Understanding the popularity of exchange-traded funds


An exchange-traded fund, or ETF, is a practical investment tool. It provides a simple and cost-effective way to diversify investors’ portfolios while allowing them to remain agile in the markets.

The popularity of ETFs has been on the rise in the UAE over the past decade, and it’s easy to see why. Investors are attracted by their low costs, diversity of options, flexibility and access to global markets. This article will discuss why these funds have become increasingly popular among investors in the UAE.

Low costs

One of the main advantages of ETFs is their low cost. Because they are passively managed, their management fees are very competitive compared to actively managed funds. Therefore, investors can get more bang for their buck as they benefit from the same long-term growth potential without incurring high costs.

Furthermore, many ETFs also offer commission-free trading on major exchanges in the UAE, so investors don’t have to worry about paying hefty transaction fees when trading these funds. Additionally, the cost of buying and selling ETFs is usually much lower than mutual funds, making them an attractive option for investors looking to save money.

Diversified portfolio

Another key advantage of investing in ETFs is that it allows investors to build a diversified portfolio with minimal effort and at a fraction of the cost of individual stocks. An ETF typically consists of a basket of stocks or bonds, so investors get exposure to a wide range of asset classes with just one purchase. It makes it easier for investors to build and maintain a well-balanced portfolio according to their risk tolerance and financial goals.

Many ETFs offer exposure to niche markets or sectors which can be challenging for individual investors to access independently.


Flexibility is another significant benefit offered by ETFs that make them attractive to investors in the UAE.

Unlike mutual funds, which require investors to commit large sums upfront, ETFs can be bought and sold throughout the day like any other stock on the exchange market. It allows investors to respond quickly to changes in the market and adjust their portfolios accordingly. Additionally, investors can buy or sell ETFs in smaller increments without paying a minimum amount, making ETFs ideal for those who prefer a hands-on approach to managing their investments.


ETFs provide UAE investors with easy access to global markets and asset classes that may otherwise be difficult or expensive to access individually. With just one purchase, they can gain exposure to stocks worldwide, allowing them to benefit from potential growth opportunities outside of the UAE’s domestic market.

Many brokers offer ETFs as part of their lineup of products so investors can find them easily. Additionally, some brokers offer fractional ETF shares, allowing investors to invest even in markets that may require significant minimum investments. You can check the Saxo Dubai Markets to see what ETFs are available.

Tax efficiency

ETFs are also a tax-efficient investment option for UAE investors. Unlike mutual funds, ETFs don’t generate capital gains until the fund is sold, meaning investors can defer taxes by holding their investments for extended periods.

Furthermore, ETFs typically track an index rather than actively trading securities, generating fewer taxable events throughout the year, resulting in lower income overall. It makes them well-suited for long-term investments such as retirement and other tax-advantaged accounts. Additionally, many ETFs are structured as UITs, which can offer additional tax benefits for UAE investors.


ETFs offer liquidity that is hard to match with any other investment vehicle. They usually trade on major exchanges in the UAE, such as the SGX and MAS, with high trading volumes that make it easy for investors to buy or sell shares quickly and at a fair price.

Furthermore, ETFs can be bought or sold over the counter directly from brokerages without going through the stock market. It makes them attractive for those looking for an asset class with quick access to cash when needed.

Additionally, many ETFs also offer dividend payments which can provide an additional source of income for investors.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here