How to watch British TV in UAE: The Easy Method

British TV UAE

If you're looking to watch British TV in UAE then we've got the information you need. In this guide we're going to show you the quickest and easiest way to watch all your favourite British TV in UAE.

The number of Brits living in the UAE is hard to ascertain with quotes of 55,000 – 250,000 depending on where you read.

The truth is whatever the exact number there is a mass of British expats living in the UAE and if you're one of them then you'll know British TV is top of the list of items to miss from home.

The good news is, it isn't difficult to watch British TV in UAE and all you'll need is a simple app called a VPN. Within just a few minutes you can be watching all your favourite British TV, both free-to-air and any subscription services you have an account for.

How to watch British TV in UAE

The easiest way to watch British TV in UAE is to use online streaming services like BBC iPlayer, ITV Player and Sky Go.

However, if you've already tried to access these in the UAE you'll know that you're blocked from viewing. Instead of seeing your favourite programme, you're blocked with a message that looks just like this.

BBC iPlayer Blocked July 2016

The reason you're blocked is clear. The website knows you're in the UAE and not in the UK and so it's easy for them to stop you from viewing.

This is where the VPN app comes in. The app which is available for Windows, Mac, Android and iOS allows you to alter your online location to appear elsewhere. So instead of looking like you're in the UAE, you'll be able to look like you're in the UK.

With the VPN you'll now be able to access any of the British TV services online which includes both free ones and any that you have a valid subscription for and best of all is a VPN will cost just a few pounds per month.

Just follow the 5 simple steps below and you'll be able to watch British TV in UAE.

How to watch British TV in UAE:

  1. Visit the VPN provider NordVPN and sign-up.
  2. Download the correct app for your device from the Apps area.
  3. Install it, run it and login.
  4. Select United Kingdom.
  5. Press Connect.

It only takes about 15 seconds for the app to connect.

Once it has connected all you need to do is visit your favourite online streaming service, for example, BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, Sky Go etc.

Instead of seeing the block message from earlier, you'll now be able to stream all your favourite programmes both on live TV and on catch-up too.

If you still can't find the correct options to connect or you think it'll be too difficult, just take a look at the following two examples that show you just how easy it is to connect on both a mobile device and a regular computer.

Android or iOS:

NordVPN Android UK

Windows or Mac:


When you've finished watching all you need to do is quit the website you're watching on and then press Disconnect on the NordVPN app.

As NordVPN is a subscription service you can reconnect at any time as long as your subscription is active. There are no limits on how many times you can connect and disconnect so you can watch as much TV as you want, whenever you want.

Having trouble?

When you connect to NordVPN it selects the fastest server for you. Sometimes not all of their servers will work with the service you're attempting to watch.

For example, you may connect to NordVPN and visit BBC iPlayer and still be told that it's not available in your area. To resolve this you need to select a specific server.

You can do this by press Countries, scrolling through the list to find United Kingdom then pressing the burger icon to expand the list and selecting any server.

Alternatively, it's worth opening your web browser in InPrivate mode if you're using Internet Explorer or InCognito mode if you're using Chrome because this stops the website you're watching from remembering your original location. You can find out more information on how to do this here.

How to watch British TV on a Smart TV in UAE

If you don't want to watch on your phone, tablet, laptop or computer but instead want to watch on your Smart TV then there are other options available.

Unfortunately, a VPN won't work with a Smart TV so you need another solution.

Most Smart TVs allow you to change the “DNS Settings” such as Samsung Smart TVs. If you can change your DNS Settings then you'll need to sign up to Overplay SmartDNS + VPN package.

You should then follow the instructions provided on the Overplay website on how to change the DNS settings on your Smart TV.

This works best with Smart TVs that were purchased in the UK that have TV apps such as BBC iPlayer already installed. However, if you're able to install them on your Smart TV purchased in the UAE or elsewhere then this method should also work for you.

Unfortunately if your Smart TV doesn't allow you to change your DNS Settings then this method won't work.

Don't forget, the easiest way to watch British TV in UAE is a VPN which you can get by clicking the button below and following the instructions from earlier in this article.

Christopher Seward

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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