FaceTime Is Reportedly Working in the UAE. Why Now?

Published October 11th, 2021 - 08:00 GMT
FaceTime application
FaceTime and other VoIP services have been blocked in the UAE for many years. (Shutterstock: AlexandraPopova)

As early as 2016, the UAE has started a full ban on phone calls using internet-operating technological applications, citing unlicensed activities, including the famous FaceTime service.

Yet, several UAE publications have been reporting sudden and unannounced operations of FaceTime in the country, with no official statements weighing on the development. Some sources also noted that the phone call feature in Whatsapp has been finally activated in the UAE as well.

According to many sources, FaceTime has been working for many IOS users within the UAE, despite several UAE-based social media users highlighting that they are still facing difficulties singing in the app and making phone calls through it.

This unexpected "relaxation" of the rule, that has been strictly followed for many years, has been linked by many to the UAE's hosting of Expo 2020, the long-awaited global event that is being held in the Middle East for the first time in history. 

Despite the lack of official comments on FaceTime's availability, UAE authorities might have decided to make it available to help the country's Expo visitors have an easier time communicating with their loved ones in other parts of the world.

According to rules set by the UAE’s Telecoms Regulatory Authority, only a few VoIP applications are allowed in the UAE, ones that are mostly paid in addition to being under Emirati authorities' direct supervision, such as BOTIM, HiU Messanger, Voico UAE, Yzer, and C'Me.

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