How to Unblock Skype in Dubai (and UAE)

skype uae

Are you looking for information on how to use Skype in UAE? As you may already know, the popular telecommunication tool is banned in the United Arab Emirates, much to the frustration of millions of expats that depend on it for work/business and keeping in touch with family and friends.

So what can you do about it? In this article, we will help you get around such restrictions as we go over the following:

Why Is Skype Banned in the UAE?

Before we get into the specifics on how you can use Skype in the UAE, you might be wondering—why is it banned in the first place? Skype has been the universal choice for most businesses when it comes to telecommunication apps, so it seems counterintuitive for a nation as progressive as the UAE to ban its use.

ISPs in the UAE started blocking Skype services sometime in January 2018. An official explanation from Emirate authorities states that Skype had been providing VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) in the country without a license. This is forbidden under current UAE regulations. 

Of course, the ban isn’t specific to Skype alone. Similar applications like Viber, Facetime, and Whatsapp are also banned in the UAE. Emirate Authorities claim that these apps present risks for phishing, hacking, and other cybersecurity threats. 

That said, there have been speculations that the ban was a deliberate move by the government to lend an undue advantage to domestic players like C’Me and Botim. After all, ISPs in the country have been seen encouraging people to use the latter as an alternative to Skype.

How to Use Skype in the UAE

So what can you do if you must use Skype to keep in touch with loved ones? Perhaps you came to the UAE for business and absolutely need to keep in touch with members of your organization? Fortunately, there is a way to get around the Skype ban in the UAE and this is where the use of a VPN (Virtual Private Network) comes in.

In a nutshell, a VPN can help restore access to your Skype account by routing your connection to an external VPN server located somewhere else in the world where Skype services are readily accessible.

Unblocking access to Skype in the UAE using a VPN is not at all difficult and something that anyone can do in a few simple steps:

1. Sign up to a VPN provider

First, you will need a good VPN service capable of unlocking geo-blocked content (in this case, Skype services). For this example, we’ll be referencing NordVPN which is a premium VPN service. You will need to sign up for an account which starts at $11.95 per month. Note that you can get it cheaper if you sign up for a 3-year plan ($3.49 per month).

2. Download the VPN app to your device

At this point, you should already have a username and password to access the VPN service. The next step is to download the NordVPN app to your device. If you’re on the NordVPN website, just click on the link that says “VPN apps” on the top menu.

3. Select your preferred platform

Notice how NordVPN supports a wide range of devices from smartphones to desktop/laptop computers and browser extensions. Just select the platform that you’re currently using and go through the installation process.

3. Sign in to your account

Open the NordVPN app on your device and it should take you to a login screen. Type in the username and password for your NordVPN account and click on “sign-in.”

4. Select a VPN server

Once you’ve successfully logged on to your NordVPN account, it should take you to the main screen for the VPN app. From here, you can select which VPN server to connect to. You can start a VPN connection by clicking on the “Quick Connect” button which will automatically connect you to the nearest VPN server. Alternatively, you can select a specific country from the left-menu or directly on the map.

5. Check that you are connected to the chosen server

The VPN app will prompt you that you are now protected and connected to your chosen VPN server. For this example, we chose a VPN server from the United States where Skype is readily accessible.

6. Log in to Skype

At this point, the VPN service is now running on your device and you will be able to use your Skype service as normal.

If you’re using a different VPN service, then your user interface may be drastically different from the one shown above. Still, the process should be fairly similar and will give you a good idea of how to work a VPN to unblock content and services in your area.

Best VPNs to Unblock Skype in the UAE

Indeed, a VPN service is the solution if you want to be able to continue using Skype services in the UAE. That said, not all VPNs are capable of such a feat. ISPs from the UAE don’t like it when people try to circumvent the restrictions they’ve set in place. They regularly block the VPN servers that people are using to access blocked content and services.

Apart from NordVPN, only a few VPN services in the market are capable of committing the resources necessary to unblock Skype in the UAE, which includes the following:

Avoid free VPN services as most of them don’t work or worse, sell your personal information to third parties. While the use of a good VPN will add to your expenses, most people would agree that it’s chump change considering the relative ease and convenience that these services offer for unblocking Skype in the UAE.

All of the VPN services mentioned above offer a free trial and money-back guarantee. Hence you can try them with practically zero risks and determine whether a particular VPN service delivers the performance and results that you need.

Summary

Indeed, Skype is currently banned in the UAE and that’s not going to change any time soon. Still, you need not let such restrictions hinder your business communications and your efforts to stay in touch with your loved ones. With a good VPN service, no service is beyond your reach, especially one that is as popular as Skype.

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