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January 4, 2018

Skype is Officially Blocked in UAE… But You do Have Other Options

Internet calling app Skype joins the ranks of other popular VOiP services now banned in UAE, including Apple’s FaceTime, WhatsApp’s video calling and Google’s Duo.

It’s another hurdle towards less restrictive VOiP regulations in an ever-changing tech landscape, but UAE residents do have alternate (legal) options to make Internet calls. Here’s what you should know

Skype not working in UAE

In a message on December 30, 2017, Etisalat announced that Skype would now be blocked in UAE.

There’s no denying that Skype and other apps like it are powerful tools for communication, particularly for companies that depend on the app to branch out globally. Skype currently has a staggering 74 million users that make up to three billion minutes of calls each day.

Alternative VOiP calling options in UAE

So while there may not be a way around the Skype block (unless you use a VPN, which is technically not allowed in the UAE), there are still legal VOiP options available through du and Etisalat.

Both telecom providers offer unlimited voice and video calling plans through VOiP-based apps BOTIM and C’Me. You should remember that in order to use the service, all parties making calls will have to be signed up.

How much will it cost: Monthly fees start at AED 50 for mobile users; AED 100 for home Internet calling packs.

How to subscribe:

  • For Etisalat mobile users on a AED 50 Internet calling plan, send ICP to 1012. For home packages costing AED 100 per month, send EICP to 1010.
  • For du users on a AED 50 Internet calling plan, SMS Netcall to 1355. For home packages costing AED 100, dial 04 390 5555.

Image credit: Microsoft