What to do if your VPN stopped working in Dubai

Ivan Jenic
by Ivan Jenic
Troubleshooting Expert
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VPN blocked dubai

Are you resident in Dubai? Are you having problems with your VPN? If so, follow this guide to fix it. Here, we’ll be showing you some quick fixes, which you can easily employ if your VPN stopped working in Dubai.

Dubai, the capital of United Arab Emirates (UAE), is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, with millions of visitors every year. Although, the internet security/connectivity in Dubai is top notch, there are restrictions on certain apps and websites.

Hence, Dubai residents, expats and tourists often adopt the use of virtual private networks (VPN), to access their favourite geo-restricted sites.

However, for some reasons, VPN would just fail to connect. And even if it connects, internet won’t connect.

In any case, you won’t be able to access any geo-restricted site or app, until you are able to fix the underlying error and reconnect your VPN.

In this article, we have described succinctly some of the most effective troubleshooting techniques, to help you restore connectivity, if and when your VPN stopped working in Dubai.

VPN usage in Dubai

As stated earlier, Dubai is the capital and commercial headquarters of UAE. And it is also one of the most visited cities in the world.

Despite the perceived secularity of Dubai (with respect to the religion-based central government), the city’s residents and visitors still suffer some sort of restrictions on apps and websites.

Notable mentions in this regard include VoIP applications like Skype. In fact, most VoIP programs are heavily restricted in the city and the entire UAE.

As such, expats and tourists are left with no choice but to employ the service of VPNs to mask their location and bypass the geo-restrictons placed on such apps.

Surprisingly, VPN usage in Dubai (and the whole of UAE) is not illegal, irrepective of your residency status whether you are a native or an expat.

Its usage becomes illegal if it is used to perpetrate any act of cyber-fraud, in which case, it would be used against you in court. And as a restricted service, Skype usage is deemed illegal under the Emirates law.

Punishments on such offences, however, depend on the gravity of the crime committed, as stipulated by the Federal Law of the Emirates. Basically, if found guilty of breaking the law (while using a VPN), punishments often range from fines to jail terms (depending on the gravity of the crime).

Furthermore, it is important to note that not all VoIP services are restricted by the UAE authorities. For instance, services like Botim (from Etisalat) and CMe (from Du) are free-for-all in the Emirates.

These two services, out of the numerous VoIP programs, are the only legal VoIP services in Dubai. And given the residential structure of the Arabian city (with millions of foreigners), access to the so-called illegal services (via VPN) has become an open-secret.

Lastly, if, for some reasons, your VPN stopped working in Dubai, the most probable cause is “unsupported connection protocol”. And in this case, all you need to do is to switch to a supported protocol.

However, a VPN might get disconnected for a number of reasons aside the aforementioned. In any case, we will be looking at some feasible solutions, to facilitate the restoration of connectivity, if and when such error occurs.

VPN Stopped Working in Dubai

Outlined herein are some of the most reliable solutions, any of which can be used to restore connection to a VPN service that stopped working in the tourist city of Dubai.

Before attempting any troubleshooting method, ensure all antivirus programs are disabled or simply configure them to provide access to your virtual private network, when requested.

If this is not done, the whole troubleshooting process would just be an exercise in futility.

Solution 1: Make sure internet connection is enabled

vpn stopped working in dubaiThis might sound mundane, but yes – some people do fall victim of this. Virtual Private Networks only work in sync with a durable internet connection. If you are not connected to the internet, you can’t access any site, irrespective of how standard your VPN is.

Hence, check your PC and ensure your connection is stable. To do this, disconnect your VPN program.

Then try to connect to the internet without your VPN. If you are able to connect, the problem is obviously VPN-specific, in which case, you can try the recommended solution below.

Solution 2: Change to a supported protocol

There is a myriad of VPN service providers out there; however, only a handful of them function well.

A standard VPN hosts numerous connection protocols, which are used to facilitate connections to geo-blocked contents on the web.

However, while a typical VPN hosts a number of protocols, it can only use one protocol at a time.

As such, if the default protocol is not supported in a particular location (country), you won’t be able to connect to the internet.

Every standard VPN has its default connection protocol, with a flexible option to switch to another, if and when required. So, in the event that VPN stopped working in Dubai, your VPN‘s default protocol is probably not supported in the tourist city.

Hence, to get your VPN up and running, you simply need to change the protocol to a supported one.

Below is a list of all VPN protocols that are supported in Dubai:

  • L2TP
  • PPTP
  • OpenVPN TCP 443
  • OpenVPN UDP 80/UDP 1194/UDP 4096
  • IKEv2

The above outlined protocols are the only ones supported in Dubai for now. Hence, simply change your protocol to one of the above-listed ones, if you are encountering any form of connection problem.

Note: Check your VPN‘s guide (on their website) to know how to change VPN protocol. For ExpressVPN, check here.

While this is the recommended solution in this case, there are other solutions, which you can try, depending on the initial cause of the error.

Solution 3: Disable proxy on your browser

Imagine going through the stress of changing your VPN protocol, yet your VPN is still not working. If you experience such, try and check if your browser’s proxy is enabled.

If it is enabled, that is probably what is causing the connection problem. Hence, all you need to do is to disable the proxy. This should only take a few seconds, and your VPN should now be working fine.

The process for disabling proxy varies, depending on the browser. Nevertheless, most browsers offer a clean – intuitive – interface to facilitate the process.

If, after trying this solution, the problem still remains unsolved, try the next solution.

Solution 4: Change server location

Most expatriates and tourists in Dubai prefer using their home server (on a VPN) to navigate geo-restricted sites.

As such, a US citizen in Dubai would most likely connect via a US server, if there is one. However, this is not always the case.

So, if your PC‘s VPN stopped working in Dubai, it could be a server-related problem. In this case, all you need to do is to change your server to a different location.

If you are able to connect, then the problem is definitely server-specific and not from your end.

However, if the VPN is still not working, try the next fix.

Solution 5: Uninstall & reinstall VPN

In troubleshooting, this is usually the ultimate solution in fixing various forms and degrees of errors, and it is also applicable in this situation.

After you must have tried every possible solution, you can try the “uninstall and reinstall” fix.

At times, you could be running an outdated version of VPN on your PC, without noticing it. And this could limit the functionality of such VPN program.

Also, uninstalling a problematic VPN app would remove all VPN-related bugs from your PC. And by reinstalling an updated version, you get a new, bug-free, VPN.

With this, you should be able to connect and navigate to your favourite geo-blocked sites, with ease.

Lastly, for convenience, PureVPN, ExpressVPN and CyberGhost are the three recommended VPNs for Dubai residents, expatriates and tourists.


Internet is fairly accessible in Dubai, with mild restrictions on certain VoIP apps (like Microsoft-owned Skype). To access these apps (and sites), most residents and visitors in the Arabian city employ the service of virtual private networks, to bypass the geo-restrictions.

However, due to a host of factors, VPN just won’t respond (connect), no matter how many times you try it. The most notorious cause of this is unsupported VPN protocol (among other causes).

Nevertheless, we do recommend that you use UAE compatible VPN tools such as CyberGhost, Hotspot Shield and NordVPN.

By employing one, some or all of the solutions (as appropriate), you can get your VPN up and running in no time.


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