With the rapid spread of Coronavirus, the last few weeks have seen a major peak in anxiety. But whilst the rest of the world can check up on their friends and family on WhatsApp and Facetime, the UAE’s ban on video calling apps has been nothing short of a burden.
Naturally, the pandemic has seen UAE residents calling for an end to the ban—and it looks like their wishes have finally come into fruition.
The UAE’s Telecommunication Regulatory Authority has officially announced that it has made some applications available for us to use. Before you get your hopes up, no, WhatsApp and Facetime did not make the list (yet).
But in a bid to encourage social distancing, distance learning, and remote work, a few lesser known, but equally effective apps are now available for video calling.
Among them is Microsoft Teams, which is Microsoft’s replacement for Skype for Business. Then there’s Zoom—probably the most popular application on this list. But it doesn’t come without a caveat… each free call is limited to 40 minutes before it ends and then you have to set up another session.
For the uninitiated, Google also has its own video chat service called Google Hangouts, and it is now also available for use in the UAE.
The lift on the video calling ban is unfortunately temporary, but at least there’s a way for all of us to stay connected during this time.