If you are living in Dubai or any other city in the United Arab Emirates and you have relatives living in the other parts of the world, I am sure you would be aware of the struggles of making video or voice calls over the internet.
In this article, I would like to mention a few ways you can apply to make animated video or voice calls to call from Dubai
If you are someone who is living another part of the world and has got a relative in Dubai, I hope this article would be helpful to you as well.
Now if you talk about the rest of the world, the internet has enabled us to stay in touch with our loved ones no matter where they are.
With apps providing video calling and gift video calling it is easier than ever to see the faces of our friends and family without having to spend a lot of money. All you need is a Smartphone and an Internet connection.
Unfortunately, the people living in UAE do not have this luxury of making free Internet calls.
With apps like Skype, WhatsApp, Google Duo, Facebook Messenger, been blocked for making video or voice calls. People in Dubai have to rely on VPN and that let them about the calls from some other countries where it is not blocked.
But, the VPN apps too, have been getting blocked every other week. This is because UAE has a very strict policy regarding VoIP.
The Telecom giants like Etisalat and Du take full advantage of their monopoly by blocking calls over VoIP.
Here is what Etisalat has to say about the ban on one such app.
“The access to the Skype app is blocked since it is providing unlicensed Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) Service, which falls under the classification of prohibited contents as per the United Arab Emirates’ Regulatory Framework,”
These internet service providers in U A E can block the apps manually, which means new services would continue to work until they are popular enough to come in the eyes of these telecom companies.
Is it lawful to block these apps from offering video and voice calls over the internet?
As we all know, the laws in UAE are quite straight and this is the reason the crime rate is grammatically low in comparison to other countries.
Voice over internet protocol is not allowed in U A E because of it being an internet-based service, which anyone can use, so it carries the risk of Nation security, privacy issue and the inability of the government to monitor such calls.
The VoIP services, however, are also offered by Etisalat and Du since they have a license to do so. But it’s not Free. You will have to pay 50 Dirhams per month for using it.
There is also a 100 Dirham plan for multiple users. The plans would only work their own Internet connection.
The Voie and Video calls can be made via Botim and C’Me that can be installed from the Play Store.
Now these Telecom operators offering voice and video calls over the internet on a monthly basis plan does not mean that the service works, I checked out various forums on the Internet and talk to a few people who have used the service and the review is quite mixed.
The world the service sometimes works and sometimes it just like the normal apps, but when you are paying a monthly fee you do not expect things like this to happen.
It would be a better option to keep exploring a free alternative so that you are at least not paying when the service actually sucks.
If you go to Google Play Store you will find hundreds of apps are offering app video and voice calls over an Internet connection. And many of them are still working. But like I said, they would only work until the ISPs in UAE know about it.
There is a workaround that might work
So if you have tried a lot of services and apps in the Play Store and none of them seem to work, here is a workaround that actually might work.
But I am still not sure until how long this is going to work, because, again if the ISP finds out they might block this option as well.
When I checked, the live stream was working, and apps like Instagram and Facebook allow live streaming to invite another person to the live stream.
So if you are using Facebook, you can create a secret group of 2 people, then the world live stream right inside the group, and invite the other person to join the live stream.
And if you want to do it in Instagram, you can create a random account, keep it to private, follow the other random Instagram account which is also private. Go on a live stream and then invite the other person in the live stream.
Normally, the way these live streams are designed, two people talk about anything on a live stream and rest of the People watch. But in this case, you choose to do it privately and there is no one to watch.
Lastly, similar regulations were also there in Saudi Arabia, but they seemed to have loose and the regulations since people are able to make WhatsApp video calls and video calls via Facebook and other apps such as a Skype or Google Duo.
We will have to wait and see if similar thing can happen in U A E as well. The UAE’s telecommunications regulatory authority has stated that it has no plans to change its regulatory policy in regards to VoIP calls.