The increase in volumes is driven by the increased speculation about the future of regional currencies’ pegs to the dollar, and a shift towards using currency as a means to hedge for other investments.

Abdulkarim Alkassem, director of global markets at Deutsche Bank, says foreign exchange is becoming increasingly attractive as an asset class for Middle East investors as they become more sophisticated.

Deutsche Bank estimates it executed 20 per cent of all currency transactions involving Middle East currencies in 2007.