Apple’s long-banned FaceTime calls are apparently working in the UAE

By The Associated Press

DUBAI: FaceTime calls were operating in the United Arab Emirates on Sunday, at the union of seven sheikhs easing long-standing restrictions on the Apple program.

There was no official announcement on the matter.

The UAE’s Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Apple also did not respond to a request for comment.

Associated Press journalists can make FaceTime voice and video calls with good sound quality to people inside and outside the country.

The United Arab Emirates, the oil-rich capital of Abu Dhabi and home to the freewheeling financial hub of Dubai, has long blocked internet calling apps such as WhatsApp and FaceTime, possibly due to security concerns and concerns about its monopoly of state-run telecommunications companies. To protect revenue. .

However, officials have not publicly explained the ban.

Apple iPhones and computers sold in the United Arab Emirates usually do not have the FaceTime calling app.

The block on calls via Skype, Facebook-owned WhatsApp and other similar Internet programs appears to have remained in place on Sunday.

Dubai opened its massive World’s Fair earlier this month, an event that aims to attract millions of visitors from around the world after a year-long delay due to the pandemic.

At the Expo Fairgrounds, spread across Dubai’s southern desert, visitors are able to make WhatsApp and FaceTime calls.

Officials have not commented on the easing of restrictions.

Many times in the past such programs temporarily operate in the UAE before being interrupted due to changes in Internet filtering.

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