BBC iPlayer in Saudi Arabia: How to Watch



Pennsylvania's Jeff is a seasoned streaming technology expert at WatchTVAbroad. His expertise spans global legal streaming services, particularly for sports like MMA and boxing, TV shows, and movies. His knowledge, born from a late-teen passion for media, is extensive and highly respected.

Live in Saudi Arabia? Want to watch BBC iPlayer? This guide is for you.

We’re going to show you how you can stream all your favourite programmes with ease.

We live in an exciting time, where the world is not too big for anyone to go where they wish, and not too small so that there are not enough things to see.

In recent decades, becoming an expat and travelling to live on another side of the planet has become extremely popular. Especially among UK citizens, leaving their home country behind in search of new adventures and a place to live and work.

Many opt to go to Saudi Arabia, to cities like Yanbu, which has a sizable expat population.

Unfortunately, if this is you, it also means that you must give up on some of the privileges from back home, such as accessing BBC iPlayer.

But there is a way around this, and below I’ll show you how.

What you need to watch

You have probably already heard about VPNs.

They are also popular these days. If you don’t know about them, these are online privacy tools.

They work simply, at least from the user’s perspective. All you need to do is purchase one, turn it on, and voila – you are as safe on the internet as you can get.

UK Flag ribbon

As well as being excellent privacy tools, they can let you change your location, so websites, apps and services think you’re in another country.

Not all of them work in the UK, mind you. But some like ExpressVPN (the best one), or NordVPN and IPVanish (good alternatives) will do the trick.

Recommended VPN to watch

30-day money back guarantee

How to watch BBC iPlayer from Saudi Arabia

Now that you know what you need, the rest is easy.

Follow these steps, and you will be enjoying BBC iPlayer in KSA in no time.

  1. Pick a VPN service such as ExpressVPN or one of the other suggestions.
  2. Go to their website.
  3. Choose a payment plan and complete sign-up.
  4. Download their app for the device/system you want to watch on.
  5. Install the app, open it and login with your account details.
  6. Press the Selected Location option and then click United Kingdom.
  7. Once connected visit BBC iPlayer or use their app to start watching.
ExpressVPN app connecting to the UK.

Unblock iPlayer in Saudi.

As you can see, the process is straightforward, and the most important part is choosing a VPN that can unblock UK services of which we’ve recommended three that do.

Can I watch on a mobile device?

Of course, almost all VPNs have dedicated apps for the most popular platforms, devices, and systems.

All three that we have mentioned are perfect for mobile devices. They feature dedicated apps for Android, iOS, and depending on the provider – even Windows phones and others.

You can also use them on pretty much any phone or tablet as long as it runs a supported OS.

Can I watch on a computer?

Yes, VPNs were invented initially for computers, so using them on a PC or Mac is their natural usage.

You can use them for accessing BBC iPlayer on desktops, laptops, as well as on any OS, including Windows, MacOS, and even some versions of Linux, such as Ubuntu.

The apps are very user-friendly, simple to use, and intuitive, and you should have no problem finding your way around. Most of the time, it will all come down to a few clicks – choosing a server, establishing a connection, and that is it.

Recommended VPN to watch

30-day money back guarantee

Can I watch on my TV?

Yes, VPNs can even protect your TV. The best way to go about it is to use an Amazon Fire TV or Fire TV Stick, which you should obtain in the UK.

If you do not have one already, or you did not bring it with you – getting someone in the UK to send you one over will work.

VPNs are great when it comes to supporting most technologies of the modern-day, so all three VPN providers mentioned above ExpressVPN, NordVPN and IPVanish have special apps for the Amazon Fire TV or its smaller Fire TV Stick counterpart.

Saudi Arabia ribbon

Download the VPN app on your Fire TV device, connect to the UK, and then access BBC iPlayer via the web browser on your Fire TV.

There is a dedicated BBC app, although it does not work using this solution so stick to accessing iPlayer through a browser like ‘Internet’ or ‘Firefox’.

Is using a VPN app illegal?

In the UK, using a VPN is perfectly legal, and so is in most other countries around the world.

In Saudi Arabia, though, the situation is somewhat more complicated.

It is difficult to find a definitive answer, as different sources claim different things. Some say that using a VPN is fine. Others that using a VPN can result in a fine.

In the end, it is best if you do your research on this one. Perhaps contact someone who specializes in local laws, and sees what you can find out.

As mentioned, however, in the majority of the world – VPNs are perfectly legal. Even in China, there is no full ban on this technology, so it might be available for use in Saudi Arabia as well.


Being an expat is exciting and popular. You get to go to new places, meet new people, and experience other cultures more in-depth than a regular traveller ever could.

Of course, you may miss some of the comforts of your home country, especially if you are a UK citizen, one such is BBC iPlayer.

The UK has some great television, but it is locked behind geo-restrictions. With a VPN, you won’t have to worry about those, and you can easily access BBC iPlayer and enjoy countless shows, movies, documentaries, sports broadcasts, and much more.

Best of all, you can also watch other services like ITV Hub, Channel 4 and more. Just grab ExpressVPN and enjoy iPlayer and more in Saudi.

Start watching now

Beginner-friendly  Watch anywhere Works on all devices

30-day money back guarantee

Other useful guides

Illustrations © Gunay Aliyevs & Gregory Turik |

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts