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The UAE is a country that consists of seven emirates (namely, Ajman, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah, Umm al-Quwain and Fujairah). Each of them is regulated by specific rules and norms. This state has a common border with some of the largest countries in the Near East –Qatar, Iran and Oman.

Online lotteries in the UAE

Let’s consider the lotteries in the UAE and the laws regulating gambling in the country. The Emirates is a country that is based on Islamic faith. For this reason, all gambling games are regarded as illegal. However, there are several exemptions to this law. One of them is the lotteries.

Let’s take a look at different lotteries sold in the Emirates and talk about the prizes given away by various lotteries. The Emirates have some of the most popular lotteries worldwide. However, we should note that only the residents of the country have the right to play online. Still, the majority of lottery tickets are traded at the Abu Dhabi International Airport and permit the players from all over the world to take part in the games and win huge prizes. The lotteries in the country not just draw millions of dollars in cash prizes, but also give away luxurious vehicles (such as Corvette, Jaguar, BMW and Land Rover).

Draws are not the only way local players can earn money in the Emirates. In this article, we will also consider the bank-based lotteries where the clients of a specific bank can win huge cash prizes.

Let’s consider the laws regulating the lotteries in the Emirates, the ticket prices and the places where you can buy the lotteries. In addition, we will explain you how to claim your cash prize in case of winning the lottery and which taxes are imposed on the lottery prizes.

Even though this country doesn’t favor any type of gambling and usually looks down on lotteries, the Emirates provide some of the largest lottery prizes worldwide. By winning the lottery, you can become a lucky owner of the luxurious car!

The Emirates is a country that consists of seven emirates (Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Sharjah, Ras al-Khaimah and Umm al-Quwain). It has common borders with Qatar, Iran and Oman. Each of them is governed by specific rules.

How did the lotteries appear in the UAE?

The UAE is a nation of Islam, so all its fundamental laws are built with this in mind. This also applies to the betting and lottery regulations. All types of gambling are prohibited by Islam, which has laid the basis in the way the lottery laws have been formed in the state. In the majority of the states, the issue of gambling is very contentious, so there is a continued debate about restricting the lotteries in the country. Officers are deeply concerned with the effect that gambling games could have on teenagers, particularly with regard to causing game addiction. Therefore, the authorities of the Emirates have indicated that they don’t advertise lottery games and gambling in the country. Still, there are some legal exceptions to this rule.

The laws on the UAE lotteries

The laws of Emirates have made a few exemptions regarding the gambling games in the state. Operators and organizations have the right to conduct lotteries and contests in the country. Every lottery operators must obtain permission from their state’s regulatory department. In addition, the laws of Emirates permit the operators to place bets on specific games, including trials of strength, horseracing and sporting events.

The lottery operators must qualify to have the right to hold any type of lottery or competition in the Emirates. They should do the following:

  • Demonstrate that they have enough money to hand out prizes.
  • Obtain assurance of the person who would hand out the prize.
  • Have a profound knowledge of the competition area.

Apart from complying with these requirements, operators must ensure that prizes will be distributed depending on the winner’s skills and abilities. The competitions where winning depends only on luck are illegal, and the individual holding them will be held accountable for these actions.

Gambling laws in the Emirates

The Emirates have lots of local rules that ban gambling and ads on betting. There are regulations that cover different aspects of gambling to make sure that there is no propaganda. According to the laws, the activities like gambling have been prohibited not only since they contradict the Islamic faith, but also since they can adversely affect the public and result in gambling addiction. These rules concerning gambling are valid all over the Emirates. According to UAE Penal Code, any game where the stakeholders are ready to pay the winner a certain amount of money would be considered as a criminal act. The individual responsible for this activity will have to pay a hefty fine or face a long prison sentence.

According to the Penal Code of the UAE, it is forbidden to conduct any gambling games in the public areas. Any natural or legal person who fails to comply with the regulation will face a hefty find or a long-term imprisonment (this applies to online gambling as well). According to the Cyber Crimes Law of the Emirates, any natural or legal person that is developing, maintaining or regulating a site; delivering money or distributing prizes on behalf of gambling organization; or promoting any gambling activities will be held liable. The bill also explains that developing, manufacturing, sharing or storing content with a view of utilization, demonstration or distribution of prizes to the audience on a computerized network will also be regarded as a criminal offence.

Moreover, the laws of Emirates also have strict rules concerning the media outlets and demand that the organizations comply with the standards and rules outlined in the law. As regards the promotion of gambling games, the law indicates that no advertisement should offend religions or publish and share any information that may negatively affect any community. The transmission of gambling and lottery games is also controlled by the UAE Telecommunications Regulatory Authority. In addition, the communications regulatory has also introduced personal practices within “Policy of Internet Access Management”. In accordance with this policy, service suppliers have to forbid access to the pages that share any illegal material. This also applies to gambling webpages. Each gambling website will stay blocked in the Emirates within the policy established by the Telecommunication Regulatory Authority.

Exemptions and prevention

Horseracing is forbidden in the Emirates. This is one of the most widespread sports in the country. The first game took place 1981. It was arranged by the former governor and prime minister of Dubai. This resulted in the development of the Dubai World Cup- the most popular horse race worldwide. The World Cup attracts some of the wealthiest people in the world to participate and watch even today. Richest persons from all over the world come to participate in this game.

Another exemption from the law concerns sports pools. The UAE holds a number of cricket contests where lots of teams from all over the world participate. Due to the mass migrations of South Asian populations to the Emirates, cricket soon became incredibly popular, which ensured the success of the cricket tournaments taken place in the country. Players must know that even though there are oddmakers and sites that permit players to bet on sports games, betting is expressly prohibited by the state law.

The third exemption is for the casinos in the UAE. The citizens of the Emirates are allowed to place bets in one of the numerous online casinos. They allow the gamblers from their relevant regions to play the casino games. Such establishments are effectively managed and provide the players with a realistic experience of playing at a real casino. In recent years, many online casinos have appeared in the Emirates. It has enhanced the competition significantly and has added lots of advantages for the lottery players. Internet casinos have reached success due to the technological progress and secure access to the web throughout the country. Any individual who has a PC or smartphone, an Internet access, and a credit card can take part in the games provided by the Internet casinos.

If your favorite game is poker, you should know that card games are also forbidden in the Emirates. You should be very careful since even though card games are forbidden all over the state, there are lots of underground websites offering card games. Illegal offline card games are also widespread in the Emirates. If you’re going to travel to the Emirates, you should be careful of invitations to any card games. Card games have always attracted the players, being the most cost-effective game (the tickets cost about $15). Still, the police officers are constantly alert to any illicit card games. Each person caught playing illegal games will be held criminally responsible.

Eventually, the last exemption to the law are the lotteries in the Emirates.

The United Arab Emirates is famous for its lotteries. The state draws incredible prizes and it is well known that the lotteries in the Emirates give away large amounts of cash as the lottery jackpots. Recently, the organization “Big Ticket” carries out the lottery called “Sensational Big Ticket” with the jackpot of $1 million. Apart from this huge prize, players can also win lots of smaller money prizes. The lottery tickets can be bought for $140 at the Abu Dhabi airport. There are many other lotteries in the UAE Duty-Free lotteries that draw incredible jackpots. The chances of winning such lotteries also enhanced since a number of players are awarded prizes. For additional information about the lotteries sold in the Emirates, keep reading the article.

Important information for the lottery players

Age requirement

There are no age limitations established by law in the Emirates regarding the purchase of the tickets. However, it doesn’t apply to all games. For instance, to play in the “World Racing Club”, you have to be at least 21 years of age. In the meantime, such lotteries as “Big Ticket” don’t have any age limitations. All you need to buy the ticket and participate in this lottery is a valid passport.

Where you can play the lotteries in the Emirates

Every lottery has a different structure. For example, let’s consider the structure of the most popular game in the Emirates – “The Big Ticket lottery”. “Big Ticket” tickets can be legally purchased online or at the Abu Dhabi International Airport. Every ticket offers a unique combination of 6-digit numbers. The date of the draw is announced in advance so that the players can get ready and check the game results. The lottery offers daily, weekly, monthly and annual draws. On the day when the draw takes places, all the unique ticket numbers that have been bought by players are put in a big drum. The winning number is chosen randomly. Only one ticket can win the jackpot. However, you can win one of the few smaller cash prizes. The most interesting thing about “Big Ticket” raffle is that each player can buy an unlimited number of tickets. The more tickets you buy, the better your chances of winning the jackpot. But at the same time, in the draws where luxurious vehicles are given away, you can buy only one ticket for a single raffle. The retailer will explain you how many tickets you can buy for a specific lottery.

Monthly lotteries have certain dates and times when winners’ names are made public. You can find the dates and times of the draws on the official page of “Big Ticket”. For any of the lotteries carried out in the Emirates, players are recommended to enter the official site. Tickets bought from authorized lottery vendors are the only tickets that will be regarded as valid. People who are visiting Abu Dhabi can see if there will be any draws taking place during the time of their visit. As soon as all the tickets have been traded, the firm may decide to do extra draws. This timetable can also be found on the webpage. All draws are carried out at the Abu Dhabi International Airport.

The number of tickets available for sale may be different at different times. The chances of winning a game by the players will vary depending on the number of tickets that have been sold for the specific game. Only the citizens of the Emirates can play online (but only after registering an account on the official site of “Big Ticket”). All tickets bought in the Internet will be sent to players via e-mail within 24 hours. Players must know that the delivery of the tickets bought on the Internet may take up to two working days. Another option is to buy the tickets at the Abu Dhabi International Airport. If you want to buy the tickets offline, you should show your passport or ID. The ticket will be given to you immediately after the verification of your documents.

The price of the lotteries

The cost of the lottery tickets varies depending on the type of the game. For instance, the price of the tickets sold at the Abu Dhabi International Airport can cost up to $300 (for “Dubai Duty-Free Millennium Millionaire”). Some lotteries cost about $150. The size of cash prize depends on the price of the lottery. However, you can also find the instant lotteries that cost $20-30.

Credit risk

Despite the fact that the Emirates permit its citizens to play in online casinos, players must be notified that all payments must be done with the credit card. Moreover, players must share their credit card information in order to register on the lottery website. For this reason, checking the authenticity of the site is extremely important. The players are recommended to perform a careful research about the online casino they want to visit and contact some of the players and former winners before starting to play.

Types of lotteries

“Big Ticket” – this is a company located in the Emirates. It set up its shop at the Abu Dhabi International Airport. “Big Ticket” was created in the beginning of the 1990s and is particularly popular for raffling luxury vehicles (such as Corvette, Jaguar and Ford Mustang). The lottery called “THE BIG TEN” offers the highest jackpot (about $3.000.000). Other lotteries raffling the large jackpots are “Super 7” and “Ultimate Big Ticket”. In addition, the latter carries out seasonal draws, during which you can win amazing prizes.

“National Bonds” – in this lottery, you can win the cash prizes that vary from $10 to $30.000. They even offer special prizes for women and under-age children. To get a chance for the prize, you should make a minimum purchase of $30. If you want to enhance the likelihood of winnings, you should buy as many lotteries as possible. The more you invest, the more you can win.

“The Dubai Duty-Free Millennium Millionaire”- playing this game, you can win the jackpot of $1 million. The draws take place every two weeks (but only if the lottery sells a certain amount of tickets). Each player has the right to purchase as many tickets as he/she wants.

“Kunooz Savings Account draw” – the main prize in this lottery is $300.000 or a luxurious vehicle. However, it also draws smaller prizes every day ($1.000). Only the clients of the Emirates Islamic Bank who have a deposit of at least $300 can participate in the daily draws of small cash prizes. At the same time, the bank customer who have at least $1000 on their account have the chance to win larger prizes.

“Mashreq Millionaire” – this lottery has pretty much the same story. Only the bank clients have the right to participate in the draw, and the cash prize depends on the deposits made. The tickets can’t be found on sale. The jackpot of the lottery is $300.000.000, but there are smaller cash prizes as well.

Important information for the winners

How to get your prize?

Everything depends on the type of lottery. Below you can find the claiming procedure for such lottery as “Big Ticket” – one of the most well-known games in the UAE. Each winner should go to the Etihad catering office at the Abu Dhabi International Airport to get their award. This place is open from 08:00 to 18:00. In order to get their prize, winners must show their ID (better the passport). If you don’t reside in the Emirates, your cash award will be transferred to their bank account. Before sending the prize, “Big Ticket” carries out the safety checks to confirm that the winner is entitled to get the prize. Winners who don’t live in the Emirates who have won cars have to organize their export (at the same time, the winners will have to pay for the transportation). The vehicles won in the lottery can’t be traded for money value. As soon as the property transfer is finished, it’s up to the winner whether to keep or sell the vehicle.

Tax consequences

Lotto prizes are tax-free. Nevertheless, foreign players will be obliged to pay the taxes in accordance with the requirements of their home country.


The UAE has the toughest laws regarding lottos and gambling. However, here you can buy some of the biggest lotteries worldwide. Play the lotteries in the Emirates, you can easily win the car of your dream. They are definitely worth trying, especially if you’re going to visit the UAE.

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