Online Sports Betting in the UAE
Emiratis are wild for sports. The wealth of the nation ensures that they can afford to play host to huge global events. And this only furthers the popularity of such sporting contests with local people.
As a nation of sports fans, it’s understandable that a section of the population wants to bet on their favorite games. But of course, the UAE is a deeply religious country and its ties to Islam mean that wagering is not permitted. However, many in the Emirates know how to get around the laws and safely place their bets.
By using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to unblock gambling content, Emiratis are able to visit offshore bookmakers. And in doing so, they can create accounts and bet on their favorite sporting fixtures. We’ll talk more about this further down the page, but in the meantime, here is a list of the best betting sites available to people in the United Arab Emirates.
List with Online Betting Sites in the UAE
- 10bet – 100% up to $300
- 22bet – 100% up to $300
- 1xbet – 100% up to $300
Top UAE Online Bookmakers
Since it is not legal to run a bookmaker in the United Arab Emirates, the best betting sites available are international. Although Emiratis can access such sites by VPN, they will find that the currencies on offer are global, too. Since they are not based in the country, they are unlikely to allow you to transact using the UAE dirham (AED).
Instead, you’ll have to choose a currency such as USD, GBP, or EUR. You may even see CAD, NZD, or AUD, but it’s rare to be able to transact using AED. Your best bet is to convert your funds to a more commonly accepted overseas currency.
Making Deposits and Withdrawals
A good way to do that is by using e-wallets such as Skrill, EcoPayz or Neteller. These payment solutions allow you to deposit using your local AED and make a conversion. From there, it’s extremely easy to quickly move the money between your e-wallet and your various betting sites.
Another good option for depositing at online bookmakers in the UAE is cryptocurrency. By using tokens such as Ripple, Litecoin, and Bitcoin, you give yourself an additional layer of anonymity. This is no bad thing in a country where gambling is technically against the law. But these payment methods are actually much quicker than traditional options too.
A debit card or bank transfer payment can take days to arrive. But e-wallets and cryptocurrency transactions are usually complete in a matter of hours. So, not only can you get your hands on your winnings much quicker. But these banking options are safer for you too.
Betting Sites with PaySafeCards
Betting Sites with Skrill
Betting Sites with Bank Transfer
Betting Sites with Cryptocurrency
Popular Sports to Bet on Online in the UAE
In the UAE, people are crazy about all kinds of different sports. Let’s take a look at what Emiratis like to play the most, as well as their betting habits.
Betting on Football
The most popular sport in the world, football is also widely enjoyed across the whole of the UAE. The local Football Association was founded in 1971 and just 19 years later, the UAE took part in their one and only FIFA World Cup. Although yet to taste success at a major tournament, they have twice won the Arabian Gulf Cup.
The country’s top professional competition, the Pro League, came along two years after the formation of the FA. Al Ain have dominated the league historically, though in recent years, the Al Jazira Club have emerged as a force.
When it comes to betting, all of the best UAE sportsbooks offer odds on both the Pro League and the national team. But the majority of wagers are placed on teams from Europe. Spain, Italy, Germany and England are the most cherished leagues. The Champions League is a huge betting event, too.
Betting on the Horse Racing
The UAE, and particularly Dubai, is home to some of the most dominant horse racing operations in the world. The country’s love affair with the sports of kings is rooted in history. Every modern thoroughbred alive today has one of three horses in its pedigree, two of which originated in this part of the world.
These days, Sheikh Mohammed – the UAE’s Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai – runs Godolphin and Darley. The latter is one of the most powerful stud farms in the world, while the former is the Sheikh’s racing stable, also hugely successful. Both operations are named after the aforementioned historic racehorses; the Darley Arabian and the Godolphin Arabian.
Gambling at the local race tracks is illegal, even at Meydan, home to the prestigious Dubai World Cup. But locals are able to place their bets at offshore betting sites, such as the ones named on this page.
Betting on Cricket
Thanks in part to a huge expat population originating from the Indian subcontinent, cricket is absolutely massive in the UAE. In recent years, they have played host to the Indian Premier League at the impressive Dubai International Cricket Stadium. Not to mention the T20 World Cup, which was co-hosted with near neighbours Oman in 2021.
The national team has struggled for success, historically. But it’s hoped that the recent influx of money spent on developing the sport’s infrastructure and promoting cricket locally will improve that. The authorities hope to soon overtake football, in terms of the game’s popularity.
When it comes to betting on cricket, most Emiratis are getting involved with the major T20 events around the world. Naturally, that includes the IPL, but there’s also interest in the Big Bash League, T20 Blast and the Caribbean Premier League.
Betting on Motorsport
All forms of racing are popular in the United Arab Emirates and motorsports are no exception. The Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, formerly the UAE Desert Challenge, is enjoyed by many in the region, as is the Middle East Rally Championship. The Dubai 24 Hour endurance race is another notable event.
However, it’s Formula One that reallys sets the Emirati’s pulses racing. The first ever motorsport event in the UAE, the Dubai Grand Prix, was held in 1981. Ever since, the country has been a semi-regular fixture on the F1 calendar, usually in Abu Dhabi, though often in Sharjah.
The best betting sites in the United Arab Emirates offer all kinds of Formula One odds. You can bet on the race winners, qualifying and even the outright Drivers and Constructors championships. But you’ll also find Emiratis betting on a range of motorsports, including MotoGP and Superbikes.
Betting on Ice Hockey
Considering that large parts of the UAE are quite literally desert, you may be surprised to learn about the existence of the Emirates Ice Hockey League. It was set up as recently as 2009 and the sport is growing in popularity.
The EHL’s current President, Vladimir Burdun, has invested a lot of resources into developing ice hockey’s profile. Just a year after his appointment in 2018, he entered talks with the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) about the possibility of including a team from the UAE. That has yet to happen, but who knows what the future holds?
From a betting perspective, the majority of ice hockey punters in the UAE focus almost entirely on the NHL. But there is some interest in the top European competitions found in Sweden, Finland, Germany and of course, the KHL.
Betting on Tennis
Part of the ATP World Tour 500 Series, The Dubai Tennis Championships were established back in 1993. Giants of the game have been to Dubai and lifted the trophy, including Novak Djokovic, Venus Williams and Roger Federer, who won the competition a phenomenal 8 times.
Understandably, with a procession of big names plying their trade on the doorstep, the people of the UAE have really grown to love the sport. Although yet to produce a major star themselves, it hasn’t stopped the locals supporting the game.
Tennis betting is available at all of the top sportsbooks for UAE-based players. Betting on the four Grand Slam events is common, and of course any tournaments held in the UAE. Betting on the match winners and the outright markets are most common. But many Emirati punters enjoy betting in-play, too.
Other Sports Betting Categories
In truth, we’ve barely scratched the surface when it comes to sport in the UAE. The locals love anything and everything. Traditional contests include camel racing, falconry and endurance riding. The latter is a form of horse racing in which even the Prime Minister of the UAE competes.
UAE citizens also compete in many other sports, even representing their country at major events. Amna Al Haddad is a decorated weightlifter, for instance. But you’ll also see Emiratis doing well in sports like golf, squash and Jiu Jitsu.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it safe to place online bets in the UAE?
Absolutely. Although gambling is not allowed in the United Arab Emirates, plenty of locals are still able to place bets at offshore betting sites. The use of a VPN makes this easy and safe. You’ll find the best betting sites for Emiratis elsewhere on this page.
Are casinos illegal in the United Arab Emirates?
You will not see any casinos in the UAE, not even in the more liberal Emirates like Dubai. Gambling is illegal, even at the world-famous Meydan racecourse. However, online casinos can be safely accessed, just like the most popular online betting sites, by using a VPN.
What is the best deposit method for sports bettors in the UAE?
E-wallets like Skrill and Neteller are a strong choice when it comes to depositing at a betting site in the UAE. They are convenient and affordable, but they also place a buffer between your bank account and your chosen sportsbook. That’s never a bad thing in a country where gambling is not strictly legal. Cryptocurrency is also a good choice due to the anonymity offered.
Do online sportsbooks in the UAE give free bets?
All of the top betting sites in the UAE offer free bets, yes. Whether it’s a new player bonus as a reward for opening an account. Or as part of a loyalty program to thank existing customers for their support. You can find a range of free bets at the online betting sites listed right here on this page.
Which sports betting site is the best for UAE players?
We’ve compiled all of the best online betting sites in the UAE right here in this guide. You will undoubtedly have your own idea of what makes a bookmaker the best. But we’re sure you’ll agree that each of our choices is right up there among the top sports betting websites in the United Arab Emirates.