A very high percentage of citizens of Arab countries are using VPNs, that is, virtual private networks, to bypass the laws that restrict the use of the Internet implemented by their governments. Also so as not to be affected by the bandwidth limitations imposed, and that prevents them from enjoying streaming and gaming services normally. United Arab Emirates is he country that has a higher VPN download rate of the world in relation to its population.
According to an Atlas VPN investigation, which indicates that a third of the population of these countries use VPNs, 4.27 million VPNs have been downloaded from the UAE alone in 2022. In addition, the penetration rate of this type of tools in the country exceeded 43% in 2022. In the United Arab Emirates, websites that violate the principles of Islamic morality are prohibited, as are messaging applications such as WhatsApp, Skype, FaceTime and Facebook Messenger. In addition, it is also forbidden to criticize the government.
Along with the UAE, three other Arab countries occupy four of the top five spots for VPN downloads. In Qatar there were 2.88 million VPN software downloads in 2022, a figure that corresponds to 39% of its population. In Saudi Arabia there were 9 million VPN downloads last year, which is equivalent to 27% of its population. And in Oman, which has 5 million inhabitants, there were 1.5 million downloads.
As they have pointed out from Atlas VPN, «Arab nations are ruled by hereditary rulers, who have most administrative, legislative, and judicial powers. The civil rights of citizens, and those who are not, are severely restricted. To get around some of these limitations, residents are looking for tools that can help them regain their freedoms. VPNs are some of the main tools that people in Arab countries use to increase their freedom of expression and to access restricted content.«.
But the use of VPNs in the area, as we have mentioned, It is not only to bypass the restrictions of what they can do online. They are also used by gamers to try to bypass the bandwidth limits they have, and also to connect and establish contact with people from other countries. According to Atlas VPN, “gamers in the Persian Gulf area use VPNs primarily to change their IP address, allowing them to be grouped with gamers from other regions, as well as avoiding bandwidth throttling. Also, streamers need VPNs to avoid DDoS attacks.«.