The Best VPNs for the United Arab Emirates
When you’re in the UAE, you have some great VPN options.
We’re on a mission to identify the very best VPNs available all over the world because wherever we might happen to be, a solid VPN is always necessary equipment. In this edition, we’re looking carefully at who offers the very best VPNs in the United Arab Emirates. So read on, and next time you happen to find yourself on the Arabian Peninsula, you can be sure you’ll know which service is right for you.
Overview of the Best VPNs for UAE
|Servers in UAE||12-33|
|IP addresses||Static, dynamic, dedicated|
|Contract lengths||1-60 months|
Comparison of the Best VPNs for the United Arab Emirates
Private Internet Access VPN
|Servers in the UAE||12||26||17||16||33|
|Monthly Plan||$2.25 - $12.99||$2.19 - $11.95||$2.25 - $9.95||$4.00 - $10.00||$3.33 - $10.95|
|Contract Length||One - 36 months||One - 36 months||One week - 60 months||One month||One week - 12 months|
|Netflix||Yes, in certain countries||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|IP Addresses||Static, shared||Dynamic||Dedicated||Shared||Static or dedicated|
|Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, and 14 Eyes Member||No||Yes||No||No||No|
|Read Review||CyberGhost Review||Private Internet Access VPN Review||Ivacy Review||ProtonVPN Review||PureVPN Review|
Summary of the Best VPNs for the United Arab Emirates
- CyberGhost - Best VPN for the United Arab Emirates Overall
- Private Internet Access - Best VPN for the United Arab Emirates for Dynamic IP Addresses
- Ivacy VPN - Best VPN for the United Arab Emirates for Weekly Contracts
- ProtonVPN - Best VPN for the United Arab Emirates for Privacy
- Pure VPN - Best VPN for the United Arab Emirates for Families
Detailed List of the Best VPNs for the United Arab Emirates
1. CyberGhost - Best VPN for the United Arab Emirates Overall
We’re old school: we love old black and white films, and the more romantic they are, the more we like them. Unfortunately, movies like that can be hard to track down on a typical streaming service like Netflix. That’s why we’re big fans of torrenting. Apparently, so is CyberGhost. They are set up with some of the fastest speeds in the UAE, which meant that downloading An Affair to Remember from our hotel room in Dubai was a snap. Plus, with their Smart Rules technology, CyberGhost ensured that we could configure our torrenting software to work seamlessly with our VPN.
What We Like
- Low prices with one and two-year subscriptions
- Outside surveillance alliances
- Split tunneling
- Lightning-fast upload and download speeds
What We Don’t Like
- Logs IP addresses, timestamps, and locations
- Netflix not available in all countries
- Shared IP Addresses
- Slow performance on Windows
Smart Rules Technology
With CyberGhost’s Smart Rules we were able to manually set up exactly which apps and websites would connect using the VPN and which wouldn’t. This meant that when we wanted to use uTorrent, for instance, we didn’t have to remember to start the VPN up as well; it started up automatically. On the other hand, programs that didn’t need to be shielded weren’t, which saved us valuable bandwidth. We had total control over when we were surfing anonymously and when we weren’t, and we never had to worry about over-using or under-using our service.
Our computer’s upload and download speeds can sometimes slow to a trickle when our ISP decides to throttle our connection, a policy we’ve never really understood. We pay good money for an internet connection; shouldn’t we be able to use it when and how we want? No matter. By shielding our activity with CyberGhost’s VPN, we managed to avoid such practices altogether and actually got faster download and upload speeds. Streaming and especially torrenting became much more efficient.
CyberGhost has one of the lowest monthly prices among the United Arab Emirates VPNs we reviewed. While the service is normally $12.99 a month, when we signed up for a three-year contract, that price dropped to just $2.25 a month. In short, it paid to commit, with total savings of up to 82 percent. Learn more on our Cyberghost pricing page.
2. Private Internet Access - Best VPN for the United Arab Emirates for Dynamic IP Addresses
Just like the name says, Private Internet Access provided us a private, secure connection by maintaining a strict logging policy and using dynamic IP addresses. Its single-month contract price is among the lowest out there, and with one subscription we could use the service on an unlimited number of devices. Plus, Private Internet Access definitely had us covered in the UAE. In all, they operate 26 different servers throughout the country.
What We Like
- Dynamic IP addresses
- Low single-month prices
- Strict logging policy
- Unlimited number of devices
What We Don’t Like
- No split tunneling
- Headquarters in the U.S, a Five Eyes member
- Only five simultaneous connections
- Limited customer support
Dynamic IP Addresses
Private Internet Access is the only VPN on this list that offers dynamic IP addresses. For those who aren’t in the know, dynamic addresses change frequently so that no one can trace our internet activity to any one address. Many other companies used shared addresses. While shared addresses can be just as effective at hiding online activity from surveillance, dynamic addresses add an additional layer of security since hackers have a more difficult time tracing a constantly-changing address.
FYI: A shared IP address conceals a user’s activity by giving multiple users the same address so that no single user can be identified. A dynamic IP address conceals a user’s activity by regularly changing out the address so a user’s activity can’t be tracked.
Single Month Contracts
We have so many devices with so many different platforms it’s hard to keep up these days. Luckily, Private Internet Access worked with Windows, Macs, Ubuntu, iPads, iPhones, and Android devices among others. It was also compatible with a wide range of browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, and Opera. We will admit we would have liked more than five simultaneous connections, but since we could use an unlimited number of devices, we were at least able to switch from one to the other with relative ease. Read more about Private Internet Access’ subscription options.
Strict Logging Policy
With Private Internet Access, we knew that we could surf in complete anonymity because they weren’t keeping records of any of our online activity. That included when we accessed the service, how long we were on, what IP address we used, and what sites we visited. True, Private Internet Access is headquartered in Greenwood Village, Colorado, which means that technically they are subject to the Five Eyes surveillance alliance. Basically, this means the U.S. can demand to see user data any time they feel like it. Or, it could if the company kept any data on its users. No access records meant nothing to turn over to the government.
3. Ivacy VPN - Best VPN for the United Arab Emirates for Weekly Contracts
Ivacy VPN has over 1,000 servers located in 100 countries across the globe, including 17 in the UAE. In addition, they are one of the few companies in the country to offer a dedicated IP address. Plus, when we needed a temporary VPN connection, Ivacy had us covered with contracts for as little as one week.
What We Like
- One-week contracts available
- Outside of surveillance alliances
- Dedicated IP addresses
- Split tunneling
What We Don’t Like
- Weak Mac app
- Only five simultaneous connections
- Maximum of five separate devices overall
- No multi-hop
Dedicated IP Addresses
If a dynamic IP address isn’t available, we prefer a dedicated IP address if we can get it. We’re still absolutely shielded by the VPN, but we have an address that belongs to us and us alone. A stable address that remains the same means we aren’t always being questioned by security bots. The sites we visit immediately recognize who we are and immediately trust us. That sure made online banking a whole lot more convenient.
We were amazed by Ivacy’s many pricing options. The standard month-long contract was pretty affordable at $9.95. Of course, the year-long contract came with a discount that worked out to just $3.99 a month. Ivacy, though, offered contracts for up to five years, which dropped the price to just $1.16 a month. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the company also offers $0.99 week-long subscriptions. Occasionally, we’ve been between VPN providers and found ourselves sitting at the airport waiting on a flight. In such situations, a short-term VPN was often just what we needed.
Like every other country, the UAE has its own Netflix service with its own unique programming. That’s great for catching up on episodes of Uncle Naji. But it could be that you’d like to check out the shows that are only available in the U.S. Or the U.K. Or Canada. Ivacy offers a direct connection to Netflix which allows you to try out any Netflix in the world, so you have complete access to the totality of their content catalog, even from the UAE. That’s a lot of streaming! Find out more by checking out our list of best VPNs for Netflix.
4. ProtonVPN - Best VPN for the United Arab Emirates for Privacy
ProtonVPN has a unique pricing structure that saves us the hassle of worrying over short vs. long-term contracts. Rather than charge by the month, ProtonVPN charges by the service. In addition, they offer multi-hop technology and the location of their headquarters in Switzerland means that they operate outside of Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, and 14 Eyes surveillance.
What We Like
- Multi-hop technology
- Access to Netflix
- Unique pricing structure
- Location in Geneva, Switzerland
What We Don’t Like
- No browser support
- Limited customer service options
- Maximum of five simultaneous connections
- Shared IP addresses
ProtonVPN was actually developed by scientists working at CERN laboratories in Geneva, Switzerland, which tells us something about the standards of their technology. More importantly, the location of the company in Switzerland means it exists outside the Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, and 14 Eyes surveillance alliances. Plus Swiss courts aren’t exactly famous for giving up their residents’ privacy.
With ProtonVPN you have to be ready for a unique pricing structure. Like most companies, they charge by the month, but unlike other VPNs, they don’t offer discounts for long-term contracts. Instead, they charge less depending on which features you choose. They even offer a free plan, though unfortunately, we discovered there are no free servers in the UAE. Still, if we were simply interested in getting high speeds with torrenting support, we could get the ProtonVPN Basic package for just $4.00 per month with no contracts to sign, ever. We wanted a bit more and went with the Plus package for $8.00, which gave access to blocked content, a secure core VPN, and TOR support. See all of ProtonVPN’s costs.
Among UAE VPNs, Proton is one of the only ones to offer multi-hop technology. Using multi-hop, which sometimes goes by the name Double VPN, meant that instead of simply connecting us to one server, Proton connected us to at least two servers, creating a kind of chain for our encryption. It became much harder to track our location and spy on our activity when we were being routed through multiple locations. As far as we’re concerned, more privacy and security is a good thing.
5. Pure VPN - Best VPN for the United Arab Emirates for Families
Fast speeds, split-tunneling, and strict logging are all standard with PureVPN. In addition, no VPN we’ve tested offers more servers worldwide or within the United Arab Emirates itself. In the UAE, they have a total of 33 servers. In addition, they offered us an amazing 10 simultaneous connections and we could use those on any of 10 different devices, so however we chose to access the internet, we knew we’d be covered. It all came with access to one of the best customer service networks in the business.
What We Like
- 33 servers in the UAE
- Dedicated IP addresses available
- Fast upload and download speeds
- 10 simultaneous connections
What We Don’t Like
- Weak mobile apps
- Torrenting not available in all countries (though it is available in the UAE)
- No multi-hop technology
- Mixed customer service reviews
Tons of Servers
We took the time to look it up: there are a total of 195 countries in the world. PureVPN has servers in 180 of them, 6,500 servers to be exact, including the most of any in the UAE that we tested, at 33. Why does that matter? It means we could always find a safe, secure server, whether we were in Dubai or Kalba. And a nearby server helps tremendously when it comes to download and upload speeds. In the end, whether we were in-country or traveling, we always had loads of choices.
Lots of Simultaneous Connections
PureVPN allowed us to use the service on up to 10 devices for one price. That meant that we could install it on pretty much every device we own. More importantly, though, they allowed us to access up to 10 simultaneous connections, meaning we could actually use the VPN on all the devices at once if we wanted. We haven’t tried it yet, but it sounds like a fun challenge.
Customer Service Options
We say, if the world’s going to invent multiple ways of communicating, we should have access to as many of them as possible when we need help. One of the things we especially liked about PureVPN was that they offer a variety of options when it came to getting the answers we need. When we needed some advice on how to get all those simultaneous connections going at once, we got it instantly using the 24/7 live chat on the company’s homepage. However, PureVPN also maintains a knowledge base for common questions, or we could have submitted a support ticket. We also could have emailed for help or sought answers on social media.
We take our work seriously so we apply a strict methodology when compiling lists like this one. The process can be lengthy, but as a result, we can guarantee careful, thorough evaluations of each and every product we examine. Of course, we have a number of specific criteria we consider when looking at VPNs including security, privacy policies, speed, available features, and pricing. First and foremost for this list, though, we were looking for companies that maintain a strong number of servers in the United Arab Emirates. All of these elements play a role in our final decisions, and while no VPN is ever perfect, we feel confident saying these are the best the UAE has to offer.
As we mentioned, the most important qualification to be on this particular list is to have multiple servers in the United Arab Emirates, since that is essential for getting safe, secure connections and fast speeds. All the VPNs on this list have servers located all over the world, which means even if you’re traveling outside the UAE, you can be sure there’s a strong connection nearby. However, all of the VPNs on this list had at least 12 servers in-country.
When we talk about security, we’re really talking about whether or not a VPN is subject to leaks, vulnerabilities that would allow our information to be visible to hackers or government surveillance agencies. We test leaks by running very specific checks. For DNS leaks, we use a program at DNSLeakTest.com to test each and every VPN. We do the same for WebRTC leaks using a tool offered by ExpressVPN. Every VPN on this list passed its leak tests with flying colors.
Beyond security, we expect our VPN connection to be private. That means that wherever we might go on the Internet, and whatever we might do, we expect to remain anonymous. That should include protection from hackers, but it should also include protection from the spying tactics of government agencies.
In addition, we know that privacy policies only go so far; the proof, as they say, is in the pudding. Any company can say they guard our privacy, but what do they actually do about it, and what is their record on actually succeeding? So we consider, for example, where a country is based since that can reveal whether it participates in Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, or 14 Eyes surveillance alliances.1 We consider what tools it uses to protect us, looking carefully at what kind of encryption methods it employs, (AES-256 is best) whether it uses multi-hop technology and split tunneling, whether it utilizes some form of kill switch, and what kind of IP addresses it issues to users (we prefer dynamic over static). Finally, we research each company’s record to determine whether they have a history of cooperating with authorities or of any serious data breaches.
Using a simple speed test developed by Ookla,2 we test each VPN for upload, download, and latency speeds. Every VPN slows down a machine to some extent, so we compare the speeds of our devices with VPN to those same devices when they aren’t running the software. This allows us to say to a precise percentage just how much slower a machine runs with a specific VPN.
The most important features for any VPN are those that help to ensure security and privacy (see above). However, it’s nice to have additional perks as well. We like VPNs, for instance, that allow us easy access to Netflix and other streaming services and that have specific tools for torrenting. We pay attention to the quality of the company’s apps, and we take into consideration what sort of response we get from customer service.
Last, but far from least, we consider a VPN’s pricing and subscriptions, not just to see which companies offer the lowest price but to consider what kind of value we’re getting for our money. Does a company offer monthly subscriptions, if that’s what we need? How much of a discount do we get for signing long-term contracts? And what exactly do we get for our money? How many simultaneous connections do we get? How many server switches do we get? How many devices does it allow us to use? In general, we look for plans that cost $10 a month or less, and we’re always on the lookout for brands that offer discounts. There are also some completely free VPN options as well as VPNs with free trials, but they usually have limits on the number of connections, devices, etc.
Are VPNs legal in the United Arab Emirates?
VPNs are absolutely legal in the United Arab Emirates.
How can I get a VPN in the United Arab Emirates?
The easiest way to get a VPN in the United Arab Emirates is to sign up online with a company that operates in the country, including any of the five listed here: CyberGhost, Private Internet Access, Ivacy VPN, ProtonVPN, and PureVPN.
Which VPNs operate in Dubai?
A number of companies operate VPN servers in Dubai, including CyberGhost, Private Internet Access, and PureVPN.
Can my online activities be tracked if I use a VPN?
Assuming your VPN has no leaks and that the company you use has a no activity logging policy, your online activities cannot be tracked if you use a VPN.
Office of the Director of National Intelligence. (2020). Five Eyes Intelligence Oversight and Review Council (FIORC). dni.gov/index.php/ncsc-how-we-work/217-about/organization/icig-pages/2660-icig-fiorc
Ookla. (2020). Speed test. speedtest.net/