Best VPN for UAE

VPN UAE

If there's a country you need a VPN (Virtual Private Network), it's definitely the United Arab Emirates.

However, finding reliable and up to date information for 2021 about which is the Best VPN for the UAE can be extremely difficult.

If you've done a search, you've probably already come across outdated and invalid information. If you've signed up to any of the recommended providers, then you've probably lost money too.

We wanted to rectify this issue, so we've been looking at the Best VPN services for use in the United Arab Emirates in 2021, so you have an updated list of options to choose from.

Not much time?

If you're in a rush, our #1 choice for the UAE and Dubai is ExpressVPN. Check them out.

So if you're travelling to the UAE and Dubai or live there, we've done the hard work, now all you need to do is choose one of the seven below.

1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN apps on multiple types of devices

Pros
  • Great speeds across the UAE
  • Audited no-log policy
  • Huge range of apps
  • Great for streaming video
  • 30-day money back guarantee
Cons
  • Paying monthly pricey

If you're looking for a VPN for the UAE with a large number of servers and a superior service, then ExpressVPN is the service for you.

There are over 94 VPN connection points on the ExpressVPN network made up of a combination of both physical VPN servers and virtual locations, each to provide you with a new IP address.

In fact, they have the most VPN servers within range of the UAE, allowing you to tunnel out and bypass UAE internet restrictions. Nearby locations include Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Turkey, Cyprus, Israel, Egypt and Pakistan.

You'll also find that Express can unblock geo-restricted content from many online streaming services such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime Video. I use Express every day to access additional Netflix content, it's great.

Express has great security and privacy features such as an automatic kill switch (which is applied automatically), military-grade encryption (256 bit AES encryption), obfuscated servers, DNS leak protection, and uses OpenVPN protocols, plus others.

You can have 5 simultaneous connections and ExpressVPN has the largest range of apps available for iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, or there's also an app for Linux and the Amazon Fire TV. A large range of routers are also supported.

Along with the above, ExpressVPN has excellent 24/7 live chat support.

If that isn't enough, then there is also a massive 30-day money-back guarantee to give you plenty of time to try the service out.

ExpressVPN is the leader out of the best VPNs for UAE and Dubai.

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Best VPN for UAE 2021

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2. NordVPN

NordVPN Website Jan 17

Pros
  • Good selection of servers
  • No log policy audited
  • Apps great for beginners
  • 30-day money back guarantee
Cons
  • No Paypal options

NordVPN has grown to be one of the biggest VPN providers in the world and with good reason.

They're registered in Panama, which puts them off-shore and ensures they're probably not sharing any details with the UAE. Their encryption is pretty neat too and is using OpenVPN and Wireguard.

There are over 5,000 VPN servers across 59 countries, giving you plenty of scope for connection. Local servers are available in the UAE and further afield in Israel, Turkey and Egypt allowing for a combination of good speeds and bypassing local internet restrictions.

Some of Nord's security and privacy features are industry-leading, such as their double-hop IP address feature, dedicated IP address option, 256 bit AES encryption, a built-in kill switch, DNS leak protection and not to forget their obfuscated servers.

NordVPN also has a 24/7 live chat support and a massive 30-day money-back guarantee that NordVPN offers, allowing you to test it in the UAE risk-free. If it doesn't work for your needs or you just can't get it working for whatever reason, then they'll give you a no-hassle refund.

NordVPN is one of the best VPNs for UAE.

3. CyberGhost VPN

Cyberghost Website

Pros
  • 45-day money back guarantee
  • Big range of apps available
  • Dedicated streaming servers
  • Allows torrenting
Cons
  • Not the fastest
  • Unaudited no-log policy

CyberGhost VPN is one of the easiest VPN services to use, so if you're a user in the UAE who hasn't used a VPN before, then you'll certainly want to take a look at CyberGhost VPN. They are highly reliable and have fast connection speeds.

We really like the simplicity of their software and apps (iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, etc.), which help you get connected based on your needs. This takes out a lot of the guesswork of using a VPN. Simply select your usage type and the app will connect to the best server.

CyberGhost VPN has one of the largest number of servers around, each one with Smart DNS to help you unblock restricted content and bypass your internet providers restrictions. You'll be able to unblock services such as streaming sites like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and even VOIP services.

Nearby servers include Israel, Cyprus, Pakistan, India and Kenya. These locations give you plenty of scope for bypassing local UAE internet restrictions while also retaining usable internet connection speeds.

CyberGhost has a built-in kill switch and military-grade encryption so that not even the UAE and Dubai ISPs (such as Etisalat) will be able to see what you're doing.

We really like the fact there's a massive 45-day money-back guarantee and 24/7 live chat support. If you're a little wary about signing up for a VPN, wondering if it'll work reliably in the UAE, then both these guarantees should alleviate that fear.

CyberGhost VPN is one of the best VPNs for UAE around.

4. IPVanish

IPVanish Apps

Pros
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • Good range of server locations
  • Apps for most popular devices
  • Free file storage
Cons
  • Apps look dated
  • Not the fastest

IPVanish is our 4th place VPN provider to use in UAE.

Using a VPN in the United Arab Emirates can sometimes feel a little bit risky, so a high level of encryption and privacy is essential. IPVanish delivers on both these fronts.

Their encryption is industry standard and their privacy policies are higher than many other providers. We really like the fact they store no-logs of either your activity or when you connect, which means what you do online remains private.

There are also over 75+ worldwide locations in their server network. If you want good local connection speeds to protect the likes of your Wi-Fi privacy then the Dubai VPN servers will be suitable for you. Also, Dubai VPN servers will provide faster speeds as they're the closest.

They provide great apps, fast servers, great security features such as a kill switch, live chat support, and pretty much anything else you'll need to access any website you want while in the UAE and Dubai.

If, however, you want to tunnel out of the UAE or Dubai, then servers in Israel, Cyprus, Greece and India are all just a hop away and will allow you to bypass UAE and Dubai internet restrictions. Couple it with the built-in “Scramble” feature and you should be able to bypass any restrictive networks.

You should consider using the Scramble feature on the mobile apps and Obfuscate mode on the desktop apps to give an added layer of protection and disguise your VPN use.

Streaming apps such as Netflix can be unblocked with ease using IPVanish. Nothing like watching US Netflix while sitting in your Dubai hotel.

Whether you're a resident or traveller, if you want a VPN in UAE, then IPVanish has your back.

5. VyprVPN

VyprVPN website

Pros
  • Infrastructure owned inhouse
  • Timeworn service
  • Apps very user friendly
  • Audited no-log policy
  • 30-day money back guarantee
Cons
  • Not the fastest speeds
  • Monthly package expensive

VyprVPN made our Best VPN for the UAE list this year because they have some of the best regional support of any provider.

A local VPN server network is available in Dubai itself and also in neighbouring Qatar, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

Further afield but still within a good range are VPN servers in Pakistan, India, Israel and Egypt. Having Dubai VPN servers is a huge bonus and will help with connection speeds which will be ideal for streaming high-quality video from Netflix.

With free internet access being ever eroded in the UAE (including Dubai) and neighbouring countries, accessing VPN services may become increasingly difficult.

VyprVPN thankfully has a special VPN mode called Chameleon (obfuscated servers), so even if VPN blocks become commonplace, you should still be able to break through to access the free and open internet.

They also offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try the UAE VPN risk-free.

VyprVPN is a great UAE VPN provider that will unblock restricted content and keep you secure.

6. Surfshark

Surfshark Website screengrab

Pros
  • Excellent package prices
  • Easy to use range of apps
  • Works well with Netflix
  • 30-day money back guarantee
Cons
  • Unaudited no-log policy
  • Newer unproven provider

Surfshark VPN is a relative newcomer to the VPN world, but they have really made a mark on the industry.

Not only are they one of the cheapest VPNs around with prices as low as $2.49 (£1.79) per month, but they are also one of the most reliable.

They currently have 3200+ servers in their server network worldwide, covering all of the most popular places to connect to, such as the United States, the UK, Canada, and Japan. Each VPN server has a private DNS for some extra security.

Speaking of security, Surfshark also has excellent security features too such as AES 256 bit encryption to keep your information safe and secure and a built-in kill switch for leak protection. They even have Camo-Mode which will hide your VPN usage from your ISP (Internet Service Provider) such as Etisalat.

Surfshark also has a CleanWeb feature that stops ads, trackers, and malware in their tracks before they have a chance to load up.

One of Surfshark's best features is that they can unblock 15 Netflix regions, along with Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and other streaming apps.

Best of all, Surfshark VPNs apps are very user friendly and can be used by even the most tech-averse user. With many apps available for devices such as iOS, Android, macOS, Windows, and more.

You can try their service risk-free as they offer a 30-day money-back guarantee to all of their customers.

Surfshark VPN is one of the best VPNs for UAE, they are worth using for all the additional Netflix content alone.

7. ProtonVPN

ProtonVPN Website

Pros
  • Register in Switzerland
  • Run by security experts
  • Limited free account available
Cons
  • Varying packages
  • A little expensive

Last but not least, we have ProtonVPN.

This UAE VPN has a decent number of servers located around the world. Their server network spans 55 countries and counting.

ProtonVPN is a fully audited VPN with a strict no-logs policy, so you can rest assured that your data is secure and your privacy kept intact.

They are based in Switzerland, so they are protected by stringent privacy laws and keeps them out of the jurisdiction out of information sharing coalitions such as the 5 eyes and 14 eyes.

With ProtonVPN, you can have up to 10 simultaneous connections, which will be more than enough to protect all of your devices.

ProtonVPN has apps for iOS, Android, Windows, MacOS, and many other popular devices.

For added security, ProtonVPN uses what they call ‘Secure Core' which ensures all of your internet traffic is put through several servers before leaving the ProtonVPN servers. This is a nice additional layer of privacy for you.

They also have leak protection in the form of a built-in kill switch that will cut your internet traffic if you lose connection to the VPN.

It's also worth noting that they work with BBC iPlayer, Netflix, and most other streaming websites.

ProtonVPN has great customer service and offers a full 30-day money-back guarantee, so if you're not happy, you can get your money back.

ProtonVPN is one of the best VPNs for the UAE and Dubai. If you've exhausted the above options, make sure you check them out.

How to choose the top VPN for the UAE

Choosing the best VPN for use in the UAE can be extremely difficult.

The legality of using a VPN in the UAE and Dubai has been somewhat of a grey area. However, the good news is it appears that using a VPN in the UAE including Dubai, is not illegal at all, only using one for illegal purposes is. You can see more about that at Gulfnews, Khaleejtimes and Tamimi.

So to clarify, VPNs appear to be legal in the UAE at the moment (including Dubai).

If you're happy to continue, it's imperative that you choose a VPN service that is reliable and offers advanced encryption and modes to disguise your VPN traffic. For that reason, we recommend either ExpressVPN or NordVPN.

It's also critical to consult updated guides such as this one for 2021 because information can become outdated quickly. Services that were recommended for use in the UAE in 2020 and before may no longer be recommended now.

When looking to choose what the best VPN for the UAE is, you'll want to consider the following points.

1. No log policy

The whole idea of a VPN is to stop companies, marketers, and even governments from seeing your internet traffic (what you are doing online). So, having a VPN that has a strict no-logs policy is a must-have.

The VPNs on this list all claim to have no logs policies, and some have even had these claims audited by a third-party independent company to prove their claims.

While some others have proved their no logs policy during court cases where they've been asked to produce user logs… which they didn't do as they don't hold any logs.

So make sure that if you use a VPN, it has a zero logs policy to ensure your privacy and security.

2. Reputable service

When it comes to the VPN industry, new VPNs are appearing each and every day, some are OK, but some are downright awful and shouldn't be trusted.

I like to look a bit deeper into the VPN providers and look at things like how long they've been in the industry and how many positive reviews have they built up over those years in the industry.

You see, in the VPN industry, bad VPNs are found out pretty quickly, so the longer a VPN has been around for, the more likely they are to be reputable.

The last thing you want to do is go with an exciting untested VPN that nobody has heard of, only to find they're selling your data to the highest bidder. Or they could be a government-backed honey trap… which is never good.

3. Apps for your devices

All of the best VPNs have a large range of dedicated apps that will cover most of the popular devices. Some even have extensions for web browsers which come in pretty handy.

Having a wide range of apps ensures that almost anyone can set up their VPN with relative ease without needing to manually set the VPN up (like back in the old days).

Most VPNs have an easy-to-use user interface that even my own Grandmother could use. This means VPNs are no longer just for tech geeks but are for everyone to use.

You'll notice that the VPNs in my list offer multiple simultaneous connections per VPN account, so you can protect ALL of your devices or even share your account with friends and family.

4. Money back guarantee

Ever bought something and not liked it, tried to return it only to find that the store won't give you a refund? – Yeah, it leaves a bitter taste in your mouth.

This is why I have only suggested 7 VPNs that each have a money-back guarantee on their website.

While I'm sure you'll love whichever VPN you choose, it's always nice to have your investment backed by a money-back guarantee.

From time to time certain countries try to block certain VPNs from being used, so if for some reason the VPN you choose isn't working as you wanted, you'll be able to get your money back and try another VPN service.

What devices can I use the VPN services on

All the recommended services above at the very minimum offer VPN clients for Windows and Mac devices and also Android and iOS.

This means you'll be able to protect your privacy and access blocked content both on desktop and laptops but also on mobile devices such as phones and tablets.

As VOIP services such as Skype and others are blocked in the UAE it'll allow you to bypass those restrictions and be able to use the services on your mobile devices.

There are some added clients depending on which UAE VPN you sign up for. For example, ExpressVPN has a dedicated Amazon Fire TV app and a Linux VPN client available.

How can the VPN protect me in the UAE?

All of the recommended providers are based outside the UAE which means authorities in the UAE should, in theory, not be able to access any details about what you did while using a UAE VPN.

The providers recommended also all claim to store none or minimal logs about what you do while connected to their service.

Our top-recommended UAE VPN provider for use in the UAE, ExpressVPN, claim to store absolutely no-logs of what you do while connected to their service. More importantly, they also claim they don't store any connection logs which means there should be no record of you even connecting to the service.

At the very most, authorities in the UAE may be able to determine that you're using a VPN but not what you did while connected.

For this reason, it's important to enable the Scramble or Obfuscate modes from providers such as ExpressVPN or special modes like Chameleon from VyprVPN which should go some way to help disguise that you're using a VPN.

It's worth noting that no service can 100% guarantee your online anonymity. However, a VPN is definitely the best option out there and if you absolutely must access blocked content or you want to level-up your online privacy, then there really is no better alternative.

What's the best free VPN for the UAE

Ah, we all love a good freebie, however, when it comes to VPNs, they should be avoided at all costs.

One of the main problems with free VPNs is that they are highly unreliable and have speeds slower than a snail on a turtle's back. Neither will help you stream your favourite Netflix shows.

But, that's the least of your worries when using a free VPN provider.

Recent studies have shown that many free VPNs are actively collecting your information without you knowing and selling it to advertisers. Talk about being the opposite of a VPN.

However, one of the most worrying things I've come across is a free VPN service renting out the users internet bandwidth for other people to use. This could land you in serious trouble with the law if they use your connection to do something illegal.

You should avoid free VPNs at all costs, but if you're really stuck in a bind, you should check out ProtonVPN's free service.

ProtonVPN's free package is a limited-service with a very limited speed and reduced amount of servers, so if you want to watch videos it probably won't be great. But if you want to check your emails, then it will be OK.

It's worth noting that due to the lack of servers your closest server might be far away, resulting in even slower speeds.

Summary

The internet in the UAE is becoming more restricted from blocked websites to blocked services such as Skype. This is always changing as ISPs such as Etisalat are regularly blocking and unblocking sites.

For example, Etisalat famously blocked a popular dating site for ex-pats.

If you must use a VPN in the UAE, then the above seven recommended providers are some of the best out there to help you beat censorship and protect your privacy.

Reports suggested that VPN services were illegal in the UAE but this appears not to be the case. You can read articles from UAE publications regarding this using the links earlier in this guide.

The seven providers above are our recommended choices for use in the UAE, so it's worth checking them all out to see if they meet your needs and where possible enabling the special modes for use in jurisdictions such as the United Arab Emirates.

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Author: Christopher Seward

After 25 years of using the internet, Christopher launched one of the very first VPN comparison websites in 2013. An expert in the field his reviews, testing and knowledge have helped thousands of users get the correct VPN for their needs.

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