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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.

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 the site.  

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, both Spin Sports and 1XBET offer Arabic site versions.  All sites offer English.  Pinnacle tends to offer the highest odds, as they work with very low profit margins.  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 betting 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 in the UAE at retail locations across the country.  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.  Bitcoin is also available with 1XBET and Pinnacle to fund US Dollar betting accounts.  (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 and 1XBET offer 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.










UAE Bookies

Notable points of interest for UAE bettors

Perhaps the best reputation in the world. High odds. Very high stake limits. Arbitrage friendly. Casino + Live Casino.

Arab bonus offer. Arabic site version. Cash out. Competitive odds. Lots of markets.  Horses + Casinos.

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

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Find the best UAE betting sites - Online bookmakers that serve the UAE in 2021.






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

Bonus offer. Arabic site version. Sponsors of FC Barcelona & Serie A. Casinos + more.  AED accounts



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

UAE Bookmaker Bonuses


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

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.  For example,  888sport is only an online bookmaker - they do not offer other gaming verticals to you from within the same account.  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.  If you are particularly interested in having access to an online poker room to play against other players, or access to online bingo in the same way, these are tougher to come by as they require a large scale of customer base.  To get access to poker and bingo in addition to casino and sport betting, your best option is bet365.  If you have an interest in learning more, you can read about UAE online casinos for a far more detailed analysis on the issue.

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.


Special Arab bonus. Bespoke betting platform. Early cash out. Good Odds.  Lots of markets. Bet Builder. Horses.

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10Bet Review

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Spin Sports Review

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Pinnacle Review

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Betway Review

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bet365 Review

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Unibet Review

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1XBET Review

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888sport Review

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