The Best VPN for Dubai In 2017

SUMMARY: Dubai and the United Arab Emirates have harsh content restriction and government surveillance programs that could have you landing in hot water if you violate them. Hackers also rely on you connecting to the internet with an unsecured connection so they can spy on you and steal the sensitive information you send and receive online.

A VPN will protect you from the government and hackers alike. Virtual Private Network services make it easy for you to secure your connection and ensure the local government is unable to spy on your internet activity. When you want the best of the best, to ensure that you do not find yourself in hot water with the government, very few services can compare to the service that ExpressVPN offers. We reviewed and tested 172 VPNs and the best VPN for Dubai is ExpressVPN. It has the best combination of security, privacy, access speeds, and customer support.

Our pick for Best VPN For Dubai: ExpressVPN


Table of Contents

1. Why You Should Trust Us
2. Testing Methodology
3. How We Tested Each VPN Service
4. VPN Services You Should Avoid
5. VPNs Disqualified Due to Missing Features
6. VPNs Eliminated Due to Poor Reviews
7. Top Three VPNs for Securing Your Connection in Dubai
8. Wrapping It Up


Why you need a VPN in Dubai

If you live in or travel to the United Arab Emirates you will encounter the harsh censorship and content restriction programs the government has implemented.

Government surveillance programs spy on UAE and Dubai citizens to determine whether or not they’re accessing certain types of content that are restricted. If the government figures out that you’re accessing content that is against their agenda or popular religions, you could find yourself facing prosecution in a court of law.

To keep yourself out from under the government’s watchful eye, you are going to need to connect through a Virtual Private Network service. VPN services keep you safe, secure and anonymous while you’re in the UAE and Dubai, so you don’t need to worry about getting in trouble for accessing certain types of restricted content.


Why You Should Trust Us

The SecureThoughts team has combined their years of experience to stay at the front of the internet security industry, remaining anonymous online, and protecting netizens from the threat of hackers.

We’ve tested nearly every VPN service currently available to help find services that are worth your hard-earned money, and keep you from wasting time with low-quality VPNs.


Testing Methodology

 There are quite a few VPN services currently available, and many people are going to subscribe to the first one that they come across.  This is, unfortunately, a recipe for disaster.

Many of the VPN services that are currently available are not worth the money they’re charging, which is why we’ve tested them all to find out which companies offer a quality service.

How We Tested Each VPN Service

To ensure that you remain safe, anonymous and secure in Dubai and the United Arab Emirates, we’ve tested more than 170 different VPN services that are currently available.

Our review process started with us eliminating services that are based in the UAE and other countries that can be forced to turn over your activity logs to the local government. Then, we looked at the features that each of the remaining VPN services offer and eliminated those services that did not meet our minimum standard for the features we deem necessary.

We looked at reviews from past and existing customers to help eliminate services that have a reputation for providing low-quality customer service and network connections.

Finally, the remaining services were put through their paces in five different areas, helping us determine which services can keep you safe and secure in Dubai. Those areas are:

Price – There are too many VPN services available to overpay on a low-quality service provider. We verified that our recommendations offer competitive pricing.

Setup Process – We want to ensure that you can quickly and easily subscribe to the service and install their software, without getting frustrated in the process.

Ease of Use – We also tested each network to ensure you can get and stay connected to their servers without experiencing disconnections or reliability issues.

Speed – Connection speed is one of the most important factors in recommending a quality service, which is why we performed speed tests from three different parts of the world.

Customer Service – During our testing process, we submitted messages to each service’s customer support team on three different occasions, to determine how helpful they are.

Below are the results of our preliminary and extended testing.


VPN Services You Should Avoid

Starting with a list of more than 170 different VPN services meant we needed ways to quickly eliminate some of the services from our list so we could efficiently test the remaining options.

One of the best ways to begin eliminating services is to look at an invasive surveillance program that’s being implemented around the world. The “14 Eyes” program requires VPN services located in participating countries to monitor and log your activity while you’re connected to their network. They can then be forced by their local government to turn over these logs. If the government thinks you’re committing crimes, the logs can be used to prosecute you in a court of law.

Of the original 170+ VPN services we began testing, we quickly eliminated more than 120 due to their participation in this invasive surveillance program. IPPredator, GoVPN and ChillGlobal are three different services that were eliminated due to their 14 Eyes participation.


VPNs Disqualified Due to Missing Features 

After eliminating any services that are active participants in the 14 Eyes agreement, we began eliminating other services that do not offer what we consider to be a minimum set of features.

Going forward, we’ll break down each of the features that we looked for, and give you examples of services that were eliminated because they do not offer the features with your subscription.

Criteria #1: OpenVPN Support

VPN services use a wide variety of protocols to manage your connection to their network, ranging from IPSec, PPTP, OpenVPN and others. In general, OpenVPN is regarded as the best in the industry, the most secure and the easiest to use protocol, which is why services that rely on OpenVPN were ranked higher.

AnonVPN and Betternet were both eliminated from our review due to their lack of OpenVPN support.

Criteria #2: Unlimited Bandwidth and Data Transfer

The last thing you want when you’re using a VPN service is to find out that your account has been limited or suspended because of excessive data consumption. Companies that have policies in place that will limit access to your account or throttle your connection speeds due to excessive use were eliminated from our review process.

Cloak and Celo have developed reputations for limiting accounts due to bandwidth consumption and were eliminated from our review.

Criteria #3: No Data Logging Policies

Data logging policies are invasive and put you at risk for both hackers and local governments to spy on your activity. Companies that track what you are doing while you have an active connection to their network have been eliminated from our review to ensure that you stay anonymous and secure.

Seed4Me and Hola!VPN are two examples of services that track your network activity that have been eliminated from our review.

Criteria #4: Support for Multiple Operating Systems

When you connect to the internet with multiple different devices, you’re going to need a VPN service that supports different mainstream operating systems. Companies that do not offer support for some of the most popular operating systems have been eliminated from our review process.

Both HotVPN and IBVPN have been eliminated, along with numerous other services, because they do not support multiple different operating systems.

Criteria #5: Support Multiple Concurrent Connections

You may want to connect to the internet with each device that you use, meaning you need a VPN service that will not limit your account access or speeds when you try to connect with multiple devices. VPN services that limit your access or become slow and unreliable when you open multiple active connections have been eliminated from our review process.

Both SunVPN and IntelliVPN are examples of some of the many services that were eliminated due to their failure to support multiple active connections.

Criteria #6: Free Trials, Refunds and Money-Back Guarantee

The last thing we want to do is recommend a service that isn’t compatible with your hardware or software. We want to ensure that you can move to a new service if you encounter any issues. That’s why we’ve eliminated services that do not offer a free trial period or give you a money-back guarantee when issues cannot be resolved.

VPNShield and VPNBaron were both eliminated, along with other services, because they do not offer free trial periods or a legitimate refund policy.


Top Three VPNs for Dubai

All the work that we’ve put in up to this point has helped dwindle down our original list of 170+ VPN services to a list of three that is substantially easier to manage.

Each of the remaining three services will be reviewed based on five criteria:

  • Price
  • Setup Process
  • Ease of Use
  • Speed
  • Customer Service

After an extensive elimination process, we’ve concluded that one service is amazing for protecting you in Dubai, while the second service may be a suitable alternative.


#1 ExpressVPN – (9.5 / 10) – The Best VPN Service for Dubai

When you want to keep yourself anonymous, secure your sensitive information and access restricted content in Dubai, very few services can compare to that of ExpressVPN.

ExpressVPN falls in the middle of the pack, offering competitive pricing. Their single month subscriptions cost $12.95, and their 12-month subscriptions cost $8.32 per month.

It’s easy to see that ExpressVPN devotes a substantial amount of energy and financial resources into ensuring a smooth experience for their subscribers. Downloading the software used to connect to their network and installing it on your machine is straightforward and easy to complete, and we were connected within a few minutes.

The ExpressVPN network is really where they shined and secured the top spot in our review. We did not experience any connection speed or reliability issues during our testing.

The ExpressVPN customer support team is, by far, the most helpful team we tested. They answered relatively quickly and were happy to help.

In speed tests, ExpressVPN ranked #1 in tests performed through servers in the United States and the United Kingdom, and #2 in tests performed through servers in Australia.

One area that we would love to see them address is how quickly they respond to customer support requests. In some cases, we waited up to three hours for a response from their team.

Summary: When you want to protect yourself in Dubai, and keep yourself anonymous online, very few services can compare to the service you receive as an ExpressVPN subscriber. Other services, in comparison, lacked the same features, customer service and network strength, which helped ExpressVPN easily secure our top spot.

To protect yourself in Dubai with ExpressVPN, click here now.


#2 IPVanish – (7.5 / 10) – Suitable if ExpressVPN isn’t Available for You

Staying safe and anonymous when you’re in Dubai is easy with a service like ExpressVPN. If they’re not available for you, though, IPVanish may be a suitable alternative.

IPVanish provides a comparable level of service and network quality, though they did fall behind ExpressVPN in a few different areas. They are one of the most competitive VPN services that we’ve tested, charging $7.50 for a single month’s subscription, and $4.87 for 12-month subscriptions.

The IPVanish software is simple to use, and we had it downloaded, installed and ready to connect to their network within a few minutes of subscribing.

The customer support team at IPVanish is helpful, but it did take them longer to respond to the requests that we sent them than the team at ExpressVPN.

Speed tests performed out of Australia showed IPVanish ranked #3 in our tests, while they ranked #2 in tests based out of the United States and the United Kingdom.

We believe that IPVanish could improve their customer support times and the strength of their network if they wanted to rank as high as ExpressVPN.

Summary: In most cases, ExpressVPN is going to be a better choice for protecting yourself in Dubai. They have a stronger network and a better customer service team. However, for times when ExpressVPN isn’t available, IPVanish could be a suitable alternative to help you remain anonymous and secure while you’re online.

If you would like to know more about IPVanish, you can visit their site by clicking here.


#3 HideMyAss – (5.5 / 10) – Not Recommended

HideMyAss managed to squeeze by 170 other different VPN services, but their taking the third spot in our review doesn’t necessarily constitute us recommending them to our readers. During the beginning of our testing phase, we didn’t experience many issues.

Paying for our subscription, downloading the software they provide and installing it didn’t cause many issues. However, once we started putting their service through its paces, testing their network and trying to stream video content and download large files, the problems began.

In speed tests that we performed, HideMyAss ranked #2 in tests performed in Australia, but finished in last place in tests performed in the United States and the United Kingdom. While the connection speeds may suggest a quality service, we experience significant reliability issues while streaming video and downloading files, and were disconnected multiple times.

The customer support team at HideMyAss responded quickly before we became a subscriber, but once we paid we waited substantially longer to receive a response to our requests.

In terms of pricing, HideMyAss is also one of the most expensive VPN services we saw during our testing. They charge almost $17 per month, and $9.29 when 12 months are paid in advance.

Summary: HideMyAss surpassing 170 other competitors to claim our third spot in the review process gave us high hopes for their service. However, once testing began, we were disappointed. In our opinion, ExpressVPN is a much better solution for keeping yourself safe and secure in Dubai.

If you want to learn more about HideMyAss, you can do your own research by clicking here.


Wrapping It Up

Accessing content that has been restricted and preventing the UAE government from spying on your internet activity can make using the internet in Dubai less frustrating.

The best way to keep yourself anonymous and access restricted content when you’re in the UAE and Dubai is to connect through a Virtual Private Network service.

After an intensive review process and eliminating 170 other VPN services, we’ve concluded that ExpressVPN is the best option for Dubai citizens and travelers.

To learn more about ExpressVPN and protect yourself in Dubai, click here now.

  1. Reply'
    February 14, 2016 at 8:57 pm

    Hello Jen,

    Hope you can help me…I have a friend working in Dubai (Suadi). She got the job through an agency. She applied as a nurse and when she arrived there, she had trouble with her VISA, it now turns out that she is there as a teacher (which she is not at all). Now she is blocked on their system and can’t get a VISA. Can you help? What can we do?

    • Reply
      Lyndon Seitz
      February 16, 2016 at 10:18 am

      Angela you would need to speak with a lawyer about this.

  2. Reply'
    August 16, 2016 at 1:09 am

    It seems tht every vpn has been restricted in uae and if we use this they might take a particular action towards it. So wat ever vpn u have talked about is safe or not for viber,whatsappcall etc

    • Reply
      Lyndon Seitz
      August 16, 2016 at 11:16 am

      Hey Savith,

      So Dubai is a special situation in that they banned VPNs in the country. We believe these are the Best VPNs for the country at the time being with that in consideration, but each user has to weigh the benefits and costs for themselves.

      Hope this helps,

  3. Reply'
    September 19, 2016 at 12:04 am

    If I open with hidemyass…How long would I be on the sites. Whenever I use Vpn to sign up on the site, they block me after few day. I will be getting email notifications but I can’t log in to the site. Any help suggestion would be helpful and very much appreciated. Thanks

    • Reply
      Lyndon Seitz
      September 28, 2016 at 4:29 pm

      Hello Anthony,

      I’m afraid I’m not certain enough about your problem in order to properly solve it. It could very well be an issue with Match, and it might be prudent to contact their customer service to find your answer. Depending on how the sites logs and tracks IP addresses (they could get suspicious about different logins from different places) a VPN could simply not work for the dating service.

      Hope this helps!


  4. Reply'
    November 9, 2016 at 5:32 pm

    Hi lyndon
    Can we use VPN fo Facebook calling or IMO calling in UAE? Or this also ban in UAE? Some people are still using VPN in UAE for call quality on facebook and IMO.

    • Reply'
      A. Higuera
      February 28, 2017 at 3:19 pm

      Hi Rishi,
      With vpn you should be able to do those things. I used a VPN when I was in Dubai and I can do FB and Netflix streaming without any issues.

    • Reply
      Lyndon Seitz
      November 19, 2016 at 3:40 pm

      Hello Rishi,

      Based on my understanding it should be possible, although as to the legality of a VPN in the UAE depends on how you use it. As I am not a UAE Legal expert of any kind, I would recommend checking with more detailed resources on the subject.


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