UAE Blocks Skype

This New Year, UAE residents woke up to some bad news. Popular communication platform Skype has been blocked in the Emirates by two of the major telecom companies operating there.

Both Etisalat and Du, have banned Skype services, citing “unlicensed” Voice over Internet Protocol services. They say that:

Unlicensed Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) calls fall under the classification of prohibited content as per UAE Regulatory Framework.

This basically means Skype is now illegal in the UAE.

Why the Ban?

VoIP is a free alternative to expensive voice and video calls, leading many to believe that’s probably why UAE-based telecom companies have reportedly banned it.

Etisalat and Du are rivals in market but over this issue, both support the stance that they should be paid for voice and video calls.

Here is what they had to say regarding the ban on Skype:


Skype’s Response

The Skype support page doesn’t offer a lot of support. It says there’s not much to be done, and users should contact their ISP instead.

Of the 70 million expatriate workers in UAE, 1.2 million of them are Pakistanis. The ban on Skype is expected to hit the expat population hard, as the VoIP app remains a popular choice for them to connect with people back home.

Is There A Way Around This Ban?

The VoIP policy is not new, but telecom groups mostly seemed to have missed Skype’s features before. It was the communicating world’s salvation. But now it’s probably gone for good.

There appears to be only one solution for now. Users in UAE can probably use Google Duo for the time being. It’s already been blocked by Du, but you’ll probably get a few days before other providers follow suit.

There are legal ways to make voice and video calls in the UAE – that is, of course, if you’re willing to pay a fee to Du and Etisalat.

  • Aftab Hussain

    ان عربوں سے ہم کیا توقع کر سکتے ہیں جو خود تو عیاشی کی زندگی گزار رہے ہیں اور غریب اور مزدور طبقہ جو اپنی فیملی سے ہزاروں، لاکھوں میل دور ہیں ان سے اپنی فیملی سے بات کا حق بھی چھین رہے ہیں۔

    • Atif

      And same Arabs and other rich ppl you are apparently hating can’t use Skype as well. ?

      • Arslan Ejaz

        YEs because they can pay for ridiculous charges but labor can’t think before you speak.

        • Atif

          you should do same before writing stupid hate comments!
          why in the world you think anyone other than labors can easily pay for it?

          • Arslan Ejaz

            Lol. I cant argue with you brother. i didn’t written any hate comment in my life, it is your perspective to take it negative or positive. Allah Bless us all. Peace.

            • Atif

              No need to argue ?, as now you’re half accepting the fact. {OP did a hate comment}

              • Arslan Ejaz

                As I said it wasn’t a hate comment and I am not deleting it as it is a fact so plz try to accept facts. AND brother it is your perspective to take it positive or negative. Thanks. I will not be replying to this anymore. Think what you like. You are most welcome. Peace.

  • Ethan Hunt

    They are introducing their own app as an alternative. There are charges to use that app around AED 50 except internet charges.

  • Asher Ahmed

    Money is everything, don’t understand their psychology.