Dubai is one of the most beautiful tourist destinations in the world.
However, apart from being rather pricey, it is also a place where you might find somewhat limited when it comes to your online reach.
You see, Dubai and the United Arab Emirates, in general has quite a few issues when it comes to blocking and censoring websites, which includes streaming services, various news sites, torrent sites, and more.
Neither Dubai or the UAE as a whole is alone in online security risks either and all those faced in other countries can also be found here. Couple that with wanting to access online streaming services from other countries and a VPN is an essential tool.
With that in mind, the only solution is to get the best VPN for UAE and Dubai and connect to the internet through it.
So if you’re interested in finding out which VPN that is, our tests have rounded up the best.
Inside we’ll show you exactly which provider is the top choice and why.
Let’s dive right in.
Top VPNs for Dubai & UAE
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ExpressVPN is the world’s best Virtual Private Network and for Dubai, they’re certainly our top choice.
It is known and used throughout the world as one of the most reliable ones, that much is certain. Its monthly cost can seem a bit pricey, although it does offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you do have a way out if you decide that you do not like it and they offer more than most other providers.
When it comes to its usefulness for unblocking the internet in the UAE, we can confirm that ExpressVPN is one of the best VPNs to use for such a job.
It has over 3,000 servers in 94 different countries, most of which are capable of unblocking pretty much anything, including services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and more.
ExpressVPN also has many privacy and security features, such as DNS leak protection, a kill switch, obfuscated servers in many surrounding countries, a strict no-logs policy, military-grade encryption, security protocols, and more.
Everything you need to bypass censorship and reach geo-restricted content.
So, if you are looking for the best VPN for the UAE and Dubai, ExpressVPN is definitely the one you should check out.
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The next candidate for the best VPN for Dubai is NordVPN. A Panama-based service that is one of the main rivals for the position of the best global VPN service.
It has a huge number of servers, over 5,400 of them in 60 different countries, and they all offer very fast connection speeds. So, if you wish to access services like BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime, or Netflix, this is another great option.
Apps are available on iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, browsers, and a variety of other devices. It also has 256-bit AES encryption and a long list of the best security protocols for your convenience.
Apart from that, it has a no-logs policy, and many other security features, such as the kill switch.
It is capable of combating internet censorship, accessing streaming sites, and securing your internet connection.
It is great for expats who might need a VPN in UAE to be safe online or to reach out to the countries with a more open internet. Simply use it to connect to any VPN server through its apps, and you will unlock new possibilities.
Another excellent choice of a VPN is Surfshark, which is actually based in the British Virgin Islands. This is a good thing, as the nation is known for being privacy-friendly, which is something that Dubai is certainly not.
Surfshark may be a young VPN, but that did not stop it from quickly rising to the top.
It is capable of unblocking restricted content, such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon prime, as well as many other sites. It has a large server network featuring over 3,200 VPN servers in 65 countries, including the UAE itself, so you can even use it to browse the local content safely.
It has a 30-day money-back guarantee, as well as 24/7 live chat support. Customer support is competent, friendly, and always ready to help in whatever way you need.
Surfshark also has great connection speeds, leak protection, supports the OpenVPN and Wireguard protocols, and many other features that will help you hide your IP address, traffic, and more.
The next on our list of the best VPNs for Dubai is VyprVPN. One of the VPN services with the new WireGuard security protocol.
VyprVPN claims to have over 2 million users globally. Its VPN services are certainly good enough for it to be true, as this provider has it all, leak protection, obfuscated servers, the ability to access Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and even Russian MatchTV, a free TV service focused on sports.
This VPN provider offers over 700 servers in more than 70 countries, with its IP address count exceeding 300,000.
It also has a 30-day money-back guarantee, which is another reason why it deserves to be on the list of the best VPNs for Dubai.
With this VPN service, your traffic will be safe, and if the app ever malfunctions, the built-in kill switch will protect your data from leaking.
CyberGhost is one of the best VPNs for Dubai for a variety of reasons.
It is fast, it has over 6,600 servers in 90 different countries, it is capable of unblocking all the mentioned services, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and more, and it has an extremely long money-back guarantee.
Where most services offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, CyberGhost offers one that is 45 days long, thus giving you a month and a half to test it and decide whether you want to keep it or get your money back.
It is just as safe as secure as any other VPN on this list, and it has excellent live chat support.
It doesn’t keep user logs, it hides your data from internet providers, and its number of servers is impressively huge. Plus, it has apps for pretty much any device you could ever think of using.
So, if you need a VPN in the UAE, then CyberGhost is definitely a VPN option to consider.
6. Private Internet Access
Nearing the end of our list of top VPNs for Dubai and the UAE, we have Private Internet Access or PIA.
PIA is a US-based VPN provider, which might be a red flag for many users, as the US is not exactly known for privacy. But, PIA claims not to keep logs, and it has been tested in multiple court cases to prove their claims true.
As VPN providers go, PIA is rather good. It has a massive server network, going beyond 29,170 servers in 77 countries, it is available on all popular devices, such as iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, and others, so you can use it on any device you want, and it lets you use it on up to 10 devices simultaneously.
It has decent customer support, and a 30-day money-back guarantee. All in all, it is a good VPN for UAE and Dubai that takes care of each user with a long list of excellent security features.
The last provider on our list of the best VPNs for UAE and Dubai is IPVanish, which is another US-based VPN provider.
However, much like PIA, IPVanish also claims it doesn’t keep any logs. It offers very cheap plans, and in return, it provides a pretty good service. It is a reliable choice for a Dubai VPN, with a money-back guarantee 30 days long.
IPVanish has around 1,300 servers in 75 different locations, which makes its number of servers being relatively small compared to others. Still, its server network is just as far-reaching as anything else on this list.
It can help you bypass censorship and geo-restrictions, and unblock content that would otherwise be not available, all the while keeping your own internet traffic safe.
It is a worthy UAE VPN and given that you certainly need one, IPVanish, while not the best choice, is a good option, especially if you are on a tight budget.
Meanwhile, if you have any issues, its 24/7 live chat is always available to help you resolve them.
Why do I need a VPN in Dubai and the UAE?
There are several reasons why VPN apps are not only recommended but necessary for UAE and Dubai, including:
1. Online privacy
The UAE has grown to be well-known for its online surveillance, which has expanded so much that it was described as ‘Big Brother on steroids‘ by an Italian security expert.
The country is not shying away from looking into its users’ online activities, which is why VPN providers have started to see an increase in popularity in the country.
Internet service providers are also capable of seeing all of their users’ internet traffic, and there is nothing stopping them from reporting what content users are interested in to the government, which is why UAE VPN is nothing short of a necessity.
2. Unblock websites and services
The second reason why you need a UAE VPN is to unblock websites and services that the country finds inappropriate or to bypass geo-restrictions of foreign websites that do not cover the UAE.
There are plenty of censored sites, including anything that could be linked to pornography, anti-government or anti-police materials, or anything even remotely anti-Islamic.
Of course, there are always websites like Netflix, which offer a fraction of their total content to Dubai and the rest of the UAE.
3. Access VoIP freely
VoIP, which is short for Voice over Internet Protocol, is a technology that converts human voice into digital signals, allowing you to make calls from computers, VoIP phones, and similar devices.
Like all countries trying to keep their people as divided as possible, the UAE will not hesitate to discourage or openly block different communication methods, particularly those that it cannot control or oversee.
This is another reason for using a VPN. Not only do VPNs allow you to use VoIP services in the UAE, but can also help you stay safe and protected while doing so.
4. Unblock streaming services
Streaming has skyrocketed over the past decade, becoming one of the most popular online activities, apart from using social networks.
The situation is no different in Dubai. However, the UAE is not a major streaming hub, and so if you live there, you can’t access the majority of the available content without VPNs.
A UAE VPN can help you unblock pretty much anything, especially if you select a top-notch VPN service with a lot of servers in the right locations.
This is why we listed the best VPNs for UAE and Dubai earlier, as using a VPN, any on the list is bound to expand your online reach. And, if it doesn’t work or you don’t like it, they offer a money-back guarantee 30 days long, so you have plenty of time to decide if using a VPN solves your problems.
Is using a VPN in Dubai or the UAE illegal?
The use of a Dubai VPN is not illegal according to the current UAE laws, as long as the VPN service is not used for doing anything that would break some other law.
In other words, if you use a VPN to protect yourself on the internet, then you will not be bothered. However, if you hide your IP address with the intention of doing something that might be considered a crime and the Dubai or UAE authorities find out, then you can get in trouble.
Given that doing things like accessing certain content is not illegal, just made unavailable through censorship or geo-restrictions, using a Dubai VPN for Netflix or some other similar purpose should not be a problem.
This means you should be able to use a VPN for anything other than committing a crime of any kind and suffer no consequences for it. After all, VPNs do have servers in Dubai, which would not be the case if the technology was completely banned.
Also, VPN technology is considered to be security technology, and in that sense, it is not so different from antivirus software in the eyes of the law. However, the law does recognize its abilities, so it doesn’t matter IF you use it, but rather, WHAT you use it for.
What about a free VPN for the UAE or Dubai?
Of course, while premium services are great to have, a free VPN is free, which is why the first question most people ask is, are there free VPNs for UAE and Dubai that they could use?
The short answer is, yes, free VPN is a thing, and no, you shouldn’t use it. Let us explain.
When you pay for a premium VPN, the service uses that money to maintain servers, pay developers to replace blocked IP addresses, and it obtains advanced technology to better itself.
Free VPNs do not receive that kind of money.
This is why you won’t find a free VPN with an abundance of servers like the premium services mentioned above. They only have a few, and most are extremely overcrowded, and very slow as a result.
Because of that, you can not use a free VPN to access Netflix or other services. Not only are they too slow, they are often blocked, as they don’t possess masking technology to protect their servers and IP addresses.
On top of that, they still need to pay for servers and their maintenance with some money, so they will either bombard you with ads to please their sponsors or collect and sell your data to advertisers or even the government.
So no, a free VPN is not something that we recommend.
The only one that might be worth considering is ProtonVPN, a Swiss service with a premium and free version.
However, the free version is meant for those in dire need, and it is very limited, only allowing you access to three servers. Plus, it is not able to unblock Netflix.
It has apps for all devices as the premium one, so you can at least browse foreign content safely.
How to use a VPN in Dubai or the UAE?
If you wish to use VPNs in Dubai, you should know that the process is very simple. You are free to choose and use any UAE VPN you wish, provided that it has apps for devices you wish to protect, of course.
For our guide, we will use our recommended service, ExpressVPN.
Once you decide on the service, there are only a few steps you need to take, and VPN apps will be yours to use as you see fit.
- Start by going to the ExpressVPN website.
- Click on the big, red ‘Get ExpressVPN‘ button.
- Select a payment plan and your payment method, then enter your payment data and email.
- Next, download VPN apps for devices you wish to use them on.
- Install the apps, launch them, and log in.
- Connect to any server in any country that you wish to connect to.
And that’s it.
The process is the same, more or less, for all VPNs out there. Simply decide on which UAE VPN you wish to use, follow the steps above, and you will be all set in a matter of minutes.
The UAE is a country with quite a few issues when it comes to the online experience.
It is known for surveillance, censorship, and a lot of content is banned. More than that, it has a lesser selection of online streaming services from the big providers.
So, if you want access to the same content as the rest of the world, you will need to use a VPN to access it.
Whether you are a local who is just tired of being limited by the authorities, an expat who wants the same online benefits as you had back home, or a traveler who needs to access content for work, fun, or information, a VPN can serve you well in the UAE and Dubai.
You just need to find the right service, install it, and the internet will be open to you.
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