Long -banned FaceTime calls seem to work in the UAE

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – FaceTime calls seemed to work in the United Arab Emirates on Sunday, an apparent loosening of long -standing restrictions on Apple’s program in the federation of seven sheikhdoms.

There is no official announcement about the matter. The Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority of the UAE did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Apple also did not respond to a request for comment. Associated Press journalists can make voice and video calls on FaceTime with great sound quality to people inside and outside the country.

The UAE, home to the oil -rich capital Abu Dhabi and the freewheeling financial hub of Dubai, has long blocked internet calls by apps such as WhatsApp and FaceTime, possibly because of security concerns and to protect revenues of state -run monopoly telecommunication companies. However, the public has not yet explained the ban. Apple iPhones and computers sold in the UAE typically do not carry the FaceTime calling app.

The block appears to stay Sunday on calls via Skype, Facebook-owned WhatsApp and other similar internet programs.

Dubai opened a massive world fair this month, an event aimed at attracting millions of visitors from around the world after a year-long delay due to the pandemic. At the Expo’s extensive fair venues in Dubai’s southern desert, visitors have made WhatsApp and FaceTime calls. Authorities have not commented on the relaxation of restrictions.

There were times in the past when such programs were temporarily operating in the UAE before being interrupted due to internet filtering changes.

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