9th April 2019

Comment from Simon Migliano, Head of Research at Top10VPN.com on the United Arab Emirates' decision to ban Skype 

“This Skype ban is just the latest restriction on popular video communications platforms imposed on UAE citizens, following the blocking of both FaceTime and WhatsApp calls.

“What’s especially frustrating for the Emirati people are suspicions that the block might be commercially motivated, given the monopolistic nature of the telecoms industry in the UAE and the recent launch by Etisalat of a subscription-based rival service to Skype, named BOTIM.

“Locals will also be understandably reluctant to use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to circumvent the blocks and access Skype, as using a VPN in this way is illegal in the UAE and carries heavy penalties.

“Emirati and foreigners alike will be hoping the Skype ban is only temporary, as the alternative would have far-reaching consequences.

“Not only does the block make it difficult for people with families and friends overseas to communicate with each other but it also hurts businesses by preventing them from conducting meetings due to Skype’s global ubiquity. It’s just not practical to expect the rest of the world to start using UAE-approved video conferencing tools in order to do business in the region.”

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