WhatsApp calls no longer blocked in the UAE, but VoIP remains illegal

Video and voice calls are a cost-effective service to stay in touch with their friends and family back home.

According to The Khaleej Times, video calls, officially rolled out by WhatsApp in November, 2016, was blocked in UAE as it was a VoIP service.

TRA said in the statement that any applications or services of this type must comply with the applicable regulatory framework in the country.

The residents of UAE woke up to a pleasant surprise on Thursday morning, when they discovered that voice and video calls on WhatsApp had been enabled. "Honestly, this will help all of us who miss our loved ones", wrote Diana Lama, a MakeOver expert, on her Facebook wall.

However, Microsoft video calling service Skype does work in the country.

StepFeed has contacted the UAE's TRA and the Emirates Telecommunications Corporation Etisalat for clarification.

A customer service representative from du said people can now make voice calls using the mobile app.

In November a year ago, WhatsApp officially rolled out the video-calling service, but mobile phone users in UAE could not access the service due to regulatory compliance.

"Voice calls through WhatsApp are blocked in compliance with the UAE's telecommunication regulations that allow VoIP services to be provided in the country only by licensed telecom operators", du said in a statement previous year.

"As a security and online child protection expert, I have concerns about enabling free Whats App calls that are encrypted".

  • Arturo Norris