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5 Best VPNs for UAE in 2018

In this article, we take a look at the VPN providers who offer the best services for residents of the United Arab Emirates. With many forms of censorship and online restrictions in the region, a VPN for the UAE can be a useful tool when venturing online - and picking the right one can save you a lot of headaches

VPN for UAE

The best VPN for UAE: Summary

Below is a list of recommended VPNs for UAE. For more in-depth information on any of the providers, keep scrolling:

Editor's Choice 1. From $3.99 / month
BestVPN.com Score 9.8 out of 10
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2. From $6.67 / month
BestVPN.com Score 8.8 out of 10
Visit Site   Read Review
3. From $2.73 / month
BestVPN.com Score 8.6 out of 10
Visit Site   Read Review
4. From $4.17 / month
BestVPN.com Score 8.2 out of 10
Visit Site   Read Review
5. From $5.2 / month
BestVPN.com Score 7.6 out of 10
Visit Site   Read Review

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) censors a wide range of web content. A VPN will let you pretend to be outside of UAE to bypass any state-imposed blocks. What’s more, a VPN lets you do this in absolute privacy thanks to encryption.

For people who disagree with censorship and want access to blocked sites, a VPN for UAE is the perfect solution. VPNs also permit citizens (or visitors) to access geo-restricted online services such as Netflix, sports streams, BBC iPlayer, and much more. A VPN gives you freedom and privacy, which is a fundamental human right!

Top 5 VPNs to use safely in the UAE

Here's our indepth list of the best VPNs for the UAE & Dubai:

1. NordVPN

BestVPN.com Score 9.8 out of 10
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Editor's Choice

NordVPN is undoubtedly a feature-packed service ideal for unblocking global content e.g. Netflix, iPlayer and Skype. The fact that it is based in Panama and keeps no logs at all is also a big draw for those who care about privacy. Its software looks good. Speed performance is now very impressive. A three-day free trial, plus a 30-day money-back guarantee gives you plenty of opportunities to ensure that everything works for you as it should. NordVPN permits torrenting, works with all major streaming services and has servers in 62 countries. It even throws in a full smart DNS service for free! What you get with NordVPN is a very fully featured, privacy-friendly VPN service that is also very fast.

VPN Stats

  • Server Locations 62
  • Average Speed 59.23 Mbit/s
  • Simultaneous Connections 6
  • Jurisdiction Panama

Likes

  • Based in Panama (great for privacy)
  • Six simultaneous connections
  • Works with US Netflix and BBC iPlayer
  • Dedicated IPs (cost extra)

Dislikes

  • IPv6 leak in macOS IKEv2 app

Features

Port forwarding
Total servers 4568
Countries 62
Simultaneous connections 6
Bare metal or virtual servers Combination
Router Support
Routers Supported Raspberry Pi Tomato Synology DD-WRT AsusTOR AsusWRT AsusWRT-Merlin pfsense D-Link Linksys TP-Link OpenWRT belkin DrayTek Qnap Arris TOTOLink Mikrotik Huawei Tenda WD MikroTik IPFire TRENDnet EdgeRouter GLiNet NetDuma Fortinet Sabai ubee
Allows torrenting
Port selection

Supported platforms

Windows
MacOS
iOS
Android
Linux
Windows Phone

Protocols offered

PPTP
L2TP/IPsec
SSTP
IKEv2
OpenVPN

Privacy

Jurisdiction Panama
Logs Traffic
Logs Connections
Logs Timestamps
Logs Bandwidth
Logs IP Address
Logs Aggregated or Anonymized Data
Website tracking? Google Analytics

Performance

BestVPN.com SpeedTest (max/burst) 229.99
BestVPN.com SpeedTest (average) 59.23
Data limits
Bandwidth limits
IPv4 leak detected?
IPv6 leak detected?
WebRTC leak detected?

Payment

Visa/MasterCard
Amex
Cryptocurrency

Security

Kill Switch
Obfuscation (stealth)
Self-hosted/Proxied DNS Yes
IPv4 leak protection
IPv6 leak protection
WebRTC leak protection

Support

Free trial Yes - 3 Days
24-hour support
Live chat support
Money-back Guarantee
Money back guarantee length 30

Unblocks:

Netflix
iPlayer

2. ExpressVPN

BestVPN.com Score 8.8 out of 10
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ExpressVPN is a great VPN option for a number of reasons. Firstly, it is a highly trusted and reliable VPN that implements very strong OpenVPN encryption and a solid privacy policy. Furthermore, the VPN has everything you need to keep your data private from the government. In addition to a kill switch and DNS leak protection, the service has a stealth mode, which stops ISPs noticing VPN use (and thus overcomes bandwidth throttling). Servers are located in 94 countries and all of those servers provide lightning fast connections. The VPN is available for all the popular platforms and can be used on three devices simultaneously. What’s more, the VPN provides a 30-day money-back guarantee, which means you can use the VPN risk-free to make sure it works for you. Finally, it is possible to pay in bitcoins for added privacy.

VPN Stats

  • Server Locations 94
  • Average Speed 77.14 Mbit/s
  • Simultaneous Connections 3
  • Jurisdiction British Virgin Islands

Likes

  • Super fast - great for streaming!
  • Very secure 256-bit encryption
  • Unlimited downloading
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • 5* 24/7 customer support
  • Special Deal: Save 49% Today

Dislikes

  • IPv6 WebRTC leaks (fixed by browser extension)
  • A little pricey
  • BVI jurisdiction is not ideal

Features

Port forwarding
Total servers 2000
Countries 94
Simultaneous connections 3
Bare metal or virtual servers A combination
Router Support
Routers Supported Asus RT-AC56R, Asus RT-AC56S, Asus RT-AC56U, Asus RT-AC68U, Asus RT-AC87U, Linksys EA6200, Linksys WRT1200AC, Linksys WRT1900AC 13J1, Linksys WRT1900AC 13J2, Linksys WRT1900ACS, Linksys WRT3200ACM, Netgear R6300v2, Netgear Nighthawk R7000
Allows torrenting
Port selection

Supported platforms

Windows
MacOS
iOS
Android
Linux
Windows Phone

Protocols offered

PPTP
L2TP/IPsec
SSTP
IKEv2
OpenVPN

Privacy

Jurisdiction British Virgin Islands
Logs Traffic
Logs Connections
Logs Timestamps
Logs Bandwidth
Logs IP Address
Logs Aggregated or Anonymized Data
Website tracking? N/A

Performance

BestVPN.com SpeedTest (max/burst) 178.05
BestVPN.com SpeedTest (average) 77.14
Data limits
Bandwidth limits
IPv4 leak detected?
IPv6 leak detected?
WebRTC leak detected?

Payment

Visa/MasterCard
Amex
Cryptocurrency

Security

Kill Switch
Obfuscation (stealth)
Self-hosted/Proxied DNS Yes
IPv4 leak protection
IPv6 leak protection
WebRTC leak protection

Support

Free trial No
24-hour support
Live chat support
Money-back Guarantee
Money back guarantee length 30

Unblocks:

Netflix
iPlayer

3. PrivateVPN

BestVPN.com Score 8.6 out of 10
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Sweden-based VPN provider, PrivateVPN, is an excellent choice for the UAE, especially after winning BestVPN.com’s “Best Value VPN” of 2018. Not only do you get a full-service VPN at an affordable price, but you get 54 server locations, excellent customer service, super fast streaming speeds, and great encryption. PrivateVPN also offers six simultaneous connections, WiFi protection, and a 30-day money-back guarantee for unsatisfied customers.

VPN Stats

  • Server Locations 60
  • Average Speed 58.97 Mbit/s
  • Simultaneous Connections 6
  • Jurisdiction Sweden

Likes

  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • Servers in 56 countries
  • Strong OpenVPN encryption
  • Zero logs
  • 24/7 customer support

Dislikes

  • Not much

Features

Port forwarding
Total servers 100
Countries 60
Simultaneous connections 6
Bare metal or virtual servers A combination
Router Support
Allows torrenting
Port selection

Supported platforms

Windows
MacOS
iOS
Android
Linux
Windows Phone

Protocols offered

PPTP
L2TP/IPsec
SSTP
IKEv2
OpenVPN
Other protocols IPSec, Shadowsocks

Privacy

Jurisdiction Sweden
Logs Traffic
Logs Connections
Logs Timestamps
Logs Bandwidth
Logs IP Address
Logs Aggregated or Anonymized Data
Website tracking? Google Analytics

Performance

BestVPN.com SpeedTest (max/burst) 327.86
BestVPN.com SpeedTest (average) 58.97
Data limits
Bandwidth limits
IPv4 leak detected?
IPv6 leak detected?
WebRTC leak detected?

Payment

Visa/MasterCard
Amex
Cryptocurrency

Security

Kill Switch
Obfuscation (stealth)
Self-hosted/Proxied DNS Proxy
IPv4 leak protection
IPv6 leak protection
WebRTC leak protection

Support

Free trial Yes - 7 days
24-hour support
Live chat support
Money-back Guarantee
Money back guarantee length 30

Unblocks:

Netflix
iPlayer

4. VyprVPN

BestVPN.com Score 8.2 out of 10
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VyprVPN is owned by the internet conglomerate Golden Frog. For this reason, it owns the entire infrastructure of servers that it runs the service on. Encryption is very strong and the privacy policy is excellent (but doesn’t permit torrenting). The VPN is fully featured, with a kill switch and DNS leak protection. In addition, it has a very secure stealth mode (called chameleon). Connection speeds are also superb on this UAE VPN.

VPN Stats

  • Server Locations 70
  • Average Speed 58.97 Mbit/s
  • Simultaneous Connections 5
  • Jurisdiction Switzerland

Likes

  • Strong encryption protocols and policies
  • Worldwide server network
  • 24/7 customer support
  • PayPal now a payment method
  • Proprietary Technology & exclusive features

Dislikes

  • Connection logs stored for 30 days
  • No P2P

Features

Port forwarding
Total servers 700
Countries 70
Simultaneous connections 5
Bare metal or virtual servers A combination
Router Support
Allows torrenting
Port selection

Supported platforms

Windows
MacOS
iOS
Android
Linux
Windows Phone

Protocols offered

PPTP
L2TP/IPsec
SSTP
IKEv2
OpenVPN
Other protocols Chameleon

Privacy

Jurisdiction Switzerland
Logs Traffic
Logs Connections
Logs Timestamps
Logs Bandwidth
Logs IP Address
Logs Aggregated or Anonymized Data
Website tracking? Google Analytics

Performance

BestVPN.com SpeedTest (max/burst) 107.83
BestVPN.com SpeedTest (average) 58.97
Data limits
Bandwidth limits
IPv4 leak detected?
IPv6 leak detected?
WebRTC leak detected?

Payment

Visa/MasterCard
Amex
Cryptocurrency

Security

Kill Switch
Obfuscation (stealth)
Self-hosted/Proxied DNS Yes
IPv4 leak protection
IPv6 leak protection
WebRTC leak protection

Support

Free trial Yes - 3 days
24-hour support
Live chat support
Money-back Guarantee
Money back guarantee length 30

Unblocks:

Netflix
iPlayer
Amazon Prime
Hulu

5. IPVanish

BestVPN.com Score 7.6 out of 10
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IPVanish is a super fast VPN that is very good for use in the UAE. Although it doesn’t have a stealth mode per-say, it does provide SOCKS5 proxy, which encrypts traffic as HTTPS on port 443. Encryption is strong OpenVPN (though not as strong as the VPNs above). The privacy policy is no logs, which nicely makes up for it being based in the US. The great thing about this VPN is that it provides very fast connection speeds. The service is fully featured, with a kill switch and DNS leak protection. If you want to be extremely secure and want to use stealth mode, then choose a VPN higher in the list. However, if you aren’t paranoid (and understand that the UAE government has not been prosecuting VPN users), then this VPN will actually be a very good service for a fantastic price.

VPN Stats

  • Server Locations 60
  • Average Speed 60.57 Mbit/s
  • Simultaneous Connections 10
  • Jurisdiction USA

Likes

  • Servers in over 60 countries
  • Strong OpenVPN encryption + zero logs
  • Killswitch and DNS leak protection
  • Torrenting is permitted
  • Very fast speeds

Dislikes

  • Based in the US
  • Does not unblock Netflix US

Features

Port forwarding
Total servers 1140
Countries 60
Simultaneous connections 10
Bare metal or virtual servers Bare metal
Router Support
Routers Supported Most DD WRT routers
Allows torrenting
Port selection

Supported platforms

Windows
MacOS
iOS
Android
Linux
Windows Phone

Protocols offered

PPTP
L2TP/IPsec
SSTP
IKEv2
OpenVPN

Privacy

Jurisdiction USA
Logs Traffic
Logs Connections
Logs Timestamps
Logs Bandwidth
Logs IP Address
Logs Aggregated or Anonymized Data
Website tracking? Google Analytics

Performance

BestVPN.com SpeedTest (max/burst) 116.75
BestVPN.com SpeedTest (average) 60.57
Data limits
Bandwidth limits
IPv4 leak detected?
IPv6 leak detected?
WebRTC leak detected?

Payment

Visa/MasterCard
Amex
Cryptocurrency

Security

Kill Switch
Obfuscation (stealth)
Self-hosted/Proxied DNS Yes
IPv4 leak protection
IPv6 leak protection
WebRTC leak protection

Support

Free trial No
24-hour support
Live chat support
Money-back Guarantee
Money back guarantee length 7

Unblocks:

Netflix
iPlayer

Why do I need a VPN?

A Virtual Private Network gives you online privacy and anonymity by creating a private network from a public internet connection. It lets you use the internet without ISPs, governments, workplaces, schools, WiFi network administrators - or anybody else - snooping on your activities.

A VPN is important in the UAE for two main reasons:

  • Digital Privacy
    It is easy to get in trouble with the authorities for accessing the wrong content, which is why using a VPN in Dubai and across the UAE is so important.
  • Website access
    Many people in the Emirates want to access unbiased news or other online resources that are restricted.

What websites are blocked in the UAE?

According to UAE law, any website that contradicts the ethics and morality of the country is blocked, including:

  • Pornography websites
  • Gambling websites
  • Israeli websites
  • VoIP services (Skype)
  • Websites with anti-religious hate speech
  • Websites publicising beliefs that are contrary to the Sunni population
  • Websites with content on illegal drugs (production, sales, use or distribution)

Want to know more? Check out Guide to Geo-Spoofing with a VPN or our Beginner's Guide to VPNs.

Are VPNs illegal in the UAE?

No, VPNs are not illegal. However, accessing something that you aren’t supposed to with a VPN is illegal. Accessing content that has been censored by the TRA could land you a hefty fine and/or prison time. Having said that, VPNs are - by their very nature - difficult to monitor, and many people in the country successfully use VPNs and don’t get prosecuted.

If you are considering subscribing to a VPN in the UAE, we advise that you stick with one of the reputable providers featured in our top 5 list. At the end of the day, whether you decide to use a VPN when in the UAE or not is your choice and you do so at your own risk.

Must have VPN features for the UAE

Because most people want a VPN to use Skype - or access blocked content in the UAE - it is essential that the VPN has all the most important security features. It is also vital that you use those features otherwise you may discover that your VPN will not work in UAE. Let’s take a closer look:

  • Strong OpenVPN encryption
    Encryption will keep your data private from ISPs, governments, and local network admin tracking.
  • Killswitch
    This feature is essential because it stops you accidentally leaking unencrypted data if the VPN drops out.
  • Stealth mode
    It is generally a good idea to conceal not only your traffic (using encryption) but also the fact that you're using a VPN. This is achieved using cloaking or stealth mode.

If privacy is important to you, take a minute to review our Ultimate Privacy Guide for a more in-depth look at these features.

Quick view

Editor's Choice 1. From $3.99 / month
BestVPN.com Score 9.8 out of 10
Visit Site   Read Review
2. From $6.67 / month
BestVPN.com Score 8.8 out of 10
Visit Site   Read Review
3. From $2.73 / month
BestVPN.com Score 8.6 out of 10
Visit Site   Read Review
4. From $4.17 / month
BestVPN.com Score 8.2 out of 10
Visit Site   Read Review
5. From $5.2 / month
BestVPN.com Score 7.6 out of 10
Visit Site   Read Review

Written by: Ray Walsh

Ray Walsh is one of BestVPN's resident VPN experts. Ray is currently ranked #1 VPN authority in the world by agilience.com. During his time at BestVPN.com Ray has reviewed some of the world's foremost VPNs. Ray is an advocate for digital privacy, with vast experience writing about the political and social aspects of infosec, cybersec, and data privacy. Find him @newsglug on Twitter.

28 Comments

  1. Dan
    on July 9, 2018
    Reply

    Express VPN is not working as well as Nord.. Do they pay you for the advertisement?

    1. Douglas Crawford replied to Dan
      on July 9, 2018
      Reply

      Hi Dan, Please remember that we are not actually based in the UAE. But we do monitor the situation as best we can and factor that into our recommendations. So thanks for your feedback. FWIW, the VPN listed here all offer obfuscation tech, which is why they are listed here.

  2. Jon
    on May 28, 2018
    Reply

    IPVANISH did not work in 2015, 2016, 2017... I don't think it works now. Tunnel Bear is free for 500MB a month... good for travelers passing through, but make sure you have the software downloaded before you are in country. cheers

  3. Captain Justice
    on May 26, 2018
    Reply

    Hello, I can tell you that express vpn and VyprVPN are both blocked out here. My Nord vpn stopped working a few months back. I couldn’t even get express vpn to connect. VyprVPN worked for a short time after I paid for the annual subscription and is now blocked. These guys are getting serious. What’s app is not blocked and everybody (locals included) use it. Skype is blocked. Etisalat now require you to purchase a £10 monthly add on to your mobile contract to use BOTIM (which is of course free to use everywhere else). You can only use BOTIM with your data, which gets rinsed, forcing you to buy additional data. I’m currently trying out a few ‘trial’ vpn providers to acces uk tv. Most vpns are blocked, but that’s what you get for leaving a democratic country to live in the uae.

    1. Douglas Crawford replied to Captain Justice
      on May 28, 2018
      Reply

      Hi Captain Justive, Thanks for your on-the-ground feedback. Have you tried AirVPN's stunnel (OpenVPN inside an SSL tunnel) option?

  4. Felino lorica
    on May 26, 2018
    Reply

    I would like to ask what is the best vpn to be use for calling for my family . Is that illegal I will use my imo that it.

    1. Douglas Crawford replied to Felino lorica
      on May 28, 2018
      Reply

      Hi Felino, Skype is blocked in the UAE, but as far as I can tell using a VPN is not illegal if you don't do anything illegal while using one. So talking to your family should be fine (but remember that I am no lawyer). All the VPNs listed on this page offer anti-censorship tech, which why we have listed them. But we are not based in the UAE, so you should also read comments for further on-the-ground advice from other readers.

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