How to unblock websites in UAE / Dubai and hide from ISP
- The UAE is a restrictive country that block access to streaming and VoIP apps.
- If you want to bypass internet censorship and unblock websites, you can use a VPN.
- Top VPN providers have tons of security and privacy features so your real IP won’t leak and ISPs can’t see your traffic.
The United Arab Emirates is one of the most restrictive countries around the world that block popular websites and apps. For example, you can’t access Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Skype, and Gmail. National ISPs even track and restrict user internet traffic. This restrictions are enforced by The Telecom Regulatory Authority (TRA), which controls what content you can see online.
Luckily, there’s an easy way to unblock websites in the UAE and it’s using a VPN. Using a VPN is the most popular way to bypass goverment censorship, while hiding your online activities from the ISP at the same time.
However, keep in mind that not all VPNs can unblock sites and apps blocked by the government.
In many cases, the government actively blocks VPN connections as well. Because of this, you’ll need a reliable VPN with specific security and privacy features. This way, you can unblock your favorite apps and sites consistently when you’re in the UAE.
VPN Features You Need to Have to Access Blocked Sites in UAE
Here are the most important features a VPN should have to bypass restricted content and apps:
- Strong encryption. Top VPN providers use 256-bit AES encryption, which is very secure. Since your data is traveling through an encrypted tunnel, you are protected against IP or DNS leaks.
- Kill Switch. This feature disconnects your device from the internet if your VPN connection might drop. This way, your ISP can’t see what you’re doing online.
- Leak protection. Top VPN services offer protection against DNS leaks, IPv6 leaks, and WebRTC leaks. However, make sure that your VPN has at least DNS leak protection, which is the industry-standard.
- Zero Logs. The VPN shouldn’t log your data, so always look for a VPN with a strict no-logging policy. Popular VPNs regularly audited their no-logs policy for transparency.
- Obfuscation. This feature hides your VPN traffic and makes it look like regular internet traffic.
- Streaming and VoIP support. Reliable VPNs can unblock streaming platforms like Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, and Applet TV+. They should also work with VoIP apps like WhatsApp, Skype, and Snapchat.
- Good server network. Nearby servers provides better internet speeds. So, the VPN should have servers all around the world so you can always find a server near you.
How to Access Blocked Websites in UAE and Dubai with a VPN
Here’s how you can access blocked sites with a VPN:
- Go on the VPN’s website.
- Get a subscription and create an account.
- Download the VPN app on your device.
- Install the VPN and log into your account.
- Connect to any VPN server outside the UA.
- Now you should have unrestricted access to the internet!
Disclaimer: the government restrict services that have unblocked sites in UAE. So, if you’re travelling to the UAE or Dubai, we recommend you to get a VPN before traveling there. Otherwise, it might be very difficult to access a VPN site once you’re in the United Arab Emirates.
5 Best VPNs to unblock websites in UAE and Dubai
Here are the best virtual private networks that can unblock sites and apps if you’re travelling to the UAE:
NordVPN is the best privacy-focused VPN you can use to unblock websites in UAE and Dubai. It has tons of high-end security and privacy features, and it can also bypass government censorship consistently.
This VPN has strong encryption, full leak protection, and a kill switch. What’s more, its no-logs policy has been independly audited. Also, the NordVPN is based in Panama, a privacy-friendly country.
In addition, the VPN has also advanced security features. For example, RAM-only servers ensure that the data is written directly to the RAM. So, every server reset will erase all data. Also, it has perfect forward secrecy. This feature changes the encryption key for each VPN connection. This way, malicious actors can’t compromise past or future encryption keys to spy on your online activities.
NordVPN also has Threat Protection. This feature scans executable file you download on your device for malware. Also, it blocks ads and connections to malware sites. The VPN provider also offer obfuscation, so it’s very convenient to use it if you’re traveling to the United Arab Emirates.
On top of this, it has 5,000+ servers in 55+ countries. So it’s easy to find a nearby servers for fast speeds. Also, it ublocks VoIP and streaming apps consistently. For example, we could access Skype, Whatsapp, Netflix, HBO Max, Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video.
NordVPN has apps for many popular platforms like Android, Windows, iOS, macOS, and Linux. Also, it supports 6 simultaneous devices and offers a 30-day money back guarantee for all its plans.
- Thousands of lightning-fast and well-optimized servers
- Unblocks all the major streaming sites
- Fully supports Torrenting and P2P
- Strict no-logs policy and RAM-disk servers
- Ad blocker and malware protection features
- Robust security features and military-grade encryption to protect you from DDoS attacks and other online threats
- 24/7 live chat support
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Only 6 simultaneous connections
- No free trial
Surfshark is another excellent VPN that can bypass censorship in the United Arab Emirates and Dubai. This VPN service allows unlimited simultaneous connections, so you can use the same account on all your devices.
This provider uses AES-256 encryption, DNS leak protection, and a kill switch. Also, its no-logs policy has been audited and proven true. What’s more, Surfshark is based in the Netherlands, which a country with no obligatory data retention laws.
This VPN has obfuscation, so you can use it in restrictive countries for accessing blocked sites. On top of this, it has NoBorders, which automatically triggers when Surfshark detects that a network is trying to restrict your online access (like with a firewall). When that happens, you get a list of servers to connect to which are configured to bypass network restrictions.
For a small additional price, you can also get Surfshark Antivirus. This way you can protect your device from malware infections
The VPN provider has 3200+ servers in 95+ countries. Also, it unblocks apps like Facebook, FaceTime, Snapchat, Skype, Whatsapp, and Viber. It also works with streaming apps like Netflix, HBO Max, and Disney+.
It has a feature Spoof GPS, which help your unblock streaming services on Android mobile devices. This feature hides your GPS data and your IP, so streaming apps won’t see your real location.
It has super-intuitive apps for Android, Windows, iOS, macOS, and Linux. Plus, it has a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it risk free.
- A very affordable VPN provider
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Ad-blocking feature
- Unblocks streaming platforms
- A fast and light WireGuard protocol
- Allows split-tunneling and has a multi-hop VPN feature
- No-log policy and robust security features
- GPS spoofing on Android devices
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- No free version
- Does not allow P2P seeding
3. Atlas VPN
Atlas VPN in another reliable VPN that can bypass internet restrictions in the UAE and Dubai easily. It also offers a free plan, so it’s perfects if you’re looking for a free VPN that’s also secure.
This VPN has military-grade encryption, a kill switch, DNS and IPv6 leak protection. Even if it’s based in the US, it has a strict no-logs policy. Also, it comes with perfect forward secrecy.
It also has SafeBrowse, which prevents third-party trackers from spying on your traffic. On top of this, it has SafeSwap servers. This way, you can unblock online by using several IP addresses at a time, making your IP harder to detect. You can choose between 3 SafeSwap server locations: the Netherlands, the US, and Singapore.
Atlas VPN has 750+ servers in 40+ countries. Also, it works well with Netflix, so you can use it to stream movies in the United Arab Emirates. Also, it unblocks VoIP and streaming services consistently such as Skype, Viber, Netflix, and Disney+.
It has easy-to-use apps for Windows, Android, macOS, iOS, and Linux. In our tests, we never experienced any problems while using the apps.
The free plan gives you access to 3 VPN servers located in the Netherlands and the US. Also, it allows unlimited connections. The paid plans are very cheap and come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
PrivateVPN is a beginner-friendly VPN that works very well in restrictive countries. All its feature has helpful explanations, so it’s very easy to use.
It has bank-grade encryption and DNS leak protection. Even if it’s based in Sweden (a country with data retention laws). It has a strict no-logs policy. Plus, it has 2 types of internet kill switch. In addition to the standard one, it also has an app-based kill switch. This one shuts down selected apps if the VPN disconnects.
PrivateVPN also has a Stealth VPN feature, which provides obfuscation. So it’s a good pick if you plan on traveling to the United Arab Emirates.
The VPN has a relatively small network servers: 200+ servers in 60+ countries. However, the VPN servers are well distributed so you can find a nearby servers for great internet speeds easily.
You can unblock websites like Facebook, Gmail, YouTube, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and Outlook. What’s more, it unbloxks VoIP services like Facebook Messanger, Skype, WhatsApp, and Google Hangouts.
PrivateVPN has apps for Linux, iOS, macOS, Android, and Windows. They are all super intuitive and they don’t take more than 3 minutes to get installed on your device. PrivateVPN also allows 10 simultaneous connections, which is very convenient.
It has very affordable plans, and it backs them up with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Supports P2P traffic and allows port forwarding
- Unlimited bandwidth and great speeds
- Unblocks most streaming platforms
- Zero-logging policy
- Free Static IP servers
- 10 simultaneous connections
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Not as many servers as other VPN providers
- No split-tunneling
ExpressVPN is another excellent VPN you can use access blocked websites in the UAE. It consistently unblock streaming and VoIP services, so it’s a perfect choice if you’re traveling to restrictive countries.
The VPN has military-grade encryption, full leak protection, and a kill switch. Also, the provider is based in the British Virgin Islands, so it’s a privacy-friendly country. On top of this, it has an audited no-logs policy that’s been proven true in court.
What’s more, it has RAM-only servers and perfect forward secrecy. In addition, it has obfuscation to hide your streaming and VoIP traffic.
ExpressVPN has also a bunch of security features. For example, it has App Screenshots. This feature is available only on Android, and it prevents malicious actors from spying on your in-app activity. Basically, it disables in-app screenshots and stops apps with special permissions from seeing in-app content. Also, it has Threat Manager, which unblocks trackers and connection to malicious sites.
ExpressVPN has 3,000+ servers in 90+ countries, so it provides fast internet connections. Also, it can unblock VoIP calls and 100+ streaming apps. You can access blocked sites like Discord, Facebook, Gmail, Outlook, and YouTube. Also, it works with popular streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime Video.
It has intuitive apps for Linux, macOS, iOS, Android, and Windows and it allows 5 simultaneous connections. Also, it has a 30-day money-back refund policy, so you can try it risk free.
- Works with streaming
- Supports torrenting
- No-logs policy
- TrustedServer technology with RAM-only servers
- Premium security features
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Expensive subscription plans
- Only 5 simultaneous connections
Why Does the UAE Block Websites and Apps?
TRA has the power to control all internet traffic and make sure that national ISPs follow these reglations. These restrictions are greatly influenced by cultural and economic reasons.
So, ISPs block sites that go against society’s moral principles and show harmful content like:
- Criticism against the UAE and public order
- Criticism against Islam
- Website that promote bypassing blocked content
The UAE also blocks almost all VoIP apps such as FaceTime, Whatsapp, Skype, and Viber.
One of the major UAE’s sources of revenue are international calls. Most popular ISPs in the UAE, Etisalat and du, could not compete with free video call apps. So, they would lose a big part of their income. To protect their investments, the government decided to block all VoIP apps.
However. Botim is a popular free HD video and voice call app that UAE didn’t ban. Users located in the UAE have to pay a monthly fee to unblock this app, so it’s a source of revenue for telecommunication companies.
How to Bypass VPN Blocking in the UAE and Dubai
The ISPs in the UAE block VPNs all the time so somtimes even the best VPN services can temporarily stop working. Here’s how you can bypass VPN blocking in the UAE:
- Use a different VPN internet protocol. In any VPN app settings’ tab, you can choose different VPN protocols. Trying different protocols might solve your connection problems.
- Change Port Number. Changing connections by using port 443 might make your VPN connection harder to get detected and blocked by ISPs.
- Don’t use free VPNs: Free VPNs are very unsafe and most likely don’t work in the UAE. They don’t have security and privacy features. Plus, free VPNs collect your personal data and sell it to advertisers. Atlas VPN is the best solutions if you search for a VPN with a free plan. However, keep in mind that the free plan gives you access only to 3 servers.
- Get a VPN before you’re traveling to the UAE. Otherwise, getting access to a VPN when you’re in the UAE might be difficult.
Using a VPN is the safest options to access blocked sites in the UAE and Dubai. Even if UAE’s ISPs block VPNs, there are a few services that work just fine.
Always make sure that you choose a VPN with a strict no-logs policy and tons of security features. Overall, we recommend NordVPN since it can easily bypass internet censorship in the UAE. It also has a bunch of security features such as RAM-ony servers, perfect forward secrecy, obfuscation, and Threat Protection. Plus, it has a large server network, so you can unblock streaming and VoIP apps.
FAQs about Unblocking Sites in UAE with a Virtual Private Network
Here are the most common things people ask about unblocking sites it the UAE with a VPN:
Is Using a Virtual Private Network Illegal in the UAE?
The UAE is currently blocking access to sites that promote a way to bypass government censorship. Also, using a VPN to engage in illegal activities is prohibited.
What Websites Are Blocked in the UAE?
In general, every site that promotes content that go against the society’s morals is currently banned. Here are a few examples of online content not tolerated in the UAE:
- Criticism to the UAE government
- Criticism to Islam
Which Apps Are Blocked in the UAE?
The UAE government blocks tons of popular apps, mostly related to social media, and streaming. Here are a few examples of apps you can’t access if you’re traveling to the UAE: