Consumers can do just about anything on their mobile phones these days.
Beyond e-mail and web browsing, banks are increasingly rolling out smartphone services, allowing clients to check account balances, pay bills and even buy a carton of milk at the corner store.
And now, for those interested in the Dubai Financial Market and the Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange, buying and selling stocks just became a whole lot easier.
Etisalat, in co-operation with Market Simplified, a US-based software company, has launched the country's first "mobile-trading service", where customers of participating brokerages can receive timely information, allowing them to make trading decisions.
In other words, users can have real-time access to live financial markets via their smartphones, making buying and selling as easy as sending a text message.
"Trading in financial markets requires instant real-time information to make informed and intelligent decisions," says Abdulla Hashim, the senior vice president of business solutions at Etisalat.
"The rich set of features provided by Etisalat's mobile trading platform will provide our customers with a unique experience.
"With the launch of such an omnipresent medium, we are confident that the trading volumes will increase, with the increasing convenience and flexibility to trade."
The program is now available to all major brokerages in the UAE, and traders should inquire about access through their local representatives.
Mobile trading is available to anyone with a broadband internet connection on their phone.
Market Simplified has established similar programs around the world, offering mobile trading services in the US, South Asia and Singapore. The company, established in 2007, currently works with brokerages including TD Ameritrade, OptionsXpress, FXCM and ChoiceTrade. The secure service works on most major phones, including BlackBerry, iPhone and Andriod and Symbian devices.
According to Venkat Rangan, the chief executive of Market Simplified, the company has seen a 4 per cent to 6 per cent rise in trading volumes within months of deploying the platform. The development of the program is seen as an important stepping stone for the emerging UAE markets.
The service delivery model requires "minimal investments" from the brokers. Meanwhile, Etisalat will provide multiple operating systems and language support for both English and Arabic speakers.
"With our extensive technology experience combined with the unmatched penetration of the Etisalat network, we are confident that this service will be very well received in this region," Mr Rangan says.