TDRA has been empowered by Federal Law by Decree No. (3) of 2003, and its amendments, to oversee the telecommunication sector in the United Arab Emirates. As part of TDRA´s role to represent consumer interests, TDRA has established regulations for the telecommunication service providers in the UAE.

Consumer Rights Regarding Telecommunications Services:

The consumer has:

1- The right to have access to basic telecommunications services at reasonable prices.

2- The right to full pre-contractual and price information that is clear, helpful, adequate accurate and free of charge related to the services and choices offered by a telecommunications service provider in order that the consumer can make an informed choice.

3- The right to receive information assistance from service providers regarding telecommunication services supplied in the UAE

4- The right to fair treatment without undue discrimination between another consumer of the same service.

5- The right to receive full terms and conditions of a service supplied or to be supplied to a consumer.

6- The right to express dissatisfaction with a telecommunication services directly to the service provider who is providing the telecommunication service provider.

7- The right to have complaints handled in an efficient manner.

8- The right to be provided with services that are safe and secure.

9- The right to privacy of personal information.

10- The right to receive a printed telephone directory upon initial subscription of each main line and annually thereafter.

11- The right to be educated on services being offered by service providers (the right to consumer education).

12- The right to access/request billing information.

13- The right to receive an invoice for postpaid services.

14- The right to receive a notification of planned interruption/outage of a telecommunications service.

15- The right to be protected against misleading marketing communications and practices.

16- The right to express dissatisfaction of a licensee´s outcome of an investigation made regarding a complaint about a telecommunications service and to escalate the complaint to the TDRA.

17- The right to be notified at least 28 calendar days prior to any price increase or any contractual change that has the effect of a price increase.

18-The right to have the opportunity to terminate a contract without a penalty before an increase in prices takes effect.

19- The right not to receive unsolicited electronic communications messages (SPAM).

Consumer Responsibilities:

Consumers are expected to make responsible decisions and accept a certain level of responsibility when exercising choice or entering into service contracts with the service providers. The consumer should:

1- Keep informed about service offerings as best as possible.

2- Make decisions carefully; having considered the detrimental consequences that may arise from making hasty/ill-informed decisions.

3- Obtain as much information regarding the service, and be aware of other consumers´ experience with similar services.

4- Compare price, and features before making a purchase.

5- Refrain from entering into any schemes that are promoted with fancy terms without enquiring about the details of the offer.

6- Understand your financial capability before entering in to any contract.

7- Read your contract terms and conditions carefully and strive to understand each individual clause before entering in to any contract with a telecommunications service provider.

8- Keep track of changes that have been made to the contract and enquire about them to avoid confusion.

9- Be aware that you should not be coerced to subscribe to any unwanted service.

10-Inform your service provider about your lost/stolen sim card.

According to the Federal Tax Authority of UAE, VAT is a tax on the consumption or use of goods and services levied at points of sale in the UAE, including telecom sector. VAT is levied at each stage of the "supply chain". In general, the final consumer is the one who bears the cost of this tax, while businesses (including telecom companies) collect and calculate the tax, as a tax collector for the Federal Tax Authority. The percentage of VAT is 5% and will be effective as of January 1, 2018.

For the telecom sector, VAT will be applied as follows:

  • Postpaid services:

 5% of the total amount of the invoice charged to users.

  • Prepaid services:

VAT will be calculated at 5% upon purchase of a new SIM after January 1, 2018. However, as for recharge cards, the tax will not be applied to the face value of the recharge; however, 5% will be applied to prices of the services used by the user from the recharged amount.

As of January 1st, 2018, price of services in the UAE’s telecom sector will be inclusive of VAT, this does not apply to telecom services to which VAT is not applicable pursuant to Federal Law No. 8 of 2017 on Value Added Tax and its Executive Order (e.g. International roaming services).

As explained, the role of telecom companies in the UAE is to collect VAT for the Federal Tax Authority, the core role of the TRA is to ensure that telecom companies comply with the law by implementation of VAT of not more than the 5% declared in the Federal Law No. 8 of 2017 on Value Added Tax as well as to ensure that telecom companies do not apply VAT on exempted services.

For more information on VAT, please visit the Federal Tax Authority website (

Consumer Protection Regulations
Persons of determination accessibility to telecommunication services in the United Arab Emirates 1-2014 - Arabic
TRA Consumer Protection Guide

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Last updated :

29/12/2023 12:57

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