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.