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Best Sports Betting Sites in the UAE

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When it comes to betting on sports, navigating the betting landscape in the UAE can be really tricky, with all forms of gambling including betting at online sports betting sites being illegal. However, there are many reputable offshore sports betting sites happily offering their services to UAE punters, so the issue is how UAE bettors can take advantage of this.

In this article, we will talk about how to do just that, as well as recommending the best sports betting sites, looking at new customer offers, the range of sports and markets, payment and withdrawal methods and everything in between!

How we rank the best online sports betting sites in the UAE

When it comes to the best online sports betting sites in the UAE, there may be a lot to choose from but the criteria we judge the best sports betting sites by in our sportsbook reviews is far more specific. Here is a look at some of the most important considerations: 

  • Reputation – The legitimacy of betting sites for sports is always one of the key factors when we write articles such as this, so you can be 100% sure that any site featured is safe and reliable. However, when it comes to selecting a specific sports betting site, you can never go wrong by signing up for an established sportsbook that has been trusted by bettors worldwide for many years, such as Betway.
  • Odds – The competitiveness of an online sports betting site’s odds is not always high on a bettor’s list of priorities when selecting a new sportsbook. And that’s because not only is it hard to know exactly how a particular site’s odds match up with their rivals, but with such a huge range of sports and markets on offer from site to site, no sportsbook could ever claim to have the best odds across the board. However, when we took a good look at the sports betting sites featured in this article we found 1xBet to have a strong level of betting odds across a large variety of sports.
  • Features – There are few more competitive industries than betting and what can often separate a sportsbook from their rival sports betting sites is the extra features they can offer punters that may not always appear on the average sportsbook. Features such as Bet Builders, Accumulator Boosts and Live Streaming are both useful and immersive and once again it’s the more established sports betting sites such as Betway and ShangriLa that are leading the way.
  • Betting Markets – Football and horse racing may be the most popular sports to bet on worldwide but punters are often looking for more than that, particularly in countries such as the UAE where cricket betting is hugely popular. So assessing the range of betting markets on a sportsbook is always a big priority for us. And 22Bet has a fantastic range of sports for you to choose from, as well as the biggest selection of eSports we have ever seen!
  • Usability – What attracts people to a new sportsbook is their new customer offer but one of the major factors that keeps them playing is a site’s ease of use, because no one is going to continue to use a sports betting site that has you punching your keyboard in frustration when you are trying to place a wager! Punters need to be able to find the sports and markets they want to bet on easily and with as few clicks as possible, and in our opinion, bet o bet may be a new kid on the block but they are doing a lot right when it comes to site navigation and usability.
  • Promotions – The best betting sites for sports feature new customer deals to encourage punters to bet with them, but many bettors are just as interested in ongoing offers such as free bets, odds boosts and reward programmes. And we found that 888sport betting & 22Bet have a great selection of existing customer offers including loyalty bonuses and free bets.

Key features at the best sports betting sites in the UAE

Here is a quick comparison of the different features that are available at the best sports betting sites in the UAE:

Sportsbook In-Play Betting Live Streaming Cashout Betting App
22Bet
1xBet
betfinal
bet o bet
ShangriLa
Betway
Mr Play
Spin Sports
888sport
MELbet

Best UAE betting sites 2022 by category

🏆 Best Overall Betting Agency 1xBet
📊 Best New Sportsbook bet o bet
💰 Best Special Offers 1xBet
📺 Top for In-Play ShangriLa
⭐ Strongest Security Betway
📱 Best Betting App 888sport
🧩 Top Special Features 22Bet
💰 Range of Payment Methods 1xBet
🔁 Best Value Odds Betway
⚽ Top for eSports Betting MELbet

Types of welcome bonus offers available in the UAE

When you create a new account at an online sportsbook, you will nearly always receive a welcome offer of some sort, which will vary in amount depending on which UAE betting site you are dealing with. Here is a quick look at some of the different types of welcome offers you can expect from UAE sports betting sites:

Deposit Bonus

The most popular welcome offer is certainly the deposit bonus, where you get your first deposit matched to a certain degree, often 100% but sometimes less. There are some generous deposit bonuses out there but beware of wagering requirements you need to meet before you can cash out the bonus funds.

Top Deposit Bonus Welcome Offers in the UAE

  1. 1xBet – 100% Match up to AED 6,225
  2. betfinal – 100% Match, up to AED 4,960
  3. ShangriLa – 100% Match, up to AED 2,075

Free Bet

Rather than matching your initial deposit, sometimes sportsbooks will offer you a free bet instead. Generally speaking, depositing a certain amount will be enough to qualify but there are occasions when you will need to place a bet too before you can receive your reward. However, a big advantage is that unlike match bonuses it’s more common to be able to keep the winnings from the free bet without any further betting requirements.

Risk-Free Bet

Risk-free bets are rarer but will be seen occasionally on a new sports betting site. This sees you placing a bet on a given market and if it’s a loser you will get your stake returned to you in the form of a free bet. Many punters use this as an opportunity to have a speculative punt at a big price, safe in the knowledge that if things don’t go to plan they can get their money back and start again!

Key bonus terms

It’s really important to know some of the key terms associated with new customer offers, so you can be aware of exactly how good a deal is under the surface and know what you need to do to qualify.

  • Minimum Deposit – There will often be a minimum initial deposit you will need to make in order to get your hands on a given deal.
  • Minimum Bet – Sometimes you will need to make a minimum bet in addition to a minimum deposit, and the important thing to remember is that often these two amounts won’t be the same, so for example you may be required to deposit a minimum of AED 200 but wager a minimum of AED 300.
  • Minimum Odds – Often, your qualifying bets will need to be placed at a minimum price in order to receive your bonus. These odds will usually be around even money (Evs) in fractional, or 2.0 in decimal odds. In addition, minimum odds can often come into play when you want to place a wager with your free bet.
  • Wagering Requirements – When it comes to a deposit bonus in particular there will often be wagering requirements (sometimes called rollover requirements) such as 10x, 20x, 35x. This doesn’t mean you have to make this number of bets, just that you need to wager this amount multiplied by your bonus before you can withdraw it. So for example, if you have an AED 1,000 bonus with a 20x wagering requirement you will need to place AED 20,000 in bets before you can get to your money. It’s always important to know what the wagering requirement is at the top betting sites for sports because the higher it is, the harder it will be to put a run of successful bets together without losing it all!
  • Expiry Period – The bonus funds or free bets that you get will nearly always have some sort of expiry date, generally seven days but sometimes up to 21. If you do not use them or meet your wagering requirements within this time period, your bonus funds will disappear.
  • Cap on Winnings – Certain offers will have a cap on how much real money you will be able to win.
  • Eligibility Markets – When placing a qualifying bet or using a free bet, there are often certain types of betting markets that will be excluded.

How to choose the best sports betting sites in the UAE

Even taking into account the key features of the leading UAE sports betting sites it can be tough narrowing down a shortlist of options. However, there are some additional questions you can ask yourself so that you can quickly figure out which sportsbook is the best fit for you.

Are UAE bettors accepted?

If you have been able to gain access to a site then that will generally mean you can sign up from the UAE, but it’s always worth checking before you have a proper look around the sportsbook.

Are United Arab Emirates dirham offered as an account currency?

Not all of the sites available to UAE bettors accept dirham as an account currency, but thanks to e-wallets such as Skrill you can easily convert your funds into US dollars, Euros or even pounds and then deposit that way. However, the downside is that e-wallets can be quite expensive as they charge fees to deposit and convert currency, and sometimes your bank will charge you as well.

Are local payment methods accepted?

The legal situation surrounding betting online in the UAE means that the vast majority of bettors in the country will choose to maintain their privacy by using offshore e-wallets to deposit into UAE sports betting sites. And Skrill, Neteller and Sticpay are some of the most popular, well established and widely accepted e-wallets available to UAE punters.

Does the betting site feature local and national sporting events?

Being able to place a bet on the English Premier League is a given on any of the sports betting sites available to UAE bettors. However, with camel racing betting, in particular, being hugely popular, whether a sportsbook features our humped friends will be a huge consideration for UAE punters.

Sports markets available to UAE bettors

The leading sports betting sites in the UAE have an enormous selection of sports, including horse racing betting, football betting, cricket betting and so much more! However, with the Emiratis having a particular passion for certain events, here are a few of the most popular ones:

Horse racing betting sites 

horse racing icon

Horse racing is one of the most popular sports in the UAE, with the country’s five racecourses attracting hundreds of thousands of spectators each year, all drawn by marquee events such as the Dubai World Cup, one of the richest horse races in the world. Dubai is also home to Godolphin racing, a name familiar to racing fans worldwide and one of the largest thoroughbred horseracing stables and breeding operations in the world.

And so it follows that betting on horse racing is hugely popular in the UAE, with the sport of kings featured prominently on every one of the online horse racing betting sites featured in this article.

Horse Racing Betting Tips: One of the main traps that bettors fall into when betting on horse racing is consistently betting on the favourite. You may well win your fair share of bets but the amount you will have to wager in order to secure a decent profit at short odds means that on the occasions when the favourites lose, which happens much more than you would think, your bankroll will take a bigger hit in the long-term. A better strategy is to do your research and pick out other horses with a good chance of winning that will reward smaller stakes with bigger wins.

Camel racing betting sites

camel racing icon

One of the best-loved sports in the UAE is camel racing, which is a tradition that goes back hundreds of years and still remains hugely popular to this day, drawing in large crowds of locals and tourists at tracks throughout the country. Unsurprisingly, betting in person is prohibited and at the time of writing, we were unable to find any online betting sites that offered camel racing betting. However, ShangriLa offers a very realistic virtual game if you want to try and win some money by betting on this unique sport.

Virtual Camel Racing Betting Tips: As is the case with any virtual betting it’s important to keep your stakes low and remember you are essentially playing a game of chance! 

Football betting sites

football icon

As one of the best leagues in the world, the English Premier League is hugely popular to watch and bet on all over the world, and the UAE is certainly no different. The enormous amount of markets offered on football betting sites also provide a golden opportunity to make a profit. 

Football Betting Tips: “Prop” bets such as a player to have a certain amount of shots on target or to be booked can be profitable because they don’t depend on the main match result as you are only relying on the performance of one player. 

Where to find the best sports betting odds

You are never going to be able to find a sports betting site that always has the absolute best sports betting odds on offer for every single market, as some may be average when it comes to football betting odds but may offer amazing cricket betting odds, for example. However, some operators do manage to consistently deliver strong sports betting odds across the board. Here are some of the online betting sites with the best betting odds:

  1. Mr Play100% Match, up to €100
  2. 1xBet – 100% Match, up to AED 6,225
  3. 22Bet – 100% Match, up to AED 1,240

Payment methods available to bettors in the UAE

There are many different ways that bettors in the UAE can add funds to and make withdrawals from sports betting sites. And thanks to the rules governing online gambling the needs of the UAE punter are very different.

For example, e-wallets have assumed more importance as many people wish to keep their betting accounts separate from their bank accounts. So here are some of the most common payment methods you will come across:

Debit Cards and Credit Cards

Nearly all sports betting sites support payments made through debit cards and credit cards and they will usually need to be from major card issuers such as Visa or MasterCard. 

E-Wallets

It’s safe to say that e-wallets are a very popular transaction option when it comes to UAE online gambling sites, and even more so in the UAE because the vast majority of punters are keen to keep their bank accounts and betting accounts separate.

E-wallets such as Neteller and Skrill are widely available as payment methods at UAE sports betting sites and are also very easy to use, provide currency conversion and process transactions quickly and securely. The only downside is that the fees can mount up, particularly if you are converting from one currency to another.

Bank Transfer

Bank transfers are less popular than debit card deposits because they usually take more time, but for bettors who don’t care about linking their bank and betting accounts, they can be a very safe deposit and withdrawal option. However, there are some operators that will charge you a fee for using a bank transfer and the minimum transaction sizes can be higher. 

Cryptocurrencies 

Paying with cryptocurrency is considered more secure than credit and debit card payments because a customer’s data isn’t stored in a centralized hub where breaches commonly occur. And with cryptocurrency transactions having a high level of privacy in general it’s no surprise to find that a large number of UAE sportsbooks offer crypto as a payment method.

Payment Method Fees Min Deposit Min Withdrawal
Credit Card/Debit Card 0% $1 – $10 $10
Trustly (bank transfer) 0% (banks may charge) $1 – $10 $10
Apple Pay 0% $1 – $10 $10
e-wallets 0% (e-wallets will charge up to 5%)  $1 – $10 $10
Cryptocurrencies 0% $1 – $10 $10

Best sports betting apps in the UAE

Remarkably, over 97% of the UAE’s 10 million population are smartphone users so it’s no shock that a huge number of them are looking to partake in sports betting online through the best sports betting apps on their phones. The majority of sportsbooks will have sports betting apps that you can download to your phone, but even the newer sites that have not introduced a sports betting app will usually have an optimised site to look at in portrait mode on your mobile web browser.

And here is a look at some of the best sports betting apps when it comes to mobile sports betting in the UAE:

How to open a sports betting online account in the UAE

Opening a new account at a sports betting site is generally a quick and easy process, where you can be up and running and placing a bet in a matter of minutes. The number of forms you need to fill in will vary from site to site but the information you need to provide is pretty standard across all sports betting sites.

Step 1: Visit the Website or App

The first step on the path to placing a wager is to head to your chosen sports betting site’s home page or download their app, before clicking on “Register”, “Open Account” or “Sign Up”.

Mr Play home page

Step 2: Registration

You will need to provide your full name, address, date of birth, contact details, and create a username and password.

betobet reg page

Step 3: Deposit Money

Now you have your shiny new account it’s time to deposit some funds. Making a deposit will usually be a simple case of picking your chosen currency and payment method and then you should get access to your funds instantly.

1xBet Deposit Page

Step 4: Start Betting

Once your account is up and running it’s time to place some bets, and while all sites are different when it comes to their layout, the general setup on every sportsbook is that the range of sports available can either be found at the top or the left-hand side of the page. Then it’s just a case of clicking the sport you wish to bet on, choosing the specific match or market and then selecting the price to add to your bet slip.

betting sites in taiwan

Step 5: Account Verification Before Withdrawing

A lot of sports betting sites require you to provide a photo ID with your address before you can withdraw any funds, and occasionally you might also be asked for the same ID when you sign up. This is a very common measure to make sure stolen cards aren’t being used, to prevent money laundering and also guard against underage gambling.

Online Gambling Laws in the UAE

The UAE is a devoutly Muslim country and as a consequence, any form of betting through bricks-and-mortar establishments such as betting shops, casinos, card rooms and lottery shops is strictly prohibited. Online sports betting is also illegal and no sportsbooks exist that are based in the UAE. However, it is rare that anyone is ever caught gambling online and even if they are, a fine, rather than a prison sentence is by far the most likely outcome.

However, UAE residents and visitors who wish to place a bet online can do so with the many sites that offer their services to players in the region. And the most common step taken to avoid detection is the use of a VPN, or Virtual Private Network, which allows you to re-route your connection through proxy servers elsewhere in the world, basically hiding the actual location of your computer, tablet, or mobile phone.

betfinal home page

And when it comes to payment methods it stands to reason that UAE bettors who have shielded their location are not just going to fund their accounts through their personal bank accounts, which is why e-wallets that typically require less personal information from you than debit or credit cards are popular with UAE punters.

And even more attractive to some is the fact that many UAE online betting sites even let you make payments using cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin, which offer complete anonymity.

Ultimate sports betting tips

Betting on sports should always be an enjoyable, immersive and stress-free experience, but we have learned over time that there are specific tips you can follow in order to ensure that this is the case:

1. Do Your Research

There is a saying that “knowledge is power” and this is certainly true when it comes to betting on sports. The more research you can do, the better chance you will have of winning, but also finding “value bets” where the bookies have priced something up too high, which happens more often than you might think!

2. Bet on Sports you Know About

In our opinion, one of the biggest mistakes a punter can make is to regularly bet on sports which they know little or nothing about. Having a bet can make following a sport you like more enjoyable but wagering on things you aren’t familiar with reduces betting to nothing more than a means to make money. And of course, if you don’t know much about a sport you are making far less informed betting decisions that are more likely to cost you money. 

And the same principle should also be applied to the types of bets you are placing. For example, sports spread betting can be a fun new way to bet, but if you are unfamiliar with the different ways your wagers are calculated then you need to do some serious research before visiting sports spread betting sites.

3. Manage Your Bankroll

It is really important to allocate yourself a certain amount of money to bet with over a certain time period and stick to it, win or lose! This is called a bankroll and when you have done this you also need to make sure you are only betting a small portion of your bankroll at any given time, which will help you absorb those bad runs that affect us all at one point or another! And we would also highly recommend that you take advantage of the tools provided by sports betting sites to curb your spending such as daily, weekly and monthly deposit limits.

4. Don’t Chase Your Losses

We know the feeling when you’ve lost a bet and all you want to do is win that money back as quickly as possible, but it’s really important not to try and chase your losses instantly because it will more than likely lead to you gambling more than you should, betting on an event you know nothing about, or both!.

5. Take Advantage of Free Sports Betting Tips

There are a huge amount of free sports betting tips written by reputable and reliable tipsters available online which you can take advantage of to form your betting opinions. And one of the major advantages of utilising these free sports betting tips is that they are written by people whose job it is to research and write about betting, so you can be sure they will be featuring betting angles that you may not have thought of.

Final Thoughts

Betting fans in the UAE have many roadblocks in their way when it comes to wagering online, the biggest one being that gambling is illegal. However, there are many reputable offshore sportsbooks that are happy to provide their services to UAE bettors and with the use of a good VPN to maintain your anonymity there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to enjoy the same betting benefits as other punters worldwide.

In this article, we have recommended the 10 best online sports betting sites and taken you through key features such as new and existing customer offers, live betting and even shared some tips on how to gamble responsibly. And that all means you can make the most informed decision possible when selecting a sports betting site, and we wish you the best of luck!

FAQs

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