The Maldives – known for their pristine beaches, resorts & fantastic weather.
Because of all these factors, the Maldives is a popular travel destination for those experiencing (a cold) winter(s) in the Northern Hemisphere.
But is laying on the beach the only thing you can do in the Maldives?
No… but also yes.
While there are some museums to see, malls to explore & markets to stroll through, the Maldives is a true beach-life destination.
Oh, the nightlife is fantastic too – so you have got that going too.
What is not fantastic is that the Maldives is an expensive travel destination.
While the resorts are next-level, the prices can be out of the world too.
So any way to save some money is always a good thing, such as using a local or travel eSIM.
What you certainly should not do, in many cases, is roam internationally in the Maldives.
And if you get a travel eSIM, you do not have to deal with the SIM card registration bureaucracy and skip the queues in the Maldives.
How much will a local or travel eSIM for the Maldives cost you?
You can get an eSIM for the Maldives for as little as 30 USD, with 17 GB of data for 30 days, up to 50 USD, with 30 GB for 30 days, from Airalo (Ooredoo Maldives).
Those are some generous data allowances, right?
In this guide, I will go over the eSIM options offered by the Maldivian mobile operators & Airalo. Let's do this.
Original publication: 15th of September 2022. Last updated: 27th of January 2023.
Table of Contents
eSIMs offered by the Maldivian Mobile Operators
To get the best service available, in terms of reception and speeds, you want to go with the local mobile operators directly instead of with a travel eSIM.
That is because you will have a higher priority on the network in case of network congestion.
However, that does not mean travel eSIMs will always be slow.
In fact, some mobile operators throttle (prepaid) on select plans or all plans for “optimization” reasons (read: we cannot be bothered to invest in our network).
Anyway, which Maldivian mobile operators offer eSIMs to prepaid customers?
Currently, Dhiraagu & Ooredoo Maldives offer eSIMs to prepaid customers.
You also have two other options for getting an eSIM for your trip to the Maldives: You can choose travel eSIMs from Airalo (with Ooredoo Maldives).
Not only can you set up these eSIMs before arriving in the Maldives and activate them upon landing, but you can also avoid the Maldives' SIM card registration scheme, which is mandatory for anyone using Maldivian SIM cards and eSIMs.
While mobile data is already affordable in the Maldives, getting a travel eSIM will not break the bank – not at all.
Plus, I have plenty of experience with Airalo, and I can assure you they work well – and other Phone Travel Wiz readers also had pleasant experiences with them.
So let's see what these travel eSIM providers have to offer in theMaldives, right?
Airalo eSIMs for the Maldives (Ooredoo Maldives)
If I could only get a travel eSIM during my trip because I do not have the time or opportunity to buy a local SIM card or eSIM, then I would always get an eSIM from Airalo.
Airalo has eSIMs for around 190 countries, offers eSIMs at the lowest prices (on average compared to the competition) & has good service.
Airalo usually partners with the local mobile operator with the best coverage, the fastest speeds, or both.
In the case of the Maldives, Airalo partnered directly with Ooredoo Maldives network to offer its eSIMs, allowing for more exclusive options.
Anyway, you can get an Ooredoo Maldives eSIM for as low as 30 USD, with 17 GB of data, up to 50 USD, with 30 GB of data.
Those prices and data allowances are not too bad, right?
Especially knowing that the Ooredoo Maldives eSIM uses the Ooredoo Maldives – the best network in the Maldives with the best general availability.
So you do not have to worry about reception and speeds with the Ooredoo Maldives eSIM, even in remote areas.
The following two Ooreedoo Maldives eSIM options are available:
- Maldives/Ooredoo Maldives 17 GB eSIM for 7 days, costing 30 USD – most popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
- Maldives/Ooredoo Maldives 30 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 50 USD – very popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
Yes, this is one of the few (Airalo) eSIMs giving you a local phone number.
What do I mean by most popular?
All Phone Travel Readers get the 30 GB Ooredoo Maldives eSIM.
The Airalo links will automatically get you the available Phone Travel Wiz exclusive offers – a code is unnecessary.
- Check out my Airalo eSIM reviews
Overall, the Ooredoo Maldives eSIM gives you fantastic value for your money.
Airalo Ooredoo Maldives eSIM Pros
Are there any other reasons why you should get the Ooredoo Maldives eSIM for your trip? For sure:
- You get a Maldivian phone number for incoming calls
- You can activate your Ooredoo Maldives eSIM as soon as you land in the Maldives
- You get full (up to 4G/LTE) access to Ooredoo Maldives network
- Ooredoo Maldives eSIMs are affordable (especially compared to roaming) and have generous data allowances
- Out of data? You can simply top up online on the Airalo website and not worry about language barriers when dealing with local agents
- While incoming calls are accepted, because you get a Maldivian phone number, you can make calls or send/receive text message
There are many other small pros, but these are the major ones.
It would be disingenuous not to mention some cons, so here we go.
Airalo Ooredoo Maldives eSIM Cons
So, why should you not get the Ooredoo Maldives eSIM?
- Unlike most Airalo eSIMs, this eSIM requires you to verify your identity (through the Airalo website or app) because the eSIMs are issued in corperation with Ooredoo Maldives (but this can be done before going to the Maldives)
- There is no 5G NR access with the Ooredoo Maldives eSIM (yet)
- The Ooredoo Maldives eSIMs are the most expensive in this guide
Airalo Ooredoo Maldives eSIM Overall Thoughts
Honestly, the Ooredoo Maldives eSIM is fantastic for heavy data use.
The plans offered with Ooredoo Maldives eSIMs are generous and affordable (for Maldivian standards – nothing is cheap there 🤪).
You get fast speeds and direct access to the Ooredoo Maldives network, without standing in queues.
And everything, purchasing and topping up, can be done online on the Airalo website or Airalo app (downloading the app is recommended).
Best eSIMs for in Asia (not just the Maldives)
Unfortunately, you cannot use your Airalo Ooredoo Maldives eSIMs in any country than the Maldives.
There are some eSIMs out there that allow you to use your allowance in several East Asian and Southeast Asian countries.
Sadly, the Maldives is not one of them, but I still want to introduce them to you because they will be much cheaper than buying multiple eSIMs, or SIM cards for that matter, per country.
I highly recommend these Asia/APAC eSIMs if you plan to visit multiple East- and Southeast Asian countries to save money!
Airalo recently heavily improved its Asia eSIM, which used to offer a meager 4 GB of high-speed data before allowing for unlimited data at snail speeds, following the popular Eurolink eSIM for 39 European countries.
The Eurolink eSIM is the most popular eSIM for Phone Travel readers, and I have no doubt that the Asialink eSIM will be popular too.
Just like in Europe, many readers tend to visit multiple Asian countries, so they would rather have a travel eSIM covering multiple countries than just one (like the Maldives).
The Asialink eSIM can be used in the following 14 countries:
- Hong Kong
- Singapore 1
- South Korea
1 currently, newly bought Asialink eSIMs cannot be used in Singapore. Airalo is working on re-including Singapore in its Asialink offering
Below is an overview of how much each Asialink eSIM costs:
- Asia/Asialink 1 GB eSIM for 7 days, costing 5 USD
- Asia/Asialink 3 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 13 USD – very popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
- Asia/Asialink 5 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 20 USD – most popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
- Asia/Asialink 10 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 37 USD – very popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
- Asia/Asialink 50 GB eSIM for 90 days, costing 100 USD
- Asia/Asialink 100 GB eSIM for 180 days, costing 185 USD
Holafly & Nomad eSIMs for the Maldives
Because of Airalo's previous Asia eSIM, I used to recommend Nomad's APAC eSIMs instead (to be used in 8 countries).
This eSIM can be used in Australia, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore & Thailand (1 GB/7 days/15 USD – 20 GB/30 days/69 USD).
As you can see, this eSIM cannot be used in the Maldives, so it would be useless here but useful in the aforementioned countries.
The Holafly Asia eSIM has only one variant: 8 GB for 30 days, costing 47 USD/49 EUR/34 GBP.
This eSIM can be used in Cambodia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand & Vietnam.
Basically, the same countries as the Airalo Asialink eSIM with just fewer options (1 variant (8 GB) vs. 6 variants (1 GB/3 GB/5 GB/10 GB/50 GB/100 GB) and much more expensive.
So yeah, the Asialink eSIM is superior, I would say.
Remember, the Airalo links above will automatically offer you the best deals.
Overview of the Best eSIMs for the Maldives (Airalo)
In this guide, I went over Airalo's Ooredoo Maldives as the only (reasonably priced) eSIM for the Maldives.
I recognize that there are other eSIM providers that do offer services for the Maldives.
But they are either crazy expensive or the quality of service is whack (based on my experience or the experiences of other Phone Travel Wiz readers).
But you are free to try them out and let me know if they were any good 😀.
Buying a SIM Card in the Maldives
Want to just use a SIM card but not your current one because roaming will be criminally expensive?
Consider getting a Maldivian SIM card instead – local SIM cards are the cheapest way to stay connected abroad.
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