Is Facebook blocked live in Dubai

Unblock video calling apps in Dubai and the United Arab Emirates

Popular video calling apps like WhatsApp, Skype, and Facebook Messenger are banned for anyone living in or visiting Dubai. Local government-owned telecommunications providers are blocking them. This can be frustrating for anyone looking to keep in touch with friends, family members, and business people from around the world.

One possibility is to use the alternative messengers offered by the local providers Etisalat and Du: Botim and C’Me. Unfortunately, these messengers have their own limitations and problems, which we will discuss below. Many people choose a VPN service that allows them to use popular messengers like WhatsApp, Skype, and Facebook Messenger in the UAE.

Below is all about the best VPN apps to use your favorite UAE video calling apps, as well as Botim and C’Me.

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For example, if you need a VPN for a short time while traveling, you can get our top rated VPN for free. ExpressVPN comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. You have to pay for the subscription, that's a fact, but it allows unlimited access for 30 days and then you cancel for a full refund. The no-questions-asked cancellation policy lives up to its name.

The best VPNs for video calling apps in the UAE

Most people find that the best option is to use aVPN to access any UAE video calling app. In this way, you can enjoy high quality video, uninterrupted connections, high standards of data protection and the opportunity to connect with friends and relatives all over the world. Below we cover the best VPN options out there and how to install and use WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and other apps in the UAE.

It can be difficult to choose a VPN that will allow you to use video calling apps in Dubai. Here are some important factors to consider when considering your options:

  • latency. Low latency means your calls have no delay. This is one of the most important factors in choosing a UAE video calling VPN.
  • security. A good VPN protects your video call data from prying eyes and protects your information at all times with powerful encryption.
  • Device support. It is important that the service you choose is compatible with the devices you prefer. The best VPNs support multiple device types and allow them to be used at the same time.
  • Zero logging policy. A zero-log VPN doesn't keep a record of what you do online. This means that you can enjoy real privacy during your video calls.

Now that you know what features to look out for, here are the best VPN services for Dubai starting with our top recommendation.

1. ExpressVPN


ExpressVPN is a nimble, highly secure VPN service. Installation is easy thanks to a selection of intuitive apps, whether you are using a tablet, smartphone or computer. The service uses AES-256 encryption, which is also used by US government and military agencies. It also has a strict zero-logging policy that covers traffic data, browsing history, DNS logs, and more.

ExpressVPN's network is one of the largest on the Internet worldwide, with over 2,000 servers in 94 countries. This means that the connections are fast, stable and have low latency. You can enjoy high quality HD videos when you make video calls with WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Skype and other video calling apps from Dubai.

All of these powerful features make ExpressVPN our first choice for using video calling apps in the United Arab Emirates. But that's not all the app can do. This allows you to watch Netflix, HBO Go, and other restricted services in the UAE and while traveling.

  • Works with US Netflix, iPlayer, Hulu, and other services
  • Reliable and fast connections
  • No DNS / IP leaks found
  • Strict no-logs policy
  • Customer service (24/7 chat).
  • Slightly more expensive than some other options.

Check out our full ExpressVPN review for more information.

Best for the United Arab Emirates: ExpressVPN excels in any situation where performance is paramount. Whether you want to unblock VoIP, streaming or messaging services, you can count on the fastest connections with this provider. Our readers receive a 49% discount on the registration costs.

2. NordVPN

NordVPN is one of the most powerful and secure VPN services out there. It uses 256-bit AES encryption with a 2048-bit DH key and guarantees no logging. NordVPN lets you use any video calling app you want while in Dubai, knowing that you and your data are safe. Thanks to its huge server network (over 5,100 nodes in 62 countries), you always have access to all of the world's most popular services, even if they are blocked in your country.

One great feature is that NordVPN users can use up to 6 devices at the same time without logging out. This means that you can make video calls from any tablet, smartphone, or computer you own without having to sign out elsewhere. Connections are fast and latency is low. Network speeds are typically 10 Mbps, so you can download files, watch videos, and enjoy the full Internet while logged in.

  • Unblocks US Netflix, iPlayer, Amazon Prime and other streaming services
  • Different IP addresses
  • Strong encryption is used on all connections
  • Based in Panama
  • 24/7 live chat.
  • Some servers can be slow and unreliable
  • Refunds can take 30 days to process.

For more information, check out our full review from NordVPN.

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3. CyberGhost


CyberGhost is possibly the most user-friendly service on this list. Thanks to its intuitive apps, using video calling apps in Dubai is a breeze, even if you've never used this service before. CyberGhost also supports the use of 7 devices at the same time, so you can use it with your computer, smartphone and tablet - and still have enough connections available.

But beneath the simple surface is a powerful tool. CyberGhost connections are fast, and with 3,100+ servers in over 59 countries, video call connections are smooth and stable. Advanced users can toggle settings to create custom user experiences. Thanks to the logging without logging, the 256-bit AES encryption and an automatic kill switch, user security is very strict.

  • Fast, constant speeds
  • Apps for ALL devices
  • Strict no-logs policy
  • Live chat support (24/7).
  • Doesn't work well in China.

Please see our CyberGhost guide for more information.

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4. PrivateVPN


PrivateVPN is a new brand that is rapidly developing one of the best in the business. The company is based in Sweden and accepts payments in a variety of currencies, including Bitcoin. It comes with 128-bit and 256-bit AES encryption options that allow you to set the speed and security you need for video calling in Dubai using your VPN.

PrivateVPN allows up to 6 devices at the same time. In tests, it's consistently one of the fastest VPN services in the world - which means your video calls will be of high quality with no lag. There is also no lack of connection options. Over 80 servers are located in 57 countries around the world. That number might seem below average at first glance, but each server offers incredible availability and performance in our tests. Why settle for thousands of options when you can have the handful that work exactly the way they should?

The best thing about PrivateVPN is that it's a new service that always strives to outperform the competition. PrivateVPN accepts Bitcoin and offers intuitive apps for iOS, macOS, Android and other platforms. It also offers some of the best and most generous pricing options to attract more users.

You can find more information about this service in our review of PrivateVPN.

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5. PureVPN

PureVPN is a service that attractively combines pricing options with strong security features and great speed. With 2,000 servers in over 140 countries, PureVPN provides video calling apps in Dubai with low latency, high quality, and stable connections. The service also uses 256-bit encryption, which means your video calls are safe.

The area that PureVPN stands out in is its special features. The service is equipped with integrated malware protection, anti-spam e-mail filters, DDoS protection, a kill switch and other extras. There are also browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox, which means you can use your PureVPN account to browse the internet, access websites like Netflix and Hulu, and much more.

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Install your VPN

Once you have chosen the best VPN from the list, before you can use the video calling app of your choice in Dubai and the United Arab Emirates, there are just a few quick and easy steps you need to take. Here's what you do:

  1. Sign in to your new VPN account using your web browser. Find the instructions for your devices and download any required apps through your browser or the appropriate app store.
  2. Once you've found the guide and downloaded the files you need, launch the software. You may then be directed to select a server in the US, UK, and a number of other countries. In this case, we recommend that you use a nearby country where your preferred video calling app is legal.
  3. Test your connection to make sure you are really connected to the VPN. One way to do this is by using a free service like
  4. Once your VPN connection (s) are active, you can start your video calling app as usual. If you want to disable the VPN connection while surfing the internet, you have to disable it after your calls and vice versa. Make sure you are connected through a VPN before using the video call messenger of your choice.

For more information on installing a VPN on your mobile device, see our Android and iOS guides.

A word of warning

If you want to try other messengers, you should research carefully and diligently. The UAE firewall is powerful and many VPNs don't work in the country. In addition, VPNs with weak security and no zero-log policy can cause problems with the authorities. When using VPNs not on this list, note that you do so at your own risk. Additionally, we strongly recommend not to use free VPNs, which we will cover in more detail in another article.

Learn about the UAE's official video calling apps

Dubai and the other emirates officially support two video calling apps. Here is an overview of both:


The first is Botim: a paid service that costs AED 50 or AED 100 to use, depending on whether you have a mobile or personal subscription. Botim allows you to call other Botim users around the world and it has many of the same features that you would expect from a video calling app like WhatsApp.

However, there are several problems with botim. First, you can only use it for the specific cell phone number or home network you used when you registered. If you want to make calls while you're at home or on a friend's cellular connection, you're out of luck. If you go to the app pages on the Android and iTunes app stores, you will find that many users are complaining about the call quality.

In addition, advertisements are displayed in Botim even though the service is paid for. This, along with the fact that most of the people in the world simply don't have botim, makes the service inconvenient for most users.


The second government-approved option is called C’Me. Like Botim, C’Me is paid for - but phone calls are not 100% free. If you want to make a video call for more than 60 minutes, you will have to pay extra. As with Botim, you cannot use the app with cell phones or networks that are not included in your monthly payment plan.

As with Botim, you can only make video calls to other C’Me users. This can be a problem as most internet users around the world don't have a C’Me. Last but not least, many UAE residents have raised concerns about the privacy of both apps.


Keeping in touch with friends and family can be difficult because all major messenger apps are blocked in the UAE. There are government-approved alternatives, but they are not always convenient to use. That's the bad news. The good news is that the VPN services on this site will keep you in touch with friends, family, and business associates using the video calling apps that you have been using so far.

Just follow the instructions on this page, you can use any video calling app for free - WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Skype and more. Our UAE VPN recommendations allow you to make high quality video calls in Dubai without worrying about the country's national firewall. You don't have to use paid services or ask your contacts to download local apps. It really is that simple.

Did this guide help you identify video calling in Dubai and the United Arab Emirates? Do you have any questions, tips or comments? Then please let us know using the form below!

How to get a FREE VPN for 30 days

For example, if you need a VPN for a short time while traveling, you can get our top rated VPN for free. ExpressVPN comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. You have to pay for the subscription, that's a fact, but it allows unlimited access for 30 days and then you cancel for a full refund. The no-questions-asked cancellation policy lives up to its name.