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 (travel) eSIM for Maldives cost you?
You can get an eSIM for the Maldives for as little as 40 USD, with 20 GB of data for 30 days, and up to 50 USD, with 30 GB for 30 days, from Airalo (Ooredoo Maldives) to be used locally, in Asia, or globally.
Those are some generous data allowances, right?
In this guide, I will go over the eSIM options offered by the Maldives mobile operators (if available) and Airalo. Let's do this.
Original publication: 15th of September 2022. Last updated: 19th of October 2023.
Table of Contents
In a Hurry? A Quick Introduction
I will write about four eSIM options in Maldives (and explain why they are included).
But if you want to quickly check out what the best eSIMs are for Maldives without my analysis and explanations, here is an overview of the eSIMs covered in this guide:
- Maldivian mobile operators (two offer eSIMs to prepaid customers – read more in my Maldives SIM card buying guide)
- Airalo Ooredoo eSIM with two choices between 20 GB and 30 GB (best value for money)
- AIS eSIM2FLY Global eSIM through SimOptions with 5G NR access in Maldives with one 6 GB option (eSIM with the most 5G NR supported countries (53/143) at a reasonable price but with a short validity)
The eSIM providers are in alphabetical order per grouping (Maldives-only, regional & global) – not in order of preference (you would have to read the complete guide to find out which eSIMs I love the most for Maldives 😜).
Let's truly get started, shall we?
eSIMs offered by 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.
But you have to deal with Maldives' SIM card registration scheme, which is mandatory for anyone using Maldivian SIM cards and eSIMs – it can be a time-consuming affair.
(Why does this matter? Because hackers can steal your (critical) personal data if the mobile operator does not secure your data properly, like what happened in Australia (10 million Optus customers were affected, where info, like passport numbers, were stolen (including mine – luckily not my passport number but my boyfriend was not as lucky) or Indonesia (1.3 billion SIM card-related data was hacked)).
While mobile data is already affordable in Maldives, getting any of the travel eSIMs mentioned in this guide will not break the bank – not at all.
Travel eSIM provider Airalo offer attractive eSIMs for Maldives – some allow their eSIMs to be set up before arriving in Maldives and activating them as soon as you land.
Very convenient, right? And I have used eSIMs from Airalo before, and I can assure you they work well!
So let's see what these travel eSIM providers have to offer in Maldives, right?
Airalo eSIMs for 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 is available:
- Maldives/Ooredoo Maldives 20 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 40 USD – very popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
- Maldives/Ooredoo Maldives 30 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 50 USD – most popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
Note: Phone Travel Wiz reader popularity ranking was updated in October based on data up to the 11th of October (2023 data only).
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
What are the main perks of Airalo's Ooredoo Maldives eSIMs?
- 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
Airalo Ooredoo Maldives eSIM Cons
What are the main cons of Airalo's Ooredoo Maldives eSIMs?
- 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)
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).
AIS eSIM2FLY Global eSIM (5G NR access in Maldives)
SimOptions also sells a global eSIM: AIS eSIM2FLY Global.
And it can be used in 140+ countries for 15 days – 53 of them with 5G NR access.
The AIS eSIM2FLY Global eSIM can be used in the following countries:
- Åland Islands
- Australia 1
- Austria 1
- Bahrain 1
- Belgium 1
- Bhutan 1
- Bosnia & Herzegovina
- Bulgaria 1
- Canada 1
- China 1
- Congo, Republic of
- Congo, Democratic Republic of
- Costa Rica
- Croatia 1
- Cyprus 1
- Czech Republic 1
- Denmark 1
- Dominican Republic
- El Salvador
- Estonia 1
- Faroe Islands
- Finland 1
- France 1
- Germany 1
- Hong Kong 1
- Hungary 1
- Indonesia 1
- Iran 1
- Ireland 1
- Isle of Man
- Israel 1
- Italy 1
- Japan 1
- Kuwait 1
- Latvia 1
- Luxembourg 1
- Maldives 1
- Malta 1
- Netherlands 1
- New Zealand
- North Macedonia
- Norway 1
- Oman 1
- Papua New Guinea
- Philippines 1
- Poland 1
- Portugal 1
- Puerto Rico
- Qatar 1
- Russia 1
- San Marino 1
- Saudi Arabia 1
- Singapore 1
- Slovakia 1
- Slovenia 1
- Solomon Islands
- South Africa
- South Korea
- Spain 1
- Sri Lanka
- Svalbard and Jan Mayen
- Sweden 1
- Switzerland 1
- Taiwan 1
- Turkey 1
- United Arab Emirates 1
- United Kingdom 1
- United States America 1
- U.S. Virgin Islands Virgin
- Vatican City 1
- Vietnam 1
1 with 5G NR access
If you get this eSIM from SimOptions, which I recommend, you will pay 39.90 USD.
The main issue I have with the AIS eSIM2FLY Global eSIM is its short validity.
Making it hard to call it an actual global eSIM… unless you can somehow visit 140+ countries within 15 days – something not even I can do🧐.
Still, it is a relatively affordable global eSIM covering 140+ countries… with 5G NR access!
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 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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