United Arab Emirates
Securities and Commodities Markets

Includes special features of this country’s Securities and Commodities system and rules/laws that might impact U.S. business.

Last published date: 2019-10-13
Securities and Commodities Markets
Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) is the governing body for all the stock exchanges, securities and commodities listed in the UAE except for the ones that are in the financial free zones. 
The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is a financial free zone that opened in 2004 under the regulatory authority of an independent body, the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA). 
Similar to DIFC, the emirate of Abu Dhabi launched the operations of the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) in October 2015.  This new financial center is also regulated by its own independent body, the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA).   
The Dubai Financial Market (DFM) and the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) that opened in 2000 are regulated by the SCA.  The SCA electronically links both bourses in what it calls the Emirates Securities Market (ESM).  They are the most prominent stock exchanges in the country.  More than 200 stocks and a dozen of sukuks and bonds are listed in the DFM and ADX combined. 
The Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange (DGCX), founded in 2005 in the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) as the region’s first commodity derivatives exchange, is also regulated by the SCA. 
In 2005, Nasdaq Dubai stock exchange opened in DIFC under DFSA’s regulatory authority.  After years of low trading volumes, all clearing, trading, settlement and custody functions for Nasdaq Dubai equities have migrated and are being outsourced to the DFM’s systems. To date, only 8 stocks are listed in Nasdaq Dubai, and most other securities traded are sukuks and bonds.