5 Best VPNs for Dubai in 2023 for Security, Streaming & Speed
- The Best VPNs for Dubai — Full Analysis (Updated in 2023)
- ExpressVPN — Top Security Features for Maximum Online Protection in Dubai
- IPVanish — Unlimited Simultaneous Connections to Stay Safe on All Your Devices in Dubai
- CyberGhost — Optimized Servers for Reliable Streaming in and Outside Dubai
- Private Internet Access — Huge Server Network to Access Global Content When Visiting Dubai
- PrivateVPN — User-Friendly Apps That Are Great if You're New to VPNs
- Quick Guide: How to Set Up a VPN for Dubai in 3 Easy Steps
- Tips on How to Choose the Best VPN for Dubai
- FAQs on Using a VPN for Dubai
- The Bottom Line
The UAE government has one of the world's most restrictive internet policies, and online surveillance remains a concern. Various apps, like Skype, Zoom, WhatsApp, are blocked. To ensure I can access websites from my home country and stay safe in Dubai, I always install a VPN before arriving in the UAE.
My team and I tested 90+ VPNs to find the best ones for Dubai. My shortlisted VPNs come with the latest security features and have a global network of fast servers. I could easily unblock VoIP services and my Netflix US subscription from Dubai. Plus, UAE citizens can access local content (including Abu Dhabi TV, Dubai TV, and MBC) abroad.
ExpressVPN is my top choice. It is the complete package, offering military-grade encryption and an ultra-fast global network of servers. The VPN even comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. So, you can try ExpressVPN for Dubai risk-free.
Important! There are laws regarding VPN use in the UAE. The team at vpnMentor doesn't condone any activities that go against these rules and regulations. Please inform yourself of the latest practices regarding using a VPN in Dubai so you don't accidentally break any laws.
- ExpressVPN — The most impressive VPN for Dubai to protect your data and bypass geo-restrictions without compromising your speed. It even offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can test it out in Dubai with confidence.
- IPVanish — Unlimited connections to use the VPN’s robust security features on all your devices simultaneously, in Dubai.
- CyberGhost — Optimized servers for effortless streaming in and outside of Dubai, but expensive 1-month plans.
- Private Internet Access — 29,650 servers worldwide to access global content from Dubai, but based in the 5 Eyes Alliance.
- PrivateVPN — Suitable for both beginners and advanced users to easily stay safe in Dubai, but it only has 200 servers.
The Best VPNs for Dubai — Full Analysis (Updated in 2023)
The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) and significant telecom operators block content that is seen as inappropriate — even Wikipedia articles and Israeli websites. So, you might not have access to your favorite content back home.
All my shortlisted VPNs are extremely reliable in terms of security, unblocking, and speed in Dubai. They’re all user-friendly, have excellent customer support, and can be used on multiple devices simultaneously. On top of that, these VPNs come with a money-back guarantee so that you can try them without risk.
Tested February 2023 Try Risk-Free for 30 Days
- Server speed and location: Lightning-fast speeds on 3,000 servers in 94 countries
- Security and privacy: Military-grade encryption and TrustedServer technology
- Simultaneous device connections: 5
- Can stream local and global content: Netflix (US), Amazon Prime Video, Abu Dhabi TV, Hulu, Dubai TV, BBC iPlayer, MBC, Disney+, and more.
- Compatible with: Android, Windows, iOS, Mac, Chrome, Firefox, routers, and more
ExpressVPN has exceptional security and privacy tools to keep you safe online in Dubai. It’s based in the privacy-friendly British Virgin Islands (outside the intelligence-sharing agreement of the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance) and has a strict no-logs policy. The VPN also uses RAM-only servers (TrustedServer technology) that wipe your data every time the system reboots. So, your personal information can’t be stored or shared with anyone.
Your online activity and personal data are protected. Its military-grade AES 256-bit encryption with multiple security protocols (including Lightway, OpenVPN, IKEv2, and L2TP/IPsec) hides your traffic from prying eyes. With ExpressVPN's default setting, you'll be using obfuscated traffic which provides an even higher level of privacy when browsing online.
Although I never experienced a connection drop while testing ExpressVPN, it offers a kill switch (Network Lock). This feature automatically terminates your internet session if the VPN gets disconnected. On top of that, the VPN protects you against any DNS, IPV6, and WebRTC leaks that could expose your location, so you’re completely safe online.
It has a vast server network — excellent for unblocking geo-restricted content. All the servers I tested are perfectly reliable — I managed to access VoIP services like Skype and Zoom every time. The VPN is also great for streaming, and I had no issues accessing my Netflix US account. I also unblocked Abu Dhabi TV and Dubai TV using ExpressVPN’s servers in Egypt. With its global network of servers in 94 countries, you can access your favorite local services anywhere.
Speeds are lightning-fast, giving you buffer-free streaming and quick downloads. With its Smart Location feature, the VPN chooses the best server for you based on your actual location. I found its Lightway protocol perfect for torrenting as it offers robust protection without slowdowns. You can also stream and torrent without worrying about data caps, as ExpressVPN has unlimited bandwidth.
There are beginner-friendly desktop and mobile apps with an intuitive interface. Thanks to MediaStreamer (ExpressVPN's Smart DNS feature), you can even watch movies and shows on devices that aren't usually compatible with a VPN, like gaming consoles.
Prices are slightly more expensive than I’d like, but ExpressVPN often offers generous discounts. I recommend subscribing to its 12-month plan as it’s the cheapest option and comes with all the same features. I got an annual plan for only $6.67/month, plus 3 months free.
No need to worry about committing to a longer subscription right away. You can try ExpressVPN for Dubai risk-free, as it’s backed with a 30-day money-back guarantee. I checked, and the refund process is simple. I exchanged a few messages with a support agent via live chat (available 24/7), and my PayPal account was refunded within 2 days.
- Server speed and location: Extremely fast with 2,000 servers in 75 countries, including 2 servers in Dubai
- Security and privacy: Perfect Forward Secrecy and zero-logs policy
- Simultaneous device connections: Unlimited
- Can stream local and global content: Netflix (US & UAE), HBO Max, Abu Dhabi TV, ESPN, Dubai TV, BBC iPlayer, MBC, and more
- Compatible with: Android, Windows, iOS, Mac, Chrome, routers, and more
IPVanish allows Unlimited simultaneous connections with one account, offering great value. In my IPVanish tests, I connected multiple devices (including various laptops, Smartphones, and Smart TVs) at once and didn't experience any drop in performance. The VPN also offers easy-to-use apps for all major operating systems, so it’s easy to secure all your devices.
Your security is kept at the highest standards using AES 256-bit encryption. I felt safe knowing cyber criminals couldn't get hold of my online information. Plus, Perfect Forward Secrecy (which continuously changes your private keys) ensures your current and future traffic is protected, even if past sessions somehow got hacked.
Even though IPVanish is based in the US (part of the 5 Eyes Alliance), your data won’t be compromised. I read the VPN’s no-logs policy, and it clearly states your sensitive data won’t be stored or shared. All servers are managed in-house, thus avoiding any third-party meddling. Moreover, DNS leak protection and an automatic kill switch will prevent any accidental data exposure.
Servers are spread across 75 countries (including Dubai) to easily unblock content. I had no issues accessing my Netflix US and Hulu accounts while in Dubai. IPVanish also has servers in Dubai to help you access local services from abroad. Additionally, all servers are P2P-friendly with unlimited bandwidth for easy torrenting. Speed isn’t a problem either. By simply clicking the “Connect” button, you’re automatically connected to the best available server for your current location.
One minor con with IPVanish is that it doesn't unblock as many streaming services as ExpressVPN — I couldn't access my Hulu account. However, I had no problem streaming shows from other major platforms, like BBC iPlayer and Netflix US. I recommend activating the Scramble feature when using the OpenVPN protocol. It's an effective way to disguise your VPN traffic as regular activity. So, you have a better chance at bypassing strict firewalls, like that of Netflix.
You can get a 12-month IPVanish subscription for as low as $3.33/month. I find this option the best, as it costs less than the short-term plans but includes the same feature. For a small additional fee, you can also get encrypted cloud storage. I tested it — it’s great for safely storing your files without worrying about data theft.
If you’re not completely happy with IPVanish, you can apply for a refund, as it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. I logged in and completed a few quick steps on the VPN’s website and canceled my subscription that way (24/7 chat and email are also available). The entire process was quick and effortless, and I received the refund on my bank account in 5 days.
- Server speed and location: Excellent speeds on 9,753 servers in 91 countries, including 12 servers in Dubai
- Security and privacy: High-end encryption and based in privacy-friendly Romania
- Simultaneous device connections: 7
- Can stream local and global content: Netflix (US & UAE), Amazon Prime Video, Abu Dhabi TV, Hulu, Dubai TV, BBC iPlayer, MBC, Disney+, and more
- Compatible with: Android, Windows, iOS, Mac, Chrome, Firefox, routers, and more
CyberGhost has optimized servers for easy international streaming, gaming, and torrenting. I don’t need to waste time searching through its 9,753 servers to find one that can unblock my required streaming platform. There’s a list of specialized servers sorted by country and the streaming service it can unblock. So, you can find the best servers for streaming Hulu, Netflix US, and BBC iPlayer in no time.
It’s very fast and offers unlimited bandwidth, letting you stream as much as you like in smooth UHD. I tested CyberGhost’s 12 servers in Dubai and got an average of 55 Mbps (megabits per second) download speed. There were never any delays connecting or significant slowdowns, including on the US and UK servers. You can stream buffer-free and game without lag.
The VPN has a myriad of user-friendly security features to maintain your privacy. For example, enable the “Block content” option to block domains used for ads, malware, and trackers. There’s also a kill switch and DNS/IPv6 leak protection — I detected no leaks while testing the VPN. Additionally, its WiFi protection automatically connects you to the VPN whenever it detects a new WiFi network.
I like that CyberGhost is based in privacy-friendly Romania (outside the 5/9/14-Eyes Alliance) and follows a strict no-logs policy. So, you can be sure your data remains private. It also uses AES 256-bit encryption and the most advanced security protocols, like OpenVPN and WireGuard. These measures are perfect for protecting your data in Dubai.
CyberGhost's short-term plans are a bit expensive. However, you can get a 2-year plan at just $2.19/month. You also have the option to upgrade to its NoSpy servers for a small surcharge. This gives you an additional layer of security, as these servers are controlled and managed exclusively by the VPN team.
If you subscribe to a long-term plan, you also get an extended money-back guarantee so that you can use CyberGhost free for 45 days. I had no issues getting my money back. I simply ended my subscription via email and then contacted the 24/7 live chat support to confirm the refund. My PayPal account was refunded in 5 days without complications.
- Server speed and location: Fast connections with 29,650 servers in 84 countries, including virtual servers in UAE
- Security and privacy: Various security protocols and a kill switch
- Simultaneous device connections: 10
- Can stream local and global content: Netflix (US & UAE), Amazon Prime Video, Abu Dhabi TV, Hulu, Dubai TV, MBC, Disney+, and more
- Compatible with: Android, Windows, iOS, Mac, Chrome, Firefox, routers, and more
Private Internet Access (PIA) has an impressive network of 29,650 servers spread around the globe to help you access worldwide content. With the VPN’s virtual servers in the UAE, Dubai residents can keep streaming local TV services like Abu Dhabi TV, Dubai TV, or MBC when traveling. Likewise, PIA has servers that can help you unblock your local content if you're visiting Dubai.
Speeds are consistently fast enough for uninterrupted streaming, browsing, and torrenting. PIA regularly expands and upgrades its server infrastructure, so you can always find the best server and avoid overcrowding. I tested PIA’s servers in Dubai and got an average of 35 Mbps. The VPN also allows P2P sharing on its servers and doesn’t restrict bandwidth, so you can file-share without limits.
PIA has good privacy features to bolster your online safety in Dubai. It can be easily customized to suit your required level of protection. The VPN offers AES 128-bit and AES 256-bit encryption and numerous security protocols (including OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec, IKEv2, and WireGuard). I recommend OpenVPN for its gold-standard security, but Wireguard is slightly faster if streaming is your primary goal.
The user-friendly apps include DNS leak protection and a kill switch to protect you from accidental data exposure. Plus, its MACE feature effectively prevents annoying pop-ups, as well as malware and trackers.
Although PIA is based in the US (part of the 5 Eyes Alliance), I was reassured by the VPN's solid no-logs policy that my browsing habits will stay private. Your data is completely safe from third parties.
If you opt for a 3-year subscription, you can get PIA for only $2.19/month. Choosing a longer-term plan is usually cheaper and makes sense since it offers the same features as monthly subscriptions.
After trying its features, I canceled my PIA subscription via the website to see how its 30-day money-back guarantee holds up. Almost immediately, I received an email confirmation. My refund was processed, no-questions-asked. The money reached my bank account within 5 days.
- Server speed and location: 200 fast servers in 63 countries, including Dubai
- Security and privacy: Stealth VPN feature and DNS/IP leak protection
- Simultaneous device connections: 10
- Can stream local and global content: Netflix (US & UAE), Amazon Prime Video, Abu Dhabi TV, Hulu, Dubai TV, BBC iPlayer, MBC, Disney+, and more.
- Compatible with: Android, Windows, iOS, Mac, routers, and more
PrivateVPN is easy to use, and you can even request free remote installation so that VPN set-up is done for you. It offers two working modes — for beginners and experienced users. I used the simple mode right away as it doesn't require any configuration. If you like to change the setting to suit your needs, the advanced mode is for you. Either way, you can stay safe in Dubai regardless of your VPN expertise.
Thanks to advanced security measures, your sensitive information is protected from prying eyes. I didn't detect any leaks while testing PrivateVPN — the DNS/IPv6 leak protection and the kill switch work well. Using the advanced mode, I could choose between encryption levels (AES 128-bit or AES 256-bit) and multiple security protocols (OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP, IKEv2, and IPSec). The VPN doesn’t limit your bandwidth and obfuscates your traffic through its Stealth VPN feature, so you can torrent safely.
Although the VPN has a smaller network than ExpressVPN and PIA, servers are spread across 63 countries. Meaning, I easily unblocked my Netflix US and Hulu accounts from Dubai. PrivateVPN can also offer you a Dubai IP address to watch local TV (like Abu Dhabi TV and MBC) when abroad.
I recommend subscribing to the 2-year plan. You can get PrivateVPN for only $2/month, and it comes with all the same features as the more expensive short-term options.
Additionally, PrivateVPN comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee so that you can try it risk-free. I tested the refund policy by canceling via live chat — the process was straightforward, and my money was back in my bank account after 7 days.
- Download a VPN. I recommend ExpressVPN as it offers rock-solid security features and can easily get around geoblocks. It also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try ExpressVPN for Dubai with confidence.
- Connect to a server. Pick a server wherever your desired content is available. For example, servers in Egypt and Dubai will give you access to Abu Dhabi TV.
- Start browsing! Now you can safely access local and international websites.
Tips on How to Choose the Best VPN for Dubai
All my shortlisted VPNs had to meet specific testing criteria to ensure they were highly secure and excellent for unblocking content in and outside Dubai. However, if you want to do your own research, you might want to consider the below:
- Powerful security features — Only VPNs that use top-notch security features, like AES 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, and a no-logs policy, can sufficiently protect your data against online threats in Dubai.
- A worldwide network — Look for a VPN with a global network to access the content you need. If you’re a Dubai citizen, you need servers in or near Dubai to watch Dubai TV while traveling.
- Fast server speeds — Nobody likes buffering and lag, so make sure the VPN you choose keeps you safe online without compromising your connection speeds.
- Ease of use — A good VPN is suitable for beginners and advanced users alike. All the VPNs on this list are easy to install and set up and have a user-friendly, intuitive interface.
- Money-back guarantee — Choose a VPN with a trustworthy refund policy, so you can get your money back if it doesn't work out.
FAQs on Using a VPN for Dubai
Why do you need a VPN in the UAE?
The UAE has banned free VoIP services such as WhatsApp, Skype, and Zoom. Many people are using VPN services to chat with friends and family inside and outside of Dubai. If you want to stay safe online and unblock geo-restricted content in Dubai, a VPN is helpful.
Choose a VPN with advanced security features and a global server network for maximum protection and to easily access local and international content.
Are VPNs legal in Dubai?
VPN use is a bit of a grey area in Dubai. It’s generally considered legal as long as you use it according to the rules set out by the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority — don’t use a VPN to commit a crime or break any “ethics and morality” laws. If you’re not sure, I suggest you do some research and check out local laws to ensure you don’t break any rules.
Also, many VPN websites within the UAE are blocked. So, if you’re traveling to Dubai, I recommend you download and install your VPN before visiting the country.
Can I use a free VPN for Dubai?
Yes, you can use a free VPN in Dubai, but it's not recommended. A much safer option is to use a low-cost premium VPN that offers robust security features and a money-back guarantee, so you can try it with confidence.
Free VPNs are unreliable and can compromise your data by embedding malware or tracking software in their apps. There have also been cases of free VPNs selling user data to third parties. Additionally, many limit their security features, speed, and servers so that you're forced to upgrade to their paid version, which can end up costing you more in the long run.
Which VPNs should I avoid in Dubai?
There are many VPNs you should stay away from, including most free VPNs. If you want to protect your data you might want to consider a VPN with robust security features, like ExpressVPN.
Many VPNs simply don’t work in the UAE or are known for using shady practices, like selling user data to advertisers. Here are a few VPNs to avoid in Dubai:
- Hola VPN — It’s a P2P service, not a real VPN. So, when you connect to a server in the US, you’ll be using an IP address of a real US person. Likewise, your IP can be used by someone else, possibly for an illegal purpose.
- Betternet — Its apps are filled with ads and annoying pop-ups. This is not only annoying, but it can also slow down your connection.
Which VPN is the best for unblocking VoIP services in the UAE?
ExpressVPN is excellent for unblocking VoIP services in the UAE, and is effortless to install and use. It has servers in 94 countries worldwide and uses advanced obfuscation technology to bypass the toughest VPN blocks.
The VPN also keeps you safe online with military-grade encryption and a strict no-logs policy. While testing ExpressVPN in Dubai, I was impressed with its blazing-fast speeds — I never experienced any drops when video calling.
The Bottom Line
To safely access content in and outside of Dubai (including VoIP services) without noticeable delays, you need a VPN. The internet in Dubai is restricted. Many websites and online services are blocked, including Skype, Zoom, and WhatsApp.
My top recommendation for Dubai is ExpressVPN. It uses the most advanced security tools to protect your data and has a global network of fast servers. I easily unblocked every service I tried, even my Netflix US account. It also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try ExpressVPN for Dubai risk-free.
To summarize, here are the best VPNs for Dubai
Your data is exposed to the websites you visit!
Your IP Address:
Your Internet Provider:
The information above can be used to track you, target you for ads, and monitor what you do online.
VPNs can help you hide this information from websites so that you are protected at all times. We recommend ExpressVPN — the #1 VPN out of over 350 providers we've tested. It has military-grade encryption and privacy features that will ensure your digital security, plus — it's currently offering 49% off.