The best VPNs for UAE in 2020

Last updated: January 1, 2020
Muhammad Hamza Shahid

Muhammad Hamza Shahid

Not all VPNs are created equal, so I'm here to help you choose the best one, specifically for residents and expats of United Arab Emirates (UAE)!


UAE is one of the absolute worst areas for internet censorship worldwide. It is illegal to access a lot of content. It has very strict geo-restrictions and censorship policies.

It does not have a comprehensive data protection law at a federal level. You need a VPN to access censored content and even make free-calls via Skype, Viber, and Face Time.

Best VPN Services for UAE

Although there is no shortage of VPN products floating around online, we narrowed our selection down to five picks that cater to the UAE market:

  • PureVPN: Best UAE VPN. 12 servers available in the UAE for expats. Costs only $2.91/mo . on a 5-year plan.
  • Surfshark: Budget-Friendly UAE VPN. 2 servers for UAE expats and residents. Available for $1.99/mo on a 2-year plan.
  • CyberGhost: Great UAE VPN for Unblocking. 24 servers in UAE for unblocking. Costs $2.75/mo on a 3-year plan.
  • Ivacy: Another Affordable UAE VPN. 1 UAE-based server only currently. Available for $2.25/mo on a 2-year plan.
  • ExpressVPN: Expensive yet Reliable UAE VPN. Good performance/speeds for residents. Costs $6.67/mo on a 1-year plan.

Why Use a VPN in UAE?

A UAE VPN is are the only way to guarantee digital privacy. Many websites are government restricted in the UAE. VPNs are the only way to ensure private access to these restricted government websites.

A VPN is also the only way to unblock foreign websites, TV streams, or services such as online banking in the UAE. Not to mention, it is a vital tool to have for tourists, who particularly rely on WhatsApp calls.

5 Best VPNs for UAE

To evade privacy and internet freedom related issues in UAE and bypass geographical restrictions, these top 5 UAE VPNs should prove incredibly useful:

1. PureVPN: 12 UAE-based VPN Servers

PureVPN Ranks 1st for UAE VPN

This provider is based out of Hong Kong and offers a per month plan, per year plan, and 3-year plan. It’s a budget-friendly option and one of the best for Spain. PureVPN offers 12 servers in UAE.

PureVPN supports Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux devices. PureVPN is also compatible with Android and Apple TVs, Kodi, Amazon Firestick, Chromecast, Routers, Computers, and other Smart devices.

It includes 5-Multi logins so you can use one account for five different devices at once. It also includes AES 256-bit encryption for your information.

Pros and Cons

    • 12 servers available in UAE
    • Verified “no-logs” policy
    • 2000+ servers in 140 countries
    • Multi-logins on 5 devices
    • 31-day refund policy
    • Insufficient customer support

For more information, check out this full 2020 review of PureVPN!

2. Surfshark: Great Choice for UAE Residents

Surfshark Ranks 2nd for UAE VPN

Surfshark is based out of the British Virgin Islands and offers 1-month, 12-month, and 27-month amazing deals based on what plan you get. Surfshark offers one server in UAE. It has a no-logs policy, so it doesn’t store any information about your activity. It also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Like PureVPN, it supports Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Linux devices. Surfshark is compatible with consoles like SmartTV, Xbox and PlayStation, and iOS and Android phones. It also offers unlimited device login, so you are not limited by the number of devices you can connect to one account. Surfshark uses AES-256-GCM Encryption for your information.

Pros and Cons

    • 2 high-speed servers in UAE
    • Strict “no-logs” policy
    • 1040+ servers in 61 countries
    • Unlimited simultaneous connections
    • Dedicated IPs available
    • Slow email support

For more information, check out this full 2020 review of Surfshark!

3. Cyberghost: 24 UAE-based VPN Servers

CyberGhost Ranks 3rd for UAE VPN

Cyberghost is based out of Romania and has 24 servers in UAE. Cyberghost offers 1-month, 1-year, 2-year, and 3-year plans. Although its monthly plan is one of the more expensive on the market, they offer significant discounts on their other plans. A 1-year plan will cost you $5.99/month, a 2-year plan will cost you $3.69/month, and a 3-year plan will cost you $2.75/month.

Cyberghost is compatible with Windows, Android, Mac, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, and FireTV. It offers custom connections for Linux devices or routers. Cyberghost is compatible with torrents and unblocks Netflix US, and U.K. Cyberghost offers 7-multi logins and includes 256-Bit Encryption. It had some issues with customer service in the past, but it has greatly improved recently.

Pros and Cons

    • 24 servers available in UAE
    • Strict “no-logs” policy
    • 5600+ servers in 90 countries
    • 7 simultaneous connections
    • 45-day refund guarantee
    • Questionable parent company

For more information, check out this full 2020 review of CyberGhost!

4. Ivacy: One UAE-based Server Only

Ivacy Ranks 4th for UAE VPN

Ivacy is based out of Singapore and offers one server in UAE. It was started in 2007 and is one of the oldest VPN services on the market. Ivacy offers 1-month, 1-year, and 2-year plans. Ivacy also pioneered Split Tunneling and has a no-logs policy. Ivacy allows 5-multi logins and includes 256-Bit Encryption. Ivacy is considered to be very secure, but it is not compatible with Netflix or torrents.

Ivacy is compatible with Windows, Chromebook, iOS, Android, Mac, and Linux devices. It’s compatible with consoles, including SmartTV, Kodi, Raspberry Pi, Roku, Blackberry, Xbox, and PS4. Ivacy won the Fastest VPN Award in the 2019 Awards. Industry experts have also endorsed Ivacy as the Best Overall & Best VPN for China!

Pros and Cons

    • 1 UAE-based server for expats
    • Strict “no-logs” policy
    • 1000+ servers in 100 locations
    • 5 simultaneous connections
    • 30-day refund guarantee
    • Needs more servers

For more information, check out this full 2020 review of Ivacy!

5. ExpressVPN: Good Performance for UAE Residents

ExpressVPN Ranks 5th for UAE VPN

ExpressVPN is based out of the British Virgin Islands. It offers 1-month, 6-month, and 15-month plans. Although it is a more expensive choice, it does offer a 49% discount for its 15-month plan. ExpressVPN is considered to be one of the easiest interfaces to use. ExpressVPN has ten servers in the UAE, but you can only access them from outside the UAE. It also has a no-logs policy.

Express VPN is compatible with Windows, Chromebook, iOS, Android, Mac, and Linux devices. It’s compatible with all SmartTVs, all game consoles, Kindle Fire, and Nook devices. It also allows 5-Multi logins. It also uses AES 256-bit encryption to protect your data, while offering incredibly fast speeds for streaming.

Pros and Cons

    • 10 reliable servers in UAE
    • Strict “no-logs” policy
    • 3000+ servers in 94 countries
    • 3 simultaneous connections
    • 30-day refund guarantee
    • Prices are a bit expensive

For more information, check out this full 2020 review of ExpressVPN!

Will a VPN Protect You from UAE’s Privacy Laws?

A UAE VPN can protect you but still proceed with caution. Due to the UAE’s restrictions, any VPN must have particular features. They must have very Strong OpenVPN encryption. It must also include a Killswitch, Stealth mode, and DNS leak protection.

People Also Ask

Are VPNs legal in UAE?

Using a VPN in the UAE is quite risky, as the government imposes strict laws with fines. However, in most cases, it revolves around its “illegal usage”. For instance, If you use a VPN to commit or prevent the discovery of a crime, you may face fines ranging from Dhs500,000 to Dhs2 million.

How do I connect to UAE?

If you are located outside UAE, but want to access local content, you will need a VPN service that offers servers in the country. PureVPN currently offers 12 servers in UAE, which you can use for accessing local IPTV streams, VoDs, and websites that you cannot use otherwise.

What is the best free VPN for UAE?

I always inform my users to never opt for a free service, as they adopt shady practices for managing the costs of app development, server expansion, technical support, etc. It is better to sign up with a premium service if you want maximum security and unblocking capabilities.

Wrapping Things Up

Depending on what your needs are, you have a lot of different options for VPN providers in the UAE. I would recommend PureVPN for the best value and overall performance.

It unblocks all famous VoDs like Netflix in the country, while even bypassing the “Great Firewall” in China. In other words, PureVPN is the ideal VPN solution for UAE residents and expats alike!

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