Can Expats Invest in Listed Companies in the UAE?

By Shivangi - 30 Mar 2022 Last Updated: 19 May 2022
Can Expats Invest in Listed Companies in the UAE?

The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) announced the commencement of its Initial Public Offering (IPO) on Thursday, which will raise up to Dh8.06 billion and is open to all UAE residents.

To attract as many investors as possible, the share has been priced in a highly attractive target range of Dh2.25 to Dh.48. Because DEWA is sponsored by the Dubai government, the IPO is expected to attract a large number of small investors who prefer to put their money in solid equities like DEWA.

The utility services provider isn't the first company in the UAE to sell shares to expats. Any individual or organization can apply for an Investor Number to trade on the UAE's stock markets, the Dubai Financial Market (DFM), and the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX).

With the exception of a few firms that have yet to allow expatriates to buy shares, most blue-chip companies listed on the DFM and the ADX allow expats to provide it.

Emaar, Emirates NBD, Dubai Islamic Bank, du, etisalat, Mashreq, Aramex, Air Arabia, First Abu Dhabi Bank, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, RAK Bank, Aldar Properties, and other blue-chip companies permit foreigners to own up to 49% of their stock.

The DFM and the ADX, according to Mohamed Shaheen, CEO of Seven Capitals, are open to investors of any nationality and based in any country.

"Any individual or institution can apply to the Dubai CSD for an National Investor Number (NIN) in order to trade on the DFM. In addition, new listings boosted the ADX in 2021, resulting in a rise in liquidity and international investment. "Everyone is welcome to buy and sell equities at the UAE government's exchange centers," says the UAE government.

What are the Options for Expats Looking to Invest in UAE Stocks?

  • The Dubai Financial Market and Nasdaq Dubai (which trades in dollars) are both open to investors from all around the world. To trade DFM and Nasdaq Dubai-listed securities, any individual or institution must first get a National Investor Number (NIN) from the Dubai Central Securities Depository (CSD).
  • Investors who want to trade on the DFM can get an investor number by downloading the DFM app or visiting the DFM's website. They can submit the necessary documents, register, and obtain a username and password. The Investor Number will be sent via SMS to the investor. Investors can also apply for an Investor Number in person by submitting the appropriate documentation in person. 
  • People can also go to a DFM licensed brokerage and have an Investor Number obtained on their behalf by filling out an Investor Number Request Form and attaching supporting documents.
  • Investors can apply for an investor number using the Sahmi digital platform (for Emirates ID cardholders), accredited brokerage companies, or customer service offices at all ADX branches to buy and sell shares on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX).
  • Individual investors who want to open an account with the ADX must provide an Emirates ID card, bank account information, and fill out a form.
  • Individual investors who want to open an account with the ADX must provide an Emirates ID card, bank account information, and fill out a form.

What are the Benefits of Investing for Expats?

The UAE government encourages many privately held family groups and government-owned entities such as DEWA and others to go public so that nationals and expatriates can participate in the growth story.

"For both the investor and the investee, this is a win-win situation. "An investor can participate in the growth of a listed firm by introducing cash while earning a dividend, whereas an investee can leverage liquidity for growth and sustainability".

Global investors who are turning away from the mainstream economies of Europe, the United States, and other saturated markets will undoubtedly migrate to the UAE to take advantage of the IPO's first benefits.

"However, before making any decision, investors should conduct a thorough study on the sector, security, and duration of the investment," he added.

Read More - UAE: DEWA Launches its IPO

Guide For Opening a DFM and ADX Account

Here is the step-by-step guidance for opening a DFM and DFX account:-

Apply for National Investor Number (NIN)

  • Fill out the online form for an Investor Number.
  •  Submit required documents such as a passport, a family book (for UAE nationals), a residency visa (for UAE residents), and a UAE national ID card (UAE residents)
  •  Documents can be submitted online at, at the World Trade Center's Client Services Affairs Desk, or through a licensed DFM or Nasdaq broker.
  •  The NIN is provided free of charge and is available immediately once the application has been approved.

 Select a Broker

  • Once you have a NIN, go to a DFM or ADX-registered brokerage firm
  •  Sign up for a trading account.


  • You can commence buying and selling stocks with the help of a regulated broker after obtaining a NIN and a trading account.

Keep an Eye on Your Progress

  • Track stocks online using the credentials provided by your broker.


The financial world has changed dramatically, and it can be difficult to keep up with the terms and remain on top. But, in order to live a financially healthy life, you must modify it and use it to maximize your wealth. It is a sensible option to learn about the market.

Connect with our experts at Dhanguard for reliable, unbiased guidance on all aspects of buying shares in a listed company in the UAE.

Investments is made simple and hassle-free with Dhanguard in Dubai, UAE. We provide you various investment options like Index Fund, Gold, Mutual Fund, Stocks, SIPs, Bonds, Fixed Deposite, Sukuks with the minimum possible trouble including paperwork & payments.

By Shivangi

30-Mar, 2022

Investments Related FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why should one Invest?

    Earning money now is insufficient, since it may not be enough to meet life's financial objectives. As a result, it is critical to spend money. Saving money in the bank is the same as giving up an opportunity to make money. It is crucial to invest carefully in the different plans available on the market, choosing the one that is ideally tailored to your objectives.

  • What is the eligibility to buy Investment Plans?

    With new technologies and goods, the investment market is rising by the day. The conditions for investing in different forms of investment instruments differ depending on the providers in the UAE.

  • What are the best Investment for Expats in UAE?

    Expats can invest in stocks, bonds, real estate, cash, UAE mutual funds, or other forms of funds in the UAE.

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