Like many Middle Eastern regions, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has stringent regulations governing messaging, and mobile carriers enforce strict filters on all SMS messages. This can pose challenges, especially when it comes to delivering important or time-sensitive Application-to-Person (A2P) messages. When sending SMS in the UAE, you need to be mindful of a number of restrictions.
You can find a comprehensive list of these restrictions in the table below or refer to the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority for more information.
If you require assistance with sending messages to or from the UAE, our sales advisors are available to assist you. We possess the expertise and knowledge necessary to ensure the effectiveness of your SMS messaging program, so don’t hesitate to reach out to us for support.
UAE SMS Registration Details
|Country Name||United Arab Emirates (UAE)|
|Mobile Country Code||424|
|Region||Middle East & Africa|
To minimize the risk of SMS spam, organizations sending SMS to customers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are obligated to register all their messaging traffic with the UAE Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA).
It’s important to note that alpha sender IDs should be case-sensitive and include the brand name. For legal documentation regarding UAE SMS Registration, visit https://u.ae/en/information-and-services/services-a-to-z
Step-by-Step Guide to Setting Up A2P SMS Service in the UAE:
- Obtain TRA Registration: Businesses must register with the TRA to obtain a TRA license to send A2P SMS messages in the UAE. The registration process involves submitting an application form, providing relevant documentation, and paying the applicable fees.
- Choose an SMS Gateway Provider: Select a reputable SMS gateway provider that offers reliable connectivity, high deliverability rates, and comprehensive support. EnableX is a reputed SMS gateway provider that can help you send messages globally, including the UAE.
- Integrate SMS Gateway API: Integrate our SMS API into your application or system to enable seamless SMS transmission. The API will provide the necessary tools and protocols to send, receive, and manage SMS messages.
- Obtain SMS Sender ID: Apply for an SMS Sender ID, which is a unique identifier that will appear as the sender of your SMS messages. The TRA will review your application and assign an approved Sender ID.
- Test and Monitor SMS Service: Thoroughly test your SMS service to ensure messages are sent correctly and delivered promptly. Monitor your SMS delivery rates and recipient feedback to identify areas for improvement.
How to register with TRA for sending SMS in the UAE
Businesses can register with the TRA (Telecommunications Regulatory Authority) in the UAE to obtain a TRA license to send A2P SMS messages. There are two options for registration:
Option 1: SMS registration for businesses based in the UAE
Businesses based in the UAE can register directly with the TRA through their online portal or by visiting one of their customer service centers. The following documents are required for registration:
- Completed TRA registration form
- Copy of the business’s trade license
- Copy of the business’s passport or Emirates ID for the authorized signatory
- Payment of the registration fee
Option 2: SMS registration for businesses needing to send SMS to UAE from abroad
Businesses that are not based in the UAE but need to send SMS to UAE residents can register with a TRA-approved SMS gateway provider. If you work with us on this, EnableX will help complete the registration process for you:
- Copy of the business’s trade license or equivalent document from the country of origin
- Copy of the business’s passport or equivalent identification document for the authorized signatory
- Letter of authorization from the business authorizing the SMS gateway provider to act on their behalf
- Payment of the registration fee
Once the registration process is complete, you will receive a TRA license and an SMS Sender ID, which is a unique identifier that will appear as the sender of your SMS messages. Businesses can then integrate the EnableX SMS API into their application or system to enable seamless SMS transmission.
Please note the direct URL for the TRA application is not publicly available. Businesses can initiate the registration process by visiting the TRA’s website (https://tdra.gov.ae/en/) and navigating to the “Licensing” section. From there, they will find options to apply for various licenses, including the A2P SMS license. The application process involves completing online forms, providing required documentation, and paying applicable fees.
Additional Considerations for A2P SMS in the UAE:
- Localize SMS Content: Adapt your SMS messages to the UAE’s cultural context and language preferences.
- Personalize SMS Messages: Address recipients by name and tailor messages to their interests and preferences.
- Comply with Data Privacy Laws: Adhere to the UAE’s Personal Data Protection Law (PDPL) when collecting, storing, and processing customer data for SMS marketing purposes.
- Seek Expert Guidance: Consult with experienced professionals in the field of A2P SMS messaging to ensure compliance and optimize your SMS strategy for the UAE market.
How to incorporate Opt-Out when sending SMS In UAE
- Each SMS message must include an opt-out message within the text body, such as ‘To opt out, send N to XXXX’ in English or XXXX NO? XXXX in Arabic, as specified by the Telecom Regulatory Authority (TRA).
- Incorporating this opt-out message will consume 26 characters in English.
*Please note that opt-out regulations do not apply when a client possesses a database of customers or end-users who have given written consent to receive messages. Additionally, auto-replies sent as part of interactive campaigns are exempt from including the ‘opt-out’ text.
UAE SMS Content Restrictions
- P2P traffic is strictly prohibited.
- Any political, religious, unsolicited promotion, or gambling content is not allowed.
- All promotional sender IDs must include the “AD-” prefix. This prefix serves as an indicator to recipients that the message is promotional in nature.
- Messages should incorporate the company’s website URLs or customer care contact numbers. This enables recipients to access information about the campaign easily.
- Suppliers have the option to employ soft URL filtering measures to safeguard their direct connections.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog post is intended to be a general guide for businesses seeking to set up an A2P SMS service in the UAE. It is important to note that UAE regulations are subject to change, and businesses are advised to consult with relevant authorities and professionals for the most up-to-date information and guidance. The author of this blog post is not responsible for any inaccuracies or outdated information presented. Businesses should always refer to the official TRA website and guidelines for the most accurate and current information.