Coronavirus: Sharjah Royal Suggests To Lift Internet Call Ban In The UAE

by Vaishnavi Venkataraman
Coronavirus: Sharjah Royal Suggests To Lift Internet Call Ban In The UAE

The UAE is notoriously known for not allowing citizens to make use of the call feature on apps like Skype, WhatsApp Viber, Tango and more. Due to security reasons, UAE is one of the very few countries that doesn’t endorse this particular feature. But this might soon be changing. From what we hear, Emirati academic and art collector Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi recently suggested that the internet call ban in the UAE be lifted.

What’s It?

With the sudden outbreak of Coronavirus in the UAE, schools and colleges have considered remote learning in order to continue education, despite the sudden break. Lifting the ban on Skype and voice over internet (VoIP) services would make this process easier, Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi mentioned.

“I highly recommend that the UAE now re-visits its ban on VoIP video calls in light of the spread of coronavirus,” he wrote on Twitter, where he has almost 500,000 followers.

“If we want people not to meet in person let them conduct their business online. The benefit to the entire economy outweighs the benefit to a single firm (Etisalat).

“No remote working, no distance learning, no telemedicine without VoIP. It’s actually a matter of how soon we will lift – rather than if we will lift – the VoIP restrictions in the UAE. The sooner we do so the sooner we can minimise the effects on the economy,” he said.

The removal of the WhatsApp ban has been a topic of discussion for a while now. Residents have turned to other paid services like Zoom, Cisco Webex, Skype etc provided by telecom providers – Du and Etisalat.
Meanwhile, residents were seen supporting the suggestion and the tweet received 1.9k likes.


What Else?

Besides, Microsoft has also been in talks with the TRA to have the ban lifted from Skype as well. This comes as good news for the citizens of the UAE who have been using government-sanctioned applications until now. Removal of the ban will mean that people will be able to make free calls to family, business partners and more who are based abroad. We hope that the new law gets implemented soon as it only spells good things for the residents of the UAE.