How to Get a Mobile SIM Card in Dubai for Tourists

mobile SIM card as a tourist in Dubai

Dubai is one of the most famous tourist destinations in the world. It is well-known for its expensive shopping, luxurious hotels, busy nightlife, stunning architecture, and breathtaking views. The Dubai airport is one of the busiest in the world, with aircraft arriving every other second from all over the world. Apart from having everything larger and better, Dubai is also recognized for its cultural and culinary variety, as well as its own rich tradition and culture. Nowadays, Dubai has become a household name and is the first option for any vacation.

While visiting a new city is thrilling, having internet access when away from home is essential. Whether you want to hail a cab on the street, exchange images with friends back home, or use maps to explore the city. While the majority of hotels, public spaces, shopping centers, and tourist destinations provide free Wi-Fi, some need you to sign up with a local phone in order to use the network for free for 60 minutes. Getting your own SIM card, on the opposite hand, will provide you with constant, unrestricted internet access. If you’re visiting Dubai, getting a local SIM card is a good idea.When compared to using a SIM card from your own country, this will provide you with much reduced pricing for calls, messages, and data. All you need to know about buying a SIM card in Dubai is right here.

What are the benefits of buying a SIM card in Dubai?

SIM card in Dubai

1. You’ll save a lot of money: Using a local SIM will offer you access to much cheaper rates for calls, texts, and data than you would receive with your home country’s SIM, since international roaming costs may be extremely costly, so using a local SIM will save you a lot of money.

2. Apply for unlimited internet access: Because Dubai is so modern, having access to the internet at all times will greatly enhance your experience. Local calls, messages, and data may be made at any time and from any location. This might be useful if you need to call a restaurant to reserve a table or get directions to your location utilizing maps.

3. It is more convenient: With a Dubai SIM card, you will have a local phone number that others may reach you at. This is significantly more convenient than utilizing an overseas number to arrange calls or messages.

4. You’ll receive better data coverage: If you solely use your own country’s SIM card to access the internet, you may only get spotty coverage or extremely sluggish speeds. With a local SIM, you’ll have significantly better data coverage.

Dubai SIM Card Requirements

To obtain a SIM card, you will need your passport and a copy of your tourist visa. Visitors must be 18 years or older to register for a SIM card in Dubai. Because the UAE allows just one SIM card per passport, if you currently have one registered to your passport, you will be unable to obtain another.

Where can I get SIM cards in Dubai?

Dubai Airport


Visitors may buy SIM cards at shops located at the majority of Dubai’s airports. There are essentially two SIM card purchase places at Dubai International Airport. The first is available at one of the several kiosks located throughout the airport. The second option is to get a SIM card from a big telecom company having a shop at the airport. In addition, large retail complexes such as The Dubai Mall and The Mall of the Emirates offer SIM cards.

Telecom Service Providers

If you want to buy a SIM card from a local telecom operator, you have many possibilities. The two most well-known carriers are Etisalat and du, however, the city also has a variety of smaller providers. While choosing a carrier, it’s critical to weigh the various fees and features that each one offers. When you’ve decided on a provider, you may purchase a SIM card from one of their retail locations. Locating one should be simple, as most telecoms companies have multiple retail locations around Dubai.

Dubai Mobile Carriers

Etisalat, du, and Virgin Mobile are the three main SIM card suppliers in Dubai. All three carriers provide post-paid and prepaid plans for calls, texts, and internet bundles. Several network providers are available across Dubai, including at different outlets and shops at the airport.

How to Get an Etisalat SIM Card in Dubai

Etisalat is one of the UAE’s biggest mobile carriers. It features a prepaid package for travelers and new residents called the Visitor Line. This supplier offers fast connectivity as well as a number of services such as:

  • Data with Wi-Fi bundle designed for business visits
  • Voice and SMS packages appropriate for family or leisure guests
  • A mix of internet, phone, and SMS for both business and leisure travelers.

Further savings and privileges are available through Etisalat’s Visitor Line, such as discounts on Careem taxis. Also, with different packages, tourists may avoid costly roaming charges. You can make the most of internet calls made through the GoChat Messenger app with Visitor Line Premium, Visitor Line Premium Plus, and Visitor Line Unlimited Local Data subscriptions. Your Etisalat SIM card may be obtained via the airport’s kiosks or from an Etisalat store in the city. If you do not like to visit an Etisalat shop or business center, you may book your Etisalat SIM card online via their website.

Details about the Visitor Line Package

The packages start at AED 49 and go up from there. Below are the entire package specifics for Visitor Line:

PackVisitor LineVisitor Line +Visitor Line PremiumVisitor Line Premium +Visitor Line Unlimited
Price (with VAT)AED 49AED 79AED 125AED 200AED 319
Data2 GB4 GB8 GB22.5 GBUnlimited
Flexi Mins3030120525100
Validity (Days)2828282810
Wi-Fi (hours)5 hours30 hours

You may earn AED 100 Careem credits and “buy one get one free” promotions on all packages by using the Etisalat mobile app. Visitor Line Premium and Visitor Line Premium+ offer 500 MB of GoChat data, but Visitor Line Infinite provides an infinite quantity of GoChat data.

How to Get a Du SIM Card in Dubai

Du provides free tourist SIM cards in Dubai, which are given by Dubai Immigration Officers during Passport Control. This SIM card comes with a Welcome Bonus of 1GB of local data that is good for 24 hours. You may also save time and money by pre-ordering your SIM card from the official du website. Also, download the ALSAADA app to gain fantastic discounts on eating, shopping, and other popular Dubai activities. The ALSAADA app QR code may be found on the back of your free tourist SIM card.

Here’s how you get your free Tourist SIM card:

The SIM card you are given will be activated and will contain your name and passport information. To begin the line, do the following steps:

  • Put the SIM card into your phone at the airport.
  • You will then receive a verification SMS from 1220 asking you to respond with your birth year (For example if your date of birth is 29-June-2000, then you will send an SMS to 1220 with 2000)
  • After the verification is complete, you may begin using the free 1GB local data for 24 hours.
  • You will get an SMS containing your cellphone number as the activation code.

After you’ve used all your free data, you may reload your card by visiting their website or any of the emirate’s stores and business centers. If you are only in Dubai for a day, you can retain the SIM as a keepsake of your vacation.

Information about the Du Tourist SIM Bundle

The packages start at AED 49 and go up from there. Here are the full package details:

DataFlexi MinsFree Internet CallingValidity (Days}Price (with VAT}
2 GB30Yes28AED 49
G GB30Yes28AED 99
lO GB30Yes28AED 189
20 GB30Yes28AED 189
UnlimitedYes10AED 299

In Dubai, how can I register for a Virgin Mobile SIM card?

image source :

Another well-known mobile carrier in the UAE is Virgin Mobile, which offers unique prices to both visitors and locals. Visitors to Dubai may purchase a Virgin Mobile Tourist SIM card, which includes local and international minutes and data. For prepaid phone plans, residents of Dubai can use the Virgin Mobile SIM card. This telecommunications firm offers mobile plans on a monthly, semi-annual, and annual basis.

The following are the details for the Virgin Mobile Tourist SIM Package:

ValidityPriceDataLocal SMS/CallsIntl SMS/Calls
7 DaysAED15021GB (3 GB per day)30 local/SMS20 Intl mins/SMS
10 DaysAED20040 GB (4 GB per day)30 local/SMS20 Intl mins/SMS
15 DaysAED30075 GB (5 GB per day)30 local/SMS20 Intl mins/SMS

You also receive free internet calling on BOTIM and free UAE tourist attraction tickets with the 15-day package. Virgin Mobile SIM cards may be purchased at the airport’s kiosk, online, or at any Virgin Megastore in the emirate. For AED 100, you may upgrade your plan and get unlimited data.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the most convenient way to get a SIM card in Dubai?

One of the city’s main telecom companies is the best option for buying a SIM card in Dubai. The two most popular carriers are Etisalat and du, however, the city also has a variety of smaller providers. You may also buy a SIM card online in Dubai.

What steps must I take to activate my SIM card?

The method for activating your SIM card may vary depending on the carrier you got it from. Nonetheless, the majority of service providers use a similar activation approach. To activate your phone, you must insert your SIM card. After adding it, you must input the provider’s code. Your SIM card will be activated and ready to use after you enter the code.

How long does a tourist SIM card in Dubai remain valid?

Visitor SIM cards have varying validity dates. Du cards, for example, are good for 90 days, Etisalat provides 28-day or 10-day plans, while Virgin Mobile offers seven, ten, or fifteen-day plans. All phone plans may be easily renewed and come in voice and data bundles, pay-as-you-go plans, or prepaid recharge cards.

What should I do if my SIM card is stolen or lost?

If your Dubai SIM card is lost or stolen, you must immediately contact your service provider. They will be able to cancel and replace your SIM card.

This article is only offered for educational purposes, providing a general understanding of its material, including relevant laws and regulations, and is not meant to provide specific legal advice. The Blog is not meant to take the place of qualified guidance from a licensed professional.

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