Image Credit: Karl Jeffs/Gulf News

Dubai: With Skype officially blocked in UAE, residents have been urged to use other legal alternatives to connect to their friends and family.

Etisalat said on Monday that its subscribers can make unlimited video calls by paying a fixed monthly rate of as low as Dh50.

The telecom operator’s internet calling plans are considered one of the legal alternatives to Skype in UAE and they're available to prepaid, postpaid and e-Life home broadband subscribers.

They allow users to have unlimited app to app voice and video calling experience across the world using C’Me and BOTIM, which are available for both iOS and Android devices.

C'Me and BOTIM are so far the only two known voice over internet protocol-based apps that are allowed to operate in the country.

Etisalat and du had earlier confirmed that Skype services in the UAE had been blocked. Other similar internet calling services, Apple’s FaceTime, Google’s Duo and WhatsApp’s video also don’t have the legal mandate to operate in the UAE.

“The [internet calling] plans are available to Etisalat subscribers (prepaid, postpaid and e-Life home broadband),” Etisalat said in a statement.

For mobile subscribers, the voice and video call services can be accessed while on the move at a fixed monthly charge of Dh50.

Subscribers of Etisalat’s eLife plan can also make voice and video calls from their home at a fixed monthly rate of Dh100.

How it works

"Upon subscribing to the internet calling plans, Etisalat subscribers will enjoy unlimited video and voice calls to their family and friends who have downloaded the same app [C'Me or BOTIM] located anywhere in the world," the company said.

"There will be no extra charges as long as Etisalat customers have an active internet connection (home broadband or mobile data) to use with this service."

Etisalat announced the internet calling rates just days after it confirmed that Skype services had been officially blocked in the country.

"Currently, C’ME and BOTIM meet the UAE regulatory framework requirements to offer VoIP calling in the UAE," said Etisalat.