Dubai is a magnificent city to live and work in. But how can someone buy Bitcoin in Dubai? Is it legal to buy Bitcoin in Dubai? Is Dubai crypto-friendly? 

Here’s a quick guide with the answers. The great news is that, yes, buying Bitcoin (BTC) in the United Arab Emirates is permitted, and the country is actually one of the most welcoming to cryptocurrency exchanges and investors.

Is Dubai crypto-friendly?

The thriving metropolis of Dubai in the UAE has long been deemed a crypto-friendly city. Some describe the UAE as the most crypto-friendly country.

What’s more, there is zero tax to pay on cryptocurrency trading in the UAE, as well as zero income or capital gains tax. This combination has made the Middle Eastern country massively attractive to cryptocurrency and blockchain companies and the users of these technologies. There are many UAE crypto traders and plenty of crypto investment options in the UAE.

But is it legal to buy Bitcoin in Dubai? Dubai and the UAE have some regulations on cryptocurrencies, including policies to protect investors. Cryptocurrencies are not licensed or recognized as legal tender; however, there are no laws against buying Bitcoin in the UAE or owning or trading Bitcoin or other crypto.

How to buy cryptocurrency in Dubai

Buying Bitcoin in Dubai and anywhere in the UAE is quite straightforward; it starts with choosing a crypto exchange, registering and creating an account, and then adding the funds needed to buy the cryptocurrency of choice.

Bitcoin is available on any exchange, and other leading cryptocurrencies are available on most major exchanges. Investors who plan to hold on to Bitcoin usually want to move their Bitcoin away from an exchange into a Bitcoin wallet or to more secure Bitcoin storage like a hardware wallet. Let’s look at the steps to buying Bitcoin in the United Arab Emirates:

1. Choose an exchange

The first priority when choosing an exchange is security; crypto buyers should always research the exchange and check online reviews, then review the coins, the exchange lists and the fees.

2. Register

Registering with an exchange starts with an email, a password and any other security authentication available. Cryptocurrency exchange users should always make full use of any additional security options. New exchange users will usually need to provide the exchange with an image of a piece of photo ID to complete its Know Your Customer (KYC) checks.

3. Fund and buy

Once an account has been created, funds can be added from fiat accounts. After that, it’s possible to buy BTC with UAE dirhams easily this way or to select another trading pair.

Which crypto exchanges operate in Dubai and the UAE?

The intriguing thing is that there are many leading exchanges that operate in the UAE; investors can pick from the most well-known, the best-reviewed, those thought of as the safest, and those with the highest availability of leading cryptocurrencies.

Some of the crypto exchanges and Bitcoin trading platforms in Dubai and the UAE are eToro, OKX, HTX (formerly Huobi) and Binance. Bitcoin brokers in the UAE, such as Rain, OKX, Uphold, Bybit and Binance, are regulated by the UAE Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) or the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM).

How to choose Bitcoin wallets in Dubai

Just like Bitcoin trading platforms in Dubai, there are lots of options for Bitcoin wallets in Dubai to store crypto safely. The first step is to choose a Bitcoin wallet suitable for investor plans or behavior.

Online wallets or wallet applications aren’t as safe as hardware wallets, but they can be more suitable for investors planning to move their cryptocurrency holdings or use them on a regular basis. Hot wallets to choose from include Trust Wallet or Electrum.

More valuable Bitcoin holdings or funds left idle for some time are best stored in safer hardware wallets, such as Trezor or Ledger Nano.

Can you buy Bitcoin in Dubai with cash?

It’s possible to buy Bitcoin in Dubai with cash straight from an account or by using a credit card. After an account has been set up with an exchange, the next step is to add fiat money funds to the account and then go on to purchase Bitcoin.

Does Dubai have Bitcoin ATMs?

The UAE is so welcoming to crypto that it is one of the countries to have Bitcoin ATMs, and Dubai’s first Bitcoin ATM was installed at the five-star Rixos Premium Dubai Hotel in 2019. At the kiosk, visitors can insert cash and buy Bitcoin instantly.

Is buying Bitcoin via P2P in Dubai common?

Peer-to-peer (P2P) cryptocurrency exchanges allow users to trade Bitcoin directly with one another, unlike centralized or decentralized exchanges. On a P2P exchange, it’s possible to look at a seller’s list of assets for sale and choose accordingly. Buyers and sellers agree on the price of the cryptocurrency for sale before the sale is made.

P2P exchanges can be more common in countries with greater restrictions on cryptocurrency exchanges; in Dubai, that’s not the case. The major exchanges operating in Dubai often have P2P functionality as well as standard trading options, which provides the best of both worlds. The exchanges offering P2P trading in Dubai include Binance, Paxful, OKX, HTX, Bybit and KuCoin.

Are there crypto-friendly banks in the UAE?

It is interesting to know how banks in Dubai and the UAE view cryptocurrencies and crypto users. The UAE doesn’t fail the crypto entrepreneur, and there are a number of crypto-friendly banks in the UAE that will allow crypto businesses to open and use fiat accounts.

First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) has no policies restricting its customers from buying and selling crypto. Although it doesn’t offer crypto trading, it’s possible to link an FAB account with a crypto exchange to fund Bitcoin purchases. FAB also has future plans to leverage Web3 and digital assets for its users.

Exercise caution while dealing with cryptocurrencies

It is fortunate for Dubai residents to have access to a vibrant financial environment that enables them to engage with the world of cryptocurrencies.

However, it is important to remember that the value of Bitcoin and many other cryptocurrencies is extremely volatile and subject to significant price swings in either direction. Therefore, before entering the cryptocurrency market, careful research and knowledge of the risks involved are crucial.

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