How to get a SIM card in Dubai

Getting a SIM card in Dubai is a simple process, catering to both tourists and locals. Whether you are a visitor or a resident looking for a new SIM card, leading telecom providers such as Etisalat by e&, du and Virgin Mobile have conveniently located kiosks and stores, including at Dubai International Airport.

For tourists, obtaining a tourist SIM card upon arrival guarantees immediate access to local mobile networks, offering prepaid package options with generous data allowances and calling minutes. This allows for seamless connectivity for calls, text messages and internet services during your stay in Dubai.
Fun fact; Tourists at Dubai International Airport are greeted by du with a complimentary tourist simulator that comes with 1GB of free mobile data valid for 24 hours.

For residents, whether old or new, getting a new SIM card is essential to staying connected in the city. Telecommunications providers offer a variety of postpaid and prepaid plans, and even pay-as-you-go options that offer residents a variety of options for making calls, sending text messages, and consuming data. The process is made even more convenient with online registration and management services.

In both cases, the various offerings and accessibility of these telecom providers make purchasing and managing a SIM card in Dubai a simple and personalized experience for everyone.

Where can I find a SIM card in Dubai?

To buy a SIM card in Dubai, locals need to go to a SIM card retailer with their Emirates ID and register for a SIM card in their name, with their preferred package. Tourists can obtain a complimentary SIM card at Dubai International Airport by showing their visas and passports, or can purchase one at various stores in the city. Knowing Dubai airport security protocols is an advantage.

The Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA) governs all the rules and documentation necessary for the acquisition of a SIM card. Dubai residents must provide their Emirates ID and additional documents to apply.

Meanwhile, new arrivals to the UAE without their residency documents can initially opt for a tourist SIM from providers such as Etisalat, Virgin Mobile and du, and then switch to a prepaid or postpaid plan once they obtain their ID from the Emirates.

Mobile operators in Dubai

In Dubai, you have three main options for SIM card services: Virgin Mobile, du and Etisalat by e&. Each provider offers postpaid, prepaid, and pay-as-you-go plans; which covers calls, text messages and internet packages. You can easily find your SIM cards at Dubai International Airport, in various shopping malls and at numerous retail outlets throughout the city.

Etisalat, the first key telecommunications provider in Dubai, serves both residents and visitors with its SIM card offerings, ensuring widespread connectivity throughout the city. The company offers cost-effective packages designed for locals and the online SIM registration renewal process is simple, making it easy to update personal details such as addresses. With a variety of plans to choose from, users can customize their services based on their individual preferences. For added convenience, people can reserve their Etisalat SIM card online, eliminating the need to visit a physical store or business center in Dubai.

To learn more about mobile network plans and business plans, visit the website below

du is another major telecommunications provider in Dubai. The du SIM card offers users reliable mobile services and internet connectivity in Dubai. Like other local SIM cards, using du can be a cost-effective option as it offers affordable rates for local calls, text messages, and data usage. You can avail their energy plans, prepaid plans or pay-as-you-go plans by speaking to an executive or purchasing the package on their website.

du also provides online services for SIM card management, making it convenient for users to handle tasks such as registration updates and other administrative changes without the need to visit a physical store. Overall, du SIM card is a viable option for those looking for reliable and affordable connectivity in Dubai.

For more information on mobile network, personal plans and business plans, please visit the website below

Virgin Mobile, a leading mobile operator in the United Arab Emirates, offers specialized packages for both tourists and residents in Dubai. For visitors, the Virgin Mobile Tourist SIM card is designed to provide comprehensive services, including local and international minutes, along with data, ensuring a well-connected experience during your stay in the city.

Residents, on the other hand, have the option of selecting Virgin Mobile SIM card for prepaid phone plans in Dubai. Virgin Mobile offers a variety of plans, including monthly, semi-annual, and annual options. What sets it apart is the flexibility customers have to tailor their plans based on their individual preferences for voice calling, SMS and data usage. This customization feature allows users to create plans that precisely align with their communication needs.

For mobile network plans, visit the website below

All about the 5G/4G Tourist SIM Card

Maintaining connectivity while on vacation is crucial for tasks like arranging transportation, sharing photos with friends, and booking tickets to attractions in Dubai. While free Wi-Fi is available in many hotels and public spaces around the city, having a local SIM card ensures continuous and convenient Internet access. For travelers in Dubai, it is advisable to get a local SIM card as it offers more cost-effective rates for calls, text messages and data compared to using a SIM card from your home country.

Your 4G SIM card options explained

All SIM cards are valid for 28 days from the day of collection.


49 dirhams

  • Data: 2GB
  • Minutes: 30 (Local and International)
  • Validity: 28 days

199 dirhams

  • Data: Unlimited
  • Minutes: 100 (local and international)
  • Validity: 7 days

299 dirhams

  • Data: Unlimited
  • Minutes: 200 (Local and International)
  • Validity: 14 days

To find out more about other packages visit the website.


49 dirhams

  • Data: 2GB
  • Minutes: 30 (Local and International)
  • Validity: 28 days

200 dirhams

  • Data: Unlimited
  • Minutes: 100 (local and international)
  • Validity: 7 days

319 dirhams

  • Data: Unlimited
  • Minutes: 300 (Local and International)
  • Validity: 14 days

To find out more about other packages visit the website.

Virgin mobile

142.86 dirhams

  • Data: 21GB
  • Minutes: 30 (local) and 20 (international)
  • Validity: 7 days


  • Data: Unlimited
  • Minutes: 30 (local) and 20 (international)
  • Validity: 15 days

476.19 dirhams

  • Data: Unlimited
  • Minutes: 30 (local) and 20 (international)
  • Validity: 30 days

To find out more about other packages visit the website.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Q: Can I get a SIM card upon arrival at Dubai International Airport?

A: Yes, major telecom providers like Etisalat, du and Virgin Mobile have kiosks at the airport where you can easily purchase a SIM card.

Q: What documents do I need to submit to get a SIM card in Dubai?

A: For tourists, a valid passport with visa stamp is usually sufficient. Residents may be required to provide additional documents such as an Emirates ID and proof of residency.

Q: Can I use my foreign SIM card in Dubai without any problem?

A: While you can use an international SIM card, it is often more cost-effective to get a local SIM card to avoid high roaming charges.

Q: How do I choose the right carrier and cell phone plan for me?

A: Consider your communication needs, such as data usage, local calls, and international calls. Major providers like Etisalat, du and Virgin Mobile offer various plans to suit different preferences.

Q: Can I renew my SIM card registration online?

A: Yes, both Etisalat and du offer online platforms where you can easily renew your SIM card registration, update personal details and manage your account.

Q: Are there special SIM card packages for tourists available in Dubai?

A: Yes, telecom providers often offer specific tour packages that include data, local minutes and sometimes international minutes.

Q: Can I reserve a SIM card online instead of visiting a store?

A: Yes, major telecom providers provide online booking services, allowing you to conveniently order and activate your SIM card without visiting a physical store.

Q: What do I do if I lose my SIM card or my phone is stolen?

A: Contact your wireless carrier immediately to report the loss. They will guide you through the SIM card blocking process and can help you transfer your number to a new SIM.

Q: Can I use my Dubai SIM card in other countries?

A: It depends on your mobile provider’s roaming agreements. Some providers offer international roaming services, while others may require separate agreements.

Q: Is it possible to change my mobile plan after getting a SIM card?

A: Yes, most providers offer flexibility, allowing you to change plans based on your changing needs. Check with your specific provider for details on plan changes.

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