How to Get Spotify in UAE 2017

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How to get Spotify in UAE

Updated: January 23, 2017
* This Solution STILL WORKS to get Spotify in UAE *

  1. First, setup a VPN account
  2. Then download and install the VPN software onto the device(s) you will listen to Spotify in UAE on
  3. Next, open the software and connect to server location where Spotify is available (e.g. US or UK)
  4. Login into your Spotify account or signup for one (if you don't have one yet)
  5. Enjoy Spotify in UAE

How to get Spotify in UAE in more detail:

NOTE: I have used ExpressVPN to illustrate how to get Spotify in UAE locations. Other VPNs are available but I have tested many and ExpressVPN has consistently been my preferred choice. 

I’ll be honest, when I was first offered the chance to transfer to my company’s UAE office in Abu Dhabi, I was hesitant to say the least. I have travelled a lot, but still my knowledge of the Middle East was limited to what I had seen on the US news, and that was, to put it mildly, not 100% positive coverage.

Then my boss told me how much my salary was going to go up, and my tax bill was going to go down, and I was off down the shops to stock up on sun cream! Seriously, ex-pat life here is pretty good. There are a lot of good people working with my firm here, and there’s plenty do around the city.

But there’s still plenty I miss from back home, and at the top of my list is music. I loved going to gigs and always kept up to date with the latest releases. Music tastes here are very different, and finding my sort of stuff is hard. I had hoped that I would be able to continue to use Spotify as my go-to site for music.

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But it was only when I got here that I realized you couldn’t access it here. I had a miserable, music-free couple of weeks, before a guy in my gym turned me onto VPNs, and explained how I could listen to Spotify, and other streaming services, really easily.

Why is Spotify not Available in the UAE?

I was confused at first as to why I couldn’t just log into Spotify as usual. Then I realized it was all down to rights. Spotify is a streaming service which reaches an agreement with the artists on their site over the rights to their music. They agree to pay a set for in exchange for the rights to have the music on their site.

However, these rights are not universal. Instead they are limited to agreed countries. This is because many artists have different recording contracts and record labels in different parts of the world, and sell the rights to their music off on that basis.

Spotify is therefore obliged to only make their music available in the regions where they have the rights to stream it, and must block access to this music in other parts of the world, where the rights might be held by someone else.

And to do this they use something called geo-blocking.

How is Spotify Blocking Access in the UAE?

Geo-blocking is a pretty simple piece of technology that takes advantage of your IP Address. This is a piece of data which every internet users sends to each and every website they visit. IT contains various information, including where in the world you are.

Spotify will read this, and if you are not located in an area where they are allowed to stream music, they will automatically block you from using the service.

It is a pretty effective piece of technology and the only way to gain access again is to connect using a different IP Address.

This is where a VPN comes in, because a VPN wil reroute your traffic via an external server. This means that when you visit the site, the site sees the IP Address of this server and not your device. If this server is located in the right country (the USA in my case) then Spotify should work as usual.

It might sound complicated, but actually it is a pretty simple process. If you want to know how it works, keep reading.

How to Use a VPN to get Spotify in UAE

Step 1: Sign up for VPN

So the first thing you will need to do is sign up for a VPN. My pick is ExpressVPN and I am using that one to illustrate how to get Spotify in the UAE. Firstly, you should head on over to the ExpressVPN website by clicking one of the quick links on this page.

Once there, you can choose from one of their subscription packages. This will in turn forward you to their payment processing page.

Making a payment is really easy using a variety of internationally recognized options, and they even offer a 30-day money-back guarantee if you are not completely happy with their service.

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Follow the simple payment steps, and once you have completed, you will then need to confirm your account by clicking the link on an email.

Step 2: Download & Install VPN

As soon as you have confirmed your account, you will be invited to download the ExpressVPN software from the menu you can see below. Click on the correct operating system for your device, and then follow the onscreen instructions to download and install the software.

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This process shouldn’t take more than a few moments.

Step 3: Connect to US-based Server on VPN

After the installation has completed, open the software and you will be greeted by thee very user friendly ExpressVPN interface. All that is left for you to do is choose which of their servers you want to connect to. To use Spotify in the UAE, I connected to a UK server, but be sure to pick the appropriate location for your service.

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ExpressVPN offer a variety of different US servers, so choose any one (it doesn’t matter which). It will then take a few moments to establish a connection.

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Step 4: Setup Spotify Account

And with that your VPN is set up. All that is left is for you to log onto your Spotify account and your world of music is available to you again.

If you don’t have an existing Spotify account, you can also visit their website to set one up. You can setup a free account with no problems at all, and if you want a premium account, you can set this up by using your Facebook account. The onsite instructions are pretty easy to follow, and it shouldn’t take you more than five or ten minutes to get going.


As long as you follow the steps above correctly, the world of Spotify will be yours to enjoy in the UAE as much or as little as you like. I use it almost all the time, so it was a Godsend for me.

Do leave me a comment below to let me know how this process works for you, if indeed if you have any questions.

I have used ExpressVPN because I feel it is the best VPN provider for online streaming. There are of course other VPNs if you don’t like the look of ExpressVPN, and above you will find my pick of the top 5 for getting Spotify in the UAE. Happy listening music lovers!

7 Answers

  1. Emma
    August 6, 2016 at 7:51 am

    Hi there

    I followed your instructions but no matter what country I connect to through expressvpn, whenever I try and download spotify onto my new Samsung S7 it says it is not available in my country.

    Any other advice/suggestions as to how to get spotify on my phone?

    Thanks in advance

    1. Chris Beattie
      August 8, 2016 at 7:22 am

      Hi Emma, thanks for your comment and query. Your issue is a common one unfortunately! Luckily there is a fix. You simply need to go a bit “deeper” with your Google Play Store settings (since I assume this is where you are attempting to download Spotify onto your smartphone with?). This guide should pay out the steps for you to take to do this, and get Spotify working on your phone; 🙂

      Thanks again, Emma!

    1. Chris Beattie
      September 2, 2016 at 7:12 am

      Hi Jazz, thanks for your comment. You are unfortunately correct. A new law has passed making the use of a VPN within the UAE illegal and punishable by both/either jail time and fines of up to $500,000. This is a real step backwards for the global online community and we really hope this law is challenged strongly. However, for now we have put up a notice of the introduced law atop this guide to educate our readers. Thanks again, Jazz.

  2. Richard
    September 19, 2016 at 10:19 pm

    They clarified the “law” but basically it says that VPN use IS legal, however to use it to circumvent rights management like watching TV or listening to Internet Radio that normally isn’t available in UAE IS illegal, so basically you can have your VPN but just don’t use it for anything that is useful.

    I do find that Apple Music is okay and works without a VPN here as long as you are using a U.S. Apple Store Account, not sure about one based in UAE.

    By the way, the different VPN’s I’ve used on my Iphone before no longer work here. They found some way to block them apparently. The software based one on my home computers still work though.

    1. Chris Beattie
      June 29, 2017 at 4:22 am

      Hey Berry, thanks for your question! After you download the VPN you do need to actually connect to a server on it. So go ahead and open it up, then choose which location (that’s the server) you want to connect to. Click “Connect” and then you’re good to go!

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