It has been observed that three Gulf Arab states have been urged by the human rights groups to lift bans on the free internet voice and video calls to help their large migrant workforces stay in touch during the lockdowns amid coronavirus pandemic.
According to the details, three Gulf Arab states Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have long blocked many voice and video calling apps in the country in order to protect the commercial interests of the state-owned telecoms.
“This has caused serious problems for the people living in those countries, especially the majority of migrant workers and foreign national residents who need to connect and communicate with their families and communities overseas,” the rights groups said.
It is worth mentioning here that a majority of the estimated 17 million people living in these three Gulf States are expatriates, and most of them are low paid workers from the Asian countries.
On the other hand, in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman have relaxed restrictions on some of the voice and video calling apps but on a temporary basis.
They have unblocked apps that allow for distance learning such as Microsoft Teams, Skype for Business, Google Hangouts, and Zoom. Microsoft Teams and Zoom are also available in Qatar.
It is worth mentioning here that the state-owned telecom firms in the United Arab Emirates have also launched a new app, “UAE Voice” that allows the users to make free voice and video calls.