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best vpn for uae

United Arab Emirates (UAE) blocks its citizens from accessing certain apps and websites that it believes are unacceptable or unprofitable as per their country’s rules and regulations. Because of this, telecommunications services providers such as Etisalat don’t allow users to access VoIP services such as Skype and WhatsApp in the country.

By blocking VoIP services, UAE’s government has established a proper monopoly over how people communicate with their loved ones abroad. Since the government is not able to intercept the content of communication between individuals, it simply blocks these services altogether.

If you want your communication to remain private and to unblock VoIP services, you require a Virtual Private Network. Speaking of which, PureVPN is the best VPN for UAE as per my testing. I say this because PureVPN’s massive server network (6500+) and superior privacy features can effectively handle UAE specific issues of censorship and privacy violations.

In today’s guide, I have described the top 6 VPNs that will help you access blocked websites, apps, and other restricted content in UAE. The VPNs I’ll recommend would also keep your communication private and anonymous.

Summary of Best VPN Service Providers for Dubai

Here’s a short summary of some VPN that works in UAE:

  • PureVPN — Offers 6,500+ servers in total to help you access foreign websites from Dubai.
  • Surfshark — Budget VPN with unlimited simultaneous connections and 3200+ servers.
  • NordVPN — Comes with 5,500+ servers and obfuscation feature.
  • ExpressVPN — Fastest VPN service with 3,000+ servers worldwide.
  • CyberGhost — Boasts a massive network of 6,600+ servers capable of unblocking anything.
  • Private Internet Access — Truly private VPN service that offers 20,000+ servers.

How We Shortlisted the Best VPN for UAE?

Because of weird censorship laws, finding a reliable VPN that works in the UAE is quite challenging. It took me quite some time just to find five VPNs that managed to unblock popular VoIP services like Skype, Whatsapp, Facetime, and others.

Keeping certain factors in mind, I was able to test multiple VPNs over a week-long period to find trustworthy VPNs that won’t leak your data. Speaking of certain factors, here’s how you can find a reliable VPN for UAE yourself:

  • Look for 256-bit AES encryption and industry benchmark protocols such as OpenVPN and Wireguard.
  • Make sure that the VPN keeps no traffic logs or connection logs.
  • A good server network is a must.
  • A VPN must not leak sensitive data. You should get a VPN with proven DNS leak protection.

6 Best VPN Services for UAE

The following services are all excellent VPNs fully capable of keeping your IP address anonymous while at the same time allowing access to apps that are blocked in UAE.

1. PureVPN

PureVPN-UAE

PureVPN offers 33 servers in Dubai, UAE. However, it is the offshore servers of the service that will come in handy if you want to unblock VoIP services like Skype and WhatsApp in the UAE. Overall, the provider has over 6,500 servers with a global spread that covers over 140+ countries. It is yet the best price VPN available for only $3.33/mo  with 31-days money-back guarantee.

PureVPN does not store any logs and it offers 256-bit encryption which is the strongest encryption in the market. For users in UAE, this gives the benefit of anonymity and privacy from hackers and government surveillance. The customer support for PureVPN is quite good as well with 24/7 live chat support. For these features, PureVPN has earned a lot of praise in its review.

2. Surfshark

Surfshark-Best-VPN-for-UAE

Surfshark offers a good amount of servers i.e. 3,200+ in 65 countries including UAE. You will mostly be needing the overseas servers, however, if you’re a UAE visitor or resident because of the existing censorship and restrictions in the country. Surfshark is highly efficient at removing restrictions on websites with its remote VPN servers.

When it comes to low budget VPN to use in UAE, then Surfshark is rated among the best options to use. It is one of the fastest VPNs so far we have found, available for only $2.49/mo . The provider works well for the purposes of downloading torrents safely in UAE and gaining access to streaming platforms like Hulu, Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime Video with ease.

When subscribed to this VPN service, users also get the benefit of advanced features like MultiHop and CleanWeb which increases their web privacy instantly. For these features, Surfshark has a good reputation with positive reviews. As such, users seeking superior online protection with unblocking capabilities in UAE will find a reliable service in Surfshark.

3. NordVPN

NordVPN-Best-VPN-for-UAE

NordVPN has 5 servers within the UAE in a network of 5,500+ servers in 59 countries. The provider lets you unblock geo-restricted websites in the UAE while also protecting your online identity.

The provider uses an automatic kill switch feature to kill the internet when the VPN connection drops so to keep you safe online. It is based in Panama that doesn’t have data-retention laws nor does it store your browsing data. Furthermore, NordVPN offers support for torrent download as well as many popular streaming apps including

Its price is also reasonable and costs $3.71/mo with the 30-days NordVPN’s refund policy, one of its redeeming qualities as mentioned in 2021’s NordVPN review.

4. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN-Best-VPN-for-UAE

ExpressVPN does not offer servers located within the UAE, but it has 3,000 servers in 94 other countries that will unblock any website or app from anywhere.

ExpressVPN is one of the best VPN for streaming video content because it has the tendency to unblock geo-restricted media for video streaming or social media usage, and makes you undetectable with its military-grade encryption. This makes it a highly useful VPN to have for people fed up with censorship and blocked social media apps within the UAE.

You get the fastest speed for browsing and streaming, while at the same time it is user-friendly. Since it is headquartered in the British Virgin Island, it does not have data retention laws, one of the key points for which it received high ratings in this review.

The drawback of this VPN is its expensive pricing as it is available for $6.67/mo with 30-days money-back guarantee.

5. CyberGhost

CyberGhost-best-VPN-for-UAE

CyberGhost offers 24 servers in Dubai, UAE. If you just need to browse the normal UAE internet with better privacy and stable speeds, you can rely on these UAE servers. However, if you’re aiming to counter censorship and deal with geo-restrictions in UAE, you will need to utilize an offshore server from a list of 6,600+ servers in 89+ countries.

CyberGhst offers-friendly apps having support for all major devices including Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, & Routers. It does not store any logs and unblocks WhatsApp, Skype, and other VoIP services in the UAE. The provider manages to give rock-solid security with 256-bit encryption, anonymous torrenting, and unlimited speed makes it reasonably appreciated in reviews.

You can get CyberGhost for a reasonable price of $2.25/mo with 45-days refund policy.

6. PIA VPN

PIA-VPN

PIA VPN has 26 servers within the UAE. The VPN is highly efficient if you want to unblock popular streaming apps with its powerful network of 20,000+ servers in 77 countries. With PIA VPN’s massive network, you can access streaming platforms like BBC iPlayer, bEIN Sports, Netflix, and more in the UAE.

Private Internet Access uses AES-256 encryption and is equipped with security-boosting features that include leak protection, and a kill switch to ensure your privacy remains intact when performing sensitive tasks such as torrenting. So, if you need to torrent safely in UAE, PIA VPN has got you covered. These security features make PIA VPN highly valued among reviewers.

In addition, the provider follows a no-logging policy that guarantees user privacy from surveillance undertaken by the government. Price-wise, PIA VPN is quite affordable. You can get this VPN for $2.69/mo  which comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, and 10 simultaneous connections.

How to Use VPN in UAE?

Alongside VoIP service, one major issue citizens face in the UAE is discrimination in Netflix content. For instance, in the UAE, you can only access 28.35% of TV shows that are available in the U.S library of Netflix. If you travel to the UAE, you will miss out on so much content. This is why so many people in the UAE use VPNs for entertainment purposes.

With the help of a VPN, you can change your actual geo-location and appear to be virtually located outside the UAE. This way, you can not only access VoIP services but also unblock any streaming service.

To use a VPN in Dubai and the UAE, just follow these 3 simple steps and you’ll be good to go:

  1. Purchase a VPN service of your choice (PureVPN recommended).
  2. Login to the VPN app using your user name and password.
  3. Access the server list and connect to any server location.

That’s it. Once you connect to a VPN server, all of your network traffic will get encrypted. This way, you’ll be able to unblock VoIP services and access any blocked content in UAE.

Are VPNs Illegal to use in UAE?

Using VPN in UAE is not illegal. Many businesses with international clients use VPNs in the UAE. As long as you’re not committing a crime, you should have nothing to worry about. If you use a VPN for illegal activities, then UAE has strict laws against such practices.

As per The Telecom Regulatory Authority (TRA), which is responsible for censoring content in the UAE, prohibited content includes:

The prohibited content is defined as any content that offends against, is objectionable to, or  is contrary to the public interest, public morality, public order, public and national security, Islam morality or is otherwise prohibited by any applicable UAE law, regulation, procedure, order or requirement, as more specifically described in each of the Prohibited Content Categories below. Access to website and webpages that contain prohibited content is blocked by the Internet service providers in UAE. 

Although the official document of TRA contains multiple clauses, I’ll list some of them below:

  • Pornography and nudity
  • Terrorism
  • Gambling
  • Drugs
  • Infringement of intellectual property rights
  •  Viruses and malicious programs
  • Promotion of or trading in prohibited commodities and services

Advice: Avail your VPN before coming to UAE?

Even though it’s not completely illegal to use VPNs in the UAE, you might see warning messages or notices popup on your browser when you download any VPN app. This is why it is often a good idea to download a VPN app of your choice on all your devices before you step foot in the United Arab Emirates.

Since you’ll already have a VPN app installed on your device and won’t search for it online, ISPs in the UAE won’t be drawn towards you. Better yet, if you get NordVPN for example that offers obfuscated servers, you can mask your VPN traffic to appear as ordinary HTTPS traffic. You’ll be able to unblock anything in the UAE without getting detected.

Why do you need a VPN in UAE?

There are multiple reasons why VPNs are becoming more important to use in UAE:

  • Restricted websites in UAE: The country has strict regulations against many forms of online content which include pornography, gambling, criticism of religious beliefs, etc. ISPs and telecommunication authorities routinely block such content in UAE. VPNs help you bypass these censorship issues by using a suitable server location.
  • Government surveillance: The UAE government has sought the help of the NSA to spy on local and foreign populations that are critical of the government. This shows that UAE has ties with US surveillance agencies – a fact that threatens the online privacy of people that have anything to do with the country. As such, using a VPN’s sophisticated encryption to avoid being a subject of government eavesdropping has become essential.
  • Security over public Wi-Fi: Security is notoriously weak in public Wi-Fi hotspots in UAE. This puts users under threat from hackers that might take advantage of security vulnerabilities to breach user privacy. A VPN with solid encryption and obscure servers can significantly enhance your security against such threats.

UAE VPN FAQs

Now let’s check out some frequently asked questions regarding VPNs and UAE.

Which free VPN is best in UAE?

I do not recommend free VPN providers because of privacy concerns. But nonetheless, there are still some legitimate providers. Here a shortlist of the best free VPN for UAE:

  1. TunnelBear
  2. Windscribe 
  3. Hotspot Shield

What is the best VPN to use for video calling in the UAE?

For smooth and unrestricted video calling on Skype and other VoIP services, you’ll want to use a VPN that offers fast connection speeds and powerful 256-bit encryption. Based on my testing, I recommend using PureVPN.

Is unblocking VoIP services in UAE through a VPN safe?

Yes, it is safe to use VPNs to unblock VoIP services like Skype and WhatsApp. According to UAE law, VPNs are only illegal if used to commit any crime.

Is it safe to use a VPN for online Banking and Shopping in UAE?

Yes, with the help of a VPN, it is totally safe to shop online or access your online bank account in the UAE. Even though websites that handle online transactions are protected with TLS encryption standards, they’re not entirely safe. But with the second layer of encryption offered by VPNs, you’ll be able to do whatever you like online without compromising any sensitive data.

Best Emirates VPN: Conclusion

UAE is one of the few regions in the world with weird censorship laws. To this day, if you are in the UAE you will not be able to access most VoIP apps such as Skype.

The easiest workaround to this problem is to use PureVPN, which is the best VPN for UAE which offers a massive 6500+ server network. With PureVPN, you’ll not only be able to access blocked websites but also boosts your online privacy at the same time.

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