Dubai is home to the world’s largest shopping mall, the world’s tallest human-made structure and a resort named after the mythical kingdom of Atlantis. Its 5.6 million citizens have plenty of wonders to enjoy – but American Netflix isn’t one of them.
Netflix is available in Dubai, but the available content is significantly different from what can be found on the service in the United States or other countries.
The easy way to access US Netflix in Dubai
You don’t need to relocate to access the U.S. Netflix library. All you need is a VPN, but not all VPNs will work.
I’ve tested a lot of VPNs, and I find NordVPN to be the most reliable for access to Netflix USA and many other countries.
It’s really fast as well, so you can binge in HD or UHD without the buffering.
NordVPN has a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it risk-free.
Why You Can’t Access American Netflix in Dubai
While your Netflix login will allow you entry into any country’s version of Netflix that is available, you’ll find the content you’ll have access to will vary significantly. (See also: How to change region on Netflix)
When a Netflix subscriber accesses the streaming provider, either by using the Netflix app or by entering “https://netflix.com” into their browser, Netflix automatically routes the viewer to the content that’s licensed for viewing in the user’s current area.
It would be more convenient for everyone, Netflix included, if they could show the same content in every region where the service is available. Sadly, the service has to follow the rules laid down by their content providers.
Why Is American Netflix Content Blocked in Dubai?
All of the content Netflix offers to its viewers, such as movies and television series, is licensed for streaming from film studios, television networks and other sources.
All of the agreements the streaming giant signs with those content providers include clauses limiting streaming rights to a specific region. Netflix has to sign a separate deal for each region where they wish to make the content available.
So, what a subscriber finds available in Dubai will definitely differ from what’s found in the U.S.
If Netflix knowingly allowed viewers from outside of a licensed viewing area to access the content, they would be subject to paying legal penalties.
How Does Netflix Block Non-Residents From Viewing American Netflix Content?
When a connected device, such as a computer or a mobile device, connects to the internet, it is assigned a unique IP address. An IP address is best described as being like your home’s mailing address. It acts as a reference point for sending and receiving information.
Countries are assigned a range of IP addresses to be used by the devices located in that country. The addresses can then be used to detect a connected device’s physical location.
Netflix can see the IP address of the device being used by a viewer to access their servers and use that IP address to route a viewer’s connection to the content that is licensed for viewing in that location
How a VPN Gets Around Netflix’s Barriers
What Is a VPN?
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is the best way to keep a user’s internet activities undercover and to access content, such as that offered by Netflix, in locations where the content might not normally be available.
A VPN applies a layer of encryption to a user’s internet connection, keeping it safely away from the eyes of those parties that would love to be able to track you and steal your personal or business-related information.
A VPN can also “spoof” a user’s location by routing their connection through VPN providers they have stationed around the globe.
How a VPN Enables Access to American Netflix Content
When a Netflix user in Dubai gets bored with what is available on their local flavor of Netflix, they can access content normally only available in the U.S. or other countries by loading their VPN app of choice, logging into a U.S. VPN server and connecting to Netflix.
When the viewer connects to Netflix, the streaming giant sees the U.S. IP address and allows access to the U.S. content library.
Easy peasy, right? Well, it was – at first.
This process worked great for the first few years or so, but eventually, Netflix caught on. Unfortunately, now, when they see multiple users access their servers via the same IP address, they block that address from accessing their content.
Ideally, when a VPN provider discovers that one of their servers has been blocked from Netflix, they respond by setting up new servers with fresh addresses, once again opening the door to Netflix. However, Netflix eventually notices the new IP’s traffic, blocks the IP, and the next round begins.
Netflix has become so adept at detecting and blocking VPN server traffic that some VPNs have given up on providing access to the streamer altogether. While there are still many VPN providers that offer access to Netflix, they are shrinking, and many of the survivors are slow to respond when a server is blocked.
Luckily, there are VPN providers that continue to fight the good fight, responding promptly when new IP addresses are needed. My top choice from these is NordVPN.
Of all the VPN providers I’ve used to access Netflix, NordVPN has proven to offer the most consistent access to content located in other countries.
The VPN provider keeps its customers well-connected with an excellent level of customer support, wide-ranging global server coverage, speedy connections, top-notch privacy protections and more. A full review is available here.
When you’re attempting to stream the HD and 4K UHD content that Netflix offers, you don’t want to use a VPN that steals speed from your internet connection.
NordVPN provides plenty of bandwidth. According to my testing, it provides the fastest connection speeds of all VPNs on the market. That means that, depending on your usual speeds, your NordVPN-protected speeds will be up to Netflix’s connection speed requirements.
I think it’s safe to say that most of us watch Netflix on more than one device. NordVPN has us covered, as they provide apps for all popular device platforms.
Native apps are available for the Windows, iOS, macOS, Android, Linux, Amazon Fire and Android TV device platforms. You can protect your in-browser streaming sessions with a Chrome or Firefox extension, or protect all your devices at once thanks to NordVPN’s extensive router support.
The provider also offers a SmartDNS service, which lets you connect to international Netflix streams via devices normally incompatible with VPN apps, such as game consoles and some set-top boxes. Unfortunately, though, the service does not offer encryption for your connection.
You can connect up to 6 devices at once to the provider’s servers.
If you’ve got champagne taste but a beer-bottle pocket, you’ll be happy to know that NordVPN‘s subscriptions cost very little considering the high quality of its service.
A no-risk 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
While I hope none of you ever need to contact your VPN provider’s customer support folk, I also hope you receive quick service if you do require attention.
NordVPN offers top-notch customer support via their 24/7 support chat option, an email support option and a searchable support library.
Global Server Coverage
Dubai locals who are looking for a little international variety in their Netflix binges can use any of NordVPN’s 5,500+ VPN servers stationed in 59 countries to access the streaming giant’s library.
Panama’s officials don’t have any need to know what your online travels are all about, so they don’t require VPN providers located in their country to keep logs of their users’ activities. NordVPN is on board with that idea and keeps no logs whatsoever.
Users can also keep their subscription payment info undercover by using Bitcoin to pay for their service.
Dubai cinema buffs who are looking to access the wide world of Netflix content, or just their favorite American television show, will find that NordVPN is the best VPN option for their needs.
The provider offers reliable access to Netflix, super fast connections and comprehensive global server coverage, as well as top-notch customer support and privacy protections.