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United Arab Emirates (UAE) SMS messaging regulations and restrictions

Like most Middle Eastern regions, the United Arab Emirates has tremendously rigid messaging laws in place, and carriers impose strict filters on all SMS messages. It can even be difficult to deliver critical or time-sensitive A2P (application to person) messages. See the full list of restrictions in the table below, or read more at the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority.

If you want to send messages to or from the UAE, our sales advisors can help you put together a program that meets your critical business needs. We have the knowledge and expertise to help ensure that your SMS messaging program works effectively, so get in touch.

 

Restriction Description
DND exists No
Time restrictions Yes
  • SMS messages may be sent between 7 AM - 9 PM (UAE standard time) only

International vs local split Yes
Local traffic All local traffic will require sender ID registration and the messages will be routed via our UAE local routes.
International traffic All international sender IDs require registration and will be routed via our international UAE routes at higher international rates.
General content restrictions
  • Gambling and adult content is not allowed
  • All promotional sender IDs must carry an AD- prefix which indicates to the end-user that they are receiving a promotional message
  • The messages should contain the company's URLs or customer care contact number so recipients can know where to find information regarding the campaign
Content registration required No
Opt-out instructions required Yes
  • An opt-out message must be included in the SMS text and the body pushed out, e.g., ‘To opt out SMS N to XXXX' (English) or XXXX NO?XXXX (Arabic), in accordance with regulations laid down by the Telecom Regulatory Authority (TRA).
  • This will use 24 characters in English and 17 characters in Arabic. The number of characters for a single message will thus decrease to 136 (English) and 53 (Arabic). This regulation will be in place until further notice.
*Note: opt-out regulations are not applicable in cases where the client owns a database of opted-in customers/end-users (attested to in writing). Auto-replies sent out as part of interactive campaigns need not include ‘opt-out’ text        
Sender ID regulations
  • Pre-registration required
  • Numeric and unregistered sender IDs will be blocked
  • All promotional messages need to have the sender ID prefix "AD-"
  • As of 1 November 2021, all brands sending promotional (marketing) SMS messages in UAE are required by TDRA Rules & Regulations to register their sender names and upload a consent database on the new Consent Management Service (CMS) platform for approval from the operator, and to prevent their SMS messages from being blocked.
  • All promotional SMS messages without a consent list in the CMS platform will not be delivered but will be charged for.
  • Once registered on the CMS platform, the existing Clickatell UAE Sender ID registration process will still need to be followed.
  • This CMS registration process needs to be managed by the Brand as the Operator will share the CMS portal activation link with the Brand directly.

The steps to perform this process are detailed in the following CMS guidelines from Etisalat: etisalat-consent-management-service-policy.pdf

For any further information regarding the requirements, please reach out to the Clickatell Sales or Support teams.

Sender ID documentation required Yes
Country supports MNP Yes

 

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