Home Blog Social Media Apps Restricted in Dubai DXB Airport

Social Media Apps Restricted in Dubai DXB Airport

by dxb-airport.com

In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TDRA) restricts certain Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) applications, primarily focusing on those offering free voice and video calling functionalities. Here’s a breakdown of commonly restricted apps and potential alternatives:

Restricted Apps:

  • WhatsApp Calling & Video Calling: These features are currently blocked in the UAE.
  • FaceTime Audio & Video Calling: Apple’s FaceTime calling functionality is restricted in the UAE.


  • Local SIM Card: Purchasing a local SIM card at Dubai International Airport (DXB) offers a budget-friendly way to make calls within the UAE. Providers like Etisalat and Du offer tourist SIM card options with calling minutes included.
  • Wi-Fi Calling Apps: Apps like Google Duo allow video calling when connected to a Wi-Fi network. Many cafes, restaurants, and hotels in Dubai provide free Wi-Fi access. Remember, video call quality depends on the internet speed.

Unconfirmed Restrictions (Use with Caution):

  • Skype: While reports on Skype restrictions vary, it’s best to have a backup plan in case video calling features are limited. Consider downloading the app before your trip and testing it upon arrival in Dubai.
  • Viber: Similar to Skype, information regarding Viber restrictions can be unclear. Download the app beforehand and test its functionality upon arrival.

Unrestricted Apps (Great for Texting and Sharing):

  • WhatsApp Texting & File Sharing: Fortunately, text messaging, photo sharing, and document sharing functionalities remain unrestricted on WhatsApp in Dubai.
  • Social Media Messaging: Popular social media platforms like Facebook Messenger and Instagram offer direct messaging features, allowing you to stay connected with friends and family.

Important Note:

The situation regarding VoIP app restrictions in the UAE can be fluid, and information might change. It’s always wise to check for updates and confirm functionality of specific apps closer to your travel date.

Additional Tips:

  • Download Apps Before Arrival: Downloading communication apps you plan to use before your trip avoids data usage charges upon arrival in Dubai.
  • Be Mindful of Costs: While some communication methods are free, others might require subscriptions or in-app purchases. Factor in potential costs when choosing an option.
  • Respect Local Laws: Always comply with local regulations regarding communication technology in Dubai.

By planning ahead and exploring alternative communication methods, you can ensure a smooth and connected experience during your visit to Dubai.

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