the seller then sends you their bank details. Before you send the money over, make sure that the seller has deposited the Bitcoin into the LocalBitcoin escrow wallet.
    4. Once the transfer has been made, you notify the seller. Upon checking that the transfer has been received, the seller will then release the Bitcoin from the escrow wallet.
    5. Finally, you will then need to withdraw the Bitcoin out of LocalBitcoin, and into your private wallet.

    Conclusion

    By reading our beginner’s guide in full, you should now know the best way to buy Bitcoin in Dubai. By this, we mean using a regulated broker that offers a plethora of everyday payment methods. In doing so, you can buy Bitcoin in a matter of minutes. Simply open an account, deposit some funds, and enter the amount of Bitcoin that you wish to buy.

    Crucially, the online broker option is also the cheapest, not least because you will not need to pay any trading fees. This is in stark contrast to Bitcoin ATMs, with Dubai terminals often charging in excess of 10%. Although the peer-to-peer option is much cheaper in comparison to an ATM, you then stand the risk of being scammed – especially if opting for an in-person meet.

    Finally, we’ve also shown you how to choose an online broker on a DIY basis. This includes key metrics such as regulation, fees, commissions, spreads, payments, and customer support. Whichever Bitcoin broker you do opt for, just make sure that the provider is regulated by a tier-one licensing body.

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    • Paypal accepted
    • CySEC, FCA and ASIC Regulated
    • Buy 15+ Cryptos or trade as CFDs
    eToro Commits To Better Future Growth with Delta Acquisition
    75% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. Cryptoassets are highly volatile unregulated investment products. No EU investor protection. AFSL 491139. High risk to capital.

    FAQs

    Is Bitcoin legal in Dubai?

    Yes, Bitcoin is perfectly legal in Dubai, as well as the rest of the UAE. This means that you can buy, sell, and trade cryptocurrencies as you wish.

    What payment methods do Dubai Bitcoin brokers support?

    At a minimum, you will normally have the option of buying Bitcoin via a debit/credit card or bank transfer. Brokers like eToro also permit e-wallet deposits across Paypal, Skrill, and Neteller.

    Can I buy Bitcoin anonymously in Dubai?

    At the time of writing in 2020, a number of Bitcoin ATMs in Dubai allow you to buy Bitcoin without providing any ID. This might not always be the case, to be sure to check before making the trip. If you decide to use a regulated online broker, you will always need to provide verification documents.

    What is the minimum amount I have to invest to buy Bitcoin in Dubai?

    If opting for a regulated Bitcoin broker like eToro, you will need to meet a USD $200 minimum deposit. This amounts to around 734 AED.

    Can I buy Bitcoin with leverage in Dubai?

    Yes, if using a Bitcoin broker that supports CFDs. If you do, you'll also be able to short-sell Bitcoin.

    Remember, all trading carries risk. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.
    Kane Pepi

    Kane holds academic qualifications in the finance and financial investigation fields. With a passion for all-things finance, he currently writes for a number of publications in the online space.