Surprise! WhatsApp users in UAE can now make voice and video calls
The Gulf News and The Khaleej Times have also confirmed the development in this regard.
Previously, the service was blocked as the UAE doesn’t permit the use of external VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) providers.
Users have said that they are able to place calls using the du or Etisalat networks within the UAE and overseas.
WhatsApp introduced the video and audio calling feature in April past year. “I hope the telecom operators will not discontinue this”, said Rachel, another expat from the Philippines.
Mohammed Mustafa Saidalavi, COO of Emirates Safer Internet Society said he would love to see a free quality tool where people can make free calls but “not at the cost of safety and security”. You might be able to do video calls, but you will get some interruption or error message.
According to the UAE’s Telecoms Regulatory Authority, only Etisalat and du are allowed to provide VoIP services, Gulf Business reports (however Microsoft-owned Skype does work in this country).
In April past year, du and Etisalat blocked Snapchat’s new voice and video calling service due to the existing communications regulation in the country.
“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 past year.