'I heard my colleague's voice for the first time': How WhatsApp outage brought life to a standstill for Dubai residents

Users first encountered the issue when sending messages to their groups; a few minutes later, direct messages and Web WhatsApp were disconnected


Nasreen Abdulla

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Published: Tue 25 Oct 2022, 1:45 PM

Popular messaging app WhatsApp was out for just over two hours but for many UAE residents, life came to a grinding halt. The worldwide outage rendered users unable to send messages.

Users first encountered the issue when sending messages to their WhatsApp groups. A few minutes later, direct messages and Web WhatsApp connections were disconnected.

Dubai resident SB said she heard the voice of a colleague for the first time. “He is a remote worker and we have been working together for over 6 months,” she said. “But today because WhatsApp was out, I had to call him, and he asked me ‘who is this’. We both laughed that we didn’t recognise each other’s voice even though we had been in touch every day for all these months.”

For Instagram influencer and a small business owner Sana Khader, the outage meant potential loss of business. “My store mainly relies on WhatsApp for communication,” she said. “Be it ordering, delivery, feedback, or anything else, my customers feel the most comfortable using WhatsApp. Due to the app being down, some conversations stayed idle and a delivery was delayed because we had to find other source to share the location pin.”

"We're aware that some people are currently having trouble sending messages, and we're working to restore WhatsApp for everyone as quickly as possible", a spokesperson for WhatsApp parent company Meta Platforms said on Tuesday.

Dubai-based graphic designer Nafiha Abdul Nasar said she had a rare conversation about classical music with her colleague because of the WhatsApp issue. “We usually don’t have such conversations, about our own interests unless it’s lunch time,” she said. “But today because WhatsApp is down, we were all on standby. So, my colleague told me about her live for classical music. We played the music on our computer and de-stressed. It felt really good.”


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