People in the United Arab Emirates cannot access Skype, Facetime, Viber, or make calls on Messenger or Whatsapp. Now that sounds all too depressing, but it shouldn’t be that way. As long as these people have a way to switch things up for themselves, communication is not something they should worry about. Apart from BOTIM and CMe, the Telecom Authority in the U.A.E has banned all sorts of VoIP services, a matter of which can be resolved with a VPN. Not only will you be able to make calls via Whatsapp and Messenger, but also get to interact with others via video calls.
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I’m glad you asked. There are a few apps that work in UAE for video calling, Why? Well, because it’s so easy to use and it has great features that make the experience really fun. For example, when I send a video call from [app name] to a friend of mine who lives in the United Arab Emirates, they get a notification on their phone letting them know that I want to chat. They can just click on that notification to start chatting with me right away.
Another thing I love is how easy it is to make group calls. If I have friends who live in the UAE with me, but not all of them are online at the same time, I can start a group call so that everyone can join in at any time during the call.
What is the app everyone uses?
The UAE’s most popular video calling app, BOTIM, provides users with the means to make HD video calls and voice calls worldwide. BOTIM lets you send photos, voice messages and videos to friends and family around the globe so you won’t be missing WhatsApp. It’s only Dhs50 a month, too.
Is there an app where I don’t have to give over all my info?
Username, password, email address, birthday, star sign, ugh registering a new app is the worst. However, with the C’ME app you can bypass that laborious ‘appwork’ and get straight to calling family and friends. Simply download, enter your phone number and start connecting.
I just want something simple so I can call home
When it comes to video calling apps we normally want two things; easy to use and reliable. The HIU Messenger does what it says on the tin with a high-quality video and voice service and a simple interface that even technophobes can use. Users can send messages, pics, videos and even share their locations. Available to download through Google Play and App Store, users can also use the applications on tablets and computers.
I want to make my video calls on a bigger screen
Of course you want a bigger screen so you can see your puppy back home in all its glory (and obvs mum and dad). As well as the aforementioned HIU Messenger, Voico enables users to make video calls on tablets and computers to friends, families and colleagues across the planet. Along with video and voice calls, Voico users can avail of features such as group chats, sending notes and recording conversations (useful for bringing back up in arguments).
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Are there any apps that provide any fun features like Snapchat?
Well, all the apps listed give the user the ability to send pics and videos with C’ME containing emojis. However, if you’re looking for an app that provides you with the basics of video and voice calling but the entertainment of the likes of Snapchat, then Totok is the app for you. Users can send GIFs and stickers, have a 20 person group video call, find out what time it is for your contact (good for not waking mum and dad), retouch their skin during a video call (if you are feeling vain), and even have a 10,000 person group chat (because you never know when that might happened).
The one that became famous last year
It is incredibly to think but this time last year, very few of us had even heard of Zoom, never mind used it. Fast forward 12 months and the internet calling app is one of the favourite mediums for professional and personal video calling throughout the globe. Available on mobile and desktop, Zoom does not need a subscription and provides the user with 40 minute calls.
Voice and video calling apps not blocked in UAE
Botim in UAE
This is video and voice calling service recommended by Etisalat. It is licensed in the country. The application is free, however you need to subscribe to Etisalat unlimited calling plan for AED50 or AED100 to use voice and video calls.
C’Me – Voice and Video Calls
The second option recommended by both providers: Etisalat and DU. You can use it for calling, video message and video calling.
Unfortunately, it is not free and even not cheap.
What about one that I can use at work too?
Accessible on all PCs and browsers as well as mobiles, Microsoft Teams enables users to talk all day to family and friends for free and to create a group chats of up to 250 people.
What about the Google one?
Formerly Google Hangouts, Google Meet is the free video-communication service developed by Google. Simply log into gmail, send your invite and become connected.
12 free, paid voice calling apps in the UAE
1. Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams offers free video conferencing options to users who have a Microsoft account. With the free version, you can host a meeting for 60 minutes for up to 100 users.
The app is available for Apple, Android devices and devices that run on Microsoft Windows.
Zoom is another video conferencing app, which allows you to start video meetings and share meeting links with participants who can then join the video conference. In the free version, you can host a meeting for up to 40 minutes with up to 100 participants.
3. Google Hangouts Meet
Google Hangouts Meet, which has been renamed Google Meet, allows video meetings to users who have a Google account, with up to 250 people.
4. Cisco Webex
The Webex Meetings platform is available for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android devices, as well as for web platforms. You can set up a meeting by downloading the app on your laptop or mobile and send links via email to invite people to join the meeting.
One of the video call apps that is approved by TDRA is BOTIM, which allows you to make audio or video calls to the contacts saved on your phone.
It is available for both Apple and Android devices.
C’Me is a messenger which allows you to chat with other users that have the app on their phone, and also make audio and video calls.
7. HiU Messenger
HiU Messenger, which is available for both Apple and Android devices, allows you to chat with other users who have downloaded the app, and also make audio and video calls.
Voico, which is available for both Apple and Android devices, allows you to chat with other users who have downloaded the app, and also make audio and video calls.
9. Etisalat Cloud Talk Meeting
CloudTalk Meeting on iOS and Etisalat CloudTalk on Android, the app allows users to chat and make audio and video calls. However, you would need to purchase a paid plan with Etisalat to use the app, starting from Dh60 per month for a basic plan.
Totok is another app approved by TDRA which can be used to chat with other users who have downloaded the app, and also make audio and video calls. The app is available for Apple, Android and Huawei devices.
Comera is an app that is available for both Apple and Android devices and allows one-to-one chats, voice calls, and video calls.
Earlier this year, Etisalat launched the GoChat Messenger, an all-in-one free voice and video calling app. The app is available for Apple and Android devices.