Will The Ban On WhatsApp Calling Be Lifted Soon?
Addicted to messaging apps? You are not alone.
According to the Khaleej Times, up to 97 percent of UAE citizens and residents use WhatsApp Messenger.
This free messaging and "Voice over IP" (a.k.a. VoIP) platform allows users to call and message their loved ones "over the internet." The app is available worldwide, except one of its features won't work if you're trying to place a call over your wi-fi connection here in the UAE.
In recent years, VoIP features of messaging apps (such as Skype, Viber, etc.) have been blocked within the nation and WhatsApp has been no exception to this rule.
But this could change very soon.
An interesting conversation has been started by Khalaf Al Habtoor, chairman of Al Habtoor Group.
In a country like #UAE, where we aim to always be pioneers in all we do, #WhatsAppCall should not banned when it is accessible everywhere else in the world. I urge mobile carriers in the UAE to lift the ban, a service free to use in the top nations of the world. #KhalafAlHabtoor pic.twitter.com/Lzx0w24rL5— KhalafAhmadAlHabtoor (@KhalafAlHabtoor) September 9, 2018
According to Arabian Business "... Al Habtoor Group chairman Khalaf Al Habtoor is urging the UAE’s mobile carriers to end their ban on WhatsApp calls, saying that he believes the ban contributes to the country lagging behind the rest of the world in terms of communication."
While it won't change anything overnight, it has certainly sparked some interesting conversation amongst netizens on Twitter...
Well said and thank you for speaking up. We are a nation of #innovation; and simple communication tools especially important for businesses, must be easily accessible. We need #skype and #WhatsApp which other countries offer for free @etisalat #du— Rabia Z. (@RabiaZargarpur) September 9, 2018
I have previously written to the Minister of Happiness about this but obviously didn’t receive a response. As a progressive Emirate, we cannot boast about modernity, progression, innovation and cutting edge thinking, when universally accepted means of communication are blocked!— Claire Eubank (@ClaireEubank) September 9, 2018
I was shocked to know that the free-call feature is banned in all applications in the UAE! Seriously @etisalat, the internet connection isn’t free, so it’s not free calls after all!— Nasser Albeshri (@nalbeshri) September 9, 2018
While it's unclear whether Al Habtoor's tweet will inspire any action by legal authorities to remove the ban, it will be interesting to see how his comments will affect the laws surrounding VoIP within the UAE.
What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.
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