Best VPN for UAE 2020
If you reside in the UAE, then you cannot access popular VoIP and streaming services like Skype, WhatsApp, Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and so on. Therefore, you will have to use the best VPN for UAE that allows you to unblock these services in no time.
Here is the list of UAE VPN providers along with their server spread and pricing plans:
|PIA||4||1 Year (2 months free)||$2.85/mo|
How to select the best VPN for UAE?
A VPN in UAE hides your actual IP address through another virtual IP address. Furthermore, it encrypts your data and spoofs your online locations from the vicious eyes of ISPs, TRA, and other surveillance agencies.
However, only a handful of VPN providers do the same, and the rest may expose your actual whereabouts. Therefore you better consider these following factors before subscribing to a reliable UAE VPN service:
Install a VPN before arriving in UAE:
You should download and install a VPN service if you are traveling to Dubai or any other city soon. This is because Etisalat and DU both block VPN websites continually. In case your VPN’s official site does not work in UAE, you can still use your VPN app without any trouble.
Ability to bypass Etisalat and DU restrictions:
Your chosen VPN service should be able to evade the online restrictions of two major telecom operators in the country i.e., Etisalat and DU. Both these companies severely discourage the use of VPNs in UAE as they have recently launched their own video calling apps by the name of Voice UAE and YzerChat, respectively.
If they allow their subscribers to use VPN services in Dubai and other cities, the chances are that they may lose a handsome amount of revenue in return. In this scenario, you should choose a VPN that can allow you to unblock various VoIP apps in the UAE without spending a single penny.
Availability of Stealth Mode or Obfuscation feature:
A VPN service must include stealth mode or obfuscation feature that helps its users circumvent online censorship mechanisms like the Great Firewall of China. Once you enable the said feature, you can access restricted content in Sharjah or other sub-regions in a blink of an eye.
Strong Privacy and Security features:
A VPN provider should focus on providing split tunneling, internet kill switch, cleanweb, SOCKS5 proxy, and other features that can protect your digital footprints even when it does not work for any reason.
Compatibility with different platforms and devices:
A VPN service should support all the leading operating systems like Windows, Mac, Andriod, iOS, Routers, and other devices. If a VPN service offers a limited compatibility feature, you cannot secure all your devices at once.
Free from all forms of leaks (IP, DNS, and WebRTC):
A VPN provider should not leak your crucial online information like IP address, DNS, and WebRTC data at any cost.
A VPN service must follow the no-logging policy in true letter and spirit. It should not maintain logs of its users in any way, be it connection or usage logs.
6 Best VPNs for UAE in 2020
I have shortlisted some best country vpns for the sake of your convenience based on their performances that allow you to remain safe and anonymous in UAE (United Arab Emirates). Here is the list of these VPN providers that includes:
ExpressVPN provides 3000+ servers in 90+ countries throughout the world. The British Virgin Islands (BVI) based VPN service is a perfect choice when it comes to unblocking geo-limited content in the UAE. The provider offers excellent connection speeds that allow you to watch your favorite TV shows and movies without any buffering.
If we talk about its performance with regards to streaming and VoIP services, you can unblock US Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, Skype, and WhatsApp while using the Etisalat network. ExpressVPN provides numerous security and privacy features like kill switch, no-logging policy, and DNS leak protection that takes your privacy next level.
ExpressVPN supports all the famous operating systems, be it Windows, Mac, Android, Linux, and iOS. The service is also workable with other devices like Routers, Gaming Consoles, Chromecast, Apple TV, Samsung Smart TV, and Amazon Fire TV as well.
You will have to bear $8.32/month to use its yearly package at a 35% discount with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
ExpressVPN Salient Features
- Provides 3000+ servers in 90+ countries but does not have a server in UAE
- Offers 5 simultaneous connections feature
- Unblocks US Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Disney Plus and other services
- Compatible with Windows, Mac, Android, Linux, iOS, Routers, Gaming Consoles, and Smart TVs
NordVPN is another VPN you can use within UAE to regain your online freedom. The service provides 5500+ servers in 55+ countries. You can hide your web browsing activities from ISPs and bypass VPN blocking hassles by using its dedicated obfuscated servers.
Apart from this, you can use its other privacy and security features like dedicated IP, kill switch, and split tunneling to make yourself secure and anonymous in the UAE. You can connect to any server of your choice to unblock US Netflix, Disney Plus, and other services on multiple devices at a time.
NordVPN offers interactive apps for all the famous operating systems and devices such as Windows, Mac, Android, Linux, iOS, Routers, and Gaming Consoles. You will have to pay $3.49/month to use its 3-year subscription plan at an incredible 70% discount with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
NordVPN Salient Features
- Provides 20 servers in UAE along with providing 5500+ servers in 55+ countries
- Offers 6 multi-logins feature
- Works with Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Disney Plus, and other services
- Compatible with Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Routers, Smart TVs and Gaming Consoles
Surfshark offers 1700+ servers in 60+ countries worldwide. The BVI based VPN is considered as one of the best VPNs in UAE because it provides numerous privacy and security features to its users. You can use its split tunneling feature to access both local and international websites simultaneously.
Besides, you can experience its other privacy and security features like kill switch, cleanweb, and DNS leak protection on your desired devices. If we talk about its tunneling protocol, you can use OpenVPN protocol alongside 256-bit encryption to protect your data from ISPs and government surveillance agencies in the UAE.
The service does not keep its users’ logs and allows you to unblock numerous streaming and VoIP services like US Netflix, Disney Plus, Skype, and WhatsApp. On speed and customer support front, this VPN is way ahead of its competitors. It helps you to accomplish your media streaming desires through high connection speeds.
Surfshark supports different platforms and devices such as Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Routers, Smart TVs, Amazon Fire Stick, and Gaming Consoles too. You will have to pay only $1.99/month to get its 2-year pricing plan at an amazing 83% discount with a reasonable 30-day refund policy.
Surfshark Salient Features
- Provides 1 server in UAE including 1700+ servers in 60+ countries
- Offers unlimited simultaneous connections feature
- Compatible with Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, Routers, Gaming Consoles, and Smart TVs
- Unblocks US Netflix, Disney Plus, BBC iPlayer, and other streaming services
VyprVPN provides 700+ servers in 60+ countries across the globe. This Switzerland based VPN provider is assumed as one of the top VPNs in UAE as you can use its VyprDNS feature to access US Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Disney Plus, and other services.
In terms of privacy and security, VyprVPN offers internet kill switch, DNS leak protection, no-logging policy, and above all, the Chameleon protocol feature. The Chameleon protocol helps you bypass notorious online restrictions of the UAE government.
You can use VyprVPN to unblock VoIP services like Skype, FaceTime, and others in UAE. It supports all the leading operating systems like Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS. You can get its yearly subscription plan at the cost of $3.75/month with an impressive 71% discount and a 30-day refund.
VyprVPN Salient Features
- Provides 1 server in UAE and 700+ servers in 60+ countries
- Offers 5 simultaneous connections feature
- Supports Windows, Mac, Android, Linux, iOS, and Routers
- Unblocks US Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Sky Go, HBO Now, Amazon Prime and other services
The US-based VPN service provides 1400+ servers in 60+ countries. IPVanish does not reveal your actual IP address to surveillance entities like ISPs and data surveillance agencies in the UAE. The service allows you to access 10 multiple devices with a single account at once.
The service offers commendable streaming speeds that allow you to watch your favorite streaming services like US Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and others in HD quality. Despite having its headquarter in the US, IPVanish does not keep logs of its users, which is a big plus if we take the mandatory US data retention laws into account.
You can set up the provider on several operating systems like Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. It is also compatible with Routers. You are free to use its support features like live chat and phone call assistance that allow you to solve your queries timely.
You may subscribe to its 1-year plan by paying $6.49/month at a massive 46% discount with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
IPVanish Salient Features
- Provides 2 servers in Dubai including 1400+ servers in 60+ countries
- Offers 10 multi-login feature
- Compatible with Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, and Routers
- Works with US Netflix and BBC iPlayer
Private Internet Access offers 3300+ servers in 40+ countries. Similar to IPVanish, this service also belongs to 5-eye country USA. But, the good thing is PIA does not store its users’ information since it respects their privacy.
The provider offers different privacy and security features like internet kill switch, SOCKS5 proxy, and WebRTC leak protection. Through a kill switch feature, you can safeguard your sensitive browsing information as PIA VPN disconnects your internet connection if its app suddenly stops working.
You can use the service in the UAE to access Skype, WhatsApp, and other VoIP services anonymously. In addition to this, you can use its SOCKS5 proxy feature to secure your torrenting activities. The provider may not be a viable option for users who want to access services like US Netflix, Disney Plus, and others as it provides access to these services occasionally.
That said, PIA offers out of the box support feature as compared to other VPNs. You can install the service on different operating systems like Windows, Mac, Android, Linux, and iOS. You can subscribe to its one year package at the cost of $2.85/month with a 71% discount and a 30-day refund policy.
Private Internet Access Salient Features
- Offers 3300+ servers in 40+ countries including 4 servers in UAE
- Provides 10 simultaneous connections feature
- Supports P2P activities of its users
- Offers numerous support options like Live Chat, FAQs, Email, and Setup Guides
How to Get a UAE IP Address?
You can follow these simple steps to get a local UAE IP address with a VPN:
- Download and subscribe to a VPN service like ExpressVPN
- Open the VPN app on your device using your login credentials
- Connect to a UAE server from the servers’ list
- Check your new IP address on IPleak.org and start watching your favorite shows
Impacts of COVID-19 on Cybersecurity in the UAE
The Dubai Financial Services Authority, DFSA, has recommended financial institutions that they must protect their online banking operations from phishing attempts, online frauds, and cyberattacks during Coronavirus pandemic.
Similarly, Kaspersky, a leading cybersecurity firm, has indicated that online frauds are increasing in the UAE amid Coronavirus outbreak. This is the reason Kaspersky has witnessed a huge surge in demand for its services like antivirus during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
Considering the severity of the situation, you should not perform any financial transaction without connecting to a trustworthy UAE VPN first.
Best VPN for UAE Region-wise
Umm Al Quvain
NordVPN or other VPNs discussed above do not offer servers in Umm Al Quwain. However, you can use VyprVPN as it offers an exclusive server in Dubai that allows you to bypass region blocking problems instantly. Once you have connected to its Dubai server, you can access geo-restricted sites in Umm Al Quwain quite easily.
You can subscribe to IPVanish if you want to regain your online freedom in Ajman. You will have to connect to IPVanish Dubai server and make your online activities completely anonymous be it streaming, web surfing and others.
You can use Surfshark to unblock popular streaming services like US Netflix, Disney Plus, BBC iPlayers in Dubai as it offers 1 dedicated server in the city.
Ras Al Khaimah
Ras Al Khaimah is a relatively unknown sub-region, but it does not mean you should take your online privacy lightly. You can use ExpressVPN to secure your sensitive financial activities like online banking and online shopping while residing in Ras Al Khaimah.
You should use Surfshark if you wish to protect your privacy over the web in Abu Dhabi. Moreover, you can play geo-restricted games of your choice while connected to the BVI based VPN service.
If you want to remain safe and untraceable in Sharjah, then you should select PIA VPN. It is one of the fewest VPN providers available in the market that do not keep logs of its users.
You can use NordVPN in Fujairah because it offers 20 servers in UAE that secure you from different privacy issues like online tracking, privacy invasion, and data theft too.
Why do you need a VPN in UAE?
You need a VPN to protect your digital footprints over the web while residing in the UAE. You cannot access VoIP services if you do not use a VPN in the country. When you connect to a VPN service like ExpressVPN or NordVPN, you can use different VoIP services like Skype and WhatsApp.
Moreover, you can safeguard your web surfing activities by using a VPN over the public Wi-Fi networks. If you wish to safeguard your data from the prying eyes of hackers and cybercriminals, you will have to use a VPN again.
What should I do to improve my online privacy in UAE?
You should take every possible step when it comes to improving your online privacy within the territory of the UAE. If you are using a VPN service in the UAE, then you must turn on all the available security and privacy features like kill switch, split tunneling, scrambling, auto-reconnect, ad-blocker, and obfuscation too.
There is no harm in using an encrypted email service alongside secure and anonymous web browser like TOR. Furthermore, you should always use secure passwords and encrypted messaging apps. Similarly, you should review permissions that you give to mobile apps and browser extensions regularly.
Which websites/services are blocked in UAE?
Similar to Venezuela and Korea, UAE is included in the list of countries that follow strict online censorship rules. There are different websites and services you cannot access freely due to local censorship laws. These banned websites/services are:
- Anti-government websites
- Gambling websites
- Fraudulent websites
- Illegal streaming sites
- VoIP services (WhatsApp, Skype, ToTok and many others)
How to use Skype and other VoIP services in different cities in the UAE?
The government in UAE manages and monitors all forms of online communications through TRA (Telecommunications Regulatory Authority). Moreover, you cannot make free calls using Skype, WhatsApp, and other calling apps. The official authorities have instructed ISPs not to provide such luxury to their subscribers.
However, you should not worry because you have a VPN by your side. All these VPN services listed above allow you to bypass such restrictions and use Skype, WhatsApp, and other apps within Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and other cities in UAE.
If you want to use your favorite messaging apps as listed above in UAE, ExpressVPN should be your go-to option. The BVI based VPN service offers some top of the line security features like kill switch, obfuscation, split tunneling, and TrustedServers that help you use famous VoIP apps hassle-free.
Advantages of using a UAE VPN service
The benefits of using a VPN service in the UAE are galore. Here is the list of these benefits that include:
As already mentioned, Etisalat does not favor the usage of VPN services in the UAE. But, you can still use these VPNs described above on the Etisalat network and perform different activities like video streaming, online baking, and online shopping over the internet.
Discord is a popular VoIP app that helps you interact with your friends and communities. Sadly, the app is banned within the UAE, but you can use a VPN to unblock the famous app and continue interacting with your loved ones and friends.
Reddit is not banned in the UAE, but some of its subreddits are blocked if they are against the country’s law, government, and religious beliefs. You can use a VPN to unblock such restricted subreddits, but we don’t recommend you to access these subreddits.
Can I protect my privacy with a free VPN in UAE?
Free VPNs are not viable options by any means in countries like UAE (United Arab Emirates). They are unable to provide proper protection against online surveillance and monitoring issues at times. In terms of the server network and customer support, they often come short.
They do not offer unlimited bandwidth features to their users, unlike premium VPNs. They can sell your crucial information to third parties to manage their operational costs without your permission. In short, using a free VPN in the UAE is not a safe and secure proposition.
If you still want to use VPNs that offer free UAE IP addresses, here are some of these:
- Urban VPN (Provides 1 server in UAE)
- TunnelBear (does not have a server in UAE but unblocks foreign websites and services)
Are VPN services considered legal in UAE?
Yes, it is legal and safe to use a VPN in UAE but you should not use it to access content blocked by the TRA. Otherwise, you may find yourself in hot waters in the form of hefty fines and imprisonment. Therefore, you should choose only those VPN services that have obfuscation, kill switch, secure protocol, and encryption features in their armories.
Do all VPN services offer servers in UAE?
Not all VPN services provide servers in UAE. The cost of maintaining a server network in Dubai and other nearby cities is much higher. In addition to this, the government’s regulations and online restrictions do not help VPN providers in setting up server locations in the UAE.
Do TRA and other telecom services in UAE take evasive actions against VPNs?
Yes, TRA (Telecommunications Regulatory Authority) and major telecom operators like Etisalat and DU in Emirates have started taking stern actions against several VPNs during the last 3 years or so.
How much fine would I have to pay if I am caught using a VPN in the UAE?
Using a VPN for a legitimate purpose is not an illegal act. Still, you should not use it to access content that is blocked by TRA. As per the Cyber Crimes Law of the UAE,
“Any person that bypasses the protocol address of the internet with the help of a delusive address or an address belonging to others or by any other means to commit a crime or prevent its discovery shall be punished by imprisonment and a fine not less than (AED 150.000) and not exceeding (AED 500.000) or by any of these punishments“.
The UAE is one of the most suppressive countries in the world just like China, Venezuela, and North Korea. Hence, you will need to use the best VPN for UAE to combat privacy issues like privacy invasion, data theft, hacking, and others.
If you want to use VoIP services like Skype and WhatsApp, a VPN turns out to be an indispensable option. However, you should not use it for illegal purposes at any cost.