It’s frustrating for Apple iPhone users in the UAE to suddenly find out that FaceTime is banned. Truth is, this isn’t just limited to the UAE, but also many middle eastern countries and in parts of Asia where telecommunication companies have a monopoly in the market and strong lobbying with the government.
Despite years of technological advancement and a ton of alternatives to FaceTime being easily available, why is FaceTime banned in the UAE will remain a mystery for us.
VoIP is basically illegal in the UAE and Apple iPhones, iPods and iPads purchased officially from the region will most likely come without having FaceTime preinstalled. Once you have a device from the region which basically has forced Apple to block the app when shipping to this part the world, it’s tough finding a work around which will actually work.
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How to Unblock FaceTime in the UAE
FaceTime banned in the UAE is not a new thing. People coming from abroad have had to face this issue for years and unfortunately, it does not seem like things will be getting better anytime soon.
There are several methods which users promise will work, while others seem legit but could cause issues on your iPhones. A number of factors should be considered here.
First, there is no guarantee each and every method will work the same for all iPhones. It could depend on where you purchased your device, which iOS version its running and whether or not the internal components have been tampered with.
Yes, that’s right. You read it completely right. Some places in the UAE and other Middle East regions tamper with the physical and even firmware component of iPhones to completely block out FaceTime capability.
Let’s check out a couple of methods which I recommend testing with your iPhone, which just might do the trick.
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1. Try a Different Region Sim
This one is probably the easiest of all methods. Some Apple iPhones just have their FaceTime app and capability disabled due to a region lock. This ban can be lifted if a sim card of another region is placed into the iPhone and forces it to enable the FaceTime app based on that region’s requirements.
Make sure to test a regional sim card of a place where FaceTime is not banned. European, North American and Asian Pacific countries are recommended the most. There are some Middle Eastern countries where FaceTime is not banned and sim cards of those countries may also work.
This method is recommended for those people who have likely purchased their Apple iPhones from the Middle East and are unable to see the FaceTime app at all. Having the FaceTime app present on your iPhone is a completely different story.
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2. Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)
If you see the FaceTime app on your iPhone, that’s a great start! The only problem now is the IP restrictions enforced by the various telecom regulatory authorities around the United Arab Emirates. FaceTime banned in the UAE means that it will also not allow FaceTime calls to come in from other countries as well, as long as there is an IP address which is being filtered as restricted from your smartphone.
The best way to unblock access to FaceTime here would be by installing a premium or even free Virtual Private Network (VPN) and seeing which one is capable of bypassing the UAE internet access restrictions firewall.
Here are some VPNs you can easily find for your Apple iPhone on the App Store:
Opera Free VPN
Hotspot Shield VPN
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Change Your Apple iPhones Region to Work Around FaceTime Banned in the UAE
When I bought my iPhone in Pakistan, I realized that the Apple App Store didn’t allow Pakistani iPhone users to download Google Maps. FaceTime is also banned officially in Pakistan, but these workarounds have allowed users to benefit from it here tremendously.
So back to the workaround for Google Maps. Simply changing my region to the United States allowed me access to all those apps I normally wouldn’t be able to download had I kept my region unchanged. FaceTime banned in the UAE does not mean a complete FaceTime ban for your iPhone. Go ahead and change the region of your iPhone and the best way to do this would be the following:
Tap on the App Store icon in your home screen
Tap on featured on the bottom left corner of screen
Scroll all the way to the bottom where your Apple ID info is
Tap View Apple ID, you may have to enter your password
Once the page loads change your country/region
If that method does not change your region, there are two more way to go about it:
Create a brand-new Apple ID and remove the old one off of your Apple iPhone. Sign back in with the new one which should have been made with a different region in its settings.
Completely delete and erase all data on your iPhone and start from scratch by selecting a region different to the UAE after giving the device a hard reset.
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What to Do if FaceTime is still Not Working?
The above methods to help when faced with the scenario of FaceTime banned in the UAE were only recommended because they are safe, easy to implement and may help in getting FaceTime unblocked.
Unfortunately, if they did not work, there is still hope. As a last resort to get FaceTime working when living in the UAE, here are some suggestions:
Buy an Apple iPhone/iPod/iPad from out of the UAE region
It may sound like a tough and pricey decision to make, but unless you want to be stuck with a FaceTime ban for life, this is the way to go. Buying Apple devices from outside of the UAE and from countries where FaceTime is not banned will give you the easy way out.
You can than just use a VPN service to unblock the FaceTime IP incoming and outgoing calls to use it.
Use Other Video Calling/Voice Chatting Apps
Still failing to use FaceTime after trying everything we’ve talked about above? Maybe it is time to say goodbye to FaceTime and try other alternatives.
In all good faith, FaceTime is great but there are a ton of other apps out there right now which work better in some conditions. Here are a bunch of apps with video/voice chatting capabilities which will make you forget about FaceTime banned in the UAE.
They are all free and very easy to use. You’ll feel like you never needed FaceTime and still have the best video calling experience of your life.
Some people even recommend jailbreaking your iPhone, but I personally believe that’s a little too much and harsh for most of the community to comprehend. Nobody wants to brick their iPhone and lose everything on it, do they?
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How have you managed to unblock FaceTime in the UAE? Have any workaround for FaceTime banned in the UAE for us to try out? Let us know in the comments section below or on the official TechBizWeb.com Facebook page!