Under Article 10 of the country’s Cyber Law, those who abuse VPNs could face jail terms and fines ranging from Dh500,000 to Dh2 million
According to the latest findings, virtual private network (VPN) usage was the highest in the UAE last year, despite a drop of more than 16%.
Research by Digital Adoption shows that the adoption rate in the UAE last year was 43.18%, followed by Qatar (39.2%), Singapore (37.11%), Saudi Arabia (27%) and Oman (26.54%), citing Atlas VPN data.
The adoption rate shows the percentage of the country’s population downloading VPN services in 2022.
Using a VPN in the UAE is not illegal if used in accordance with the guidelines of the UAE government and the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA).
However, according to the UAE Decree No. (34) of 2021 on Combating Rumors and Cybercrime, using a VPN for illegal means or crimes is a serious offense.
Also, using a VPN to access websites/calling apps/gaming apps blocked by the UAE government by hiding your IP address is illegal.
According to Article 10 of the UAE Cyber Law, those who abuse VPNs can face imprisonment and fines ranging from Dh500,000 to Dh2 million.
VPN usage in the UAE and the GCC has increased dramatically during the pandemic years, but has declined over the past few years.
The study revealed that adoption has dropped from 61.6% in 2020 to 59.5% in 2021, and dropped further to 43.2% last year.
Total VPN app downloads in UAE will be 4.27 million in 2022, compared to 4.88 million in the previous year and 6.1 million in 2022.
ExpressVPN is the most searched service. It ranks well above its competitors, accounting for 28.2% of total searches. In second place is NordVPN, which attracts less than half that percentage of searches at nearly 9%.