UAE: How to block annoying SMS ads, marketing calls

Tired of getting spammed via SMS and over the phone? It takes only a few taps to put an end to all of it

by

Kirstin Bernabe

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Published: Tue 28 Nov 2023, 5:32 PM

Last updated: Thu 22 Feb 2024, 9:27 PM

Here's the reality: No one sends SMS anymore — except companies and entities reminding you of bills to pay and doctors' appointments or alerting you to fines and bank transactions. Those important texts, however, make up just a fraction of your inbox. Check and you'll see a long list of unopened messages, many of them from shops promoting discounts and services.

Are you tired of having to delete all these ads over and over again?

And when those ads make it to your phone line, the intrusion could be unbearable. Imagine racing against time to finish work only to be interrupted by a marketing call.

UAE authorities have seen this community problem and thus have put anti-spam regulations in place. On top of that, the government gave residents the power to block all unwanted promotional messages and calls — in just a few taps. Here's how:

How to block SMS ads

Based on guidelines specified by the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA), Etisalat and Du users who wish to block all SMS advertisements just have to do the following:

  • Type "Ball" and send it to 7726
  • Your telecom operator will then block all texts from senders that start with "AD-"

If you find other ads useful and want to block just some of them, you may also specify.

  • Type "B [SenderName/Number]" (Example: B AD-SHOP)
  • Send it to 7726.

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How to block marketing calls

The UAE has put together a 'Do Not Call Registry (DNCR)', in which residents can sign up with their phone numbers to indicate that they do not want to receive telemarketing and promotional calls.

Subscribing is free and easy:

  • Type DNCR and send to 1012.
  • Your number will be automatically added to the registry.
  • To unblock calls, please SMS ‘UDNCR’ to 1012.
  • To check your number's status, send ‘Check IDNCR’ to 1012.

Those in Dubai can block and report spam callers by going to dnd.ded.ae.Once the form is filled out and submitted, a team from the Dubai Economy will get the consumer's contact number removed from the reported company’s database.

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