I was a little bit shocked to find out that I could not use Skype while trying to contact my wife from Dubai last week. The access has been blocked by Etisalat, the UAE’s MONOPOLY telecom company. This is the news which I have got after googling to find the reason why Skype has been banned in UAE.

State-owned Etisalat – the country’s only fixed line operator –claims it did not ban Skype, but that the decision was made instead by the Dubai government.”

“It’s illegal to use voice over IP in the UAE and it is left to the regulatory authorities to allow or disallow such things,” Ahmed Bin Ali, public relations manager at Etisalat, told ITP Business. However, Bin Ali went on to admit that he didn’t know why a technology that is legal across most of the world had been banned in the UAE. “I don’t have the answer. Up ‘til now the technology itself has not been standardised,” he added.

Coincidentally, the Skype block comes as Etisalat itself prepares to launch its own VoIP service later this year. However, when quizzed on whether Etisalat might have been using its UAE government connections to ban VoIP competitors in advance, Bin Ali claimed this wasn’t the case. “That’s not a fair [accusation],” he said. “It (Skype) has been blocked because it is illegal to operate.”
May 2005, ITP.NET

The question here is who own Etisalat? Off course, the Dubai government. So, if the government wants  to squeeze more money from the huge number of expats in UAE, any attempt to use other services apart from the services provided by the government will be stopped at all costs. Ermmm..This is what you can expect from the income tax free country. You earn some and you will loose some. You can’t win everything.



4 Comments to “Bad News! Skype Does Not Work in Dubai”

  1. Bahama Cruise Blog » Bad News! Skype Does Not Work in Dubai | November 12th, 2007 at 10:41 pm

    […] 20new.com wrote something that might interest you todayHere’s a brief breakdown I was a little bit shocked to find out that I could not use Skype while trying to contact my wife … . This is the news which I have got after googling to find the reason why Skype has been banned in UAE. State-owned Etisalat – the country’s only fixed line operator –claims it did not ban Skype […]

  2. azrin | December 10th, 2007 at 2:07 am

    VOIP works there actually but the connection been ….well, SUCKS! Even at Starbucks where it costs $30/day!

    azrin @ http://www.azrin.net

  3. Robert H | May 29th, 2008 at 11:08 pm

    Hi all,

    After travelling in Dubai (UAE) and in China, I found a software that unblock Skype and censored contents in some countries.

    I know Skype is blocked or there is censor in the following countries : Belize, China, Columbia, Cuba, Jordan, UAE …

    After searching internet, I found a way to make calls and to access censored content in those countries using a VPN (Virtual Private Network).

    How does it works ?

    A VPN encrypte the data you send on internet to a US IP adress (tunnel). This way your Internet Services Provider can’t detect you are using Skype or another VoIP software ! It allow you access to censored content and geographical locked contents (i.e: listening radio on pandora.com , watching TV streams for US residents, …).

    There is a lot of VPN softwares, the first I tried was VPNaccounts. I didn’t like it because it took a lot of time for activation, it was expensive and helpdesk support was very slow. :thumbdown:

    A friend of mine who lives in Belize told me about another VPN software called Witopia personnalVPN.

    Now I am using Witopia personnalVPN. It is easier to use (you just have to launch the software before launching Skype), faster and cheaper than all other VPN softwares I tried.

    It costs 39.99$ and works perfectly.

    You can download it from the editor’s website :

    [url]http://www.witopia.personnalvpn.helpnote.net/[/url]

    Works on Windows and Mac.

    I hope this post will help people who are in those countries and reducing censorship !

  4. DinaOmar | November 27th, 2012 at 5:38 am

    : Hi everyone
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