Can you use Skype in the UAE?


GlobalNomad's picture
By GlobalNomad - Posted on
04 May 2011
I've seen conflicting reports about using Skype in Abu Dhabi and Dubai on the Internet. Can anyone living in the UAE give me a specific yay or nay?
Stephanie's picture
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Cape Town, South Africa

From:
Charlotte, North Carolina (the USA)

Stephanie's Website
Yes, VoIP ihas been banned in the UAE for a long time. It's available in Dubai's free zones but not in the country in general. The authorities say it's because Skype and the others don't have a licence to operate here but in reality it's to protect the huge revenues of the government-owned telco.

That said, over 80 percent of the combined Abu Dhabi/Dubai population is expats, so it follows that these foreigners need some way to communicate with their loved ones back home. So, there have ways to get around the block, that while not legal, are easy enough. You can create a VPN (Virtual Private Network) or you can access Skype through a proxy. 

Also, there are even Internet cafes that have the Skype application downloaded. Many expats living in the UAE use Skype, so if you have a problem when you arrive just ask around and see what sort of actions other took.
 
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Lori Francis Fantozzi's picture
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Last seen: 8 years 15 weeks ago
Joined: 11/07/2011

I use Skype in Abu Dhabi. I loaded it on in my home country and upgrade it when I'm on holiday. It works quite well, I get a good connection. The help page is blocked in the UAE.

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Dina Omar Afifi's picture
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Last seen: 4 years 22 weeks ago
Joined: 13/01/2013

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