Trading and forex brokers in Qatar

Brokers au Qatar

Qatar is a relatively small nation located in the Arabian Peninsula, with a total population of nearly 3 million. Although small, it is one of the area's wealthiest nations. It boasts one of the world's largest sources of crude oil.

Qatar's economic growth is mainly driven by the extraction and export of fossil fuels. Its main export partners are Japan, India, China and South Korea. The government has made much effort to diversify the local economy through the development of its industrial sector.

Qatar is also a major player in the forex market. The local population thrives and enjoys a very high standard of living, with an increasing number of its citizens seeking to explore the foreign currency markets.

Given the country's wealth, it is not surprising that an estimated 1/10th of the population trades online! This includes currencies, cryptocurrencies, bonds and stocks. Qatar's national currency is the Qatari riyal (QAR). It is issued by the Central Bank, which fixes it against the American dollar at a fixed rate of 3.64 QAR per $1. This anchor was officially introduced in 2000. It was even perpetuated by law by Hamad Al Thani, who was then head of state.

Many forex brokerage firms accept clients from Qatar. Qatari forex traders must take 2 main factors into account before choosing a broker: where it is regulated and its compliance with Sharia investment principles.

Qatar foreign exchange market regulation

Trading on the foreign exchange markets is fully authorised by Qatari law. In addition, Qatar has adopted a rather lenient position towards offshore brokers who operate on Qatari soil without local authorisation. In 2017, Qatar experienced a serious diplomatic crisis that led to economic sanctions on behalf of its neighbours, especially Saudi Arabia.

This has made it harder for local traders to make foreign bank transfers, causing problems for those who want to do business with forex brokers located abroad. Traders in Qatar typically fund their trading accounts in the local currency, the riyal, and must then exchange it for a corresponding dollar amount.

This is done with the help of "introducing brokers", who are simply representatives of foreign brokers. The other solution is to buy foreign currencies to be exchanged with one of the designated exchange banks. Despite the seemingly complicated situation, many brokers are able to circumvent these obstacles via agents that operate locally.

Some locals prefer to trade on the stock exchange because of Sharia investment principles. They fear it will be haram - prohibited - by Islamic law. However, an increasing number of traders want to make money, so they sign up with regulated brokerages abroad.

The best forex brokers that accept Qatari traders are those that are regulated in jurisdictions like the UK, Australia and Cyprus. These brokers offer full support in Arabic language and meet high security standards. They welcome traders from Qatar with special accounts that fully comply with the principles of Islamic finance.

All financial operations in Qatar are based on Sharia law, which has formed the foundation of the Islamic economy. Sharia law is based on principles of ethics and transparency. It notably strictly prohibits the collection and payment of interest.

There are several reasons for this ban, starting with the fact that the Holy Quran orders Muslims to stay away from interest rates. Charging interest is considered highly unethical and unfair to the person that has to make the interest payment.

Muslims believe that interest is a means of exploiting the poor and increasing the wealth of those who are already rich. Money is considered only as a medium of exchange and has no intrinsic value. Therefore, it should not be possible for someone to reap benefits from money alone.

Fortunately, the leading brokerage firms regulated abroad provide Qatari traders with different types of Islamic swap-free accounts. In other words, traders are not charged interest, nor can they receive interest on their overnight positions.

Sharia compliant brokers that welcome traders from Qatar must also carry out the monetary transactions of Muslim traders swiftly. The same applies to the settlement of all trading and transaction fees.

With regard to security and fairness, all Qatar-friendly offshore brokers licensed in other leading jurisdictions adhere to strict security standards in order to protect their clients' trading capital. Regulators obligate them to store their clients' funds in separate accounts from their company's operating capital, so that the traders can recover their trading capital in the event that a brokerage faces liquidation.

Many companies also cap the maximum leverage that traders can use to prevent them from losing excessive sums of money. Protection against negative balances is often offered in order to prevent traders from losing more than what they originally deposited into their account.

BrokersRegulationTrading platformsOfficial website
DFSA, FSCA, FCA, CySEC, FSA MetaTrader 4 HF Markets website
FRSA, FSCA, JFSA, ASIC, CBFSAI, BVI FSCMetaTrader 4 and 5AvaTrade website
FCA, ASIC, CySECMetaTrader 4 and 5 Admiral Markets website
FCA, KNF, CySEC, BIFSC, CNMV MetaTrader 4
XStation
XTB website
ASIC: Australia, BVI FSC: British Virgin Islands, CBFSAI: Ireland, CySEC: Cyprus, DFSA: Dubaļ, FCA: United Kingdom, FRSA: Abu Dhabi, KNF: Poland, BIFSC: Belize, CNMV: Spain, FSA: Seychelles, FSCA: South Africa, JFSA: Japan

CFD trading involves a significant risk of loss, so it is not suitable for all investors. 74 to 89% of retail trading accounts lose money trading CFDs.

Financial regulators in Qatar

Qatar's financial sector is supervised by several regulatory bodies: the Central Bank of Qatar (CBQ), the Qatar Financial Markets Authority (QFMA) and the CFQ Regulatory Authority (QFCRA).

In 2019, the QFCRA announced that it was prohibiting companies from facilitating the supply and exchange of cryptocurrencies - such as Bitcoin - in Qatar. This measure was adopted as part of the fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

The three regulatory bodies supervise all banks, brokers, insurance companies and Qatari stock exchange companies. They also monitor hedge funds and investment companies that operate there.

In terms of forex brokers, the best offshore companies serving Qatari traders are licensed and overseen by top regulators located in other countries. Key examples include the UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the Cyprus Stock Exchange Commission (CySEC) and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

Forex brokers licensed in these jurisdictions offer favourable conditions and ensure that their clients' trading capital is protected. This is generally done by adopting policies that prevent negative balances, segregate account funds and limit leverage. As of this writing, there are no brokers that are actually based in Qatar. And Qataris who trade on regulated international forex trading websites are in no way infringing upon Qatari laws.

How does one go about funding a trading account in Qatar?

It is key for traders to sign up with brokers that facilitate quick and hassle-free deposits and withdrawals, so that they benefit from a flawless trading experience. Offshore forex brokers that serve the Qatari market offer several different payment methods, such as bank transfers.

However, it should be mentioned that international bank transfers require more processing time. Qatari traders who opt for this method may have to wait several working days until the funds they sent appear in their trading account balance.

Brokers servicing Qatari traders also allow payments to be made with standard credit or debit cards. Residents of Qatar can typically use American Express, Visa, Mastercard, Discover and Maestro cards.

Another alternative for Qatari traders is to use an electronic wallet payment system, the most widely available of which are Skrill (formerly MoneyBookers), WebMoney, PayPal, Perfect Money and Neteller. These systems are accepted by a large number of brokers that serve Qatar. Many local traders prefer digital wallets because they allow for fast money transfers and offer very low fees.

As for the minimum deposit amount to open an account, this depends on the broker. A comparison of deposit minimums is easy on a broker comparison page.

Deposits by most methods are usually 100% free, but withdrawals may be subject to a small charge by some brokers. It should also be kept in mind that withdrawals are normally processed using the same method of payment as was originally used by the trader for his deposits. You can't deposit with a wire transfer and withdraw your profits to your credit card!

What trading software is best to use?

Qatari traders should take the time to carefully assess their needs before choosing a brokerage firm. Before making a decision, you should assess your previous trading experience. For example, if you have already used a broker that offers the main trading platforms (MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5 and cTrader), you would probably be better off signing up with a broker that offers trading software that you've already used.

Indeed, most brokers already offer the 3 above-mentioned platforms. This is no coincidence, as they are generally considered to be the best in the world. MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 are both very flexible when it comes to device compatibility.

The platforms can be installed on desktop computers running Windows, Mac and even Linux. There are mobile versions for iOS and Android and they offer a wide range of features, including different timelines, one-click buying or selling, technical indicators and customisable charts. It is recommended that traders go for MetaTrader 4, as this platform has been designed specifically for trading currencies.

More advanced Qatari traders looking for portfolio diversification often elect for MetaTrader 5, as it supports a greater number of financial products, including both options and futures. It also allows for a better analysis thanks to the "Depth of Market" feature, which allows traders to see the broker's order book (the number of pending buy and sell orders and the size of each order).

The other platforms that Qataris might encounter are cTrader, NinjaTrader, ActTrader and ZuluTrade, but they are much less popular than MT4 and MT5. NinjaTrader, in particular, is seen as an appropriate alternative for those who prefer to trade futures and like having technical analysis tools at their fingertips.

Recommended forex brokers for traders living in Qatar:

BrokersRegulationTrading platformsOfficial website
DFSA, FSCA, FCA, CySEC, FSA MetaTrader 4 HF Markets website
FRSA, FSCA, JFSA, ASIC, CBFSAI, BVI FSCMetaTrader 4 and 5AvaTrade website
FCA, ASIC, CySECMetaTrader 4 and 5 Admiral Markets website
FCA, KNF, CySEC, BIFSC, CNMV MetaTrader 4
XStation
XTB website
ASIC: Australia, BVI FSC: British Virgin Islands, CBFSAI: Ireland, CySEC: Cyprus, DFSA: Dubaļ, FCA: United Kingdom, FRSA: Abu Dhabi, KNF: Poland, BIFSC: Belize, CNMV: Spain, FSA: Seychelles, FSCA: South Africa, JFSA: Japan

CFD trading involves a significant risk of loss, so it is not suitable for all investors. 74 to 89% of retail trading accounts lose money trading CFDs.