Best Free VPN services for the UAE and Dubai in 2023

Best VPN for UAE and Dubai

Written by: Per-Erik Eriksson

VPN in the United Arab Emirates and Dubai

A Virtual Private Network, better known as a VPN, redirects and encrypts internet data so that its users can hide their IP addresses. A VPN is useful for unblocking geo-restricted content and protecting online privacy and anonymity with information such as banking details and credit card numbers.

If you live in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) or have visited, you probably already know that many websites and applications are blocked. The UAE restricts user access to many VPNs, but VPNs appear to be widely used by people who want to access unavailable content. This article will answer some of your top questions about VPNs in the UAE and Dubai and recommend the best VPNs available for you to use.

In case you don't want to read the entire article, here’s a quick summary of the best VPN services according to our independent tests and research:
  • NordVPN Best VPN for general work and entertainment purposes. I found it to be reliable, high-speed, and easy to set up, and it's one that I use daily for work.
  • ProtonVPN (Free Version) Proton is often referred to as the single most trustworthy company in the VPN business. They focus on security over anything else and offer the best free VPN available. This is the company behind ProtonMail.
  • CyberGhost VPN was voted as the best gaming VPN for 2023 and is one of the cheapest VPN services among the whole top 10.

Best UAE and Dubai VPN

NordVPN Logo

6 simultaneous devices.

  • Fastest VPN 2023
  • Servers: 5300+
  • Countries: 60+

WHY I LIKE NORDVPN NordVPN has long been regarded as one of the strongest brands in cybersecurity. With one of the largest server offerings on my list and support for most, if not all operating systems, making NordVPN an obvious choice for many. They have 24/7 customer support if you need help getting started. Their app is one of the most well-designed apps I have ever used. NordVPN even accepts cryptocurrencies as payment for extra anonymity.

Surfshark logo

Unlimited simultaneous devices.

  • Best Cheap VPN 2023
  • Servers: 3200+
  • Countries: 65+

WHY I LIKE SURFSHARK: Surfshark VPN is perfect for those who want a cheap and reliable VPN that also has many extra features. "Camouflage Mode" hides your usage from your ISP, "Kill Switch" suspends your connection and protects your information if you temporarily lose Internet access, "MultiHop" to connect from multiple countries at the same time just to name a few. My favorite feature of Surfshark is "Whitelists" which allow the user to exclude specific apps and programs from the VPN connection.

Cyberghost VPN Logo

7 simultaneous devices.

  • Best Torrent VPN
  • Servers: 7400+
  • Countries: 91+

WHY I LIKE CYBERGHOST CyberGhost VPN is the first choice of many other cybersecurity experts, and the reason is clear; they have the most complete VPN service. An incredible number of extra features that are best suited for the more advanced users but also work flawlessly for every-day purposes like P2P-filesharing. Cyberghost VPN also has the longest stretching money-back guarantee at a full 45 days.

Private Internet Access VPN Logo

Unlimited simultaneous devices.

  • Best Netflix/Streaming VPN
  • Servers: 35500+
  • Countries: 84+

WHY I LIKE PIA VPN: PrivateInternetAccess is at the top of my streaming tests, which is a great combination with their easy-to-use UI, Open-Source software and built in adblocker. PIA is also perfect for those who want to be able to pay with PayPal which for some reason, many other VPN services do not support. 30-day money-back guarantee, multiple Netflix libraries, and extremely affordable are the three main selling points for this VPN service.

Atlas VPN Logo

Unlimited simultaneous devices.

  • Robust/Security focused
  • Servers: 750+
  • Countries: 43+

WHY I LIKE ATLAS VPN: Atlas VPN is one of the best new free VPN services. With the free version, you get unlimited data, no ads and zero logging. During my speed tests, Atlas VPN performed very well and could compete with mainstream services. Kill Switch, Ad-blocker, and P2P support all included with a regular subscription, which is incredibly cheap for such a robust service.

ProtonVPN Logo

10 simultaneous devices.

  • Best Free VPN 2023
  • Servers: 1713+
  • Countries: 63+

WHY I LIKE PROTONVPN: ProtonVPN is based in Switzerland and is most known for their e-mail service ProtonMail. They currently offer the safest free VPN services on the market. There is also support for TOR usage and P2P file sharing. I highly recommend ProtonVPN if you are intending to do some extensive online sharing. It goes without saying that Proton does not collect logs of any kind and is completely safe to use.

PrivateVPN Logo

10 simultaneous devices.

  • Best VPN for Gaming and Streaming
  • Servers: 200+
  • Countries: 63+

WHY I LIKE PRIVATEVPN: PrivateVPN is the strong underdog in the world of VPNs. With a shy number of servers, it is evident that they are focusing on quality over quantity. Overall, PrivateVPN is a very decent choice of VPN, especially if you had enough of the excessive advertising by some of the other more known brands in this list. Setting up the VPN requires extremely little intervention, and you can even pay with Bitcoin.

ExpressVPN Logo

30 day money-back guarantee.

  • Best Mobile VPN app
  • Servers: 3000+
  • Countries: 94+
Orchid VPN Logo
One-time fee.


  • Pay for that you use
  • Unlimited devices
  • Pay in Crypto
Hotspot Shield VPN Logo

45 day money-back guarantee.

  • Fastest free VPN
  • Servers: 3200+
  • Countries: 80+
ZoogVPN Logo

7 day money-back guarantee.

  • Great free VPN
  • Servers: 1000+
  • Countries: 26+

10 day money-back guarantee.

  • Best reputation
  • Servers: 91+
  • Countries: 17+
Trust.Zone Logo

No money-back guarantee.

  • Best new VPN
  • Servers: 202+
  • Countries: 41+
iTop VPN Logo

15 day money-back guarantee.

  • Great adblocker included
  • Servers: 1800+
  • Countries: 20+
Speedify Logo

30 day money-back guarantee.

  • 5 devices simultaneously
  • Unlimited usage
  • 50+ locations
HideIPVPN Logo

30 day money-back guarantee.

  • Unlimited traffic
  • Up to 1 Gbps
  • Free trial
VeePN Logo

30 day money-back guarantee.

  • 10 devices
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Countries: 60+
18 Logo

30 day money-back guarantee.

  • 5 devices
  • Free trial
  • Countries: 45+
19 Logo
$5.00 /user

14 day free trial/money-back guarantee.

  • Simple Cloud VPN Setup
  • Site-to-site VPN Tunneling
  • Easy Server & User Management
BullVPN Logo

No money-back guarantee.

  • 2 devices
  • Countries: 28+
  • Locations: 100+
SymlexVPN Logo

7 day money-back guarantee.

  • 5 devices
  • Locations: 65+
  • 24/7 live support
iProVPN Logo

30 day money-back guarantee.

  • 10 devices
  • Countries: 20+
  • P2P Optimization
SecureVPN Logo

Basic, advanced, and pro plans.

  • Countries: 22+
  • Locations: 36+
  • 24/7 live support
Hola VPN Logo

30 day money-back guarantee.

  • Best multi-device VPN
  • Servers: 1000+
  • Countries: 200+

Best Free UAE VPNs

Free VPN Average Rating Logs Netflix Countries
Windscribe VPN 79,83% No Yes* 10
Hotspot Shield VPN 77,14% No* No 1
ProtonVPN 76,37% No No* 3
TunnelBear VPN 71,50% No No 34
FlyVPN 59% Yes Yes 13
Hola Free VPN 55,75% Yes No 1
Opera VPN 52,83% No Yes 4

How to choose the best VPN for the UAE

The VPN you choose must be reliable. Here are some things you should look for in a VPN in the UAE and Dubai:

Large server network

You should choose a VPN with more proxy servers at various locations. A large server network will provide you with a selection of server locations to choose from.

Fast Speed

Sometimes VPNs in the UAE are slow, making it difficult to stream online videos. If possible, sign up for VPN trials before purchasing a VPN. Then, you can test them out and choose one with a good server speed.

If you haven’t got the time for that, read this article instead: Fastest VPNs of 2023.

No traffic restrictions

Some VPNs block Peer-to-Peer (P2P) networks and movie streams, restricting your downloading bandwidth per month. When choosing a VPN, it is ideal to go for one that does not have these limitations.

Zero-logging policy

A virtual private network should not store any of your personal information. Therefore, a reliable VPN must have a zero-logging policy. Otherwise, you are putting your privacy at risk.

Kill switch

Another vital safety feature that a good VPN will have is a kill switch. This is important because it helps you instantly disconnect from the Internet, keeping your IP address and identity secure. Ideally, you should check for such a feature before choosing a VPN.


VPN software should be easy for everyone to install and use, so it should not require technical knowledge.

How the UAE’s Internet Censorship Works

The UAE highly restricts internet content. Until 2006, Etisalat was essentially a monopoly as the only telephone and telecommunications provider in the UAE. Currently, there are two major telecommunication companies, and one of their main roles is restricting access to censored sites. These internet service providers (ISPs) block almost all Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services, such as Skype, WhatsApp, and some streaming services.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority (TRA), responsible for the UAE’s internet censorship, has stated that prohibited content includes:

any content that offends against, is objectionable to, or is contrary to the public interest, public morality, public order, national public security or Islam morality, or is otherwise prohibited by any applicable UAE law…”

These regulations apply to:

  • VoIP sites
  • Nudity and pornography
  • Fraud
  • Drugs
  • Gambling and similar activities (bets, lottery, electronic gambling)
  • Discrimination and racism
  • Contempt of religion

Are VPNs legal in the UAE?

Surfshark VPN UAE and Dubai Test

Yes. Despite the efforts of internet providers, such as Etisalat, VPN usage in the UAE and Dubai is not inherently illegal. According to Article 1 of Federal Law No. 12 of 2016, amending the Cyber Crimes Law in the UAE, using a VPN on its own is not a crime. However, using a fraudulent IP address in order to commit a crime or prevent the discovery of a crime is illegal.

Can you get in trouble for using a VPN in the UAE?

Using a VPN will not automatically lead to getting in trouble. However, you must follow the guidelines around VPNs and use them properly. The law states that a VPN is only illegal if it’s used to commit a crime.

What sites are blocked in the UAE?

As previously mentioned, the UAE and Dubai have highly censored internet access. Therefore, many websites and apps are blocked. Here is a list of some of the most popular websites and categories that are inaccessible:

  • Online casinos and gambling websites
  • Pornographic websites
  • Skype
  • WhatsApp
  • Most dating websites and apps
  • Most VPN websites
  • Websites deemed offensive to Islam
  • New sites related to Qatar
  • Flickr
  • FaceTime
  • Snapchat
  • Viber
  • Facebook Messenger

Do any free VPNs work in the UAE?

While some VPN providers offer free services, they are a gamble. Here are some reasons to avoid using a free VPN, especially in the UAE:

Getting past government-implemented blocks isn’t that simple

The UAE government has implemented a number of blocks restricting access to various categories of websites and VoIP services. If you want to download a VPN to use Skype, for example, you will need a better-quality VPN in order to get past these bans.

Free VPNs do not have a large number of servers

As mentioned earlier in this article, a good VPN will have a large number of servers, providing you with ample choices of server locations. In contrast, a free VPN will likely have a limited number of servers, making it difficult to unblock content from other countries.

Free VPNs perform poorly

Combine a free VPN’s low number of servers with a high volume of people trying to use them, and you may find it difficult to do simple things, such as stream videos or make video calls, due to slow buffering and lagging.

Lack of security features

Free VPNs do not offer as many security features, such as data encryption and a kill switch. A VPN should provide you with a high level of online security, and you won’t find that from a free VPN.

They keep activity logs

As mentioned previously, the best VPNs provide a zero-logging policy, which you most likely won’t find with free VPNs. Your privacy is especially important if you’re accessing blocked content in the UAE since some websites may be deemed inappropriate under the law.

Why is my VPN slow in the UAE?

The internet is a vast network with millions of pockets of data, all working to send information to different servers. During peak hours of use, there can be lags in sending this information as the servers look for alternate network paths. In this case, internet speed issues are often temporary. A key factor in the speed of a VPN is how strong your internet connection is. Service providers determine internet speed access and may limit the speed of VPNs. Additionally, you can expect to lose a small amount of speed by using a VPN since the software encrypts all the data.

What To Do If Your VPN Isn’t Working in the UAE

Remember, the more servers a VPN has, the faster it will go. It is imperative to make sure you have a good internet connection and a reliable VPN provider with a large server database. If these factors are not the issue, try the following steps to fix your VPN:

Change your device

If you’re using a VPN on an outdated or old device, it could be beneficial to switch to a newer device. Also, smartphones and other small devices sometimes struggle to keep up with the extensive encryption that VPNs require. As a result, they may be slower.

Connect to a wired connection

As opposed to a wireless connection, a wired connection is often stronger with improved latency.

Change your VPN

If your VPN provider’s data server isn’t fast enough for your needs, you might need to switch to a different server or find another VPN provider.

Reboot your router

Sometimes, rebooting your router or device to refresh the software will clear up any networking issues and improve your internet speed.

Check for updates

Check that your devices do not need a system update. Outdated software can easily cause programs to slow down.

Change your location

If your ISP address is the root of the problem, try to use the internet from a different location altogether. For example, a café or library might have a stronger ISP address.

How to unblock Google, YouTube, and more in the UAE

Both YouTube and Google are accessible in the UAE and Dubai. Therefore, they do not need to be unblocked. In order to unblock restricted websites, a trusted VPN is suggested, such as the following:


This VPN does not track, collect, or store your data. It encrypts data that is sent and received. NordVPN also offers a free 30-day trial.


ExpressVPN has 3000+ fast and secure servers. It also allows you to connect up to 5 devices.


You are able to encrypt transmitted data with this VPN provider. There is no data allowance, and it is best for streaming high-quality videos.


Surfshark has over 3,200 servers. This VPN keeps your physical location private and your sensitive data secure. It also has a kill switch.


VPNs provide an extra layer of anonymity and protection while using the internet and open doors to otherwise blocked content. By choosing a trusted VPN, you will enjoy more open and secure internet access. Now that you are informed on some of the basics of finding the best VPNs for the UAE and Dubai, you can choose which one will work best for you!

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