How to block telemarketing calls in the UAE
Picture used for illustrative purposes in the UAE. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Dubai: If you want to put a complete end to unsolicited telemarketing, spam, or malicious calls, you can finally do so by registering your number in the 'Do Not Call Registry’ (DNCR).

According to UAE telecom providers Etisalat, Du and Virgin Mobile, the 'Do Not Call Registry (DNCR)' has been in effect since September 2022.

Customers can register their number for free by simply sending an SMS to their telecom provider.

Etisalat

1. To block calls, send an SMS to 1012 with the message 'DNCR'.

2. Next, you will receive a confirmation from Etisalat.

3. Once you have registered your number, it will immediately be updated in the registry.

If you want to check if your number is registered in the DNCR, send an SMS to 1012 with 'Check IDNCR' to inquire about your number's status.

According to Etisalat, DNCR ensures customers do not receive any promotional calls unless requested outside of business hours, which are from 9am to 6pm.

Du

1. Send an SMS to 1012 with the message - 'Block'.

2. You will then receive an SMS confirming your number's registration in DNCR.

To check if your number is registered, send an SMS with the message 'Check' to 1012.

Virgin Mobile

You can register your number in DNCR through the ‘Virgin Mobile’ app, available for Apple and Android devices.

According to Virgin Mobile, this is how customers can block unwanted calls:

1. If you are using an iOS device, tap on 'More' in the menu at the bottom of the home screen. For Android users, open your side menu by tapping on the icon on the top left.

2. Tap on 'Settings'.

3. Next, you will see 'Manage third party voice calls'. Enable the service by tapping on the toggle button and then tap on confirm to add your number to the Do Not Call Registry.

According to telecom providers, you will stop receiving unsolicited promotional calls within 30 days from the date of registry.

Can you still receive telemarketing calls after registering in DNCR?

According to telecom providers, if you have given your consent to a company to contact you, they can still call you to inform you about offers, promotions, and updates. If you still receive unsolicited calls, you can call the customer care team of Du, Etisalat and Virgin Mobile to complain.

You can also submit a complaint with the Commercial Compliance and Consumer Protection (CCCP) sector in Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism (DET), against a company that is calling you without your consent. Click here to find out how you can raise a complaint against cold calls in the UAE.

How to block SMS adverts in the UAE

You can also block unwanted text messages or SMS adverts, as the UAE’s Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA), announced the SMS block service in 2021.

According to TDRA, users must send the message 'BALL' to 7726. After that, you will receive a confirmation SMS, and telecom providers, Etisalat and Du, will block any SMS adverts from being sent to your phone.

How to block promotional calls from Etisalat and Du

Phone subscribers in the UAE can also opt out of receiving promotional calls from Etisalat or Du, through TDRA. To do so, follow these steps:

For Etisalat users:

Send an SMS to 1451 with the message 'DNC'

You will immediately receive a text message from Etisalat that states: "Thank you for registering to Etisalat's 'Do not call' listing service. You will not receive any further promotional calls from Etisalat from next month onwards."

For Du users:

Send a blank SMS to 5293.

After that, you will receive an SMS from Du confirming your cancellation from all promotional calls from du.