5 Best VPNs for UAE & Dubai in 2022

It's no secret that the United Arab Emirates is quite stringent when it comes to censorship. Still, that doesn't prevent those who live or visit this part of this world from using VPNs, despite facing Internet blocks that fight against that type of software. With that said, you really need the best VPN for the UAE that you can find right now.

Still, before we go any further, a word of caution. Using a VPN in the UAE won't get you into trouble, as long as you respect that country's laws. Unblocking social media or using Skype to make audio/video calls is safe. However, using a VPN for any illegal activities against the UAE's "public order" is not recommended.

So, make sure to read this article very carefully, as we'll share plenty of helpful tips throughout. And by the end of it, you'll know which VPN to use while in the UAE.

How to Choose the Best VPN for the UAE?

Finding a VPN that works in the UAE has become more complex over time. So, during your search for the best UAE VPN, make sure to pay special attention to the following:

  • Strong & Capable VPN Protocols: The UAE government has access to spyware and tech developed to dive deep into data collection and filtering. So, it's imperative to find a VPN with extra-strong protocols like OpenVPN and WireGuard. Also, some VPNs allow you to use multiple servers at once, or they might offer special servers for data obfuscation.
  • Data Leak Protection: You'll want a VPN that knows how to create an extra-secure tunnel for your data, ensuring no IPv4, IPv6, DNS, or WebRTC leaks happen. Don't forget that it takes only a split second for a data leak to reveal everything about your online whereabouts. To learn more, check our complete guide to VPN leaks.
  • Strict No-Logs Policy: Pretty much any reputable VPN offers a no-logs policy, which means that your personal data is never collected by their servers. When it comes to UAE VPNs, you'll want one that was audited by an independent party, giving you assurances that your data is safe.
  • Broad Platform/Device Support: These days, you can use a VPN on any computer, phone, tablet, or media streaming device. So, think about what devices (and platforms) you want to cover, and then pay attention to whether your chosen VPN offers native software for all those platforms.
  • Money-Back Guarantees: Know that buying a VPN doesn't have to be a risky investment. Instead, you'll get to count on money-back guarantees, giving you every right to change your mind and have your money returned (during a period of up to 30 days, most often).

The Best UAE VPNs in 2022

After testing more than 60 VPN services and spending hundreds of hours using them, know that the following 5 are the best VPNs for the United Arab Emirates available right now:

Editor's Pick
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Chromebook
Kindle
Nook
Chrome
Firefox
PlayStation
Apple TV
Xbox
Amazon Fire TV
Roku
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Live Chat
Encryption / VPN Protocols AES-256 / OpenVPN, Lightway, L2TP/IPsec, IKEv2.
Data Logging Policy No data logging (proven via an audit).
Money-Back Guarantee Up to 30 days.

Aside from being one of the best VPNs overall, ExpressVPN is also one of the best VPNs for the United Arab Emirates. That's due to its robust encryption mechanisms (backed by a range of ultra-powerful VPN protocols), user-friendly data logging policies, and its ever-evolving set of features (here's what's new in ExpressVPN, by the way).

No matter if you’re a new or experienced VPN user, you will learn to use this software the first time you open it. All it takes is to install and launch it. Then, connect to a remote and secure server. From there on, you will get to enjoy the Web without any boundaries, as ExpressVPN can easily bypass UAE's Internet restrictions.

It’s also worth noting that ExpressVPN works great for unblocking websites and Web services, including media streaming services as well. Based on our tests, it works with Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video, Disney Plus, and more. And also, this VPN helps you unblock communication (VoIP) apps in the UAE, such as Skype, WhatsApp, and more.

You can also count on the VPN's 24/7-available customer support. There's even an option to chat live via ExpressVPN's support team via their website. And lastly, this VPN offers a generous 30-day money-back guarantee, protecting your investment.

We are sure you'll want to learn more about this interesting option. With that said, make sure to check our extensive ExpressVPN review, produced after testing the VPN hands-on.

PROS

  • Highly capable VPN protocols.
  • High-end (AES-256) encryption.
  • Over 3,000 servers on offer.
  • Great for unblocking websites and apps.
  • Fast speeds; Reliable performance.
  • Suitable even for complete beginners.
  • 24/7-available customer support.

CONS

  • Fast-enough, but not the fastest.
  • No in-depth customization.

2. NordVPN - Best for Etisalat Customers

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Windows
Android
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Router
Chromebook
Chrome
Firefox
PlayStation
Xbox
Amazon Fire TV
Nintendo Switch
All game consoles
Chromecast
Parallel Connections
Live Chat
Encryption / VPN Protocols AES-256 / OpenVPN, IKEv2, NordLynx.
Data Logging Policy No data logging (proven via an audit).
Money-Back Guarantee Up to 30 days.

The majority of today's most popular VPNs cover the basics extensively – which is the case with NordVPN as well. Being registered in Panama, this VPN keeps your data out of anyone's reach. This is a helpful piece of information that should take some worries off your mind.

With that said, one of the standouts of NordVPN is the fact that it provides double routing. This is an advanced 'stealth mode' that makes sure no one can track you on the Web. Instead of rerouting your traffic to one secure server, this VPN adds another server to this equation, which makes it highly effective in countries like the UAE.

Aside from 'Double VPN' servers, NordVPN offers additional specialty servers, giving you more options regarding routing your data. For example, Onion-over-VPN and obfuscated servers are designed to anonymize your data even further, letting it pass through anti-VPN measures.

We'll also add that many Etisalat customers rely on NordVPN to unblock their access to the Web from the UAE and Dubai. That ISP is quite adamant about blocking VPNs, which makes it highly important to listen to advice from those who live in the UAE. So, if you're an Etisalat customer, our strong recommendation would be to use NordVPN before trying any other VPN.

A lot more could be said about this capable VPN service, so we strongly advise you to check our NordVPN review.

PROS

  • Plenty of specialty servers.
  • Supports double encryption.
  • Effective in unblocking websites.
  • Apps for any device out there.
  • Suitable for media streaming.
  • 24/7-available customer support.

CONS

  • Fine-tuning is required.
  • You'll need to test servers manually.

3. Surfshark VPN - Best for First-Time VPN Users

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Windows
Android
Mac
iOS
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Router
Chrome
Firefox
Apple TV
Amazon Fire TV
All game consoles
All smart TVs
Parallel Connections
Live Chat
Encryption / VPN Protocols AES-256 / OpenVPN, IKEv2, WireGuard.
Data Logging Policy No data logging (proven via an audit).
Money-Back Guarantee Up to 30 days.

Not everyone wants a highly complex VPN service that brings in-depth customization. Instead, maybe you want something simple and something that works out of the box. Well, in that case, you'll find that Surfshark is one of the best UAE VPNs at your disposal.

Everything about Surfshark is highly polished and optimized for privacy. That begins with its apps, which are available for any desktop or mobile device out there. Once you install this VPN on your device, you need to launch it, pick any server, and Surfshark will unblock the Web in the UAE with ease and without much fuss.

One of the reasons for that is Surfshark's 'NoBorders' technology. It activates automatically in more restrictive countries, such as the UAE. However, you can also activate it manually by visiting the VPN's settings. Once you do so, your data packets will become much smaller than usual, which helps them get through any type of data filtering and censorship.

When it comes to other features, know that Surfshark now comes with WireGuard. It also supports GPS spoofing on Android devices. One of the latest additions to this VPN is a real-time identity theft alert service, adding even more value to Surfshark's offer.

Are you intrigued by this VPN's capabilities? We're sure you must be, which is why your next Web destination should be our Surfshark VPN review.

PROS

  • Fully-automated VPN solution.
  • Great for first-time VPN users.
  • Special 'NoBorders' technology.
  • No data logging, whatsoever.
  • 24/7-available customer support.

CONS

  • Highly remote connections can be slow.
  • No in-depth fine-tuning.

4. Private Internet Access - Best for Experienced VPN Users

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Windows
Android
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Chrome
Firefox
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Encryption / VPN Protocols AES-256 / OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPsec, WireGuard.
Data Logging Policy No data logging (proven via a legal case).
Money-Back Guarantee Up to 30 days.

Our previous recommendation was for those looking for a simple-to-use VPN that already comes optimized. And now, we recommend Private Internet Access (PIA), which is also simple to use and provides you with a wealth of customization options.

PIA comes backed by ultra-strong protocols such as OpenVPN and WireGuard. However, its apps are built upon open-source technology, proving that PIA has nothing to hide. This VPN doesn't collect any of your data while ensuring that no third party can follow your online privacy.

What's unique about PIA is its level of customization. You can set various levels of encryption for each of its supported protocols, instructing the VPN to handle your data in a very precise way. So, users in the UAE will undoubtedly appreciate that possibility, as PIA gives you many options to evade UAE's Internet restrictions.

Also, this VPN comes with a whole army of servers spread across the entire world. That makes unblocking websites an easy possibility, as well as getting the fastest possible speed. So, if you have some technical knowledge or if you're willing to learn VPN terminology, using PIA will go a very long way towards protecting your privacy.

We gave you only the most prominent highlights above, so if you want to keep on reading, head over to our Private Internet Access review.

PROS

  • Wide platform compatibility.
  • Strong VPN protocols.
  • High level of customization.
  • Incredibly large server network.
  • Perfect for unblocking Web restrictions.
  • Reliable customer support.

CONS

  • Best for more advanced users.
  • Performance-related optimization required.
  • Not the best option for media streaming.

5. Ivacy VPN - Best Budget-Friendly VPN

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Countries
Apps
Windows
Android
Mac
iOS
Linux
Router
Chrome
Firefox
All smart TVs
Parallel Connections
Live Chat
Encryption / VPN Protocols AES-256 / OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP, IPsec, PPTP, SSTP.
Data Logging Policy No data logging.
Money-Back Guarantee Up to 30 days.

We'll end our list of the best UAE VPNs with a budget-friendly option. As you're about to see, Ivacy is a great example of how a capable VPN doesn't have to cost a lot. All of that starts with Ivacy's protocols, which provide a sturdy base for your privacy protection.

This Singapore-based VPN gives you many VPN protocols, with OpenVPN leading the pack. Based on your goals, you can also try somewhat less secure but fast-performing protocols like L2TP, IKEv2, and IPsec. However, know that Ivacy doesn't support WireGuard just yet, which puts it one step behind its competitors.

Then, Ivacy offers incredibly simple-to-use apps for pretty much any device out there. You can get started with this VPN in a matter of minutes on your computer, phone, tablet, streaming device, and more. Since it supports up to 5 simultaneous connections, you can protect your entire household with native VPN software.

Let's not forget to mention that Ivacy is one of the best VPNs for streaming. If your goal is to unblock streaming services in the UAE, know that Ivacy offers specialized servers that unblock a considerable number of mainstream and niche services. Aside from that, you'll find regular servers for bypassing Internet restrictions, as well as for downloading files from the Web.

We have a lot more to say about this VPN as well as why you should use it in the UAE. So, don't forget to check our in-depth Ivacy VPN review.

PROS

  • Plenty of VPN protocols on offer.
  • Fully-automated VPN solution.
  • Range of specialized servers on offer.
  • Good for media streaming.
  • Plenty of value overall.

CONS

  • Doesn't allow fine-tuning.
  • No support for WireGuard.
  • Somewhat unpredictable performance.

Why Do You Need an UAE VPN?

You need to use a VPN in the UAE to secure your privacy while unblocking websites, Web apps, and digital services. Find more details just below.

  • Safeguard Your Digital Privacy: The primary purpose of any VPN is to protect your privacy. You don't want websites to track you, collect your sensitive data, or see what you do online. So, no matter if you connect to the Web from your home, public places, or using a mobile network, know that a VPN will protect any type of Web connection and prevent your data from leaking.
  • Prevent ISP Tracking & Data Logging: UAE's ISPs filter and collect your data, which is the only way for them to implement lists of blocked websites. So, even if you wish to unblock sites, you'll want to hide your Web browsing history from your ISP. To learn more, here's what your ISP can see once you start using a VPN.
  • Unblock Websites & Digital Services: In the past, websites and apps like Facebook, YouTube, Skype, and WhatsApp were banned in the UAE (some of which remain inaccessible). The only way to bypass those blocks is by using a VPN.

What Makes a Good VPN for UAE and Dubai?

Any good VPN for the UAE should not log your data. And also, it should provide you with a range of VPN protocols that can bypass UAE's Web restrictions.

Since UAE's Internet providers don't respect your privacy, it's your responsibility to protect yourself on the Internet. However, don't make a mistake using a VPN that collects your data (which is the case with many free and premium-priced VPNs), as that once again puts your privacy at risk. Instead, use a VPN that has been audited in the past.

And when it comes to VPN protocols, first, make sure to read more about what to expect from each VPN protocol. You'll see that we recommend OpenVPN primarily, and that especially applies to Internet users in the United Arab Emirates. Even though OpenVPN will slow you down a bit, it has the power to unblock the Web in the UAE.

Is a VPN Illegal in the UAE?

No, VPNs are not illegal in the UAE. However, know that UAE's authorities have been actively blocking access to a range of VPN services.

If you check our guide that explains where VPNs are illegal, you'll see that VPNs are highly restricted and regulated in the UAE. However, they're not unlawful. That's why we recommend using them - but make sure to know what's permitted online.

More precisely, you won't get into trouble for just using a VPN. However, it's unlawful to use a VPN for the purpose of "committing a crime or preventing its discovery."

For example, pornography- and gambling-related websites are banned, so you should avoid visiting those. Aside from that, UAE's government has been very vindictive towards those who speak against the current political climate.

Can You Get a Free UAE VPN in Dubai?

Yes, you can get a free VPN in the UAE - but that doesn't mean you should use a free VPN. In fact, make sure to avoid those at all costs.

As you've seen by now, using a VPN in the UAE and Dubai is not something that should be taken for granted. Your ISP keeps track of your traffic, so there's no reason to test your luck by using a free VPN (that most probably can't even unblock websites).

Know that free VPNs come with limited features, capabilities, performance, and data allowance. At best, they can be useful for quick browsing sessions. However, even in that case, there's a risk of your data leaking online.

FAQ

Are VPNs Banned in the UAE?

Yes, many worldwide-popular and widely used VPN services are officially banned in the United Arab Emirates. However, not all VPNs are banned.

Some of these are CyberGhost VPN and IPVanish – both of which are hugely powerful and used by millions across the world. In case you decide to try any of these, you’ll see that they simply don’t work. Aside from that, many VPN websites are blocked as well.

Which Websites Are Blocked in the UAE?

Anything that 'contradicts the ethics and morality of the UAE' is blocked. This includes pornographic and online gambling sites, websites that promote anti-religious hate speech, services that promote copyright infringement, Israeli websites, and more.

Does ExpressVPN Work in the UAE?

Yes - ExpressVPN works in the UAE without any issues. If you contact this VPN's customer support team, you'll learn about which servers are recommended at the moment.

Right now, it's recommended to use this VPN's dedicated servers located in the Netherlands, France, and the UK.

Does NordVPN Work in the UAE?

Yes - NordVPN works in the UAE just fine. In fact, this is currently one of the most popular VPNs in the United Arab Emirates due to its strong security measures.

Also, know that NordVPN is highly effective in unblocking the Web for Etisalat customers, as that ISP employs strong anti-VPN measures that make many VPNs obsolete.

What’s the Best VPN for Skype in UAE?

Any of our recommendations for the best VPN for UAE will unblock Skype. However, you should be very careful when using this application since it’s officially banned. That's where stealth VPNs come into play, like NordVPN and ExpressVPN, for example.

What’s the Best VPN for Android in UAE?

Some VPN Android apps are more capable than others, while some are more intuitive when it comes to their user interface. Our advice is to take a look at Android apps offered by the VPNs found in this article and make your final decision based on that.

You've reached the end of our guide on the best VPN for the UAE. If you have any questions, make sure to post them just below. Thank you for reading!

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