Best SIM Card in United Arab Emirates UAE
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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.

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 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 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.

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 492GB30 Min28 Days
AED 794GB30 Min28 Days
AED 1258GB5 Hours120 Min28 Days
AED 20022.5GB30 Hours525 Min28 Days
AED 319Unlimited100 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.

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?

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
  • Free SIM Card available
  • Free internet calling
  • High-quality 5G Voice Call
  • Best for Gaming on 5G

Etisalat

  • Starting price AED 49
  • Highest 5G download and upload speed
  • Good for Video playing
  • Excellent Consistent Quality
  • Free SIM Card available
  • Free WIFI in the country with a package

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.

I am a professional blogger and mostly my interest is in mobile phones and prepaid sims. After moving to Dubai I got a lot of experience with telecom and travel here after which I started this blog.

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