How to use WhatsApp in the UAE

If you’re trying to use WhatsApp in the UAE it won’t work. This is because it’s banned in the UAE.

Fortunately, there’s an easy way you can use WhatsApp in the UAE. All you need is a reliable VPN.

This article will explain how to use WhatsApp in the UAE using a reliable VPN.

See also:

How to use WhatsApp in the UAE: Quick Guide

The reason WhatsApp isn’t working in the UAE is because the UAE’s internet service providers block VoIP apps so you can’t access them.

To get around this you need to make it look like you’re connecting to the internet from outside the UAE.

To do that, follow these simple steps:

  1. Create a new account with ExpressVPN ($6.67/month

  2. Download and install the new VPN app

  3. Select a server outside the UAE

  4. Use WhatsApp in the UAE

Why can’t I use WhatsApp in the UAE?

The reason you can’t use WhatsApp in the UAE is because internet service providers (ISPs) in the UAE block VoIP services in the country.

They do this is because the UAE government claims WhatsApp is a threat to privacy and national security.

IT is claimed that this is because the UAE wants to control all of the telecommunications sector and rake in profits from government backed international calling services.

Because WhatsApp is free, and not owned by the UAE government, it could potentially mean people don’t use government owned VoIP services, which would lose them money.

How to use WhatsApp in the UAE

How do the UAE ISPs block WhatsApp?

The way the UAE ISPs block WhatsApp is all to do with your IP address.

An IP address is a bit of code that your device uses to communicate with online services. When you connect to WhatsApp, your IP address is sent to WhatsApp’s servers.

The UAE ISPs are able to monitor this connection and when they see you’re connecting to WhatsApp they block the app.

Fortunately, there’s a way to fool this system. All you need to do is make it look like you aren’t in the UAE when connecting to WhatsApp. To do this you need to change your IP address from a UAE based one.

A VPN makes this easy and the best VPNs for this are ExpressVPN ($6.67/month) or Private Internet Access ($2.03/month).

How do VPNs work?

When you use a VPN all of your online data is encrypted into an unreadable code. This makes it very difficult for the UAE ISPs to figure out what online service you’re visiting.

This encryption makes it so the ISPs can’t see you’re connecting to WhatsApp. But to use WhatsApp in the UAE the VPN needs to go one step further and make it look like you’re connecting to the internet from somewhere else.

ExpressVPN ($6.67/month) or Private Internet Access ($2.03/month) make this very easy. These VPNs reroute your encrypted online data through a server you choose to make it look like you’re connecting to the internet from a completely different country.

To use WhatsApp in the UAE, all you need to do is download ExpressVPN ($6.67/month) or Private Internet Access ($2.03/month) and connect to a server outside of the UAE. It’s that easy.

How to use WhatsApp in the UAE

Will any VPN work?

Unfortunately no.

Because VPNs are well-known ways of using WhatsApp in the UAE, the UAE ISPs also try and ban VPNs.

They do this by monitoring for what they consider abnormal internet usage. This is when hundreds or thousands of internet connections use the same IP address.

This is a big problem for free and lesser VPNs because they don’t have enough IP addresses to ensure each customer gets their own one. When they have a massive amount of customers they’re forced to share IP addresses between them.

This means hundreds or thousands of connections in the UAE will be formed using the same IP address. This makes it easy for the the UAE ISPs to block the VPN.

Good VPNs like ExpressVPN ($6.67/month) or Private Internet Access ($2.03/month). don’t have these problems. That’s because they have a lot of IP addresses so there’s less chance you’ll have to share and they have measures in place to ensure that if an IP address does get blocked, a new one will open up so you can use WhatsApp in the UAE reliably.

The best VPNs to use WhatsApp in the UAE

1. ExpressVPN

The fastest and MOST reliable VPN of 2022

ExpressVPN UK screenshot

Pros

  • Fast servers
  • Thousands of IP addresses
  • 10-simultaneous connections
  • 24/7 Live Chat
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Easy-to-use app

Cons

  • Expensive

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Number of servers: 3,000+ | Speed: >80% | Bandwidth: Unlimited | IP locations: 160 in 94 countries | Devices supported: 5 | Live chat: Yes | 30-day money-back guarantee: Yes
  • $6.66/month for 15 months
  • $9.99/month for 6 months
  • $12.95/month for 1 month
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ExpressVPN is still the best VPN. And importantly, it ALWAYS has servers that are open with major streaming sites such as Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video etc. ExpressVPN is usually very good at playing Cat and Mouse with online streaming sites (apart from BBC iPlayer). Meaning, whenever one of its servers is blacklisted it creates a new one – giving its users a constant stream of servers that aren’t blocked. Needless to say, this is a valuable attribute if you’re looking for a VPN to unblock streaming sites. Its app is easy-to-use and free to download on pretty much any device you can think of. Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, FireStick, Android TV, Roku, PS4, Xbox, Linux, even Apple TV (with a workaround). It’s got it all covered. The app is another main reason this VPN is so good at unblocking TV streaming sites (that claim they block VPNs) is that its software takes a pragmatic approach to user management. While other VPNs tempt customers by promising them access to hundreds/thousands of servers in multiple countries, ExpressVPN does things differently. With ExpressVPN you only have a handful of server locations to choose from. Once you select your location the app takes care of the rest. Assigning you to the fastest available server that’s not oversubscribed. This simple technique is so important, as it keeps ExpressVPN’s servers operating at lightning-fast speeds and prevent its IPs from getting blacklisted for “abnormal” usage in the first place.

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2. Private Internet Access

The BEST low-cost VPN for streaming!
Private Internet Access UK screenshot

Pros

  • Fast and reliable servers
  • Thousands of IP addresses
  • 10-simultaneous connections
  • 24/7 Live Chat
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons

  • Only 48 server locations

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Number of servers: 25,000+ | Speeds: >75% | Bandwidth: Unlimited | IP locations: 70 in 74 countries | Devices supported: 10 | Live chat: Yes | 30-day money-back guarantee: Yes
  • $2.03/month for 3-years
  • $7.50/month for 6-months
  • $11.99/month for 1-month
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  • NowTV icon
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  • TVNZ icon
  • ESPN icon
  • BT Sport icon
  • CBC Gem icon
Private Internet Access is one of the leading no-log VPN services with over 1 million paying customers. This VPN is one of the best in the industry at beating streaming sites’ VPN bans. It provides reliable connections with US Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, HBO Max, Disney+ Amazon Prime Video, etc. It also allows 10 simultaneous devices to be connected to its servers at the same time, so you can share the account with your close friends. If – for whatever reason – you’re not happy with Private Internet Access, there’s a 24/7 live chat support available to assist you with your problem. PIA also offers the industry-standard 30-days money-back guarantee. From my tests (from New Zealand) I was able to get download speeds of 70 Mbps while connected to a UK server using the Private Internet Access VPN (my non-VPN speed is 100 Mbps).

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3. NordVPN

A very quick and trustworthy VPN

NordVPN US screenshot mobile

Pro

  • Fast servers
  • No logs
  • Thousands of IP addresses
  • 6-simultaneous connections
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Easy-to-use app

Cons

  • No refunds for purchases from iTunes/App store

SPECIAL OFFER – $3.49/month

Number of servers: 5,000+ | Speeds: >80% | Bandwidth: Unlimited | IP locations: 62 countries | Devices supported: 6 | Live chat: Yes | 30-day money-back guarantee: Yes
  • $3.49/month for 2-years
  • $6.99/month for 1-year
  • $11.95/month for 1 month
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  • Hulu icon
  • BBC iPlayer icon
  • HBO Max icon
  • Disney icon
  • Amazon Prime Video icon
  • ABC icon
  • All 4 icon
  • CBS icon
  • NBC icon
  • Sky Sports icon
  • TVNZ icon
  • beIN SPORTS icon
  • ESPN icon
  • NowTV icon
  • BT Sport icon
  • ITV Hub icon
  • CBC Gem icon
NordVPN is the most widely-used VPN in the world. And it’s easy to see why. It’s a polished app that delivers fast connections (more on this later) to a massive network of VPN servers. It’s the most reliable at unblocking popular streaming services too – US Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, etc. This is because NordVPN hired a full-time technical team (that’s responsible for monitoring its servers’ connections with popular TV streaming services) and has been aggressively investing in its network of IP addresses in key locations. Another interesting thing to note is that NordVPN is an industry leader in its development of Nordlynx technology. Nordlynx is built using the WireGuard, a new VPN tunneling protocol designed to outperform current standards (OpenVPN and IPSec). The benefits, according to NordVPN, are dramatically faster transfer speeds while connected to a VPN. My tests – New Zealand to London – confirm that Nordlynx is currently the fastest VPN on the market. However, the difference isn’t dramatic, a few Mbps is all.

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4. Ivacy

The great budget VPN option

Ivacy US screenshot mobile

Pros

  • Fast servers
  • Thousands of IP addresses
  • Dedicated streaming servers
  • 5-simultaneous connections
  • 24/7 Live Chat
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons

  • Only 5 devices
  • Sometimes runs slow
  • Occasionally blocked by streaming sites

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Number of servers: 1,000+ | Speed: >65% | Bandwidth: Unlimited | IP locations: 275 in 100 countries | Devices supported: 5 | Live chat: Yes | 30-day money-back guarantee: Yes
  • $1.16/month for 5-years
  • $3.50/month for 1-year
  • $9.99/month for 1 month
  • Netflix icon
  • Hulu icon
  • BBC iPlayer icon
  • HBO Max icon
  • Disney icon
  • Amazon Prime Video icon
  • ABC icon
  • All 4 icon
  • CBS icon
  • NBC icon
  • Sky Sports icon
  • TVNZ icon
  • ESPN icon
  • NowTV icon
  • BT Sport icon
  • ITV Hub icon
  • CBC Gem icon
If you’re looking for an excellent VPN, with an even better price tag, Ivacy ($1.16/month) is a great option. This VPN has all the features you need to stream BBC iPlayer, in HD, from any country in the world. I’ve been testing the app recently on Mac, PC, Android, iOS and FireStick and the results have been impressive – unlocking BBC iPlayer, US Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, etc. with ease. The Ivacy app is a little different in regards to its UX (user experience). Instead of just selecting a UK server, you need to select the specific BBC iPlayer server. Don’t worry, this isn’t a bad thing – by connecting to a dedicated BBC iPlayer server, it simply means that you’re connecting to an IP address that Ivacy knows works with BBC iPlayer. For an extra $1.99/month (£1.74) you can add-on a dedicated IP. This will buy you sole access to an IP address in a country of your choice, meaning you won’t have to share your IP (and speeds) with any other use. I don’t recommend this though, using the regular Ivacy servers is enough 95 per cent of the time.

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5. CyberGhost

CyberGhost UK screenshot

Pros

  • 1-day free trial
  • Reliable servers
  • Thousands of IP addresses
  • 7-simultaneous connections
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Easy-to-use app

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Average speed scores

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  • $2.75/month for 3 years
  • $3.69/month for 2 years
  • $5.99/month for 6 months
  • $12.99/month for 1 month
  • Netflix icon
  • Hulu icon
  • BBC iPlayer icon
  • HBO Max icon
  • Disney icon
  • Amazon Prime Video icon
  • ABC icon
  • All 4 icon
  • CBS icon
  • NBC icon
  • NowTV icon
  • Sky Sports icon
  • BT Sport icon
  • ITV Hub icon
  • CBC Gem icon
CyberGhost is one of the more established VPNs on the market. It has a well-established, and well-tested global network of servers that perform well. From my tests over the past several months, CyberGhost has no trouble at unblocking major streaming services – US Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max etc. This VPN performed well at maintaining download speeds, well above 65 per cent of my regular (non VPN) ISP speed. That said, there’s nothing really unique about the service. Which forces you to look at its price-point. And there’s nothing special here. Its short-term $12.99/month price tag puts is well above the industry average of $10.10/month. Similarly, its long-term $2.75/month for 3 years deal isn’t much of a “deal” either. Oddly, CyberGhost’s most unique feature is its a 1-day, no obligations, free trial. This is an appealing offer to customers who are new to VPNs. However, it’s important to remember that most reputable VPNs will offer customers a 30-day money-back guarantee, so try not to be too seduced by the offer.

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