iOS 13.6 Enables FaceTime in the United Arab Emirates [Update: With Region Change]

Apple's iOS 13.6 update, released today, appears to enable FaceTime in the United Arab Emirates, a country where the ‌FaceTime‌ app was previously unavailable for use.


According to MacMagazine and multiple Twitter users, the ‌FaceTime‌ feature is accessible after installing the iOS 13.6 update. Apple did not mention the update in the iOS 13.6 release notes, and support documents haven't been updated as of yet.


Local regulatory rules have blocked ‌FaceTime‌ in the UAE, but rumors over the course of the last few years have suggested that Apple was working with government officials to lift the ban on ‌FaceTime‌.

All phones sold in the United Arab Emirates have ‌FaceTime‌ disabled by default, but installing iOS 13.6 should unlock the feature. There have also been multiple reports that ‌FaceTime‌ is available in the UAE on devices running iOS 14 as well.

‌FaceTime‌ also used to be banned in Saudi Arabia but it became available in the iOS 11.3 update.

Update: MacMagazine, the site that originally reported the changes, now says that for ‌FaceTime‌ to work in the UAE, the iPhone needs to be set to another region. This indicates that ‌FaceTime‌ is not yet officially available in the United Arab Emirates.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
14 weeks ago


Their laws say that only the government-owned telephone monopoly can provide VoIP communications.

Apps like Zoom, WebEx and VoIP features in Teams, Slack, etc. are banned. There is a temporary exemption for these apps due to COVID.

Sounds like they want to be able to spy on all voice communications. Why else would they ban it?
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
14 weeks ago


Why was that not allowed?

Their laws say that only the government-owned telephone monopoly can provide VoIP communications.

Apps like Zoom, WebEx and VoIP features in Teams, Slack, etc. are banned. There is a temporary exemption for these apps due to COVID.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
14 weeks ago
I totally look like those marketing images when I'm face timing. :/
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
5 weeks ago
Just to update this thread for anyone in this part of the world.

iOS 14 has retained FaceTime on UAE devices. It is still blocked on the telco side intermittently but works perfectly on my own home WiFi setup and outside of the country. Main takeaway is that if you live here you no longer need to buy devices outside the country (or grey imports) if you want FaceTime.

The other UAE related news is that ECG function is now active on UAE devices here as well as other parts of the Middle East.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
14 weeks ago


Sounds like they want to be able to spy on all voice communications. Why else would they ban it?

Money. The US would likely be the same, had the Bell System monopoly not been broken up.

If it's an issue with spying, then pass laws to require wiretap capabilities. China is big on VoIP apps, like WeChat.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
14 weeks ago


The world is incredibly messed up.

You live in a country where the government has a monopoly in transporting private correspondence.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

First Impressions From New iPhone 12 and 12 Pro Owners

Thursday October 22, 2020 4:20 pm PDT by
It's already Friday, October 23, in Australia and New Zealand, which means some customers who purchased an iPhone 12 or 12 Pro already have their new devices in hand. We've seen dozens of reviews of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro from media sites, but now first impressions from regular Apple customers are available. Image via MacRumors reader Boardiesboi New iPhone 12 and 12 Pro owners are...

New Photos Offer Better Look at iPhone 12 Color Options

Tuesday October 20, 2020 2:34 am PDT by
As we wait for the iPhone 12 review embargo to lift later today, more pictures are circulating of the devices in real-world lighting conditions, providing a better look at the different colors available. Leaker DuanRui has shared images on Twitter of the iPhone 12 in white, black, blue, green, and (PRODUCT)RED. The black and white colors are similar to the iPhone 11 colors, but the other...

Photographer Austin Mann Tests the iPhone 12 Pro's Camera

Wednesday October 21, 2020 4:14 am PDT by
Travel photographer Austin Mann usually performs an in-depth review of new iPhone models to test their camera performance in real-world scenarios. To test Apple's new iPhone 12 Pro, Mann traveled to Glacier National Park, Montana. Mann focused on some of the biggest camera upgrades with the iPhone 12 Pro, including the upgraded Wide lens, Ultra Wide Night mode, and LiDAR autofocus, across a...

iPhone 12 Pro Max Has Smaller 3,687 mAh Battery According to Regulatory Filing

Tuesday October 20, 2020 8:48 pm PDT by
Apple's new iPhone 12 Pro Max is equipped with a 3,687 mAh battery, which is around 7% less capacity than the 3,969 mAh battery in the iPhone 11 Pro Max, according to a regulatory filing published by TENAA, the Chinese equivalent of the FCC. The regulatory filing, spotted by MacRumors, also lists the iPhone 12 Pro Max with 6GB of RAM as seen in benchmark results last week. Apple has filed ...

5G Drains iPhone 12 Battery 20% Faster Than 4G in Benchmark

Wednesday October 21, 2020 3:17 am PDT by
After the first reviews for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro emerged yesterday, a new report by Tom's Guide reveals the extent of battery life reductions when using 5G. The report outlines a test wherein the iPhone surfs the web continuously at 150 nits of screen brightness, launching a new site every 30 seconds until the battery drains. Interestingly, the test was run on an iPhone 12 and...

Teardown Video Confirms iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro Use Same 2,815mAh Battery

Thursday October 22, 2020 9:47 am PDT by
With the iPhone 12 launching on Friday and in just a few hours to Australia and New Zealand, hands-on videos, teardowns, reviews, and other iPhone-related content has been coming out. A new teardown video delves into both the iPhone 12 and the 12 Pro, confirming battery life for both models and giving us a closer look at their internals. The video from Io Technology is in Chinese, but ...

French iPhone Boxes Come Packed in an Outer Box With Separate EarPods

Wednesday October 21, 2020 6:52 am PDT by
After the news that France would be the only territory to continue to include EarPods with the iPhone, it seems that Apple is not packing the earbuds within the iPhone's box (via iGeneration). Screenshot from TheiCollection's review video The French iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro does not have a different retail box to accommodate EarPods, meaning that all iPhone boxes are consistent...

Some Defective Apple iPhone 12 Cases Shipping Without Speaker Holes

Wednesday October 21, 2020 12:54 pm PDT by
At least two customers who have purchased iPhone 12 cases have received defective cases that do not have speaker holes, which obscures the sound. Photo by Reddit user zarnold16 There have been two separate threads on Reddit from iPhone 12 customers who purchased a case and received one without speaker holes. One customer was told by an Apple advisor that the case wasn't meant to have...

Watch: New iPad Air Unboxing Videos and First Impressions

Wednesday October 21, 2020 6:00 am PDT by
Apple's embargo has lifted on reviews for the new iPad Air ahead of its launch on Friday. In addition to our more detailed review roundup, we've shared a handful of unboxing videos and first impressions of the device below. The new iPad Air via Karl Conrad The new iPad Air features a larger 10.9-inch edge-to-edge display, a faster A14 Bionic chip, and a USB-C port instead of Lightning. It is...

Apple's AirTags Revealed in Newly Published Patent Applications

Thursday October 22, 2020 9:13 am PDT by
Two patent applications filed by Apple appear to depict the company's widely expected AirTags item trackers (via Patently Apple). The filings, which include a large number of images, are titled "Mounting Base for a Wirelessly Locatable Tag" and "Fastener with a Constrained Retention Ring," and describe a wirelessly locatable tag that can be used to determine the absolute location of an...