How to watch British TV in Dubai

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Dubai without a doubt is a major destination for expats. A melting pot of nationalities make it an interesting place to both work and for leisure. Unlike elsewhere in the world you’re likely to bump in to nationals of every country. So with the expansion of expats moving to Dubai and the multicultural interaction that brings there surely must be some downsides?

Aside from the fact the majority of British and other nations expats don’t stay all that long in Dubai one of the most culturally disappointing factors is something as simple as losing access to British TV. There are a few nations in the world that make good TV and have been making it for a very long time and one of these is the United Kingdom. While you don’t generally consider the quality of programming when you’re in the UK a short holiday anywhere will soon make you realise just how good we’ve got it in the TV entertainment stakes.

Not only does the UK offer fantastic TV but our way of life and humour are very select to these very British Isles and being so far away in Dubai can sometimes feel slightly alien and have you longing for home. All the major British TV channels including BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and even Channel 5 now offer online versions of their websites which feature live streams and catch up services making the opportunity to watch British TV in Dubai there for the taking.

Unfortunately all of the major British online TV sites are blocked to those outside the UK and unless you’re happy to put up with reruns of old programmes in Dubai, foreign shows or pay for expensive satellite connections then you could be left without any British TV programmes at all.

How can I get British TV in Dubai

A superbly simple system known as SmartDNS can unblock those British websites that normally block you. This allows you to watch the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and any other online streaming website both in the UK and from abroad without requiring hardly any work all. There are are handful of providers who supply SmartDNS systems and with the magic of their behind the scenes technology it bypasses the restrictions put in place.

From your perspective the SmartDNS service requires two things, one; payment for the service which is extremely cheap at around US$5 per month and two; changing two settings on your computer, laptop, tablet or other device know as DNS servers. It’s actually really simple and we’ve put together an easy to follow guide for changing your DNS settings on Windows. If you have another type of system then most providers offer guides on how to set up. No matter what device you use the you’ll be up and running within a few minutes.

There are a ton of SmartDNS providers out there, some better than others so we’ve put together a SmartDNS Comparison Guide so you can take a look at the different services.

Best SmartDNS for watching British TV in Dubai

Desert camelTwo service which I recommend and are great are :-

  1. Overplay
  2. SmartDNSProxy

Both services are under US$5 per month and even cheaper if you take a longer package such as 6 months or a year. If you’re planning on being in Dubai or the UAE for any length of time then paying for a longer period upfront may be cost advantageous to you although with prices as low as they are per month no matter which service length you opt for you won’t break the bank.

That’s all there is to it, once you’ve paid and received your details you can get yourself set up either by following our guide for Windows or using the guides on your service providers site and you’ll be able to just head over to the UK streaming websites such as BBC iPlayer, ITVPlayer, 4OD and Demand 5 and watch as many British TV programmes as your hearts content.

While you’re over in Dubai struggling with the tax free earnings, nice life style and great weather at least you’ll now be able to console yourself with TV programmes that you recognise from back home.

If you have a Sky or BT Sport subscription still active back in the UK then you can access both of these services too. All SmartDNS services allow TV from around the world to be shown in Dubai so be sure to check out their list of supported channels as you may find a few other programmes from outside the UK that you enjoy too.

Image courtesy of m_bartosch at

  1. Avatar4 years ago
    • Christopher Seward4 years ago

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