If you’re living in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) or Dubai, you can easily call people using the free calling app, Pinngle Messenger.
How to make free international calls in Dubai
- Download Pinngle Messenger app for Android or iOS
- Register and verify your number
- Enjoy high quality voice and video calls with your contacts
The History Behind Pinngle Messenger
Pinngle is a free calling app that works everywhere. Pinngle Messenger’s mission was inspired by a problem in modern-day telecommunications. This problem is that most messengers either sell or store user information, lack in call quality, or simply don’t work in areas with limited or restricted internet. After identifying this gap, a telecommunications expert with 10 years of industry experience decided to make a private messaging app that worked everywhere. Together with a small team of developers, they created Pinngle Messenger in 2016. Today, Pinngle has millions of users around the world, from the US to India, and Canada to the UAE.
Telecommunications and expats in Dubai and the UAE
The many immigrants and expats of the UAE
The UAE is home to over 200 nationalities and is one of the most densely migrant-populated countries in the world. The majority of immigrants in the UAE are economic immigrants, who make up almost 90% of the population. According to recent studies by World Population Review, the estimated 2019 population of the UAE is 9.68 million. And only 10% are native Emiratis. Most expats in the UAE reside in either the most populous city of Dubai, or the state capital, Abu Dhabi. According to recent studies by Global Media Insight, “South Asians, which include people from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and other South Asian nations, compose 59.48% of the population. The rest of the population consists of Egyptians at 4.23% and others at 17.94%.”
Media and internet censorship in Dubai
Although the UAE is considered to be more liberal than its neighbouring countries, the country still follows aspects of the strict Islamic sharia law. The state systematically blocks access to any political, social, or religious content that contradicts the UAE’s federal laws or views. For instance, adult websites that contain pornographic material, as well as gambling sites, are blocked for religious and cultural reasons. The world’s largest news organization and state-funded broadcaster in Doha, Al Jazeera, is currently blocked in Dubai for political and diplomatic reasons.
The UAE’s censorship has a strong impact on the apps that are available to residents. The Telecom Regulatory Authority (TRA) has blocked major calling apps, or Voice over internet protocol (VoIP) services. The blocked apps include, but are not limited to, WhatsApp, Skype, Facetime and Viber. The block effectively allows the UAE’s main telecom companies to maintain a monopoly with their calling services. However, it causes major inconveniences for UAE residents who need to contact their colleagues and loved ones overseas.
Why are calling apps banned in the UAE?
The invention of VoIP phone services has helped many immigrants and professionals to make free international voice calls over the internet. However, in countries like the UAE, the TRA constantly blocks calling apps or makes it difficult for them to operate normally. This interference with VoIP app usage is motivated by the economic concerns of the UAE’s state-owned telecom companies. Since these companies, Etisalat and du, earn most of their revenue from international calls, allowing people to make free calls with calling apps would cause a major drop in their revenue. And since Dubai houses such a large percentage of expats and immigrants, these telecom companies make a significant amount of their money from international calls.
How do people use calling apps in the UAE?
While the majority of popular calling apps are blocked in the UAE and Dubai, many people still manage to use them with the help of third party tools. These tools are either VPNs or proxy servers, but the most popular option is to use a VPN. A VPN – or a Virtual Private Network – can be used to change the virtual location of your device. Whether you are using a phone or a computer, you can use a VPN to fool the internet network into thinking that you’re accessing the internet from another country.
Since a VPN effectively masks your location, the VPN can help you dodge any internet restrictions of the country you are in. You can probably imagine how useful this becomes for residents of the UAE, who commonly use a VPN to restore their access to websites and calling apps that would otherwise be blocked. A VPN can either be purchased or downloaded for free.
Why VPNs are NOT safe to use
Many people believe that VPNs are safe to use, but in reality, it can cause a lot of problems in the UAE. Unfortunately, most UAE residents aren’t aware of the risks that come with using a VPN, especially the ones that are available for free download. Most free VPN providers are capable of tracking your online behavior and your real IP address. Moreover, many of them also give users a false promise of security, by claiming that their data is protected with strong encryption method. These claims are far from the truth. These VPN providers offer no protection at all. On the contrary, VPN providers are often approached by law enforcement, to which they must disclose information about their users. The legal consequences of using a VPN in the UAE can be rather severe. If caught, an individual could be sentenced to spend time in jail, and pay fines from 500,000 to 2,000,000 UAE dirham (up to $545,000 USD).
Which VoIP calling apps are blocked in the UAE?
The only free calling app that works in UAE
While other calling apps can function with the help of third parties, Pinngle Messenger is the only messenger that operates normally in the UAE. This means you won’t need to set up a VPN or proxy server to use it. Moreover, because Pinngle isn’t blocked, you don’t have to worry about any legal consequences for using the app. Pinngle is a secure and private messenger that is easy to obtain for all UAE residents. It is also available for neighboring countries in the GCC region and of course to the whole world.
Pinngle’s Values and Features
As a company, Pinngle Messenger is driven by these five values, which govern their day-to-day operations as well as the features they provide.
1. People come first
- User data is protected with end-to-end data encryption
- User data is never sold to or shared with third parties
- Serverless architecture means user data is never stored
2. A borderless world is a better world
- Built to work everywhere
- Functions on the slowest internet speeds, including 2G networks and poor Wi-Fi
- Anti-block technology means the app cannot be blocked or filtered by state agencies
- Affordable virtual numbers that allow you to get the local landline number of another country
- For example, if you’re running a business out of the UAE and have several clients in Canada, you can get a virtual Canadian phone number so your clients can easily call you
3. Communication is essential
- High quality voice calls and HD video chats
- Features that allow calling to any phone or landline, even with no internet connection
- Supports file sharing of up to any size
- Supports group chats of up to 50,000 people
4. Be fearless and authentic
- Privacy and security gives you the freedom to express yourself freely
- Public Channels for content creators to share content of all types
5. Do more with less
- Compact and light on phones
- Saves battery by up to 40%
- Minimal data usage
Pinngle: More than a Messenger
Pinngle Messenger was created out of the belief that free and secure communication should be available to everyone, and should never be interfered with by a third party. Even if you’re living in the UAE, you can still enjoy free calls through Pinngle. Download Pinngle today and join the many other UAE residents who are using Pinngle to connect with their friends and family.