What Is The Best VPN for
Dubai in 2019?
NordVPN is the best VPN available to protect your online activities while in Dubai. NordVPN provides excellent privacy protection, fast connections and great customer support.
These features make the provider the best VPN option to protect your online sessions in Dubai.
By offering an excellent way to keep your internet activities undercover via their encrypted connections and kill switch protection, NordVPN provides protection when using your laptop or mobile device while connected to unprotected Wi-Fi hotspots around Dubai.
Dubai is the largest city in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The city is the capital of the Emirate of Dubai and is located on the southeast coast of the Persian Gulf. Dubai is the business hub of the Middle East.
The city was originally built on the back of revenues from trade and, to a lesser extent, oil. Oil revenue in the late ’60s helped accelerate the early development of the city, but the reserves were limited, and today only 5% of the emirate’s revenue is from the sale of oil.
The city has become known around the globe for its skyscrapers and numerous large construction projects. Dubai has also gained attention for holding high-profile sporting events. The local economy is built mainly on revenues from tourism, real estate, aviation and financial services.
Top 5 Best VPNs for Use in Dubai
Why Do You Need a VPN in Dubai?
Dubai is located in the United Arab Emirates, which is known to be rather strict when it comes to internet censorship. Blocked websites can include any that are considered “immoral” based on local religious beliefs. The government instructs Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to use a supplied list of keywords to actively block any such websites.
Immoral content can include streaming audio and video sites, gaming sites and many others. One way around such content-blocking is by use of a Virtual Private Network (VPN). A VPN encrypts a user’s internet connection, protecting it from prying eyes, and also offers the ability for the user to appear to be connecting to the internet from another country, where the content isn’t blocked.
While the use of a VPN service from inside the UAE, and therefore Dubai, is illegal, it’s not likely that the government will knock down your hotel room door simply because you’re streaming the latest episode of “The Mindy Project.” While the Dubai authorities can tell if you’re using an encrypted VPN connection, they likely won’t take action unless you’re using it to aid in criminal activities.
Charges for using a VPN to commit a crime can be brought as additional charges to those for the crime itself and can result in fines of 500,000 AED to 2,000,000 AED ($136,000 USD to $545,000 USD, at current exchange rates). Criminal activities can include data and identity theft, bank fraud and other illegal activities.
Choosing the Best VPN for Use in Dubai
There are numerous considerations to mull over when deciding on the right VPN provider to protect your internet connection when visiting Dubai. Always look for a provider that offers speedy connections with an automatic kill switch, strong privacy protections, great customer support and more.
In this section, I’ll go over the categories to consider when making a VPN decision, explain why each feature merits consideration, and include a table in each section, ranking my top 10 VPN providers according to how well they perform in the respective category.
Privacy is always an important consideration when mulling over a VPN provider, but it takes on extra importance when searching for a VPN to use in Dubai. When I say “privacy,” I’m not referring to an encrypted connection or a kill switch. Instead, I’m referring to privacy protections for your online activities and payment information.
Always find out what country a provider is based in, what that country’s data-retention laws are, what type of logs related to your account the provider might keep, and if they offer privacy-friendly payment options, like Bitcoin or merchant gift cards.
The VPN providers in the table below are listed in order of most privacy protection to least.
While connection speed is always important, it’s particularly important to users who enjoy streaming music and video content, compete in online gaming and participate in other activities reliant on a fast online connection. That makes the speed of your encrypted VPN connection all that much more important.
In the list below, I’ve ranked the VPN providers from fastest down to the slowest. The rankings were calculated by testing my usual ISP-provided connection speeds and then connecting to the VPN provider and testing my speeds again. The speed percentage was then calculated by comparing the two speed measurements. (The Speedtest website was used for all speed tests.)
Any VPN that doesn’t provide kill switch protection for its connections should immediately be dropped from consideration. A kill switch will automatically disconnect your internet connection in the event that your VPN connection fails.
By killing your internet connection, a kill switch prevents any server from detecting your actual IP address, and thereby your actual global location. It also prevents your personal information and online activities from being laid bare to prying eyes, such as the Dubai government.
“Kill switch” is a binary, “yes/no” type of feature, so I’ve listed the providers alphabetically in the table below and noted whether or not a kill switch feature is offered. TL;DR: only VPN Unlimited doesn’t offer a kill switch.
Other Factors to Consider
While we all hope that we never experience any issues with our VPN connections, chances are that many of us are going to need to contact our provider’s customer support team at one time or another.
Always take a close look at what types of support a VPN service provides to its customers. Support can include online text chat, email support, a trouble ticket submission form and a searchable support library/knowledge base.
I’ve researched the support options of my top 10 VPN providers and ranked them from best to worst according to the types of support offered, as well as their promptness in replying and the accuracy of their replies.
Note: Phone support is not offered by any of the providers on my list.
Sure, it would be great not to have to consider pricing when making a buying decision about a VPN provider. However, for many of us, Saudi princes excluded, the price is an important consideration. Even if I wasn’t watching my pennies, I’d still want to get the most possible bang for the buck for my VPN dollar.
When researching a provider’s pricing, don’t just automatically put your hard-earned dough down for the VPN service with the lowest subscription price. Make sure to dig a little deeper and make sure the provider hasn’t cut corners in important categories like connection speed, global server coverage or customer support in order to still make a profit while offering such a low price.
Keep in mind that many VPN providers will occasionally offer special deals on their services. These offers can substantially reduce the amount you’ll pay for a subscription. These usually do require you to commit to at least 12 months of service, but if you can afford to pay up front, you’ll save some money in the long run. Visit a provider’s website to view their current deals.
If you’re short on cash, you can also take advantage of the monthly subscription options that most VPN services offer. However, paying month-to-month will almost always cost you more money in the long run.
*The prices in the table reflect the monthly cost when paying for an annual subscription. (Annual Subscription Price / 12 Months.)
Global Server Coverage
While global server coverage might not be the first thing that comes to mind when considering VPN providers, it’s good to keep in mind that a provider with wide global server coverage can offer you a wider variety of online content and services that you might not normally have access to, due to geographical restrictions placed by content providers or governments.
Due to a VPN’s ability to make it appear that you’re in another country, such a connection allows users to stream audio and video content that they might not normally have access to from their location. This can come in handy for services such as Spotify and Netflix.
The provider should offer a large number of VPN servers, placed in strategic locations around the globe. The screenshot below demonstrates ideal global server coverage.
The table below ranks my top 10 VPN providers according to their global server coverage, best to worst.
The Best VPNs to Use in Dubai
#1 - NordVPN
NordVPN takes full advantage of basing their operations in the privacy-friendly country of Panama. Panama does not require VPNs to retain any logs about their customer’s online travels, and NordVPN follows a strict “no logs” policy. So, even if an outside party, like a content provider, came to their doorstep, subpoena in hand, there wouldn’t be any info to turn over.
Adding to the privacy protection, the provider also accepts the anony