How To Buy/Invest In ETFs In The UAE

invest in ETFs in the UAE

For unskilled investors, investing in ETFs in the UAE can be a great entry point into the stock market. Because to invest in ETFs in the UAE is a single fund that invests in a wide range of things, it is often less expensive and riskier than buying individual shares in the UAE.

ETFs have become one of the most popular investment alternatives for many people since ETF investments reduce the risk of investing in individual stocks and allow investors to choose in which they want to invest.

This article will describe what ETFs are and how to invest in ETFs in Dubai, UAE.

What is an ETF?

An exchange-traded fund (ETF) is a type of investment or trading fund that buys bonds, stocks, and commodities, among other things.

Think of it as a group of stocks that have been put together and sold as a single unit. This bundle is the ETF, and the performance of the underlying equities determines the performance of the ETF.

ETFs can act like a certain market sector, like real estate investment; a financial instrument or commodity, like bonds or gold; or an index, like the S&P 500.

For example, if you want to invest in the technology sector but aren’t sure which stocks to choose or want to diversify your investment, you may buy an ETF that follows the performance of the technology sector.

These ETFs contain equities in a variety of technology businesses. By investing in one, you will get the desired diversification as if you were purchasing all of the stocks in that ETF.

How do ETFs Work?

ETF fund providers are in charge of the underlying assets and give investors a fund that tracks how well those assets do. You become a partial owner of an ETF by investing in it, but not of the underlying assets. You might get dividend payments or reinvested equity from the index.

Consider the ETF a basket of fruits and vegetables whose price fluctuates during the day. Meanwhile, the cost of fruits and vegetables varies on their own. All of the price changes of individual fruits and vegetables, as well as the basket itself, could mean that the total cost of all fruits and vegetables may be different than the price of the basket as a whole.

The Net Asset Value (NAV) is the overall value of the individual fruit and vegetable assets.

The difference between the price of an ETF and its asset value usually gives investors an advantage, which authorized participants can take away.

If the market value of an ETF is higher than its NAV, it is said to be trading at a premium. When an ETF’s NAV is greater than its market value, it trades at a discount.

If the market price of one ETF is $100 and the NAV is $102, the authorized participant will purchase underlying company shares from the market and sell them to the ETF’s sponsor in exchange for more ETF shares.

By doing this, new ETF shares are made, which means more ETF shares are in circulation. The rise in the number of shares increases supply, lowering the NAV to its market value.

ETFs have lower trading fees than mutual funds and are more liquid. ETFs feature several underlying assets, increasing diversification. There is no limit to the number of stocks or other financial assets that an ETF can monitor. ETFs can be bought for the long or short term.

Difference Between ETFs & Mutual Funds

The following are the primary characteristics between ETFs and mutual funds:

  • ETFs are traded throughout the day, whereas mutual funds are only traded when the market closes.
  • Traders put a certain amount of money in mutual funds instead of ETFs.
  • Mutual fund transactions are not immediate.

ETFs don’t actively buy and sell shares as mutual funds do, so they don’t need a cash reserve to pay for expenses. The shares in an ETF are chosen automatically, which saves money compared to mutual funds where experienced fund managers choose the shares.

Traders must pay brokerage charges while trading ETFs on stock exchanges, whereas mutual funds simply charge front-end and back-end loads.

Various Types of ETFs for Investing in the UAE

The fundamental characteristics of ETFs are that they are active and passive, that they charge expense ratios, and that they pay dividends or DRIPs.

Active and Passive ETFs

ETFs can be active or passive. Active ETFs are run by fund managers, while passive ETFs follow stock indices like the S&P 500. Active ETFs try to do better than an index, while passive ETFs try to do the same as the index.

Dividends & DRIPS

ETFs pay dividends and can use dividend reinvestment plans (DRIPs) to automatically put the money back into the fund.

The following ETFs are classified according to their underlying asset:

Index ETFs

Index ETFs are ETFs that attempt to replicate the performance of a certain index. Indexes such as the S&P 500 are made up of stocks, whereas other indexes are made up of commodities or currencies.

Commodity ETFs

Like index ETFs, commodity ETFs invest in precious metals, agricultural goods, or the stocks of businesses that deal with commodities, like mining facilities and refineries.

Currency ETFs

Currency ETFs give investors access to many different currencies on the foreign exchange spot market. They also give investors the chance to make money from interest rates and collateral income.

Inverse ETFs

Inverse ETFs use derivatives to short an underlying index and make money when the market goes down.

Leverage ETFs

They use strategies and products like derivatives, futures contracts, equity swaps, and rebalancing to try to make more money every day than the index they track.

Examples of Well-Balanced ETF Portfolios

High-Risk Portfolio

  • 80% Stocks
  • 20% Bonds

It is possible to replicate this using four ETFs:

Vanguard Total Stock Market 50% (VTI)

Vanguard FTSE All-World Ex-US 30% (VEU)

TIPS Bonds Ishares 10% (TIP)

Vanguard Total Bond Market 10% (BND)

Medium Risk Portfolio

  • 25% Stocks
  • 50% Bonds
  • 25% Gold

It is possible to replicate this with three ETFs:

IShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond 50% (TLT)

Vanguard Total Stock Market 25% (VTI)

SPDR Gold Trust (25%) (GLD)

Low-Risk Portfolio

  • 80% Bonds
  • 20% Stocks

It is possible to replicate this using two ETFs:

Vanguard Total Bond Market 80% (BND)

Vanguard Total Stock Market 20% (VTI)

Why Invest in ETFs in the UAE

Why Invest in ETFs in the UAE

Cost Effective:

Purchasing ETFs is a low-cost way to invest in a variety of equities or underlying assets.

Say you want to invest in S&P 500 stocks to get the same results as the S&P 500 index. You will need a lot of money to spread your money among hundreds of different stock types.

In contrast, you may mirror the performance of the S&P 500 by investing in an ETF that tracks it, such as SPDR S&P 500 (SPY) or Vanguard 500 Index Fund ETF (VOO).

When you invest in a mutual fund, you may be charged a sales load. However, when you buy ETFs, there is no sales load, making it a more cost-effective alternative than mutual funds.

However, there is still a cost to trading ETFs, and they are not entirely free. This fee varies for each ETF, and you may compare them on the ETF factsheet.

Easy to Trade:

ETFs are not only affordable, but they are also simple to trade. Like stocks, you can purchase and sell them whenever you want.

You may also do technical and fundamental research on ETFs in the same manner that you would on equities.


One of the biggest benefits of investing in ETFs is the diversification they provide.

You may gain exposure to commodities, indexes, currencies, international markets, foreign firms, and so on by investing in a single ETF. Diversification decreases portfolio risk and makes it less volatile.

How To Buy ETFs in The UAE

The majority of people wonder, “Can I invest in ETFs from the UAE?” The most frequent way to invest in ETFs in the UAE is through an online broker like Kanak Capital Markets, which provides both Robo-advisory and brokerage trading services. You may also trade ETFs on your own or with the assistance of skilled financial advisors.

Invest In ETFs in UAE On Your Own

To buy ETFs in the UAE on your own, you must first open an account with a brokerage company that is registered with the exchange where you intend to trade ETFs.

Kanak Capital Markets is a well-known broker for investing in equities and ETFs in Dubai.

Invest In ETFs in the UAE With The Help Of a Financial Advisor

If you don’t know how to do it yourself or don’t have the time to research and follow the news and markets, a financial adviser can assist you.

It is their responsibility to stay current on market trends and future possibilities. You will tell them your goals and how much risk you are willing to take, and they will make an ETF portfolio for you that they will regularly review with you.

What are the Pros and Cons of Investing in ETFs in the UAE?

Advantages Of Investing In ETFs

Costs: ETFs have a lower cost ratio than equities since they are not actively managed by professional fund managers like mutual funds.

Taxation: Investors don’t pay capital gains taxes on ETFs until they sell them. ETFs are usually long-term investments, and there is no redemption cost when selling them, unlike mutual funds.

Trading: Unlike mutual funds, which can only be sold at the conclusion of a trading day, ETFs can be traded around the clock.

Market exposure and diversity: Since investors can rebalance their portfolios at any time, ETFs offer more market exposure and diversity than mutual funds because investors can change their holdings more often.

Transparency: ETFs have to reveal the composition of their portfolio, which makes them more transparent than mutual funds, which don’t have to do so.

Disadvantages Of Investing in ETFs

Lower returns: ETFs spread your money across many stocks, so you don’t get as high a return as you would with a single stock.

Higher Fees: With ETFs, you have to pay fees that you wouldn’t have to pay if you built your own portfolio of individual stocks.

Limitation of investment diversity: When ETFs focus mostly on one industry, they make it harder to spread out your investments.

You can invest in ETFs in the UAE because they are cost-effective, simple to trade and diversify your portfolio. ETFs have lower trading fees than other financial products, and ETFs give you access to a wide range of stocks, commodities, and other assets.

When you put money into mutual funds, you have to pay a sales fee every time you purchase or sell. This is not the case with ETFs. ETFs are easy to trade since you can trade them like equities.

Also see: How To Trade Commodities Online In The UAE.

Final Thoughts

ETFs are becoming more and more popular, and many more investors are adding them to their portfolios because they offer so many benefits. There are different types of ETFs that investors can use to get cheap exposure to a wide range of assets.

ETFs have lower trading costs than other financial instruments, and they give investors access to a wider range of stocks, commodities, and assets than other options.