Dubai: Want to catch up with family or friends, but not able to meet them? There are several video and voice calling apps that have recently been allowed in the UAE by the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA).
These apps that are considered Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services, are a regulated activity in the UAE by TDRA.
Here is a list of 16 VoIP applications that are currently allowed in the UAE.
1. Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams offers free video conferencing options to users who have a Microsoft account. With the free version, you can host a meeting for 60 minutes for up to 100 users.
The app is available for Apple, Android devices and devices that run on Microsoft Windows.
2. Skype for Business
This is a service offered by Microsoft, and has more recently been upgraded to Microsoft Teams. You need to have an online account with Microsoft to be able to use the app.
Zoom is another video conferencing app, which allows you to start video meetings and share meeting links with participants who can then join the video conference. In the free version, you can host a meeting for up to 40 minutes with up to 100 participants.
Blackboard is part of an Educational Technology (EdTech) system, which allows students and teachers to engage through the app, including the option of making video calls.
5. Google Hangouts Meet
Google Hangouts Meet, which has been renamed Google Meet, allows video meetings to users who have a Google account, with up to 250 people.
6. Cisco Webex
The Webex Meetings platform is available for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android devices, as well as for web platforms. You can set up a meeting by downloading the app on your laptop or mobile and send links via email to invite people to join the meeting.
7. Avaya Spaces
You would need to sign up with this app using your email address to set up an account, which you can then use to place video calls with other users.
BlueJeans is another app, which is available as a desktop version for different softwares, including Windows and Mac; as well as Apple and Android mobile phones. Even if you don’t have an existing account with the app, you can join meetings by entering a meeting or events ID, which may have been shared with you by another user, as well as a meeting password, if it has one.
Slack is a messaging app for business that connects team members, with video calling options.
One of the video call apps that is approved by TDRA is BOTIM, which allows you to make audio or video calls to the contacts saved on your phone.
It is available for both Apple and Android devices.
In 2022, Etisalat launched the GoChat Messenger, an all-in-one free voice and video calling app. The app is available for Apple and Android devices.
Voico, which is available for both Apple and Android devices, allows you to chat with other users who have downloaded the app, and also make audio and video calls.
13. Etisalat Cloud Talk Meeting
CloudTalk Meeting on iOS and Etisalat CloudTalk on Android, the app allows users to chat and make audio and video calls. However, you would need to purchase a paid plan with Etisalat to use the app, starting from Dh60 per month for a basic plan.
This app is available for both Apple and Android phones and allows you to join or host meetings and conferences using HD video with up to 500 participants.
Totok is another app approved by TDRA which can be used to chat with other users who have downloaded the app, and also make audio and video calls. The app is available for Apple, Android and Huawei devices.
Comera is an app that is available for both Apple and Android devices and allows one-to-one chats, voice calls, and video calls.
This story was first published on September 9, 2022 and has since been updated.