June 24, 2024

The UAE Banned Apps List 

Last Updated on March 19, 2024 by Ola Precious Akinkuolie

The UAE has some strict internet controls when it comes to applications. The reasons for this are plausible. They are either cultural or commercial. Cultural reasons are to protect the norms and values of the UAE, while commercial reasons are to defend the country at large. Despite the positive sides to some of the telecommunication apps, they tend to be threats to the security in the UAE. These threats result in privacy concerns, illegal web content, and more. Hence, the government has placed restrictions and bans on these applications.  Telecom apps are not just blocked apps. Dating apps, betting apps, and gambling apps are also prohibited.

What Apps Are Banned in the UAE? 

Several UAE apps have been banned for different reasons. If you are a resident of the UAE or plan to visit, you should inquire about the apps that are allowed and not allowed. One of the UAE apps that has been banned is WhatsApp. WhatsApp Messenger is a telecommunication application for voice calls, video calls, and sending and receiving texts – using Voice Over IP (VOIP). The UAE has regulations guiding VoIP services. Encrypted communication channels can be great tools for criminals and terrorists, so it is safe to restrict such threats. It is important to note that the app is not entirely banned, just the services for voice and video calls; texting is still very much allowed. 

FaceTime, an iPhone application for great-quality video calls, was on the list of banned apps in the UAE. This app has been stopped due to the policies fixed to protect the local telecom companies. Another reason is security risk. FaceTime has the potential to pose a threat to the security system in the UAE. Despite the app’s encryption, there have been reports of scammers and hackers getting users’ data and personal information. Issues like lack of parental controls, moderation, and unguided content are other reasons for the ban. 

With over 300 million users, Skype is one of the most popular apps globally. It is a voice-over-IP (VOIP) service and instant messaging application created by Microsoft. It is a banned app due to its lack of compliance with the country’s regulations. The use of VoIP has been rejected by the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) in the UAE because the services are not licensed, and necessary security measures are not taken. Alternatives have risen to cover up for Skype in the UAE, such as Botim and C’Me, which have similar features. 

Some other apps not allowed in the UAE are POF, Match.com, Zoosk, OkCupid, Roblox, Steam, Netflix, Hulu, and the rest. These apps have been banned because cybercriminals often use them to find and get victims. 


This article has highlighted the list of banned apps in the UAE. The decision to ban these apps is for the safety and protection of the people. 

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Introducing Ola Precious Akinkuolie, a dynamic professional with over three years of enriching experience in the branding and marketing sector. Ola is characterized by a relentless work ethic and a keen sensibility for the aesthetic elements of branding. Her expertise lies in enhancing the visual and strategic aspects of marketing, making every brand she touches not only visually compelling but also strategically sound.

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