Many major websites are blocked in the UAE, especially in Dubai. People are unable to use Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, or Skype. ISPs (Internet Service Providers) such as Du and Etisalat monitor all internet traffic and impose restrictions on internet freedom. The Telecom Regulatory Authority regulates what you may view on the internet. Fortunately, using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to unblock websites in the UAE is a simple process.
Following the enactment of a 2017 law aimed at combating cybercrime and terrorism, internet content and freedom of expression for people commenting or publishing online have been greatly restricted. The UAE government has taken attempts to limit coverage of global and internal events, and people who have criticized the government online have been prosecuted.
Why is the Internet heavily censored in the UAE?
For its complicated political structure, the UAE heavily regulates the internet, UAE is a conglomerate made up of seven smaller emirates, including Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Sharjah.
While the UAE has a president and a prime minister, each emirate is also an absolute monarchy with total power over its affairs. The Federal Supreme Council, made up of the seven monarchs, elects the president and prime minister.
In the UAE, censorship is employed to protect the authority of these seven absolute monarchies by restricting citizens from accessing anything critical of the present rulership, Islam (the official state religion), the government, or pro-democracy.
Can you access Free Internet in UAE?
If you live in the UAE, your freedom to use the internet is highly dependent on the emirate in which you reside. Dubai, for example, is a more relaxed emirate than the others. There’s a better chance you’ll be able to use the internet without restriction there. Regardless of the emirate, you’re in, we still recommend taking additional precautions when using the internet in the UAE.
In the UAE, the best strategies to remain anonymous online are to:
- Make use of a proxy server or a VPN.
- Use a fictitious name while using internet services.
- Create a ProtonMail account.
However, it is important to note that we are not providing legal advice. We’re simply attempting to help everyone in accessing the internet for free. With that in mind, use caution when using a VPN. Always verify the laws of the emirate where you live or want to go.
Is using VPN illegal in UAE?
If you live in the UAE and wish to access the internet anonymously, you may use a VPN to hide your IP address and browse the web anonymously.
ISPs, in the UAE block websites that offer VPN services, and a 2016 amendment to the country’s cybercrime laws made it illegal to “commit a crime or prevent its discovery” by using a fraudulent IP address.
Some think that this was an attempt to outlaw the use of VPNs. In the UAE, no one has been charged with using a VPN as of yet. However, if a VPN is used in conjunction with other unlawful activities, it may result in further penalties.
3 Best VPNs to bypass internet restrictions in UAE
We’ve compiled a list of the best VPNs to use in the United Arab Emirates, which you can find below. There are, however, efforts to prevent access to VPN sites. You may not be able to view these websites in the UAE depending on your ISP.
If you’re searching for a VPN to protect your online privacy, NordVPN is the way to go. You don’t have to worry about anyone observing you, no matter where you are or what you’re doing, due to peer 2 peer (P2P) support for downloading torrents, servers in 54 countries, and encrypted messaging services. NordVPN also offers a “no log record” policy, which ensures that your actions are as private as possible.
If you’re traveling and want to keep your communications safe while also having full access to all of the information you’re used to, ExpressVPN’s incredibly reliable service is ideal.
ExpressVPN is just what you need to get around local content restrictions and ensure that cyber criminals can’t access your information online, with over 2000 servers globally and military-grade encryption. ExpressVPN also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee if you aren’t completely satisfied with their service.
CyberGhost combines simple-to-use, easy-to-install software with a user-friendly interface to make your VPN experience as simple and enjoyable as possible. Their VPN connection allows torrent downloads, and they have a large number of servers across the world. With a 45-day money-back guarantee, you can test out CyberGhost before committing to a subscription to be sure it’s the perfect VPN for you.
The UAE, particularly Dubai, has a reputation for being progressive and more westernized. However, the UAE government, like its more conservative neighbors, Iran and Saudi Arabia, regulates internet activity and information. While VPN use is not officially illegal, it is strongly discouraged. State-owned ISPs go to tremendous measures to prevent users from accessing websites that provide VPN services. Changes to cybercrime legislation in 2016 that made it illegal to use a VPN to “commit a crime or prevent its discovery” might be considered as a precursor to the government outlawing VPNs entirely.
Therefore, we can say that despite its progressive appearance, the UAE has extensive internet restrictions.
If you liked this article be sure to check out ‘How to view Netflix’s international content? 4 VPN options’.