Your Ultimate Guide to Online Gambling in the UAE 2021
If you’re looking for the most accurate information on gambling in the United Arab Emirates, then this is the page for you. Written by our team of experts, it includes recommendations for the safest and best casinos in the UAE, security tips, and of course, the best bonuses too. Select a casino from the list below to join thousands of UAE players who trust Arabian Betting to help them play at casinos online or read on to learn more about gambling safely within the Emirates.
The Best Online Casinos for UAE Players
Lots of esports betting markets
Excellent range of casino games
Many currencies supported
Slick mobile service for iOS and Android
Vast choice of games
Great range of promotions
Great Welcome Bonus
Over 600 Slot Games
Excellent VIP Program
Great selection of games
Various bonuses for players
Plenty of payment methods
Over 250 live dealer games
Virtual racing, sports, lottery
Exciting bonuses and promos
Collect loyalty points that contribute towards a 7-tier VIP programme
Receive regular bonuses and promotions in your inbox
Choose between a casino and a sports welcome bonus package
How We Choose the Best Online Gambling UAE Casinos
Our team of gambling experts has decades of combined casino experience, working with top online casinos, and they use this to inspect a range of key factors when recommending sites for online gambling in the UAE. We know there’s no one site perfect for every player too, so we provide a variety of options that all accept UAE players. Essentially, no matter your preferences, we’ve got you covered.
Below, you can discover the list of criteria we look at when reviewing an online casino in Dubai and the UAE.
Security and Safety
Both your privacy and your safety are of the utmost importance when gambling in the UAE. Therefore, we only recommend trustworthy casinos with licenses from reputable international bodies. We also ensure they have strong security measures such as SSL encryption and the strictest data protection and privacy policies.
Discreet and Reliable Payment Methods
You want to know your money is in safe hands, which is why all of our recommended UAE gambling sites offer secure online casino banking methods. These casinos allow you to deposit and withdraw without having to tie your bank account to your casino account too, whether that’s via an e-wallet or cryptocurrency.
Quality Games and Software
One of the most important things we look for at an online casino in Dubai and the UAE is the variety of games available. This includes the number of different game types and variations, as well as the quality of the software. With our recommendations, you can enjoy the best selection of titles, whether you are looking for slots, casino table games, live dealer casino games, or video poker.
Live Dealer Casino Games
Since there is no land-based casino gambling in the United Arab Emirates, we know you might crave that resort experience. That’s why we test the live dealer games at each of our recommended casinos. Most popular are live dealer roulette, blackjack and baccarat but there are plenty of other games with real dealers over live video streams. It’s the closest thing to a Las Vegas or Macau experience you can get over the internet.
VIP Perks and Bonuses
One area we pay close attention to in our reviews is how well an online casino for VIPs treats its players. If you want to spend money at a casino online, you deserve to be treated well. Our recommended online casinos in the UAE provide special VIP perks like bigger bonuses, rewards programs, and exclusive promotions that give you more for your money.
With mobile gambling becoming increasingly popular each year, we ensure that each of our recommended casinos supports mobile devices. To make mobile online gambling in the UAE easier, we dedicate a section of our reviews to our mobile casino experts, where they cover the mobile browser and app gambling experience in detail.
How to Gamble Safely at a UAE Casino Online
There are many reasons why online casinos are a good choice for UAE players. For starters, by sticking to our recommended sites, you’re playing with operators licensed by some of the world’s most trusted regulatory agencies. That means each of these casinos is entirely secure, from the financial systems and the safety of your personal information to the fairness of the games they offer.
Beyond simply choosing an excellent casino, there are other steps you can take to make gambling in the UAE even safer. To ensure your play is safe and discreet, we recommend using the following techniques that have proven effective for many players throughout the Middle East.
Use a Trusted VPN
One of the most important steps you can take to safeguard your online casino play is to use a VPN (Virtual Private Network). A VPN allows you to mask the source of your traffic, so it appears to be coming from a private network in another location. This ensures that all your activities remain private and untraceable, eliminating the concern that local authorities may find out you are engaged in ‘illegal’ activity. Besides masking your online activities, using a VPN will also allow you to circumvent any ISP blocking that is in place for any online gambling UAE site. Essentially, a VPN is a must-have tool for gambling in the UAE.
Getting started with a VPN is relatively simple, though there is a small amount of setup involved. The easiest way to start is by choosing a trusted and reliable VPN provider. There are several free VPNs out there, though many players at UAE online casinos choose to use better-known services that come with a small charge, such as NordVPN or CyberGhost VPN.
Once you’ve visited the website of your chosen provider, download the VPN program onto any device you plan to use for online UAE gambling. When loading up the program, you will see a wide range of options for various servers in numerous countries. Some VPNs offer thousands of servers in various countries. The location you choose may vary depending on which of our recommended online casinos in the UAE you pick.
Note that once you activate the VPN, all your browsing will appear to be coming from the location of the server you’re connecting through. That means websites that use location data will now think you are in a different place than your actual position. For instance, weather websites will give you information about the city your VPN is in, rather than your own. Once you finish your online gambling session, you can turn off the VPN, and websites will once again know your device’s actual location.
Use Secure and Discreet Payment Methods
Because online gambling in the UAE is illegal, banks in the country aren’t just going to allow you to make deposits to online casinos from your account. There are, however, plenty of alternative payment methods that allow you to transfer money to and from an online casino in Dubai and the UAE in general, whilst giving you the privacy and security you need to feel safe.
The best banking option for UAE online gambling is using an e-wallet. These are private online wallets, which allow you to store your funds electronically and use them at various sites, including online casinos. This means that you’ll never directly transfer funds between your bank or credit card and the casino. Instead, the e-wallet acts as an intermediary.
You can also use cryptocurrencies at many of the best online casinos in the UAE. Another popular payment method is prepaid cards, such as the Paysafecard. You can purchase and top up these in retail outlets in the UAE and then redeem them at casino sites.
Some of the most popular payment methods used by UAE gamblers include Neteller, Skrill, Entropay, Bitcoin, and Paysafecard.
How to Join an Online Casino in Dubai and the UAE
Online gambling in the UAE does not need to be confusing or unsafe. Follow a few simple steps and start playing today.
Choose a trusted VPN provider, sign up and install the service on the devices you intend to use. There are many options available, from free providers to subscription VPNs.
Before visiting the casino online, make sure you turn your VPN on and connect to a server located outside the UAE. Most VPNs feature a ‘Kill Switch’ that stops your browsing if the VPN disconnects. For extra safety, make sure it is activated.
Select a casino from our list of the best online gambling sites in the UAE. Go to the casino site once the VPN is set up and turned on.
Sign up to the casino by following a few quick steps. You will need to provide some contact information such as name, email, and birthdate (for age verification). But the casino will never share your personal information with any third party.
Claim the casino’s welcome bonus available for new players.
Head to the casino’s Cashier/Deposit pages, choose a payment method and follow the instructions to make a deposit and fund your casino account.
Visit the casino’s game lobby and browse games by category or specific game titles.
Play and hope to win! If you’re lucky, visit the Cashier to withdraw your winnings using your preferred payment method.
Looking for the Best Bookmakers Available to UAE Players?
While this page is mainly about the best online casinos in the UAE, we know that many also have a passion for sports betting. To find information on top UAE sportsbetting sites that welcome bets from UAE players, check our page on the top bookmakers in the United Arab Emirates.
At these sites, you can expect secure betting opportunities on a wide variety of sports markets. There are always plenty of bet options and, of course, competitive odds. Bet on major sports like football and cricket, or place specialty wagers on horseracing and ice hockey. Our UAE online sportsbooks list has it all.
VIP Online Gambling in the UAE
After you signed up to the casino and claimed a welcome offer, you can start enjoying the generous benefits that UAE online casinos offer their existing players. To keep players coming back, our recommended casinos offer VIP programs to reward you for your loyalty.
You will collect reward points for your casino activities and advance through VIP tiers as you accumulate points. With each tier, the rewards increase. High rollers receive luxury holidays, VIP trips, tickets to world-class shows and sporting competitions, exclusive VIP events, and more.
Here are some common benefits provided by VIP programs at UAE online casinos:
- Exclusive Bonuses & Promotions – UAE online gambling sites often feature casino VIP programs, bonuses and promotions not available to regular players.
- Dedicated Withdrawal Service – A top online casino in Dubai and the UAE will assign VIP players with dedicated payment teams to help withdraw their winnings quickly.
- Higher Deposit and Withdrawal Limits -Depending on your VIP level, you will receive much higher deposit and cash-out limits.
- Personal VIP Manager -One of the best VIP perks in online gambling sites in the UAE is access to a dedicated support manager. This is a casino employee who is on hand to help with any question or need, ensuring that your gambling experience suits your luxury VIP status.
- Gifts & Rewards – Casinos often reward VIPs with personalized gifts and casino merchandise. At high roller levels, rewards include luxury travel, holidays, tickets for events, and more.
- Invitations to Events – As a VIP, you can play special high-stakes games that are not available to regular online casino patrons.
Online Gambling Laws in the UAE – Complete Guide
Perhaps the most common question our team gets is if online gambling is legal in the UAE. The short answer to this question is that no. Like virtually all forms of gambling in the UAE, the law prohibits online gambling. But a deeper dive into the country’s gaming policies shows the situation isn’t entirely black and white.
Broadly, gambling is illegal in the UAE, as it is throughout much of the Middle East and many other Muslim countries worldwide. That’s been the case since 1998 when laws were changed to remove the gambling that had been allowed at some luxury hotels. However, you can find a few exceptions if you look close enough.
Land Based Casinos in the UAE
People in the UAE can enjoy casino cruises offered by major cruise lines. For example, Royal Caribbean International, or Dubai-based operator Costa Cruises, operate casino cruises throughout the Middle East. Once ships get out to international waters, they offer legal gambling, making them popular among locals who want a quick casino experience without planning a long vacation to another country with land-based resorts.
Lotteries and Contests
Whilst the UAE does not allow the standard lotteries you may find in other countries, they consider raffles and draws to be a legal form of gambling. Many of these are small contests that offer prizes at malls or as part of promotions by various companies. For example, buy a product, and enter a draw that could win you a prize. At least one of these contests, though, is quite large. At duty-free shops at UAE airports, anyone can buy tickets for a raffle that offers a top prize of $1 million – something that can be considered a lottery in all but name.
Racecourses in the UAE
Horse racing is a big part of Arabic culture and tradition. There are several racecourses in the UAE, all in Dubai. Meydan, Jebel Ali, and Nad Al Sheba are the country’s biggest horse racing venues, providing access to world-class racing. The reason betting is not common at horse racing venues in Dubai, aside from gambling laws, is tradition. People in the UAE see horse racing as more of a luxurious sport rather than something you bet on.
Unlike in many parts of the world, traditional betting isn’t offered at the track on races like the Dubai World Cup. While guests can sometimes enter contests where part of their race entry fee goes towards a draw, you won’t see the kinds of betting windows that are commonplace at other tracks around the world.
Online Off-Shore Casinos
Online casinos offer a much safer option for gambling in the UAE. Although the law prohibits casino activity online, players can take steps to ensure they are both safe and discreet. What’s more, if you choose an off-shore casino that boasts licenses and regulations, their safeguarding rules will make your casino experience secure.
Using a VPN, you can access casinos from remote jurisdictions. These off-shore sites do not operate illegally, as their location means they do not fall under the UAE’s gambling regulations. As such, they are far less likely to be rogue operators, and far more likely to have sturdy fairness and privacy frameworks in place.
Taxes on Online Gambling in the UAE
A common question we receive about gambling online in the UAE is whether winnings are taxable. In most cases, the government only takes tax on your regular income, which is money you earn from investments, salary, and other business profits. As gambling is illegal within the country, there are no hard and fast rules on irregular incomes, such as casino and lottery winnings. Most people choose not to declare this income either, as doing so could put them at risk.
Join a Top Online Casino in Dubai and UAE Today
Now that you’re up to speed on online gambling in the UAE, it’s time to play! Check out our list of recommended online casinos to choose from, featuring the best and most trusted sites for UAE players. By sticking with our top list, you will have a safe, secure, and fun time playing all your favorite games at a world-class casino site.