Posted inTourist SIM

3 Best SIM Cards in United Arab Emirates (UAE)

First-time vis­i­tors to the UAE, espe­cial­ly trav­ellers, have a lot of trou­ble choos­ing a SIM card. Many peo­ple come to Dubai for trav­el, so they search for the best SIM cards in Dubai. There are cur­rent­ly 3 pre­paid providers in the UAE, out of which Eti­salat is the largest, DU is the sec­ond largest, and Vir­gin Net­work is the third, which is an MVNO com­pa­ny of DU. Here you will get infor­ma­tion about all these net­works, such as the sim card cost in Dubai, the fastest net­work, and the cheap­est net­work.

Mobile Networks in UAE (Dubai)

Here are two major mobile net­works and one MVNO in the Unit­ed Arab Emi­rates (UAE):

Which is the Best Network in UAE / Dubai

Eti­salat and Du are both wide­ly used net­works. If we talk about pre­paid SIM cards in the UAE, some­times they are avail­able for free, but most­ly they are avail­able with the pack­age for 49 AED. The pack­ages of these two com­pa­nies are also slight­ly dif­fer­ent, but DU’s pack­ages are slight­ly cheap­er than Eti­salat’s. The third-ranked tele­com ser­vices provider, Vir­gin, offered by Du, has slight­ly high­er prices for pack­ages and SIM cards.

Best SIM card in UAE

You can buy a free SIM card in UAE from any Du, Eti­salat autho­rized deal­er, net­work cen­tre and at the air­port. Com­pa­nies pro­vide free SIM cards on spe­cial days like Inde­pen­dence Day and Eid. They charge only active pack­ages and recharge costs which start from AED 30. If you are on a low bud­get, you can con­tin­ue using these SIM cards and can recharge when you need them.

Prepaid SIM Card Prices in UAE for Tourists

The aver­age pre­paid SIM card price in the Unit­ed Arab Emi­rates is between AED 30 and AED 99. Cus­tomers can buy oth­er plans that come with free inter­net call­ing, local and inter­na­tion­al calls, free WIFI, and inter­net. The most famous net­works in the UAE are Eti­salat and DU, whose prices are giv­en below.

  • Eti­salat
  • Du

With an Eti­salat Free SIM card, cus­tomers will get 1GB of data for 24 hours. This will be for only the first cus­tomers who come to Dubai or all of UAE. If you are search­ing for a tourist SIM card in Dubai, these can be the best options.

Free Plan
Data1GB
PriceFree
SIMFree
Best for new and on-bud­get cus­tomers
Starter Plan
DataNo
PriceAED 30
SIMFree
BonusAED 30 Recharge
This plan includes AED 30 recharge and the SIM card is free.

The first plan is to include a FREE Du SIM with 1GB of data for Tourist SIM. Eti­salat cheap­est SIM card price is AED 49 which will include 30 flexi min­utes and 2GB data.

Free Plan
Data1GB (24 Hours)
PriceFree
SIMFree
Best for new and on-bud­get cus­tomers
Starter Plan
Data2GB
PriceAED 30
SIMFree
Calls30 Flexi Mins
Valid­i­ty28 Days
This plan includes AED 30 recharge and the SIM card is free.

In the Unit­ed Arab Emi­rates, 5G is avail­able on both net­works, but 5G inter­net speed is high­er for Eti­salat than Du. If we see the cov­er­age of 5G in all areas, then Du is the win­ner, cov­er­ing all areas in the UAE and pro­vid­ing full 4G and 5G sig­nals.

Eti­salat and Du are both wide­ly used net­works. If we talk about pre­paid SIM cards in the UAE, some­times they are avail­able for free, but most­ly they are avail­able with the pack­age for 49 AED. The pack­ages of these two com­pa­nies are also slight­ly dif­fer­ent, but DU’s pack­ages are slight­ly cheap­er than Eti­salat’s. The third-ranked tele­com ser­vices provider, Vir­gin, offered by Du, has slight­ly high­er prices for pack­ages and SIM cards.

Eti­salat’s 4G cov­er­age is very good and is avail­able in every city and region, while DU’s 5G cov­er­age is bet­ter than Eti­salat’s, but its 5G speed is slight­ly slow­er than Eti­salat’s. If you live in Dubai or are going to any city or region in the Unit­ed Arab Emi­rates for work, you should first check the cov­er­age there. You should choose a net­work that has good cov­er­age in the area you are vis­it­ing.

Many labour­ers and work­ing peo­ple in Dubai most­ly use Du SIM cards, one of the main rea­sons being to get a free SIM card. Most of the sales staff of DU are avail­able on the streets, and roads to sell free SIM cards in the UAE. You can select the Du WIFI Plans and run the full inter­net on your mobile phone for 1 month start­ing from AED 10.

Etisalat SIM Card Price, Packages and Offers

Etisalat new SIM card prices
Eti­salat new SIM card prices include 5% VAT

Eti­salat free SIM card is avail­able for those who buy Wasel pre­paid SIM cards with a min­i­mum recharge of AED 30. It now has a 30-AED recharge con­di­tion, after which you can get the SIM card for free. Lat­er, you can use the recharge on this SIM card any­where, like for calls, mes­sages, or the inter­net. Sim­i­lar­ly, you can get a free Eti­salat SIM card by get­ting a month­ly plan sub­scrip­tion on your new SIM card for a min­i­mum of AED 49 per month or AED 55 includ­ing 5% VAT.

Its inter­net speed is bet­ter than Du, which cov­ers more than 90% of the area. 4G is avail­able in every city, while 5G has good cov­er­age in every major city in the coun­try, includ­ing Dubai and Shar­jah. Its pack­ages are priced a bit high, which is quite nor­mal con­sid­er­ing its facil­i­ties like cov­er­age, inter­net speed, and call qual­i­ty.

Etisalat Visitor Lines Prepaid Packages for Starters

Eti­salat vis­i­tor lines pre­paid SIM cards are free, but cus­tomers have to pay only the pack­age cost. These SIM cards are avail­able in all Air­ports, Eti­salat sale points, and stores.

5% VAT is includ­ed in:

PriceDataWIFIFlex CallsValid­i­ty
Free1GB --24 Hours
AED 492GB-30 Min28 Days
AED 794GB-30 Min28 Days
AED 1258GB5 Hours120 Min28 Days
AED 20022.5GB30 Hours525 Min28 Days
AED 319Unlim­it­ed-100 Min10 Days
Eti­salat Vis­i­tor Line Plans, UAE
  • Flexi min­utes are usable to call with­in the coun­try and oth­er coun­tries
  • WIFI hours can be used in any place where Eti­salat WIFI is avail­able
  • Prices include 5% VAT
  • You can also order a SIM card online which will be deliv­ered to the pro­vid­ed address with­in 24 hours of work­ing days

As I told you Eti­salat is offer­ing free SIM cards but with it, you have to acti­vate some pack­ages and plans. Sim­i­lar­ly, a vis­i­tor SIM card has been intro­duced for trav­ellers which is valid for 28 days. You can get Eti­salat SIM absolute­ly free with­out any pack­age which gives you 1 GB of data for 24 hours. After that, you have to recharge to use any ser­vice.

You can buy a SIM Card in UAE using your cred­it card or if you have already cur­ren­cy in dirhams you can buy it in cash. If you have a eSIM sup­port­ed phone, I will rec­om­mend you buy this, not a phys­i­cal SIM card.

Du Prepaid SIM Card Price, Visitor Line Cost, & Packages

Du pack­ages are also very sim­i­lar to Eti­salat but the only dif­fer­ence is that you get unlim­it­ed calls to any one DU num­ber with its starter pack­age. It pro­vides users with a free SIM card with express deliv­ery which includes 1GB of inter­net data which is valid for 24 hours. If the cus­tomer wants, they can go with the Pay As You Go plan which is avail­able for AED 50.

Du has good 5G cov­er­age in UAE which cov­ers 95% of areas where it has good inter­net speed of 282Mbps down­load and 24.4Mbps upload­ing speed.

Du Tourist SIM Cards Plans and Prices

Tourist pack­ages are spe­cial­ly designed for trav­ellers who come to UAE for a short time. If you are a trav­eller then you can select any tourist SIM card pack­age and can get a free SIM card from any air­port in Dubai, Shar­jah, or oth­er cities.

PriceDataFlexi CallsPack­age Valid­i­ty
AED 492GB30 Min28 Days
AED 996GB30 Min28 Days
AED 13910GB30 Min28 Days
AED 18920GB30 Min28 Days
AED 199Unlim­it­ed100 Min7 Days
AED 299Unlim­it­ed200 Min14 Days
Du Vis­i­tor Line Plans UAE
  • Du has unlim­it­ed inter­net call­ing on the BOTIM app with all pack­ages includ­ing video and audio calls.
  • Flexi min­utes are usable for local and inter­na­tion­al calls
  • Prices are includ­ing 5% VAT
  • You can vis­it the DU page and order a SIM card online which will be received at the pro­vid­ed address with­in 60 min­utes

Du Prepaid Flexi Packages

Free SIM cards are also avail­able with Flexi pre­paid pack­ages. Cus­tomers have to select any giv­en pack­age to get a free DU SIM card.

PriceDataFlexi CallsValid­i­ty
Free1GB -24 Hours
AED 492GB30 Min28 Days
AED 794GB30 Min28 Days
AED 996GB120 Min28 Days
AED 13910GB525 Min28 Days
AED 592GB60 Min28 Days
AED 894GB60 Min28 Days
AED 1096GB60 Min28 Days
AED 14910GB60 Min28 Days
Du Flexi Pre­paid Plans UAE
  • Plan AED 99, AED 139, AED 109 and AED 149 are includ­ed with unlim­it­ed inter­net call­ing and free Du 1 num­ber calls.
  • Inter­net call­ing is valid for the BOTIM and VOICO app
  • Flexi min­utes are usable for call­ing local and inter­na­tion­al
  • Du free unlim­it­ed call­ing is valid for 1 num­ber only

Virgin UAE Tourist SIM Card Price and Packages

In the last, Vir­gin is the third largest net­work in UAE which has 5G cov­er­age in all areas of the whole coun­try. Vir­gin SIM card is avail­able in Dubai, Shar­jah and Abu Dhabi air­ports and can be bought by show­ing your pass­port and ID.

Vir­gin Mobile UAE is not offer­ing free SIM cards but it has great deals for inter­net lovers. Because Vir­gin is an MVNO of Du, its 5G and 4G cov­er­age is the same as DU have. For tourist plans, its prices start from AED 150 per 7 days and end at AED 300.

PriceDataLocalValid­i­ty
AED 15021GB (3GB/Day)30 Local & 20 Int’l Min & SMS7 Days
AED 20040GB (4GB/Day)30 Local & 20 Int’l Min & SMS10 Days
AED 30075GB (5GB/Day)30 Local & 20 Int’l Min & SMS15 Days
AED 300Unlim­it­ed30 Local & 20 Int’l Min & SMS10 Days
Vir­gin Mobile UAE Tourist SIM Pack­ages
  • Plan AED 300 75GB and Unlim­it­ed Both plans are includ­ing free unlim­it­ed inter­net call­ing
  • Inter­net call­ing is usable for voice and video call­ing on BOTIM
  • Dai­ly Inter­net will be reset at mid­night every day
  • Inter­na­tion­al min­utes are usable with­in 100 sup­port­ed coun­tries
  • After end­ing the pack­age, cus­tomers can con­tin­ue using the SIM card Pay As You Go

Vir­gin Mobile sup­ports eSIM but you must have an eSIM mobile phone to take and use it. If you don’t have this mobile then you can use a phys­i­cal sim card which is avail­able in every size. All its pack­ages include local and inter­na­tion­al calls, free SMS and 5G inter­net. This is the rea­son why its prices are high­er than oth­er net­works.

Etisalat vs. Du — Coverage, Speed and Availability

Eti­salat is the win­ner in com­par­i­son to Du’s down­load and upload­ing speed. Accord­ing to opensignals.com Eti­salat has 46.4Mbps down­load speed while Du has 34.4Mbps. If we check the down­load speed on 5G then here is too Eti­salat is the win­ner on 332.1Mbps down­load speed while Du has 282Mbps.

Eti­salatDu
Down­load Speed46.4 Mbps34.4 Mbps
Upload Speed11.0 Mbps9.0 Mbps
5G Down­load Speed332.1 Mbps282.0 Mbps
5G Upload Speed31.2Mbps24.4 Mbps

If we see its cov­er­age then Du is the win­ner which has good 5G inter­net cov­er­age.

Net­workCov­er­age5G
Du99.0%16.5
Eti­salat98.0%13.7

Which is the Best SIM Card in UAE?

Both telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion net­works Eti­salat have DU have sim­i­lar plans and prices the dif­fer­ence is too small. If you come to Dubai for a week or days, you can con­tin­ue using eSIM for the inter­net. The prices of eSIM start from $4.50 by Burj Mobile which gives 1GB of data for 7 days. Here are the details of both DU and Eti­salat with ben­e­fits and prices. I hope it will help you bet­ter to find the best SIM card accord­ing to your needs.

DU

  • Start­ing price AED 49
  • Good 5G cov­er­age and cov­er­ing all areas
  • Cheap­est unlim­it­ed inter­net plans than Eti­salat
  • Free SIM Card avail­able
  • Free inter­net call­ing
  • High-qual­i­ty 5G Voice Call
  • Best for Gam­ing on 5G
  • Cus­tomer Ser­vice is Gen­er­al­ly faster

Etisalat

  • Start­ing price AED 49
  • High­est 5G down­load and upload speed
  • Pack­ages are more expen­sive than Du
  • Good for Video play­ing
  • Excel­lent Con­sis­tent Qual­i­ty
  • Free SIM Card avail­able
  • Free WIFI in the coun­try with a pack­age
  • Cus­tomer ser­vice may be slow

Decid­ing which SIM card is best for you depends on your needs. Eti­salat is a SIM card that offers SIM cards and pack­ages to suit every­one’s needs. Eti­salat is per­fect for all peo­ple who are there for work, trav­el or short and long stays. Eti­salat 5G is not avail­able in some areas, but its speed is high­er. Du is avail­able in many areas than Eti­salat but its speed is slight­ly than Eti­salat.

If you’re look­ing to buy a bud­get-friend­ly Dubai SIM card, Du is great, offer­ing unlim­it­ed inter­net from AED 10 to AED 30 with free calls. You also need to select the SIM card accord­ing to your region as there are a few regions where Eti­salat does not pro­vide cov­er­age and DU does and is quite sim­i­lar. In over­all expe­ri­ence, for a trav­eller, the DU is the best SIM card and I will sug­gest you con­tin­ue using it.

Can I use International eSIM or Physical SIM cards together?

Yes, If your mobile phone is eSIM sup­port­ed, you can install mul­ti­ple eSIMs in your mobile phone. No need to eject the try to change the eSIM card every time.

FAQS

Can I buy eSIM or Physical SIM card in UAE on Passport?

You can buy a tourist SIM card in UAE air­ports by show­ing your pass­port which is valid for 7 or 15 days. Local pre­paid SIM cards can be pur­chased only from Emi­rates ID.

Is there any free SIM card in UAE?

In UAE, Eti­salat and Du offer free tourist SIM cards with 1GB of data for 24 hours.

Which is the best SIM Card in UAE?

Accord­ing to the 5G cov­er­age and speed, Eti­salat is the best than Du. If we com­pare its plans, Du has a low­er price plan than Eti­salat. We rec­om­mend you check the cov­er­age and then select the SIM card.

Hi, I am Saleem Baloch and living in the UAE. After moving to Dubai, I got a lot of experience with telecom and travel here after which I started this blog. I personally tested eSims, physical prepaid and postpaid SIMs in UAE and share my knowledge with people.

5 thoughts on “3 Best SIM Cards in United Arab Emirates (UAE)

  1. Du is the best sim card because it is offer­ing me very low price plans. In Dubai or Shar­jah, Eti­salat and Du both have good cov­er­age but due to price plans, I rec­om­mend using Du SIM at work Visa.

  2. If you’re con­sid­er­ing a SIM card for your trip to the UAE, I high­ly rec­om­mend the du Tourist SIM Card. With du, you can stay con­nect­ed effort­less­ly dur­ing your time in the UAE, ensur­ing a smooth and enjoy­able trav­el expe­ri­ence

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