The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and its government are notorious for their abysmal approach to free speech. The government seems to believe that anything they do not agree with should not be accessible by the people and they go to great lengths to enforce that opinion.
If you currently live in that country or are interested in its affairs, then you might already know about its Internet censorship laws. To put it simply, the UAE government automatically blocks access to any websites that are deemed morally corrupt, are critical of the administration, or are offensive to their religious sensibilities.
Visitors to the country should be aware of these kinds of strict laws which apply both in the real world and online. If you are a tourist in the country, make sure you refrain from doing anything that could offend or that could be considered illegal in the UAE.
So can I do anything about that?
Well since you are here, you are probably already thinking the same thing as us: use a VPN. After all, a VPN should be everyone’s first stop when it comes to removing barriers from the Internet, whether those come in the form of geographical or political restrictions.
Before you go ahead and do anything rush, however, there are some things you should know about using VPNs in the UAE.
If you are planning on doing anything remotely illegal with a VPN in the UAE, stop right now
The heavy Internet censorship and attempt of complete control by the UAE government does not stop simply when they block websites and other online content. It continues far further than that to the point where it includes how people can use VPNs too.
More specifically, if you do anything that the government might consider illegal while using a VPN, you face a very hefty fine and going to jail as well.
This is where things get tricky. In theory, the government should not be able to know what you are doing while you are using a VPN because the traffic should be encrypted, which means that no one can snoop on it.
In reality, however, some VPN companies may comply with government regulations and allow third parties to take a look at what you are doing. And if your VPN provider keeps logs and the UAE government sends them a request for those logs, they might simply comply.
The best VPNs will be encrypted and will not share your data with anyone!
Finding one of those can be quite tricky, though certainly not impossible.
Can I just use a free VPN for UAE?
The answer to that is a resounding NO. You should never trust or use free VPN in UAE, Dubai or any other country and city with such an oppressive system and systematic Internet censorship.
Free VPNs will log all your internet data, browsing activity and will not be able to protect you when it comes to securing your online identity. Just steer away from them and you will be safer for it.
So which VPN should I use?
We have compiled here a list of VPNs that we believe are fantastic choices for UAE and Dubai. Make sure to read our reviews as we have tested them out extensively in many different areas including their prices, performance, and service. That way, you can find whether they will actually work for you or not.
All of these VPNs can be used on Android phones and tablets, iPhone, iPad, Windows PC, macOS, streaming boxes, smart TVs, and game consoles (PS3, PS4 and Xbox One).
How to unblock websites in the UAE:
- Buy a subscription to your VPN of choice.
- Install the client in one or more of your devices.
- Select a server to a country like the US or the UK.
- Unblock and Browse the Web however you want!
In case you have more questions or concerns about using a VPN in the UAE, feel free to leave a comment below and we’ll try to help as much as we can!