Securing your data and bypassing restrictions online may be a challenge, particularly for expats in the UAE where certain websites are blocked.

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) offer a solution to this by providing secure access to data and websites through a remote server.

Whether you need a VPN for professional purposes or simply to stream your favorite shows, this guide will walk you through the nuances of using VPNs in the UAE.

We’ll also mention the best ones to use for the UAE!

So let’s dive in! 

Why You Need To Use A VPN

There are many reasons you may want to use the services of a VPN.

VPN stands for virtual private network, and this means that you can access data and websites online from a remote server without using your actual server and protecting your identity. 

The most common use of VPN is to access websites in the UAE, which are restricted.

Expats might need VPNs for professional or personal use when they need to gain entry into websites, which will not work in the UAE.

People use VPNs in the UAE mainly to protect their data while surfing websites online.

Your data surfing habits can lead to the exploitation of your privacy because websites often leave cookies or trackers for ad generation.

Your VPN ensures that such websites do not mess with your data or leave any trackers in them to protect your data and anonymity.

To stream websites and video content, you will likely need to use a reliable VPN since the UAE has very stringent laws for censorship, and most websites are blocked.

Moreover, most of your shows will also be blocked online; hence, you will need a VPN to view them.

However, the most important reason to use a VPN in the UAE is to access and use apps like WhatsApp, Skype, and FaceTime.

These apps are surprisingly blocked due to the UAE’s strict laws and regulations, and hence you must use a VPN to connect with people through these apps.

Since these apps are famous worldwide and you will need to use them if you are an expat, you must look at some reliable VPNs. 

What To Look For In A VPN


There are some things to look for when choosing a VPN. There are some key attributes of these VPNs that make them useful, and these are also the markers one can use to compare various VPNs: 

  • Robust security features: The UAE has some of the most challenging and most advanced cybercrime units and they have strict protocols to monitor the activity of these VPNs. Hence make sure to use VPN, which has strict security protocols. 
  • Traffic Obfuscation: The best VPNs in the market can hide traces of VPN activity. This is very important since the UAE has strict protocols to detect VPN activity, track it and block it. 
  • Kill Switch: This feature is found in all good VPNs. It works to protect your actual IP address. If your connection is terminated in the middle, then this kill switch wipes all the data and protects your actual IP address from getting exposed at all times. 
  • Zero Knowledge Framework: This feature means that some of the best VPNs on the market operate on a zero-knowledge framework policy. This means that these VPNs will not collect data or ask you to log in to use them. They will work regardless of getting access to any of your personal data in a bid to make them more secure. 
  • Device Support: A good VPN will always have security protocols that work efficiently and smoothly with several devices. In this article, we will be talking about some VPNs which are smooth on IOS, MAC, Linux, and Windows systems. 

The Top VPNs To Use In UAE

Nord VPN 

Nord VPN is the best VPN to use in the UAE, and it offers five different servers in the country. Apart from that, there are over 5,500 servers from 60 locations with this VPN, and thus it has the most extensive network of servers on our list. 

Nord VPN is very secure as it uses the best technologies in the market to protect its data, such as the AED-256-bit.

This means that there are no logs or data to check, and the data which is there is independently audited and checked.

There is a very reliable kill switch in this software as well. 

Nord VPN is one of those VPNs which protects not only your browsing activities but also the device itself from several malware and virus attacks while offering impressive speeds!

Nord VPN also is entirely compatible with many systems, including Mac OS, Linux, and Windows!

However, the only drawback of using Nord is that the free trial is only available on Android.

So if you are using it on any other platform, you will have to purchase the full software to gain the benefits! 

Get started with NordVPN🔥

Surf Shark

Surf Shark is another top-rated VPN tool that is used in UAE.

However, it only has one server operating in the UAE.

In terms of security, it is pretty similar to Nord VPN, as both use an AED-256-bit security system. However, Surf Shark has additional wire gate support. There is a kill switch built into this VPN as well. 

Surf shark is one of the fastest VPNs on the market and provides an efficient and smooth surfing experience; moreover, like Nord, it is compatible with many systems including Mac OS, Linux, and Windows!

You can stream your favorite streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon, and Disney+ with Surf Shark!

Surf Shark, however, does not offer any trial versions for Windows

IP Vanish 

IP Vanish is another secure VPN to use in the UAE; it offers two servers for this region.

There is a no-log policy for this VPN, which, when coupled with AED-256-bit encryption methodology, means that it is very secure

IP Vanish offers decent browsing speeds, however, do not expect it to be super fast.

IP Vanish offers support for most of the famous platforms like Mac OS, Linux, and Windows!

There are not many additional features either. Therefore, it only comes third on our list of VPNs to use in the UAE. 

Also, this VPN does not come cheap, and their payment plans are not pocket friendly either.

Otherwise, it is a decent VPN to use if you cannot get your hands on Nord or Surf Shark.

Will The VPN Slow Down My Internet

VPNs tend to slow down the internet due to some reasons, and if you are using a cheap free VPN, it is sure to hinder your browsing speeds. 

This is because all your internet traffic will go through the VPN server, which already has a lot of load on it, resulting in delays, and ultimately your browsing experience will suffer. 

To ensure that you enjoy extra fast speeds on your VPN, try to use the VIP servers, which have less traffic and faster speeds as well.

Most premium VPNs that are paid will offer high-speed servers which negligible latency, which the average user will not be able to notice.

Hence, we would recommend you invest in premium VPNs

Are VPNs Legal In The UAE


VPNs are usually legal in the UAE, and hence you can use them to surf your favorite websites, access geo-restricted content, and stream your favorite shows!

But, the UAE has strict laws when it comes to using VPNs. 

For example, if you plan to do anything illegal or something which is dangerous to your person or the public at large and use a VPN to commit the act, that is illegal, and you will be persecuted by the cybercrime wing and other related authorities in the UAE.

Since the laws are pretty stringent, you may want to stay within the boundaries of the law as an expat to make your stay as smooth as you can. 


Navigating the digital world securely and freely is essential in today’s connected age.

As an expat in the UAE, understanding and leveraging the power of VPNs can significantly enhance your online experience.

Remember, while a VPN can help bypass certain restrictions, it’s crucial to use these tools responsibly and in accordance with local laws so you don’t land in hot waters with the UAE authorities.

We hope this article helped you out with your VPN questions and that our top pick Nord VPN can provide what you’re looking for!

Happy VPN surfing!