The best UAE and Dubai VPN in 2024

Best UAE VPN - quick menu

The government of the United Arab Emirates is infamous to heavily monitor and censor the internet. Whether you are a citizens or a visitor, an invisible force work behind the scene for watching your every move while you're browsing the web. Luckily, the best VPN services can empower you to reclaim your online freedom.

Short for virtual private network, a VPN for the UAE spoofs your real IP address and encrypts the data leaving your device. This grants you the access to banned VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) apps such as WhatsApp, FaceTime, and Skype as well as other blocked content. It also helps you increase online anonymity, by preventing snoopers from tracking you down. 

It's important to note the authorities are working hard to restrict VPNs' personal usage. We then recommend choosing your security service cautiously and, whenever possible, installing your UAE VPN prior to entering the country. Experts at TechRadar have 15 years of experience in reviewing security software, so keep reading as we narrow down the best VPN for the UAE and Dubai right now with our top five choices.

Our list of today's top 3 best UAE/Dubai VPNs:

In a hurry? No problem. Here are my 3 top UAE VPN picks:

1. The best VPN overall: NordVPN

1. The best VPN overall: NordVPN
NordVPN is my top pick thanks to a stacked roster of features—including Double VPN that'll add an extra layer of security to your browsing. Obfuscated servers help you bypass blocks and restrictions, too, and NordVPN has proven its commitment to user privacy with an audited no-logs policy.

Plus, NordVPN is more than capable of unblocking streaming services from around the world. Check it out for yourself, and enjoy free access to the web, with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

↪ Read more in my NordVPN deep dive

2. The best user experience: ExpressVPN

2. The best user experience: ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN is a staple of the cybersecurity world—and for good reason. It's an audited no-logs service that makes geo-spoofing your location as easy as tapping a single button. So, you don't need to be a tech wizard to shore up your security.

I'm always impressed by ExpressVPN's speeds, too. HD streaming is a breeze and downloads complete in a blink—and you can take the provider for a test run with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

↪ Read more in my ExpressVPN deep dive

3. The best budget VPN: Surfshark

3. The best budget VPN: Surfshark
Protecting your digital privacy shouldn't cost an arm and a leg. Surfshark's prices are budget-friendly and include a ton of tools that can help you get around online blocks. It's a great streaming pick, too, able to access services from within the UAE and beyond.

I also like that Surfshark plans come with unlimited simultaneous connections—so you can secure all of your gadgets with just one plan. Be sure to make good use of the provider's 30-day money-back guarantee.

↪ Read more in my Surfshark deep dive

Written by
Chiara Castro, cybersecurity expert and VPN news reporter
Written by
Chiara Castro

Reporting on the latest trends and happenings in the world of cybersecurity, Chiara's investigative journalism helps keep our provider analysis at the cutting edge.

The best UAE/Dubai VPN for 2024:

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

See how our top picks VPN for UAE compare in the following analysis and reviews as we discuss reasons to subscribe, reasons to avoid, our test results, what we liked most about each provider, and how they compare with the competition.

Recent updates

In this round of updates, I've bumped NordVPN to the top of the rankings to reflect our most recent VPN test results.

The best VPN overall

(Image credit: Future)

1. NordVPN

The top UAE VPN to safely browse locally

Server/s in UAE: Yes | Number of servers: 5,600+ | Server locations: 80+ | Maximum devices supported: 6 | Trial length: 30 days | 24/7 live chat support: Yes | No-log policy : Yes (audited)

The fastest speeds of any VPN we’ve tested
Strong encrypted connections, security and privacy credentials
Works with Skype and other VoIP services
User data is protected as it keeps no logs
Other VPNs have better mobile apps
Basic browser extensions
Subscribe if:

✔️ You like blazing-fast speeds: Nord's placed itself among the fastest VPN services on the market we tried during our last round of testing.

✔️ You value your security online: strong encryption, Double VPN, ad/malware-blockers, and Onion Over VPN are just some of its advanced security features

✔️ You appreciate dedicated IP option: either you're a business or individual, you can enjoy the perks of a fixed IP with the security of a VPN for an extra tiny fee

Don't subscribe if:

❌ You are on a tight budget: Nord is pricier than Surfshark which offers a decent set of basic features.

❌ You use port forwarding: it allows for optimized connections, faster downloads and improved overall torrenting performance, which Express VPN offers.

❌ You need a Linux app: Nord is configured through Terminal on Linux, which may be more complex for those not familiar with Linux commands.

Bottom line ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

🔒 NordVPN is a secure and reliable choice, offering UAE-based servers for delivering a complete VPN protection even on local browsing.

Are you an adventurous UAE resident in search of the best UAE VPN that will take your online experiences to new heights? The biggest VPN name in the market might be just the right solution for those who dare to explore the digital realm while keeping their privacy intact.

When it comes to safeguarding your online privacy, NordVPN stands as an impenetrable fortress. It creates a secure tunnel for your internet traffic, shielding it from prying eyes and potential threats. With NordVPN, you can confidently browse, shop, and communicate knowing that your personal information remains confidential and protected. 

Try NordVPN with a 30-day money-back guarantee. 

Among our favorite security features there are double kill switches, DNS leak protection, 256-bit encryption, Onion over VPN to reroute traffic via both the VPN server and the Tor network, and a Double VPN option so that all your internet traffic will be encrypted not once, but twice. Its new addition Meshnet is then ideal for those seeking to secure their workload across multiple devices—even better as it's now free of charge for all.

NordVPN boasts over 5,500 speedy servers dotted around the globe that can be accessed from the UAE with great reliability. Some of those are actually in the UAE, a great feature if you live locally and want to keep search results locally focused. These UAE-based locations even host obfuscated servers that are specifically configured to bypass network firewalls in countries with the toughest restrictions.

Despite restriction efforts by Etisalat and Du, NordVPN performs well as both a Netflix VPN and BBC iPlayer VPN while in the UAE. It does that at great speed, too. We experienced some improved connection speeds reaching 950+Mbps with WireGuard last time we checked, placing itself among the fastest VPN services on the market right now.

By leveraging its vast network of servers worldwide, NordVPN enables you to make free international calls using popular VoIP apps like WhatsApp and FaceTime, which are blocked in the UAE. Stay connected with your friends and family, no matter the distance, and enjoy crystal-clear conversations has never been easier.

Yet, we still aren't fans of its map-based interface on smaller screens and its browser extensions are still a bit basic. Linux users might find Nord's installation process a bit daunting, too. Nonetheless you can count on speedy 24/7 live chat support to address any issues in no time and a 30-day money-back guarantee to try it out yourself risk-free.

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NordVPN test results:
AttributesNotesRating
DesignA fun design that can be a little busy for some people⭐⭐⭐⭐
Ease of useEverything is easy to find, but the map interface can be off-putting, and there isn't much attention to detail⭐⭐⭐
PerformanceThe fastest VPN in our latest round of tests⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
UnblockingPerfect for Netflix and other streaming sites⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Security and privacyEvery bit as strong as ExpressVPN⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Customer supportFriendly, supportive and professional⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
PriceFantastic value for money⭐⭐⭐⭐

The best VPN for beginners

ExpressVPN is the best India VPNTechRadar Editor's Choice award logo

(Image credit: ExpressVPNB)

2. ExpressVPN

A standout VPN for UAE, Dubai and everywhere

Server/s in UAE: No | Number of servers: 3,000+ | Server locations: 160 | Maximum devices supported: 8 | Trial length: 30 days | 24/7 live chat support: Yes | No-log policy: Yes (audited)

Top of the line privacy and strong security features
Fast connection speeds for streaming and torrenting
Works with all major streaming services including Netflix
Unlimited data with no data caps for users
Obfuscated servers
Pricier than some competitors
No UAE servers
Subscribe if:

✔️ You value your online privacy: ExpressVPN offers advanced encryption protocols and top-level security features.

✔️ You value accessing geo-restricted content: the provider has a great unblocking record from streaming platforms to just any other blocked content.

✔️ You appreciate usability: excellent customer support and user-friendly interface is what you'll get when signing up.

Don't subscribe if:

You are after a cheap VPN: if you are on a tight budget, we recommend checking out Surfshark instead.

You want to secure many devices: ExpressVPN's five simultaneous connections should be enough for many, but some competitors are more generous on this front.

You need to safely browse locally: at the time of writing, the provider doesn't have servers based in the UAE.

Bottom line ⭐⭐⭐⭐½

🔒 ExpressVPN is a top-tier VPN provider that prioritizes privacy and security, offering a vast server network, fast speeds, and user-friendly applications.

ExpressVPNboasts, in fact, enterprise-grade AES-256 encryption, numerous protocols to choose from (including its very own, speedy and open-sourced Lightway which passed its second security audit with flying colors in March), a kill switch on most platforms plus IPv6 leak protection.

To take it a step further, ExpressVPN operates with a strict no-logs policy, meaning they don't keep any records of your online activities, while offering a range of advanced security features as well. Take split tunneling, for example, which allows you to exclude specific apps or websites from its VPN protection. A new ad and adult-site launched with its last feature-packed update adds on the advanced protection offering started off with its anti-malware tool Threat Manager. 

► Try ExpressVPN with a 30-day money-back guarantee. 

We also love its tried and tested 24/7 live chat support—all that good stuff above is largely useless if you can't get it working. And let's not forget about their user-friendly interface. ExpressVPN offers intuitive apps for a wide range of devices, including smartphones, tablets, computers, and even its own router with built-in VPN Aircove alongside a new dedicated Apple TV app.

The provider boasts a secure international network across 105 countries with great unblocking powers and obfuscated servers so that UAE ISPs will struggle to detect that you're using a VPN service. It also allows you to watch BBC iPlayer or US Netflix while in Dubai, for example.

The only real downside is that, at the time of writing, ExpressVPN doesn't have servers within the country. So, if you need to privately browse locally, this may not be the service for you. Yet, it recently boosted its simultaneous connections allowance from five to up to eight devices connected at once—some providers allow use on one subscription for unlimited devices these days, though. But even that should be plenty for most users.

We even experienced an increase in its top speeds last time we checked, passing from 560 to 750Mbps when using Lightway. We also praise the provider's commitment to transparency, counting 11 independent audits in 2022 alone.  Anyway, there's no need to take our word for granted, as you can try it out yourself with its 30-day money-back guarantee instead. There's also a special offer for TechRadar's readers only...

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ExpressVPN test results:
AttributesNotesRating
DesignA clean and simple design that gives you everything you need, exactly when you need it⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Ease of useIntuitive apps with auto-connect functionality make life easier⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
PerformanceFast enough for anything you could throw at it, but slower than NordVPN and Surfshark⭐⭐⭐⭐
UnblockingEffortlessly gives you access to content around the world⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Security and privacyExpress offers military-grade protection for total peace of mind⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Customer supportAlways available, friendly, and helpful⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
PriceMore expensive than leading competitors⭐⭐⭐

The best cheap VPN service

(Image credit: Future)

3. Surfshark

Bargain UAE VPN that doesn't compromise

Server/s in UAE: Yes | Number of servers: 3,200+ | Server locations: 100+ | Maximum devices supported: Unlimited | Trial length: 30 days | 24/7 live chat support: Yes | No-log policy: Yes (audited)

Excellent security and privacy credentials
Keeps no logs
Allows unlimited devices
Steady, reliable VPN connection speeds
Kill switch issues in extreme situations
Speeds may vary between servers
Subscribe if:

✔️ You are on a tight budget: despite Surfshark being one of the cheapest VPN around, it doesn't compromise on security and performance.

✔️ You need larger protection: Surfshark's unlimited device allowance policy is great for securing all your household with just one subscription.

✔️ You value fast connections: Alongside NordVPN and few other services, Surfshark confirmed itself as one of the fastest VPNs during our last round of testing.

Don't subscribe if:

❌ You need advanced customization options: for specific features that are not available in Surfshark, we advise looking into NordVPN.

❌ You are after an ultra reliable gaming VPN: Surfshark's occasional drops in connection make ExpressVPN a better option for this, offering the most stable connection. 

May prompt captchas when browsing on mobile: many search engine entries involve having to complete a captcha before you can continue, presumably because the shared IP address was flagged for some reason.

Bottom line ⭐⭐⭐⭐

🔒 Surfshark is stands out as an easy-to-use cheap VPN with strong security measures, censorship-bypassing capabilities, and unlimited simultaneous connections.

You may be drawn to Surfshark because of the price. But you'll keep using it because of the impressive feature list, easy-to-use apps, and performance that punches well above the affordability of this VPN service. Despite being a budget option, Surfshark is still one of our favorite overall services.

For starters, Surfshark takes your privacy very seriously. With their strict no-logs policy, they don't track, monitor, or store any of your online activities. Your information remains private and confidential, giving you peace of mind as you explore the online world.

Try Surfshark with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Now, let's talk about one of Surfshark's standout features: unlimited simultaneous connections. Yes, you read that right. With Surfshark, you can protect all your devices at once without any limitations. Whether you're using a smartphone, tablet, computer, or even a Smart TV, Surfshark has got you covered. It's perfect for families or individuals who want to safeguard all their devices without breaking a sweat.

Surfshark also sits among the most secure VPN services thanks to its top-notch features like DNS leak protection, kill switch and an AES-256 encryption with double-hop for extra safety, but also split tunneling for easy access to areas outside the VPN. It is worth noting that we experienced some kill switch issues, but only on Windows and in extreme situations.

But wait, there's more! Surfshark VPN offers a feature called CleanWeb, which blocks ads, malware, and phishing attempts, providing you with a clean and safe browsing experience. Say goodbye to annoying pop-ups and potential threats—Surfshark has your back, ensuring a smooth and secure online journey. Plus, An IP rotator feature included with its new Nexus technology will make it even more difficult to track your online activities.

Among its 3,200+ servers across the world, Surfshark offers UAE servers as well. That's ideal for those living there or staying for prolonged periods. Turn on its obfuscation option—here called Camouflage mode—to escape UAE VPN blocks and boost reliability. Plus, its No Borders feature will automatically connect you to the servers performing the best under network restrictions. Users can now get a Dedicated IP, too, for an extra monthly fee. 

From Netflix and Hulu to iPlayer and Peacock, Surfshark is a great streaming VPN unblocking all the major streaming platforms. It even does so while elivering you great speeds, too. However, it's worth noting that while Shurfshark confirmed itself to sit among the top fastest VPNs when connected to WireGuard, its speeds were still below average with OpenVPN. But that's unlikely to be a huge factor for most users.

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Surfshark test results:
AttributesNotesRating
DesignEasy to use and elegant⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Ease of useConnecting only takes a few clicks—ideal for newbiesideal for newbe⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
PerformanceOne of the fastest providers we tested⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
UnblockingUnblocks virtually everything you'll need⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Security and privacyNot a comprehensive antivirus or ad-blocking solution, and some kill switch ossues⭐⭐⭐
Customer supportBrowsing support articles isn't as intuitive as I'd like⭐⭐⭐⭐
PriceReal value for money⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Other VPNs I've tested and recommend

Proton VPN interface for various platforms

(Image credit: Proton VPN)

4. Proton VPN

Secure and speedy UAE and Dubai VPN with decent free option

Server/s in UAE: Yes | Number of servers: 1,800+ | Server locations: 85+ | Maximum devices supported: 10 | Trial length: 30 days - free version available | 24/7 live chat support: No | No-log policy : Yes (audited)

Offers a great free version
Multiple cutting-edge privacy protocols
Secure core UAE servers (paid only)
Open source, audited and top-quality apps 
Improved network coverage on free plan 
Customer support response time may be slower than average
More complex pricing structure compared to competitors
Subscribe if:

✔️ You are after a secure free VPN: ProtonVPN offers a free plan with unlimited-bandwidth, 100 servers across three countries and great security.

✔️ You need advanced security: its Secure Core servers route internet traffic via multiple privacy-enhancing servers in different countries for extra protection.

✔️ You value Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS): even if your VPN connection is compromised, previously encrypted traffic remains secure.

Don't subscribe if:

❌ You need a large server network: while Proton VPN has a decent server network, it's not as extensive as some other providers. 

❌ You need a free VPN for Netflix: Proton VPN supports Netflix and other advanced features just on their Premium plans.

You need a free VPN for torrenting: again, you need to upgrade to its Premium plans to use its P2P-optimized servers.

Bottom line ⭐⭐⭐⭐

🔒 ProtonVPN's free plan option is a good option for those looking for basic VPN functionality without spending money. 

Developed by the renowned team behind ProtonMail, the world's largest encrypted email service, ProtonVPN operates with the same level of commitment, expertise and transparency. Its wide-range of secure apps are, in fact, all open-source.

Over the years, the Swiss-based company developed a full privacy-first ecosystem, in fact, which includes, alongside its secure email service and VPN, an encrypted cloud drive, calendar and password manager. Unlimited, Family, and Business subscribers can even benefit from some advanced protections now under the Proton Sentinel program, which combines the power of AI with in-depth human analysis.

Try Proton VPN's unlimited free plan.

Coming back to Proton VPN offering, its free VPN recently passed from 29 to over 100 free servers across 3 countries (Japan, the Netherlands, and US). Paid subscribers can choose among more than 2,700 servers now across 85+ locations, including 12 within UAE borders. Users who need extra security can even enjoy its Secure Core tech and have their traffic rerouted through multiple ultra-secure servers instead. This means your unencrypted data will still be safe even if the UAE server got compromised.

On the security front, Proton comes packed with interesting features like its ad-blocker NetShield, terrific kill switches, powerful encryption, DNS leak protection, Perfect Forward Secrecy and built-in Tor support for accessing Onion sites. The provider even teamed up with Deutsche Welle to offer people worldwide direct access to independent news content. It also recently launched the world's first censorship-resistant CAPTCHA for allowing anyone accessing its services, no matter where they are located.

We have experienced a further decrease in speed this time around, with its WireGuard peaks dropping from 510 to 460Mpbs. However, these results should still translate into decent connections overall. 

On the contrary, Proton boasts great unlocking power, allowing you to easily access foreign libraries of the likes of Netflix, iPlayer, Amazon Prime and Disney+ during your stay in the UAE.  

Proton Unlimited and Proton Family subscribers can now also enjoy the paid version of Proton Pass, its new password manager just landed for all users. However, unlike its aforementioned competitors, Proton doesn't have a 24/7 live chat just yet. This may be a problem for some customers, especially those new to the world of VPNs.

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Proton VPN test results:
AttributesNotesRating
DesignIf you like dark mode, you'll love this interface⭐⭐⭐⭐
Ease of useFairly easy on mobile, but a bit more complex on desktop⭐⭐⭐⭐
PerformanceDecent speeds, but there's a risk of congestion on free servers⭐⭐⭐⭐
UnblockingLimits unblocking to premium services but otherwise fantastic⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Security and privacyStrong encryption and plenty of security add-ons available⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Customer supportAgents can be hard to get ahold of, but there's a lot of very technical support available⭐⭐⭐
PriceModerately expensive premium plans, but a great free plan⭐⭐⭐⭐

Private Internet Access VPN apps running on Windows, MacOS, Android, iOS, and other platforms.

5. Private Internet Access (PIA)

The best value for money UAE VPN

Server/s in UAE: Yes | Number of servers: 10,000+ | Server locations: 110 | Maximum devices supported: Unlimted | Trial length: 30 days | 24/7 live chat support: Yes | No-log policy: Yes (audited)

Secures your connection and blocks ads automatically
10 simultaneous device limit
Improved speed with the use of WireGuard
Fails at unblocking some streaming services
Subscribe if:

✔️ You appreciate affordability: Alongside Surfshark, PIA is small in price but big in security and performance.

✔️ You are a Linux user: PIA boasts one the best VPN app for Linux we have seen so far, including an intuitive GUI.

✔️ You value customization options: PIA is great for more experienced users in need of shaping the software according their needs.

Don't subscribe if:

❌ You need a VPN specifically for streaming: as we had some issues unblocking streaming services with PIA, we recommend Express VPN or NordVPN for these purposes.

 You are a beginner: For those who prefer a visually appealing VPN experience, Surfshark can be a better option.

❌ You need immediate customer support: PIA's customer service instructs you to fill out a lengthy form in order to contact them, and they respond via e-mail.

Bottom line ⭐⭐⭐

🔒 Private Internet Access (PIA) VPN is a cost-effective software, ideal for advanced users in and out the UAE.

A highly customizable service, Private Internet Access (PIA) even beats Surfshark now as the cheapest service out there. But as its price got lower, PIA's network coverage did quite the opposite. Users can now choose among over 10,000 servers across 84 countries. Some of those are located in the UAE, too, allowing you to browse locally, if you wish. 

The provider also upgraded from 10 to unlimited simultaneous connections, while confirming its commitment to promoting digital rights. In December 2023, PIA launched the Privacy Pass initiative to give free VPN subscriptions to the press and NGOs. 

▶ Try Private Internet Access on unlimited devices.

In the privacy front, PIA offers a long list of options that will accommodate any types of users—especially those more advanced. These include an excellent kill switch, browser extensions with extra privacy perks, open-source apps and a live chat support service.  

Among our favorites there's also its MACE™ ad and malware blocker, which keeps intrusive ads and malicious websites at bay. Say goodbye to annoying pop-ups and potential threats – PIA VPN has you covered.

Likewise Proton VPN, all PIA's apps are open-source. This means that anyone can independently verify the security and privacy measures implemented by the software provider. Yet, PIA's Linux VPN app beats the competition thanks to its intuitive GUI. 

A recently added SmartDNS feature will help you to smoothly bypass online censorship and streaming geo-restrictions, too. We managed to unlock all streaming platforms we tried last we checked, in fact, including Disney Plus, Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, some Netflix catalogs (the US, UK, Canada, Australia and Japan ones, specifically) and even 10Play which failed last time. 

In terms of speed, PIA is still way far to reach the fastest VPN services, though. Its peaks were quite disappointing this time, dropping 510 to 360Mbps when using WireGuard. We are happy, though, to see that the provider is showing commitment in transparency with an independently audited no-logging policy under its belts, and one on its security infrastructure coming soon.  

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Private Internet Access test results:
AttributesNotesRating
DesignLots of customization, but could do with some attention to detail⭐⭐⭐
Ease of useNot the best for beginners, but great for advanced users⭐⭐⭐
PerformanceGood speeds, but generally average compared to industry leaders⭐⭐⭐
UnblockingDedicated streaming servers and an enormous global network help you unblock anything and everything⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Security and privacyThe latest and greatest in VPN tech, and a proven no-logging policy⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Customer supportA mass of knowledge online and expert support on-hand at all times⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
PriceBudget-friendly and offering plenty of value for money⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

How to choose the best UAE and Dubai VPN

Given the UAE's strict internet regulations and censorship practices, it's of utmost importance to opt for a VPN that offers both reliability and effectiveness in circumventing these restrictions. Let's delve into the key aspects you should consider to choose the finest VPN for the UAE.

First and foremost, prioritize security and privacy. Seek a VPN provider that employs robust encryption protocols like OpenVPN or WireGuard to safeguard your online activities. Additionally, ensure that the VPN adheres to a stringent no-logs policy, guaranteeing that they do not retain any user activity or connection logs.

Next, assess the VPN's server network and connection speeds. Check if the provider has servers located within the UAE or nearby regions. Having servers in close proximity can significantly enhance connection speeds and minimize latency, resulting in a smoother browsing experience.

Since the primary objective of utilizing a VPN in the UAE is to overcome internet censorship, it is vital to select a VPN that has a proven track record of effectively bypassing these restrictions and granting access to blocked content. Watch out for services offering a reliable VPN obfuscation technology, able to bypass even the toughest restrictions.

Responsive customer support is another crucial factor. A dependable VPN service should have a prompt and helpful customer support team available 24/7 via live chat or email to assist you in case of any issues or concerns.

FAQs

UAE flag on laptop keyboard

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Are VPNs illegal in the UAE?

Due to how heavily the UAE relies on the use of VPN in businesses, the government has not outright banned them. The use of a VPN, therefore, is not illegal.

That said, like in just about any country where a VPN is legal, that doesn't automatically give you a safety net if you're found to be committing crimes behind a VPN. 

It has been stated those using a VPN for the "purpose of committing a crime or prevent its discovery" could face a fine of up to AED2,000,000. That's about $500,000. It is worth noting that also accessing restricted content such as dating, gambling, pornography, drugs, and VoIP websites is against the law in the UAE and sanctionable with fines. 

We do not condone breaking the law, and it is at the user's discretion to determine the risk of using a VPN.

Are VPNs working in the UAE?

VPN services are facing more and more obstacles to operate within the country. And that's why the UAE government is actively blocking personal VPN usage to prevent people to bypass the restrictions in place. 

The situation is complex and ever-changing, with VPN providers doping the best they can to find new ways to escape these blocks.

The good news is that some of the VPN services listed here use obfuscated servers able to evade VPN detection. Plus, they all offer a 30-day money-back guarantee so that you can try them out without losing any money. 

Why should you download a UAE VPN?

As outlined, there are a number of reasons having a VPN for the UAE and Dubai is a good idea. With the ability to bypass internet censorship and access content, you can also use the usual messaging apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and so on and work around Etisalat and Du's monopoly of the VoIP market.

Of course, as is a popular perk of a VPN, you can stream even more, including live sporting events, Netflix, BBC iPlayer and more when outside the country. Great for travelers and expats especially, this allows you to access broadcasts from your home country by virtually relocating thanks to a streaming VPN

Edited by
River Hart Tech Software Editor
Edited by
River Hart

River helps take care of cybersecurity content on TechRadar—ranging from breaking news pieces, reviews, and buying guides.

Disclaimer

We test and review VPN services in the context of legal recreational uses. For example:
1. Accessing a service from another country (subject to the terms and conditions of that service).
2. Protecting your online security and strengthening your online privacy when abroad.
We do not support or condone the illegal or malicious use of VPN services. Consuming pirated content that is paid-for is neither endorsed nor approved by Future Publishing.