Living in Dubai or any part of the UAE, you probably already know the pains of restricted online calling and messaging apps. Given the massive number of the expatriate population living and working here, keeping in touch with your family and loved ones back in your home countries maybe a little bit challenging as Dubai, and the UAE in general, have banned voice-over-internet protocol calling and messaging apps in the country. Some of these include our favourite apps like Whatsapp, Viber and Messenger as they fall under the unlicensed VoIP services category.
The predominant reason is due to security and cybercrime concerns. However, given the prevailing situation, the Dubai Telecommunications Regulatory Agency (TRA) has lifted the ban on some video-calling apps during this time as most people, like us, are working from home and staying at. In our efforts to stay connected now more than ever with our colleagues, friends and loved ones – here is a guide to all legal internet calling apps residents in the UAE can utilize for both personal and office use:
For family and friends
- Botim is one of the video-calling apps that work in the UAE and is accessible through the Google Play Store and Apple App Store. All you need is an internet connection and a subscription to a calling plan provided by network vendors – Du, Etisalat or Virgin Mobile.
2. Squad App
- Squad app is a fun group video chat app that works in the UAE. Aside from the usual call and text, Squad app lets you share screens and be able to watch videos, see photos, read texts, listen to music and play games altogether with your squad!
3. Google Duo
- Google Duo is a video chat app available on Android and iOS devices. It’s very simple, clean and easy to use which makes it a high-quality video-calling app.
- Another videocall app available for residents in the UAE is C’Me. This is an alternative app to make live HD calls for cheap prices with your loved ones all around the world.
For colleagues and workmates
1. Skype for Business
- Many corporates are familiar and already using Skype for Business software. It is an instant messaging app that allows you and your colleagues to chat, share documents, place calls and schedule online conferences available on Office 365.
2. Microsoft Teams
- Another Microsoft-developed app is Teams which is a powerful collaborative tool and platform made for – Teams. As we are currently working from home and dispersed from our colleagues, we have to make use of tools and platforms that will make our work – work. It combines persistent one-on-one chat or team chat, call, videocall, screenshare, file storage and application integration.
- An alternative enterprise video conferencing software which can be used by offices for work is Zoom. It is an easy, reliable cloud platform that provides video and audio conferencing, online meetings, chats and webinars.