If you are new to UAE for a short or long-term visit, getting a SIM card is important to stay connected with your friends and family. Even though there are free WIFI connections available in several areas, having a SIM card provides you with uninterrupted internet access. You can easily get them at the airports and SIM card shops.
To get a new SIM card in UAE, there are certain requirements made by the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA). Getting a SIM card is an easy and straightforward process in UAE. At times, your employer will arrange the SIM card for you prior to your arrival. Otherwise you can apply for the SIM card after entering the country.
As per the TDRA, the applicants must submit their emirates ID along with other supporting documents to get the SIM card in UAE. But upon arrival, most of them do not have the emirates ID. In that case, UAE offers tourist or visitors SIM for the convenience of the people.
Mobile Operators in UAE
The main telecommunications operators in the UAE are Etisalat, du and Virgin Mobile. Etisalat and du offer coverage throughout the UAE. Getting a SIM from these operators is very easy process. They provide both prepaid and post-paid mobile plans to the customers.
People who have just landed in UAE can apply for the tourist or visitors line which is offered by all these telecommunications operators in UAE. After getting the emirates ID you can change the line into the prepaid or post-paid number.
To apply for new SIM card in the UAE, the applicants need to submit certain documents. They are:
- Emirates ID
- Passport copy
- Residence Visa
- Visa copy (non-citizen of UAE)
How to apply for Etisalat SIM card?
Etisalat is one of the biggest mobile operators in the UAE. To purchase the sim card, it is necessary that you need to select a suitable package and submit the relevant documents. There are online and offline methods to apply and get the sim card.
One simple and easy way to purchase Etisalat sim is through the online platform. People can visit the official Etisalat portal and apply for the SIM card.
For those who do not find the online method comfortable, there are offline ways. This includes:
- Go to an Etisalat business centre or kiosk. The kiosk is available at Dubai, Abu Dhabi or Sharjah international airport.
- Visit an Etisalat centre at the airport or at a mall in the UAE
Etisalat Visitor line
For those who are new to UAE and did not have the emirates ID can get the visitor sim offered by the Etisalat. All you need is to submit your passport and the number will be provided. But this number will be active only for 90 days.
How to get du SIM card in UAE?
Du offers the tourist sim to the people who are new to the country. So, if you are planning to get the du operator, it is possible to book the tourist sim online even before you arrive in the country. For that, follow these steps:
- Visit du website
- Click on Book Now
- Enter your name and email id
Now after arriving in UAE, you can pay for the sim and collect them at any du retail store including airport terminals stores in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.
Similarly, you can apply for the tourist sim offline at any of the du business centres and shops, once you enter in the UAE.
How to get Virgin mobile SIM?
For the virgin mobile users, they can now purchase the sim card from the kiosks upon their arrival. The kiosks are available at the Arrivals area in Dubai Airport’s Terminal 2 Terminal 3, Sharjah International Airport and Abu Dhabi International Airport.
It is also possible to purchase the sim card online. They will deliver it to your designated location. The verification can be done at your doorstep when the sim is delivered.
Virgin mobile also provides tourist sim. They are one-time purchase with duration of 7, 10 or 15 days. After getting the emirates ID you can change them to active plan.
Where to buy SIM cards in UAE?
In UAE, the SIM cards are provided mostly by the airports. This is for the convenience of the people, so that they can buy the SIM directly after entering the country. At the airports, there are kiosks where you can purchase the SIM. In UAE, the kiosks are available at the arrivals area in Dubai Airport’s Terminal 2 Terminal 3, Sharjah International Airport and Abu Dhabi International Airport.
The other option to purchase SIM cards is from the respective telecom providers. The telecom operators have their retail shops and business centres where you can buy the SIM cards.
How to convert tourist SIM to prepaid or post-paid SIM?
Without the emirates id one cannot get the prepaid or post-paid sim in UAE. So upon arrival, they can get the tourist or visitors line and after receiving the emirates id, they can change the line to prepaid or post-paid line. For that the applicant need to visit an Etisalat or du store with their emirates id. The virgin mobile users can update their emirates id online via the Virgin Mobile app. For the verification process, they need to visit the store in person if required.
In UAE, one can easily get the SIM card if they have the Emirates ID. Those who do not have the ID can get the tourist or visitors SIM by simply presenting their passport. Once you submit the relevant documents at the airport or the respective SIM shops, the SIM card will be provided soon on the spot after verification. Therefore getting SIM card is necessary and a simple process.