To outsiders, the UAE including Dubai is a curious place when it comes to betting. They boast one of the most luxurious horse race courses in the world, Meydan Racecourse, which holds 60,000 spectators and includes hotel, restaurants and museum. The highest purse at the track was for roughly $26 million. The track is a state of the art racing complex featuring different surfaces including turf and a highly advanced all-weather track. Dubai is also home to beautiful stadiums and fields for other spectator sports including football, tennis, cricket and motorsports. Yet, with all of this invested in sports, including horse racing (which is widely bet on worldwide), sports betting within the UAE is forbidden according to law.
The UAE even uses ISP filters to block certain content the government does not approve of, including dating websites, gambling, pornography and anything viewed as anti-Islamic.
However, if you are interested in placing bets from the UAE online, there are online sports betting sites that accept UAE players.
How to Bet Online from the UAE?
Some players may find that when they visit various betting sites from the UAE they are blocked and prevented access. Some players get around this by using proxy servers that will make your computer think you are logging in from a different location where websites are not blocked (the UK for instance). This does not change the legality of placing bets online, it only allows you to access sites that are blocked. Hidemyass.com is one that has worked for us. You can find others here (English site).
How to Deposit from the UAE?
The most popular deposit methods in the UAE is Neteller. Most are familiar with the popular credit cards Mastercard and Visa, but most prefer the e-wallet Neteller.
Credit cards are faster and tend to be more convenient, so they are often the preferred method. However, in some cases they are not always approved. In this case, many choose to use ewallets that, once the account is set up, deposits are nearly always successful.
There are added benefits to using ewallets. Many enjoy the privacy they offer, by placing an intermediary between the player and the betting site, where if you make a deposit using a credit card onto a betting site, the transaction will appear as a deposit with that betting site. However, if you use an ewallet such as Neteller, it will show as a deposit with Neteller. Once the money is in your ewallet account, you can then make deposits onto your preferred betting site, but your bank/credit card statements will only show the deposit with Neteller.
Another added benefit is that ewallets like Neteller are accepted by most reputable sites, so you can easily use the same account to fund different betting accounts, which makes it easier to take advantage of different odds at the different sites.
When you want to cash out, you simply withdraw to your ewallet account, then request a payout from the ewallet. The timing of when you receive the funds depends on the withdrawal method.
Popular Sports to Bet on From UAE
Racing, football and tennis are the most popular sports to bet on from the UAE which hosts some major events. Horse racing, while popular for sport, is not as popular to place bets in the UAE for cultural reasons, where horse racing is appreciated more for its history in the region and sport rather than something to bet on. Cricket is also commonly bet on, but the most popular are still football and tennis.
Major Sporting Teams and Events in the UAE
Dubai World Cup – The first DWC race was held in 1996. It is a 10 furlong race on a flat track (no hurdles). It is an annual event held at the Meydan Racecourse since 2010. It has a huge purse, roughly $10 million.
Cricket at DSC Stadium – Home to the Pakistan national cricket team, Pakistan plays One Day Cricket, Twenty20, and Test Cricket events at the DSC stadium.
United Arab Emirates National Cricket Team – ICC members since 1989, UAE has been a strong contender in international cricket events. Winning the ACC Trophy 4 times between 2000 and 2006. ICC Trophy champions in 1994. Winners of 2007 and 2011 WCL one-day internationals.
UAE Football League – Professional Football League in the UEA consisting of 20 clubs.
UAE in the Olympics 2012 – The UAE will be represented in Track (Men’s Triple jump and Women’s 1500m), Women’s weightlifting, Men’s Football, Judo, Swimming (100 m breaststroke) and Shooting (trap, double trap and skeet).