Buying a Prepaid SIM Card in Saudi Arabia Guide

Saudi Arabia has one of the fastest mobile internet speeds in the world. In fact, the Kingdom is in the top 5 countries with the fastest average mobile data speeds.

But does that mean that Saudi SIM cards and mobile data packages are expensive? Not at all.

You can get a Saudi SIM card for only 30 SAR (8 USD). It is possible to get a data package or a combo plan, including data and minutes for as little as 30 SAR.

Luckily, SIM cards are also available to tourists as well. Only in 2019 did Saudi Arabia open itself for tourism when the Kingdom introduced tourist visas.

Those visiting the Kingdom for Hajj and Umrah were, and still are, always able to purchase Pilgrimage-focused SIM cards, starting from 30 SAR, with plans including allowances for local use and attractive international rates.

The thing is – there are so many operators in Saudi Arabia and so many things to choose from that it can be hard to select the best Saudi SIM card for your situation.

Whether you are visiting the Kingdom as a tourist, going to Saudi Arabia for Hajj or Umrah, an expat or migrant worker in the Kingdom trying to get their first local SIM card, or a Saudi citizen thinking of switching to a (better) operator.

In this guide, I will go over everything you need to know about buying a SIM card in Saudi Arabia. Let's do this.

Buying a SIM Card in Saudi Arabia (logos of STC, Jawwy, Mobily, Zain, Virgin Mobile, Friendi Mobile & Lebara)

Original publication: 16th of December 2019. Last updated: 20th of October 2020.

Saudi Arabia SIM Card Buying Guide Contents

In This Guide Show

Can I Use My Phone in Saudi Arabia?

Saudi Arabia has GSM networks utilizing frequencies used in many regions around the world (such as Europe, Asia, Africa, and Oceania – ITU Regions 1 & 3), but not in the Americas (North-, Central-, and South America + the Caribbean – ITU Region 2).

ITU Regions Map
By Maximilian Dörrbecker (Chumwa) – Own work, using this file by Denelson83, CC BY-SA 2.5

If you purchased your phone in the Americas, if your device has not been unlocked, or the phone does not support Saudi Arabia's frequencies, then you cannot use your phone in Saudi Arabia.

Mobile Operators, Networks & Frequencies in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has three mobile operators, two Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs), and one sub-brand:

The sub-brands Yaqoot (by Zain Saudi Arabia) and V Mobile (by Lebara Saudi Arabia) will not be covered in this guide because you need an Absher Account, a Saudi government services app. Short-term travelers will not get access to this app, so Yaqoot and V Mobile will not be covered in this guide.

The following frequencies are used in Saudi operators:

  • 2G: 900 MHz & 1800 MHz
  • 3G: 900 MHz & 2100 MHz
  • 4G/LTE: 900 MHz (Band 8), 1800 MHz (Band 3), 2100 MHz (Band 1), 2300 MHz (Band 40) & 2600 MHz (Band 38)
  • 5G NR: 3500 MHz (n78)

Note: some Saudi telcos are planning on shutting down their 3G network at the end of 2020.

Again, make sure your phone is unlocked. Otherwise, you will not be able to use any SIM card except the one from your home operator (meaning you have to roam internationally or buy another unlocked phone that does support the frequencies listed above).

If you want to learn how International Roaming works, this guide explains it in-depth. If you wonder why it is often so expensive to roam, this article explains the hidden reason they do not want you to know.

5G in Saudi Arabia

The Saudi Operators (STC Saudi Arabia, Mobily & Zain Saudi Arabia) have been offering 5G services to their customers in most urban areas since 2018.

However, 5G is mostly not available to prepaid customers – primarily to postpaid users or mobile broadband customers.

Moreover, you may have to get a plan that specifically states that it supports or includes 5G data.

5G eligibility for prepaid users will be mentioned when applicable in this guide.

The Best SIM Card in Saudi Arabia

If you want to buy a SIM card in Saudi Arabia, I would recommend going with STC or Jawwy (owned by STC) because they have the best speeds and coverage in the country. If you are on a budget, go with Zain, but expect bad coverage when leaving populated areas.

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SIM Card Registration in Saudi Arabia

SIM card registration with the use of your passport information is required in Saudi Arabia. It is done at the point of purchase. As of 2015, fingerprints will also be taken as part of the SIM card registration process.

Moreover, be aware that all foreigners, including tourists, travelers, and non-Saudi residents (including expats), are restricted to two active prepaid SIM cards across all Saudi operators. Saudi citizens can have up to 10 active prepaid SIM cards.

Saudi-Expatriates has an excellent article on how to check how many SIM cards are registered on your Iqama. This procedure only applies to expats and non-Saudi residents of Saudi Arabia who have an Iqama (although Saudis enter their identity number instead of their Iqama when requested) – tourists and short-term visitors will not get an Iqama (which is a residence permit).

Internet Censorship & Surveillance in Saudi Arabia

There is heavy internet surveillance in Saudi Arabia, and some parts of the web are censored. Reporters Without Borders has classified Saudi Arabia as one of the Enemies of the Internet for more than a decade.

All internet traffic in the country goes through a proxy run by the CITC (Communications and Information Technology), which blocks immoral websites (such as pornographic sites, blogs critical of the Saudi regime, and gambling sites) and other sites directed by a committee run by the Ministry of Interior.

VoIP services, like WhatsApp calls, were blocked from 2013 until 2017. You can now use VoIP in the Kingdom. However, the authorities warn users that calls are still being monitored (although this has been made practically impossible with WhatsApp's end-to-end encryption) so are social media accounts.

It is recommended to use a VPN, such as NordVPN or Surfshark, while in Saudi Arabia to shield your internet traffic and to access blocked websites.

Even then, take care of what you do and say on the internet while in Saudi Arabia.

VAT in Saudi Arabia

Starting from July 2020, all billed services have been subject to the new 15% VAT, including mobile services (which previously was at 5%).

The 15% VAT will often be charged upon reloading your SIM card.

However, some operators have updated their pricing to make the recharge voucher inclusive of the VAT, meaning that 15% will be deducted from your balance, or the price has been increased by 15% so that the balance will stay the same.

Examples – price inclusive of VAT: 15 SAR recharge results in 13.04 SAR in balance. Price increased because of VAT: 17.25 SAR for a 15 SAR recharge card.

As each operator took a different approach to the new VAT implementation, prices may seem off at times.

Although you will not be charged the VAT again when you buy a plan or package after reloading your SIM card, you will be charged the VAT if you buy a plan directly with a debit card or credit card without reloading your SIM card first.

Therefore, I will add a column named “price with VAT” if the operator states that the prices are exclusive of VAT if you can buy the plan or bundle directly through another means without reloading your balance first, or when it is unclear whether you will be charged VAT if you buy the package or not.

If the said column is not mentioned, it can be assumed that the prices are already inclusive of VAT.

Worry not; it sounds more complicated now than it actually is – it will make sense once I mention the prices.

The State of the Telecom Market in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia Flag

(If you just want to know what the Saudi operators have to offer, click here to jump to the video guide, or click here to jump to the first operator (STC Saudi Arabia))

As a large country in a mostly deserted area, Saudi Arabia is sparsely populated. Most of the Kingdom's activity takes place in Riyadh, the country's capital, and cities near water, such as Jeddah and Dammam.

Unlike many other Middle Eastern countries who are in the same Situation as Saudi Arabia is, the Kingdom managed to build a reliable internet infrastructure that results in above-world average mobile internet and broadband internet speeds.

According to the Speedtest Global Index, the average mobile download speed in Saudi Arabia is around 77 Mbps, placing the Kingdom on position 5 on Global Index.

For reference, the world average mobile download is around 35 Mbps – Saudi Arabia's average mobile download speed is more than double the world average.

But what if you look at the prices the Saudi telcos charge you – is mobile data expensive in the Kingdom?

When looking at mobile data rates, Cable.co.uk found that the average price for 1 GB of data in Saudi Arabia is 2.12 USD, which is much less than the Middle Eastern average of 4.46 USD. The world average of 5.03 USD.

In fact, Saudi Arabia is the 5th cheapest Middle Eastern country to buy mobile data.

Although all of this sounds promising, you should not forget that Saudi Arabia is in a desert, meaning that you will only have mobile coverage in populated areas and places around the country's highway network.

When leaving urban areas, you will mostly deal with the operators' 2G networks, which is too slow for modern data browsing.

Currency in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia uses the Saudi Riyal with the symbol SAR (which will be used throughout this guide). Prices in Saudi Arabia are listed in SAR, SR, or ر.س. For example, 25 SAR = SR 25/25 ر.س. For reference, below are some exchange rates between SAR and USD (US Dollars – Rounded):

  • 1 SAR = 0.25 USD
  • 10 SAR = 2.65 USD
  • 100 SAR = 26.65 USD
  • 1000 SAR = 266.55 USD

For up-to-date SAR:USD exchange rates, search SAR to USD on Google, or replace USD with the currency you use.

If your credit/debit card charges you foreign exchange fees, get yourself a Transferwise Borderless Account and Debit Card. Their fees are MUCH lower than banks, and credit card companies charge you (and Transferwise is transparent about their fees, unlike banks). I have saved literal THOUSANDS of Euros, my main currency, when using Transferwise abroad when traveling compared to my debit and credit cards. Open a Transferwise account FREE!

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Video Guide for Buying a SIM Card in Saudi Arabia

Are you a visual learner? You can watch this Saudi SIM Card Buying Guide! It is recommended to read the remainder of the guide after watching this video (I refer to this guide a few times throughout the video). Otherwise, you will be missing key elements related to Saudi SIM cards. Also, be sure to subscribe to the channel after watching the video!

Saudi Arabia SIM Cards

Below, I will guide you through STC Saudi Arabia, Jawwy, Mobily, Zain Saudi Arabia, Virgin Mobile KSA & Lebara Saudi Arabia, and go through:

  • Background information about the operators
  • How to get a SIM card from each operator
  • How to recharge your SIM card
  • What type of data-featured packages are offered by the operators

With that said, let’s see what Saudi Arabia has to offer to us.

STC Saudi Arabia

STC Logo

STC Saudi Arabia, simply STC, is the largest operator in Saudi Arabia and is regarded as the best in the Kingdom. The company is mostly state-owned, and they are active in other countries in the Middle East with the STC brand (which used to be known as VIVA in those countries until December 2019, like Bahrain and Kuwait).

This is what you will learn about STC:

* Coverage
* How to Get an STC SIM Card & SIM Card Prices
* Recharging Options & Methods
* Internet Packages
* APN Settings

Click on the links above to jump to the section you are interested in.

Jump to Jawwy | Jump to Mobily | Jump to Zain | Jump to Virgin Mobile | Jump to Lebara

STC Saudi Arabia Coverage

STC has the best coverage throughout Saudi Arabia, according to the Speedtest 2020 Saudi Arabia Best Mobile Coverage test.

Do note that you will mostly find coverage in populated areas – deserts will have no (4G) coverage (which applies to all Saudi telcos).

STC has a coverage checker on their website. However, it is useless if you want to know how great their nationwide coverage is.

STC Coverage Map Nationwide

You have to select a specific location and zoom in so much that you can read the street names. Otherwise, the coverage checker will not tell you whether STC has any coverage there or not.

STC Coverage Map Al Ghadir in Riyadh
A random location I highlighted in Riyadh.

Instead, I will show you the coverage map provided by Speedtest from their Q1-Q2 Saudi Arabia Best Mobile Coverage test.

I will also add the coverage map by the Speedtest app, which is a bit easier to look at than the one above.

STC Saudi Arabia Coverage Map

Jump back to getting a SIM card from Jawwy or Virgin Mobile.

Getting an STC Saudi Arabia SIM Card & Price

You can buy an STC SIM card, called Sawa, for 34.50 SAR in STC stores throughout Saudi Arabia, which includes 3GB of data and 25 SAR in credit. It is also possibile to get STC's data-only SIM card, called Quicknet Prepaid, starting from 92 SAR with 10 GB for 30 days. Sawa and Quicknet SIM cards can be purchased in eSIM format.

Tourist and short-term visitors (for Hajj and Umrah, for example) can get Sawa Ziyara, STC's tourist SIM card, for 34.50 SAR, which includes 100 MB, 60 minutes to other Sawa Ziyara numbers, and 20 SAR in credit. Sawa Ziyara SIM cards are valid for 120 days and cannot be extended.

Note: those with a Sawa Ziyara SIM card can only add packages specifically for Sawa Ziyara.

STC SIM cards are sold at select international airports, including Jeddah King Abdulaziz International Airport and Riyadh King Khalid International Airport.

STC Saudi Arabia eSIM Availability & Compatibility

All STC SIM cards (prepaid, postpaid, and quicknet) are available as eSIMs. If your device support eSIM, you may use an STC eSIM as long as it is an STC supported device.

STC eSIM

The following devices support STC eSIM:

  • iPad 7th Generation
  • iPad Air 3rd Generation
  • iPad Mini 5th Generation
  • iPad Pro 11 (2018)
  • iPad Pro 11 2nd Generation
  • iPad Pro 12.9 3rd Generation
  • iPad Pro 12.9 4th Generation
  • iPhone 11
  • iPhone 11 Pro
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone SE
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone XS
  • iPhone XS Max

STC eSIM support will soon work on the Samsung S20 series.

The cost of upgrading to an eSIM is 28.75 SAR for a prepaid number (Sawa, Sawa Ziyara, and Quicknet Prepaid).

If you want to learn how eSIMs work and if they work abroad, this article explains it in-depth.

Recharging Your STC Saudi Arabia SIM Card

Depending on whether you have a Sawa (Ziyara) SIM card or a Quicknet Prepaid SIM card, you can get a Sawa Recharge Card to top-up your Sawa SIM card or a Quicknet Voucher to reload your Quicknet Prepaid SIM card.

STC Saudi Arabia Sawa Recharge Cards

Sawa Recharge Cards and e-vouchers are available in denominations starting from 20 SAR to 300 SAR. They can be purchased in STC stores or many other stores throughout the Kingdom, such as supermarkets. You can also top-up with the mystc website or app, with an STC Self Service Machines, through select banks' websites, and with ATMs.

The following Sawa Recharge Cards are available:

PriceRecharge CardBalanceValidity
20 SARSawa 20 recharge card17.39 SAR90 days
28.75 SARSawa 25 recharge card25 SAR90 days
34.50 SARSawa 30 recharge card30 SAR90 days
57.50 SARSawa 50 recharge card50 SAR90 days
115 SARSawa 100 recharge card100 SAR90 days
230 SARSawa 200 recharge card200 SAR90 days
345 SARSawa 300 recharge card300 SAR90 days

The prices for Sawa Recharge Cards include the 15% VAT, which is why there is a price difference in reloading value.

Jump back to the Jawwy recharge section.

STC Sawa Recharge Card

You have several methods of redeeming your Sawa Recharge Card. The quickest way to reload is by dialing *155*VoucherCode#.

For example, if your voucher code is 123456, you would dial *155*123456#.

Other ways of reloading are:

  • Text the Voucher Code + Space to 900 (example: 123456 155 to 900)
  • Call 1500, select the recharge option, then enter the Voucher Code (example: 1500 -> recharge -> 123456)
  • Redeem the voucher on the Sawa Recharge Page
STC Saudi Arabia Quicknet Vouchers

The Quicknet Vouchers, also known as Quicknet Packages are the reload vouchers for the Quicknet data-only SIM card. They also act as starter packages (as in, the first package you buy when purchasing a Quicknet Prepaid SIM Card). Quicknet vouchers are sold at STC stores and various authorized resellers throughout the Kingdom.

The following Quicknet Vouchers are available:

PriceDataValidity
100 SAR10 GB30 days 
109.25 SARUnlimited7 days
150 SAR10 GB60 days 
170 SAR 100 GB + 19 GB Social30 days 
220 SAR50 GB60 days 
350 SAR100 GB90 days 
391 SARUnlimited30 days 
460 SAR300 GB90 days 
862.50 SAR500 GB 180 days 
Unlimited data for the 109.25 SAR and 391 SAR vouchers are genuinely unlimited. This will apply to any other data allowance that says unlimited with all STC packages mentioned later.

The social media data for the 170 SAR voucher can be used for WhatsApp, YouTube, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn & Facebook.

STC Quicknet Packages

To activate your Quicknet Voucher, dial *155*VoucherCode# OR text *155*VoucherCode# to 1500.

For example, if your voucher code is 123456, you would dial *155*123456# or text *155*123456# to 1500.

It is also possible to redeem your Quicknet Voucher on the Quicknet Recharge Page.

STC Quicknet Vouchers

STC Saudi Arabia Internet Packages, Plans, Bundles & Offers

You can purchase Sawa Daily & Monthly Packages or Sawa Plus Packages for your Sawa SIM card, which are combo plans that include data and minutes. If you only need data, then the Sawa Data Keys are your data-only options for Sawa. Those on Sawa Ziyara can only purchase Sawa Ziyara Packages. Quicknet Prepaid users can get Quicknet 4G packages.

To recap, the following types of packages are available:

Let's go through each option. Click on the links above to jump to the plan you are interested in.

STC Sawa Plus
STC Saudi Arabia Sawa Daily & Monthly Packages

The Sawa Daily & Monthly Packages are combo plans for the Sawa SIM card. They include data, social media data, on-net minutes, and local minutes. The Daily Packages include on-net SMS as well.

Sawa Monthly Packages

The following Sawa Daily & Monthly Packages are available:

PricePrice with VAT*PackageDataSocial Media DataOn-Net MinutesOn-Net SMSValidityActivation Code
10 SAR11.5 SARSawa 10200 MB N/A200 on-net minutes200 on-net SMS1 day8111
15 SAR17.25 SARSawa 15400 MBN/A400 on-net minutes400 on-net SMS1 day7015
30 SAR34.50 SARSawa 301 GB1 GBN/AN/A28 days7030
65 SAR74.75 SARSawa Like2 GB5 GBN/AN/A28 days7065
90 SAR103.50 SARSawa Flex10 GBN/AN/AN/A28 days7090
110 SAR126.50 SARSawa Share5 GB10 GBN/AN/A28 days7110
160 SAR184 SARSawa Post20 GBUnlimitedN/AN/A28 days7160
220 SAR253 SARSawa Star100 GBUnlimitedN/AN/A28 days7220

* Price including VAT will only apply when purchasing a Package through a credit card or EVD voucher.

The social media data can be used for WhatsApp, YouTube, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn & Facebook.

To buy a Sawa Daily or Monthly Package, text the Activation Code to 900.

For example, if you want to buy the Sawa Star Package, you would text 7220 to 900.

Do note that all Sawa Daily & Monthly Packages auto-renew when there is enough credit. To disable auto-renewal, text 7009 to 900.

Text 8888 to 900 to check your remaining Sawa Daily or Monthly balance.

STC Saudi Arabia Sawa Plus Packages

The Sawa Plus Packages are combo plans for the Sawa SIM card. They include data, social media data, on-net minutes, and local minutes.

Sawa Plus Packages

Compared to Sawa Daily & Monthly, Sawa Plus includes minutes to other networks (on-net minutes) and often more data and social media data. However, Sawa Plus packages are slightly more expensive than Sawa Daily & Monthly.

The following Sawa Plus Packages are available:

PricePrice with VATPackageDataSocial Media DataOn-Net MinutesLocal MinutesValidityActivation Code
35 SAR40.25 SARSawa 30 Plus2 GB2 GB100 on-net minutes100 local minutes28 days7135
75 SAR86.25 SARSawa Like Plus10 GB10 GB500 on-net minutes500 local minutes28 days7175
115 SAR132.25 SARSawa Share Plus20 GB20 GBUnlimited on-net minutes500 local minutes28 days7115
170 SAR195.50 SARSawa Post Plus40 GBUnlimitedUnlimited on-net minutes1000 local minutes28 days7170
240 SAR276 SARSawa Star Plus120 GB UnlimitedUnlimited on-net minutesUnlimited local minutes28 days7240

* Price including VAT will only apply when purchasing a package through a credit card or EVD voucher.

The social media data can be used for WhatsApp, YouTube, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn & Facebook.

To buy a Sawa Plus Package, text the Activation Code to 900.

For example, if you want to buy the Sawa Star Plus Package, you would text 7240 to 900.

Do note that all Sawa Plus Packages auto-renew when there is enough credit. To disable auto-renewal, text 7009 to 900.

Text 8888 to 900 to check your remaining Sawa Plus balance.

STC Saudi Arabia Sawa Data Keys

Sawa Data Keys are data-only bundles for the Sawa SIM Card.

The following Sawa Data Keys are available:

PricePrice with VATPackageDataValidityActivation Code
15 SAR17.25 SAR1 GB for One Week1 GB7 days2151
20 SAR23 SARUnlimited for One DayUnlimited1 day2120
30 SAR34.50 SAR1 GB for One Month30 days21522152
50 SAR57.50 SAR2 GB for One Month30 days21532153
80 SAR90 SAR
5 GB for One Month30 days21542154
100 SAR115 SARUnlimited for One WeekUnlimited7 days2162
110 SAR126.50 SAR10 GB for One Month30 days21552155
155 SAR178.25 SAR10 GB for Two Months60 days21562156
180 SAR207 SAR10 GB for Three Months90 days21572157
230 SAR264.50 SAR50 GB for Two Months60 days21582158
350 SAR402.50 SAR100 GB for Three Months90 days21592159
350 SAR402.50 SARUnlimited for One MonthUnlimited30 days2161
470 SAR540.50 SAR300 GB for Three Months300 GB90 days2160

To buy a Sawa Data Key, text the Activation Code to 900.

For example, if you want to buy the 1 GB for One Month Data Key (30 SAR), you would text 2152 to 900.

Text 2220 to 900 to check your remaining Sawa Data Key balance.

STC Saudi Arabia Sawa Ziyara Packages

Sawa Ziyara Packages are special combo packages for those with the Sawa Ziyara SIM card. Sawa Ziyara users can only purchase Sawa Ziyara Packages.

Sawa Ziyara 40
Sawa Ziyara 70

The following Sawa Ziyara Packages are available:

PricePackageDataSTC WIFI DataLocal MinutesCredit for International CallsValidityActivation Code
40 SARSawa Ziyara 403 GB3 GB20 local minutes5 SAR28 days6705
70 SARSawa Ziyara 706 GB6 GB45 local minutes10 SAR28 days6706
Standard international rates apply.
STC WIFI is available in more than 20 000 locations in Saudi Arabia. You may have to text wifi to 2222 to enable STC WIFI.

To buy a Sawa Ziyara Package, text the Activation Code to 900.

For example, if you want to buy the Sawa Ziyara 70 Package, you would text 6706 to 900.

STC Saudi Arabia Quicknet Prepaid Renewal Packages

The Quicknet Prepaid Renewal Packages are the packages you can purchase when you are out of your Quicknet Voucher or Package data allowance.

The following Quicknet Prepaid Renewal Packages are available:

PricePrice with VATDataValidityActivation
95 SAR109.25 SARUnlimited 7 days2730
100 SAR115 SAR10 GB 30 days 2721
150 SAR172.20 SAR10 GB 60 days 2729
170 SAR195.50 SAR100 GB + 19 GB for Social Media 30 days 2734
220 SAR253 SAR50 GB 60 days 2723
340 SAR391 SARUnlimited 30 days 2726
350 SAR402.50 SAR100 GB 90 days 2727
460 SAR529 SAR300 GB 90 days 2728
750 SAR862.50 SAR500 GB 180 days2731

The social media data for the 170 SAR voucher can be used for WhatsApp, YouTube, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn & Facebook.

To buy a Quicknet Prepaid Renewal Package, text the Activation Code to 900.

For example, if you want to buy the 750 SAR (862.50 SAR with VAT) Renewal Package, you would text 2731 to 900.

STC Saudi Arabia APN Settings

In most cases, you do not need to manually adjust your APN settings – you phone will automatically retrieve the correct STC Saudi Arabia APN settings. Otherwise, you can text jawalnet to 2222 to download the APN settings.

If none of those methods work, then you have to add the following APN settings manually (leave anything not mentioned below blank):

  • Name: STC
  • APN: jawalnet.com.sa

Jawwy

Jawwy Logo

Jawwy, also known as Jawwy from STC, is STC's prepaid-focused brand, which started in 2016. As a sub-brand, Jawwy has full access to the STC network and also has 5G access.

Jawwy (Mobile) should not be confused with Jawwy TV.

This is what you will learn about Jawwy:

* Coverage
* How to Get a Jawwy SIM Card & SIM Card Prices
* Recharging Options & Methods
* Internet Packages
* APN Settings

Click on the links above to jump to the section you are interested in.

Jump to STC | Jump to Mobily | Jump to Zain | Jump to Virgin Mobile | Jump to Lebara

Jawwy Coverage

Jawwy is the prepaid-focused sub-brand of STC, meaning Jawwy uses the STC network and does not have its own antennas. Head to the STC coverage section to learn what you can expect, coverage-wise, when getting a Virgin Mobile SIM card.

Worry not, there will be a link to jump straight back to where you were after seeing STC's coverage.

Getting a Jawwy SIM Card & Price

You can get a Jawwy SIM card, called Jawwy 30, for 34.50 SAR in Jawwy stores or online. The SIM card includes 1 GB of data and 100 local minutes. Jawwy SIM cards are available as eSIMs.

Jawwy 30 SIM Card

Besides Jawwy 30, there are several other Jawwy starter SIM cards, which are:

PriceSIM CardeSIMDataSocial Media DataUnlimited WIFILocal Minutes
34.50 SARJawwy 30Jawwy eSIM 301 GB N/AN/A100 minutes
80.50 SARJawwy 70Jawwy eSIM 7010 GB10 GB for Social Media Yes500 minutes
172.50 SARJawwy 150Jawwy eSIM 15020 GBUnlimited data for Social MediaN/A3000 minutes
230 SARJawwy 200Jawwy eSIM 20097 GB Unlimited data for Social MediaN/AUnlimited minutes

The social media apps are YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Snapchat, Instagram & Telegram.

Jawwy Unlimited Social Media
Jawwy eSIM Availability & Compatibility

Jawwy eSIMs are available on Jawwy's online store. The prices and starter allowances with the eSIMs are the same as regular Jawwy SIM cards. If your device supports eSIM, you may use a Jawwy eSIM as long as it is a Jawwy supported device.

Jawwy eSIM 30

The following devices support Jawwy eSIM:

  • iPad 7th Generation
  • iPad Air 3rd Generation
  • iPad Mini 5th Generation
  • iPad Pro 11 2nd Generation
  • iPad Pro 12.9 4th Generation
  • iPhone 11
  • iPhone 11 Pro
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone SE
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone XS
  • iPhone XS Max

If you want to learn how eSIMs work and if they work abroad, this article explains it in-depth.

Recharging Your Jawwy SIM Card

You can recharge your Jawwy SIM card with Sawa Recharge Cards from STC, or you can reload with a debit card, credit card, or Mada card through the Jawwy app or Jawwy Portal.

When buying a Sawa Recharge Card, you can redeem it online on the Jawwy Recharge Page or by dialing *155*VoucherCode#.

For example, if your voucher code is 123456, you would dial *155*123456#.

You can check your Jawwy balance on the Jawwy app or Jawwy Portal.

Jawwy Internet Packages, Plans, Bundles & Offers

Jawwy offers customizable plans, also known as Jawwy Flexible Plans, allowing you set your own data allowance and minute balance, in addition to their combo plans (the SIM card starter plans). You can also upgrade your plan with the Social Pass and YouTube Pass.

The following Jawwy options are available:

Click on the links above to jump to the plan you are interested in.

Jawwy Flexible Plans

The Flexible Plans allow you to set how much data and how many minutes you want monthly. Flexible plans can be downgraded or upgraded every month on the Jawwy app.

Every plan you make with Jawwy needs to include at least 1 GB of data and 100 minutes, bringing the minimum price to 30 SAR.

Officially, the price of 100 minutes is 0 SAR, but you cannot get a Flexible Plan without data. The lowest amount of data you can get is 1 GB costing 30 SAR.

Every Flexible Plan includes 3000 Jawwy to Jawwy minutes (on-net minutes) for free, regardless of the plan combination you choose.

Jawwy Flexible Plans Internet Options

The following data options are available when customizing your Jawwy plan:

PriceData
30 SAR1 GB
60 SAR3 GB
75 SAR5 GB
100 SAR10 GB
110 SAR15 GB
120 SAR 20 GB
150 SAR50 GB 
Jawwy Flexible Plans Minutes Options

The following minutes options are available when customizing your Jawwy plan:

PriceLocal Minutes
30 SAR100 minutes
40 SAR200 minutes
50 SAR400 minutes
60 SAR600 minutes
70 SAR800 minutes
80 SAR1000 minutes
105 SAR 1500 minutes

Because of the minimum plan requirement, I have inflated the prices for the minutes options. Subtract 30 SAR to calculate the official costs. For example, 60 SAR for 600 minutes is officially 30 SAR.

Jawwy Social Pass

The Social Pass is a 3GB data add-on for Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp.

Jawwy Social Pass for Twitter, WhatsApp & Facebook
PriceDataValidity
20 SAR3 GB 30 days

A Social Pass can be purchased on the Jawwy app.

Jawwy YouTube Pass

The YouTube pass is an add-on granting 30 GB for YouTube access. However, you can use a maximum of 1 GB on YouTube a day with this pass.

Jawwy YouTube Pass
PriceData for YouTubeValidity
50 SAR1 GB/day30 days

A YouTube Pass can be purchased on the Jawwy app.

Jawwy APN Settings

In most cases, your phone will automatically download the correct APN settings for your Jawwy SIM card. If that does not happen, you will have to enter the following APN details yourself (leave anything not mentioned below blank):

  • Name: JAWALNet
  • APN: jawalnet.com.sa

Mobily

This section is being updated right now. The information may seem to lack some depth at times or be misplaced. I apologize for the inconvenience in the meantime.

Mobily Logo

Mobily is the second-largest operator in Saudi Arabia. It does not have the best coverage or the fastest speeds in the Kingdom, like STC, nor is it the worst, like Zain – it is simply in the middle.

This is what you will learn about Mobily:

* Coverage
* How to Get a Mobily SIM Card & SIM Card Prices
* Recharging Options & Methods
* Internet Packages
* APN Settings

Click on the links above to jump to the section you are interested in.

Jump to STC | Jump to Jawwy | Jump to Zain | Jump to Virgin Mobile | Jump to Lebara

Mobily Coverage

Mobily has good coverage throughout the country. At least, in the populated areas.

Mobily has a coverage checker on their website, but the tool never worked for me, regardless of the browser I used.

During Speedtest‘s Q1-Q2 Saudi Arabia Best Mobile Coverage test, they included a map of Mobily's general coverage.

I always use the Speedtest Coverage Checker tool on the Speedtest app to check local operators' service availability.

Mobily Coverage Map

Jump back to getting a SIM card from Lebara.

Getting a Mobily SIM Card & Price

You can get a Mobily SIM card for 35 SAR in Mobily stores, which includes 25.43 SAR in starter credit. It is also possible to get a Mobily data-only SIM card starting from 200 SAR with 10 GB for 90 days.

Social media apps: Twitter, Snapchat, WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram & YouTube

Those visiting Saudi Arabia for Hajj or Umrah can get special Hajj & Umrah SIM cards from 30 SAR, which come with their own packages.

To recap, the following Mobily SIM cards are available:

Mobily SIM cards are also available as eSIM. Only Mobily supported devices can use Mobily eSIM, which are the following devices:

  • Huawei P40
  • Huawei P40 Pro
  • iPhone 11
  • iPhone 11 Pro
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone XS
  • iPhone XS Max
  • Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
  • Samsung Galaxy S20+
  • Samsung Galaxy S20
  • Samsung Galaxy Z Flip

If you want to learn how eSIMs work and if they work abroad, this article explains it in-depth.

If you have forgotten your Mobily phone number, you can retrieve it by dialing *222#.

Mobily Hajj & Umrah SIM Cards
Mobily Hajj & Umrah

Those visiting Saudi Arabia for either Hajj or Umrah can take advantage of the Hajj & Umrah packages, discounted international rates, recharge bonuses, and data bundles.

Mobily Hajj & Umrah Packages

The following Hajj & Umrah Packages are available:

PricePackageDataBonus DataOn-Net MinutesOff-Net MinutesInternational Call CreditUmrah Package ValidityHajj Package ValidityPackage Renewal Code
30 SARHajj & Umrah 30N/A2 GB for the first 3 days N/AN/AN/A30 days45 daysN/A
50 SARHajj & Umrah 501 GB2 GB for the first 3 days 200 on-net minutes20 off-net minutes20 SAR 30 days45 days5050
99 SAR Hajj & Umrah 992 GB 2 GB for the first 3 days 500 on-net minutes50 off-net minutes60 SAR 30 days45 days1899

If you got a Mobily SIM card for Umrah, then the packages are valid for 30 days. If you get the Hajj SIM card, then the packages are valid for 45 days.

The Hajj & Umrah 50 and Hajj & Umrah 99 packages can be renewed with the same benefits by texting the Package Renewal Code to 1100.

For example, if you want to renew the Hajj & Umrah 50 Package, you would text 5050 to 1100.

Mobily Hajj & Umrah International Call Credit

You can use your Hajj & Umrah International Call Credit to call to any country you want.

However, you will be paying lower rates if you call to any of the countries mentioned in the table below:

Mobily Hajj & Umrah International Rates
Mobily Hajj & Umrah Recharges

With the Hajj & Umrah SIM cards, you get bonus credit and data for each recharge.

The following bonuses are available:

RechargeBonus PercentageFree DataBonus Validity
10 SAR – 29 SAR50%150 MB1 day
30 SAR – 49 SAR 100%150 MB3 days
50 SAR – 99 SAR200%150 MB5 days
100+ SAR300%150 MB7 days 

Jump to the Mobily Recharge section to learn how to recharge your SIM card.

Mobily Hajj & Umrah Data Bundles

The Hajj & Umrah Data Bundles are data packages exclusively to those with a Hajj & Umrah SIM card.

The following Data Bundles are available:

PricePackageDataValidityActivation Code
5 SAR Internet 150 MB150 MB30 days*1015#
15 SARInternet 500 MB500 MB30 days*1115#
25 SARInternet 1 GB1 GB30 days*1125#
45 SAR Internet 2 GB 2 GB30 days*1145#

You can buy a Hajj & Umrah Data Bundle by dialing the Activation Code.

For example, if you want to renew the Internet 500 MB Package, you would dial *1115#.

Mobily Data Only SIM Card

The Data-Only SIM cards are SIM cards that can only be used to browse the web and not to make calls or send SMS. Mobily Data Only SIM cards start from 200 SAR with 10 GB for 90 days.

The following Data Only SIM cards are available, which also act as data-only plans (you can upgrade or downgrade to another data-only plan when your current plan expires):

PricePlanDataValidity
200 SAR Prepaid 10 GB10 GB90 days 
250 SARPrepaid 50 GB50 GB60 days
260 SARPrepaid 20 GB 20 GB90 days 
375 SARPrepaid 100 GB100 GB90 days 
525 SARPrepaid 300 GB300 GB90 days 

Recharging Your Mobily SIM Card

You can get a Mobily Recharge Voucher in denominations starting from 20 SAR to 100 SAR in Mobily stores and many other stores in Saudi Arabia. Online recharge is available too.

The following Mobily Recharge Vouchers are available:

PriceRecharge VoucherBalance
20 SARRecharge Voucher 2017.39 SAR
25 SARRecharge Voucher 2521.74 SAR 
34.50 SARRecharge Voucher 3030 SAR 
57.50 SARRecharge Voucher 5050 SAR
115 SAR Recharge Voucher 100100 SAR

To redeem your Mobily Recharge Voucher, dial *1400*VoucherCode#.

For example, if your voucher code is 123456, you would dial *1400*123456#.

Dial *1411# to check your Mobily balance.

Mobily Internet Packages, Plans, Bundles & Offers

Mobily has two types of plans. The Prepaid Plans, which are combo plans with data, social media data, and local minutes, and the Internet Add-Ons/Data bundles, which are data-only packages.

Mobily Prepaid Plans

The Prepaid Plans include data, data for select social media apps (Twitter, Snapchat, WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram & YouTube), and local minutes.

The following Prepaid Plans are available:

PricePlanDataSocial Media DataLocal MinutesValidityActivation CodeCancel Auto-Renew Code
30 SARPrepaid 301 GB1 GB for Social Media100 minutes28 days 30030
75 SARPrepaid 755 GB5 GB for Social Media 500 minutes28 days 75075
150 SARPrepaid 15015 GB Unlimited data for Social Media2250 minutes28 days 1500150
220 SARPrepaid 220100 GBUnlimited data for Social MediaUnlimited minutes28 days 2200220
342 SARPrepaid 360UnlimitedUnlimited data for Social MediaUnlimited minutes28 days 3600360

To activate a Prepaid Plan, text the Activation Code to 1100.

For example, if you want to buy the Prepaid 360 Plan, you would text 360 to 1100.

The Prepaid Plans auto-renew. To disable auto-renewal, text the Auto-Renewal Cancellation Code to 1100.

Mobily Internet Add-Ons/Data Bundles

The Internet Add-Ons, also known as Data Bundles, are standard data-only bundles.

The following Internet Add-Ons are available:

PriceAdd-OnDataValidityActivation CodeEarly Renewal CodeCancel Auto-Renew Code
5 SAR150 MB150 MB14 days 75011750750
20 SAR500 MB500 MB30 days609060916092
30 SAR1 GB1 GB30 days610061016102
50 SAR2 GB2 GB30 days720072017202
75 SAR5 GB5 GB30 days730073017302
95 SAR10 GB10 GB30 days705070517052
165 SAR10 GB10 GB90 days607060716072
135 SAR20 GB20 GB30 days630063016302
220 SAR20 GB20 GB90 days820082018202
210 SAR50 GB50 GB60 days709070917092
260 SAR50 GB50 GB90 days807080718072
160 SAR100 GB100 GB30 days708070817082
320 SAR100 GB100 GB90 days808080818082
450 SAR300 GB300 GB90 days300N/AN/A
900 SAR600 GB600 GB180 days606N/AN/A

To activate an Internet Add-On, text the Activation Code to 1100.

For example, if you want to buy the 100 GB Add-On (320 SAR), you would text 8080 to 1100.

If you have less than 500 MB left and want to renew your Internet Add-On (early), you can do so by texting the Early Renewal Code to 1100.

The Internet Add-Ons auto-renew, except for the 450 SAR and 900 SAR Add-Ons. To disable auto-renewal, text the Auto-Renewal Cancellation Code to 1100.

Mobily APN Settings

In most cases, your phone will automatically download the correct APN settings for your Mobily SIM card. If that does not happen, you will have to enter the following APN details yourself (leave anything not mentioned below blank):

  • Name: Mobily Internet
  • APN: web2

Note: make sure to use “web2” as a prepaid user. APN “web1” is for postpaid customers only.

Zain Saudi Arabia

Zain Logo

Zain Saudi Arabia, just Zain, is the smallest operator in Saudi Arabia. They also offer, on average, the lowest rates when compared to STC and Mobily. However, they have the slowest speeds in the Kingdom as well.

This is what you will learn about Zain:

* Coverage
* How to Get a Zain SIM Card & SIM Card Prices
* Recharging Options & Methods
* Internet Packages
* APN Settings

Click on the links above to jump to the section you are interested in.

Jump to STC | Jump to Jawwy | Jump to Mobily | Jump to Virgin Mobile | Jump to Lebara

Zain Saudi Arabia Coverage

Zain has the worst coverage of the big three Saudi operators. However, coverage in the urban areas is still decent with Zain. Outside of urban areas, you will mostly deal with 2G or 3G when lucky.

Zain has a coverage map checker on their website. However, you cannot use it to check Zain's nationwide coverage because the tool does not allow you to do so.

You have to place the pin on a specific location before the tool tells you if Zain has coverage in that location and what type of services are offered (2G, 3G, 4G, and 5G).

Zain Saudi Arabia Coverage Map in Riyadh
A randomly selected location in Riyadh. Zain offers 2G, 3G, 4G/LTE, and 5G NR services there.

Zain does have a 5G coverage checker tool, which is more useful than its regular coverage map. You still cannot see nationwide coverage because you have to select a city or region to see Zain's 5G coverage.

Zain Saudi Arabia 5G Coverage in Riyadh

Luckily, Speedtest provided a coverage map during their Q1-Q2 Saudi Arabia Best Mobile Coverage test, which gives you a nationwide overview of Zain's coverage.

Zain Saudi Arabia Coverage Map Speedtest Best Mobile Coverage Award & 4G Availability
Source

I will also show you the coverage map by the Speedtest app, which is easier to look at.

Zain Saudi Arabia Coverage Map

Getting a Zain Saudi Arabia SIM Card & Price

You can get a Zain SIM card for 34.50 SAR in Zain stores. The SIM cards are called Shabab, Kareeb, and Khateer Plus. The differences between the three SIM cards are the standard rates you pay. All internet packages mentioned later can be added to all these SIM cards.

The Khateer Plus SIM card includes 1 GB, 1 GB for social media, and 100 local minutes, making it the best starter SIM card.

Zain Saudi Arabia Prepaid SIM Cards (Shabab, Kareeb & Khateer Plus)

Short-term visitors can get one of the Zain Visitor SIM cards starting from 63.25 ZAR, which comes with dedicated Visitor packages.

Those visiting Saudi Arabia for Hajj or Umrah can get the dedicated Zain Hajj & Umrah SIM card, which costs 34.50 SAR. The SIM card includes no credit, but you will be charged 0.55 SAR per action (MB, minute, local/international SMS) if you do not buy a package.

Finally, you can also get the Zain Data Line, a data-only SIM card, starting from 113.85 SAR, which is the smallest plan you can get for the Data Line.

To recap, the following Zain SIM cards available:

  • Standard prepaid SIM cards: Shabab, Kareeb & Khateer Plus – all for 34.50 SAR
  • Zain Visitor SIM: starting from 63.50 SAR
  • Zain Hajj & Umrah SIM cards: 34.50 SAR
  • Zain Data Line: starting from 113.85 SAR
Zain Saudi Arabia Visitor SIM

The Zain Visitor SIM has several starter plans to choose from. You can find them below.

PricePlanDataSocial Media DataOn-Net MinutesLocal MinutesCredit for International Calls & SMSActivation
63.25 SAR Visitor 552 GBN/AUnlimited On-Net Minutes30 local minutes20 SARV59
113.85 SARVisitor 994 GBN/AUnlimited On-Net Minutes60 local minutes50 SARV99
228.85 SAR Visitor 19910 GBN/AUnlimited On-Net MinutesUnlimited local minutes50 SARV199
458.85 SAR Visitor 399Unlimited Data Unlimited Social Media Data Unlimited On-Net MinutesUnlimited local minutes25 SAR V399

To activate a Visitor Plan, text the Activation Code to 959.

For example, if you want to buy the Visitor 99 Plan, you would text V99 to 959.

Zain Saudi Arabia Data Line

The Zain Data Line has several starter plans to choose from. You can find them below.

PricePlanData5G DataValidity
113.85 SAR20 GB20 GB N/A30 days 
184 SAR100 GB100 GBN/A30 days 
228.85 SAR50 GB50 GBN/A60 days
343.85 SAR100 GB X2100 GB N/A90 days 
373.75 SARUnlimited 5GUnlimitedN/A30 days 
401.35 SARUnlimitedUnlimitedYes, unlimited30 days 
517.50 SAR300 GB300 GBN/A 90 days 
1148.85 SARUnlimited 5GUnlimitedYes, unlimited90 days 

Recharging Your Zain Saudi Arabia SIM Card

Zain Recharge Cards are sold in denominations starting from 20 SAR to 300 SAR in Zain stores, Zain Kiosks, and many other establishments throughout the Kingdom. You can also recharge online with a Visa Card, MasterCard, or Mada Card.

The following Zain Recharge Cards are available:

PriceBalance
11.50 SAR 10 SAR
17.25 SAR15 SAR
23 SAR20 SAR
58 SAR50 SAR
115 SAR100 SAR
230 SAR 200 SAR
345 SAR300 SAR 
You pay the VAT when purchasing a Zain Recharge card, which is why you pay more upfront than what you get in balance.

To redeem your Zain Recharge Card, dial *141*VoucherCode#.

For example, if your voucher code is 123456, you would dial *141*123456#.

Dial *142* to check your Zain balance.

Zain Saudi Arabia Internet Packages, Plans, Bundles & Offers

Being expanded at the moment.

Click on the links above to jump to the plan you are interested in.

Zain Saudi Arabia Unlimited Calls & Internet Bundles

The Unlimited Calls & Internet Bundles are short-term bundles with unlimited data and local calls for 24 hours. These bundles can be added to Shabab, Kareeb, Khateer Plus, Visitor, and Hajj & Umrah SIM cards.

The following Unlimited Calls & Internet Bundles are available:

PricePrice with VATBundleDataLocal MinutesValidityActivation CodeAuto-Renewal Cancellation CodeCancel Plan Code
11 SAR12.65 SARUnlimited Data-OnlyUnlimitedN/A24 hoursDULCDULDDUL
15 SAR17.25 SARUnlimited Local Calls + Unlimited DataUnlimitedUnlimited24 hoursAULCAULDAUL

To activate an Unlimited Calls & Internet Bundle, text the Activation Code to 959.

For example, if you want to buy the Unlimited Data-Only Bundle, you would text DUL to 959.

The unlimited Calls & Internet Bundles auto-renew. To disable auto-renewal, text the Auto-Renewal Cancellation Code to 959. To outright cancel a plan, text the Cancel Plan Code to 959.

Zain Saudi Arabia Shabab Bundles

The Shabab Bundles are data-only bundles with an additional dedicated data allowance for specific social media apps (YouTube, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook & WhatsApp). The Shabab bundles can be added to Shabab, Kareeb & Khateer Plus SIM cards.

The following Shabab Bundles are available:

PricePrice with VATBundleDataSocial Media DataValidityActivation CodeAuto-Rewal Cancellation CodeCancel Plan Code
59 SAR67.85 SARShabab 594 GB5 GB28 daysS59CA59CS59
99 SAR113.85 SARShabab 9910 GB20 GB28 daysS99CA99CS59
149 SAR171.35 SARShabab 14920 GBUnlimited28 daysS149CA149CS149
199 SAR 136.85 SAR Shabab 19995 GB Unlimited28 daysS199CA199CS199

To activate a Shabab Bundle, text the Activation Code to 959.

For example, if you want to buy the Shabab 59 Bundle, you would text S59 to 959.

The Shabab Bundles auto-renew. To disable auto-renewal, text the Auto-Renewal Cancellation Code to 959. To outright cancel a plan, text the Cancel Plan Code to 959.

Zain Saudi Arabia Zain Mix Bundles

The Zain Mix Bundles are combo plans, including data, unlimited data for YouTube streaming, and local minutes. The Zain Mix Bundles can be added to Shabab, Kareeb & Khateer Plus SIM cards purchased after the 1st of June 2020.

The following Zain Mix Bundles are available:

PricePrice with VATDataYouTube DataLocal MinutesValidityActivation CodeAuto-Renewal Cancellation Code
29 SAR33.35 SAR3 GBUnlimited50 minutes7 days29CA29
320 SAR368 SAR100 GBUnlimited2000 minutes90 days 320CA320

To activate a Zain Mix Bundle, text the Activation Code to 959.

For example, if you want to buy the 29 SAR Bundle, you would text 29 to 959.

The Shabab Bundles auto-renew. To disable auto-renewal, text the Auto-Renewal Cancellation Code to 959. To outright cancel a plan, text the Cancel Plan Code to 959.

Zain Saudi Arabia Voice Internet Bundles

The Voice Internet Bundles are data-only bundles – they do not include minutes, as the name would imply. These bundles can be added to Shabab, Kareeb, Khateer Plus, Visitor, and Hajj & Umrah SIM cards.

The following Voice Internet Bundles are available:

PricePrice with VATDataValidityActivation CodeCancel Plan Code
2 SAR2.30 SAR 50 MB1 day D50CA50M
12 SAR13.80 SAR 500 MB7 days D500CA500
30 SAR34.50 SAR1 GB30 days D1000CA1GB
50 SAR57.50 SAR2 GB30 days D2000CA2GB
75 SAR86.25 SAR5 GB 30 days D5000CA5GB
95 SAR 109.25 SAR10 GB30 days 10GBMCA10M
160 SAR184 SAR100 GB30 days 100GBMCA100M
165 SAR189.75 SAR10 GB 90 days 10GBCA10G
220 SAR253 SAR20 GB 90 days 20GBCA20G
265 SAR304.75 SAR50 GB90 days 50GBCA50G
320 SAR 368 SAR100 GB90 days 100GBCA100
360 SAR414 SAR150 GB90 days 150GBCA150
450 SAR517.50 SAR 300 GB 90 days 300GBCA300

To activate a Voice Internet Bundle, text the Activation Code to 959.

For example, if you want to buy the 75 SAR Bundle, you would text D5000 to 959.

To cancel a plan, text the Cancel Plan Code to 959.

Zain Saudi Arabia Unlimited Social Media Bundles

The Unlimited Social Media Bundles are unlimited data bundles for select social media apps (Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Snapchat & TikTok) or YouTube. The Unlimited Social Media Bundles can be added to Shabab, Kareeb & Khateer Plus SIM cards.

Zain Saudi Arabia Unlimited Social Media Bundles – Social Apps

The following Unlimited Social Media Bundles are available:

PricePrice with VATSocial Media DataValidityActivation CodeAuto-Renewal Cancellation Code
3 SAR3.45 SARUnlimited1 day310CA310
15 SAR17.25 SARUnlimited7 days311CA311
60 SAR 69 SARUnlimited28 days 312CA312

To activate a Social Media Bundle, text the Activation Code to 959.

For example, if you want to buy the 15 SAR Bundle, you would text 311 to 959.

The Shabab Bundles auto-renew. To disable auto-renewal, text the Auto-Renewal Cancellation Code to 959.

Zain Saudi Arabia Unlimited Social Media Bundles – YouTube

The following Unlimited YouTube Bundles are available:

PricePrice with VATYouTube DataValidityActivation CodeAuto-Renewal Cancellation Code
7 SAR8.05 SARUnlimited1 day500CA500
39 SAR 44.85 SAR Unlimited7 days501CA501
99 SAR 113.85 SAR Unlimited28 days 502CA502

To activate a YouTube Bundle, text the Activation Code to 959.

For example, if you want to buy the 39 SAR Bundle, you would text 501 to 959.

The Shabab Bundles auto-renew. To disable auto-renewal, text the Auto-Renewal Cancellation Code to 959.

Zain Saudi Arabia Renewal Internet Plans

The Renewal Internet Plans are data plans for the Zain Data Line. They cannot be added to any regular prepaid SIM card (the ones that allow you to make calls and send SMS).

The following Renewal Internet Plans are available:

PricePlanDataValidityActivation CodeAuto-Renewal Cancellation Code
160 SAR100 GB 100 GB30 days 100GB1CA100GB1
165 SAR 10 GB10 GB 90 days 10GB3CA10GB3
325 SAR Unlimited Unlimited30 days ULCAUL
450 SAR 300 GB300 GB 90 days 300GB3CA300GB3

To activate a Renewal Internet Plan, text the Activation Code to 959.

For example, if you want to buy the 100 GB Plan, you would text 100GB1 to 959.

The Shabab Bundles auto-renew. To disable auto-renewal, text the Auto-Renewal Cancellation Code to 959.

Zain Saudi Arabia APN Settings

In most cases, your phone will automatically download the correct APN settings for your Zain Saudi Arabia SIM card. If that does not happen, you will have to enter the following APN details yourself (leave anything not mentioned below blank):

  • Name: Zain
  • APN: zain

Virgin Mobile KSA (Including Friendi Mobile)

Virgin Mobile Logo

Virgin Mobile Saudi Arabia, just Virgin Mobile, is one of the MVNOs in Saudi Arabia. They started in 2014, primarily targeting the Saudi youth. However, everyone, regardless of age, can get a Virgin Mobile SIM card.

This is what you will learn about Virgin Mobile:

* What Happened to Friendi Mobile Saudi Arabia
* Coverage
* How to Get an Virgin Mobile SIM Card & SIM Card Prices
* Recharging Options & Methods (also for Friendi Mobile)
* Internet Packages (also for Friendi Mobile)
* APN Settings

Click on the links above to jump to the section you are interested in.

Jump to STC | Jump to Jawwy | Jump to Mobily | Jump to Zain | Jump to Lebara

What Happened to Friendi Mobile Saudi Arabia?

Friendi mobile Logo

Friendi Mobile Saudi Arabia, which started as an MVNO in 2014, got integrated with Virgin Mobile in 2020. Virgin Mobile now offers Friendi packages in addition to its regular plans and offers.

It should be noted that the Virgin Group and Friendi Group have a strategic partnership since 2012 when they signed a deal to merge regional operators.

Friendi Mobile with Virgin Mobile Merger Splash Screen

Virgin Mobile KSA Coverage

Virgin Mobile is an STC MVNO, meaning Virgin Mobile uses the STC network and does not have its own antennas. Head to the STC coverage section to learn what you can expect, coverage-wise, when getting a Virgin Mobile SIM card.

Worry not, there will be a link to jump straight back to where you were after seeing STC's coverage.

Getting a Virgin Mobile KSA SIM Card

You can get a Virgin Mobile SIM card for free, depending on the type of phone number you choose (from 0 SAR to 2000 SAR), in Virgin Mobile stores or from authorized resellers, or when ordering one online. However, you are required to select or customize a plan when getting a Virgin Mobile SIM card in a Virgin Mobile store or when ordering it online.

Virgin Mobile promises to deliver SIM cards within two hours in eligible locations when choosing the home delivery option.

Below is a list of phone number categories Virgin Mobile has:

  • Basic: 0 SAR
  • Value: 80 SAR
  • Rare: 400 SAR
  • Legendary: 1000 SAR
  • Exotic: 2000 SAR

The more expensive the phone number, the easier it should be to remember the phone number.

Recharging Your Virgin Mobile KSA SIM Card

Recharging your Virgin Mobile SIM card has to be done with the Virgin Mobile app or through Quick Top-Up with a debit card, credit card, Mada card, or Apple Pay. Virgin Mobile does not sell physical reload cards or vouchers.

Recharging Your Friendi Mobile SIM Card

Those who still have a Friendi Mobile SIM card can still get regular Friendi Mobile recharge vouchers.

The following recharge vouchers are available:

RechargeLocal Calls & PAYG Internet BonusOn-Net CallsLandline MinutesLocal SMSValidity
10 SAR20%Free50 landline minutesFree1 day
15 SAR20%Free50 landline minutesFree1 day
20 SAR50%Free50 landline minutesFree2 days
30 SAR50%Free50 landline minutesFree3 days
50 SAR100%Free50 landline minutesFree7 days 
100 SAR200%Free50 landline minutesFree14 days 

To redeem your Friendi Mobile recharge voucher, dial *101*VoucherCode#.

For example, if your voucher code is 123456, you would dial *101*123456#.

Dial *102# to check your Friendi Mobile balance.

Virgin Mobile KSA Internet Packages, Plans, Bundles & Offers

Virgin Mobile allows you to customize your plans by choosing how much data and minutes you want (which comes with double the SMS allowance) or you can get one of the pre-made plans or bundles.

The following Virgin Mobile bundles are available:

Note: those who have a Friendi Mobile SIM card can only get packages with the Friendi brand (Friendi Data Bundles & Friendi Bundelha Plans).

Let's go through each plan. Click on the links above to jump to the plan you are interested in.

Virgin Mobile Saudi Arabia Customizable Plans

The Customizable Plans, simply referred to as Create Your Plan, allow you to make your own Virgin Mobile monthly plan based on the amount of data and number of minutes and SMS you want.

Every plan you make with Virgin Mobile needs to include at least 1 GB of data and 100 minutes, bringing the minimum price to 30 SAR (34.50 SAR with VAT).

All plans are valid for 30 days and auto-renew, unless you pause your plan on the Virgin Mobile app (by going to Change Plan and pressing Pause Plan). Once pausing your plan for 60 days, you cannor make calls nor send SMS. When you have paused your plan for 90 days, your SIM card will be deactivated and, therefore, be canceled.

With the customizable plans, you get double the number of SMS depending on the number of local minutes you add to your plan.

Suppose you add 500 local minutes to your plan. Then you will get 1000 local SMS. With 1000 local minutes, you get 2000 local SMS, etc.

If you include more than 1500 local minutes or 20 GB of data to your plan, you will get 3000 on-net minutes for free.

If you get 20 GB of data, which is eligible for free on-net minutes, and 100 local minutes, which is the minimum amount of minutes you have to select, then you will get 3000 on-net minutes for free.

Virgin Mobile Saudi Arabia Customizable Plans Internet Options

The following data options are available when customizing your Virgin Mobile plan:

PricePrice with VATDataFree On-Net Minutes
30 SAR34.50 SAR1 GBN/A
45 SAR51.75 SAR2 GBN/A
70 SAR80.50 SAR4 GBN/A
90 SAR103.50 SAR8 GB N/A
100 SAR115 SAR10 GB N/A
120 SAR138 SAR20 GB3000 on-net minutes
140 SAR161 SAR40 GB3000 on-net minutes
170 SAR195.50 SAR80 GB3000 on-net minutes
180 SAR207 SAR100 GB3000 on-net minutes
Virgin Mobile Saudi Arabia Customizable Plans Minutes & SMS Options

The following minutes & SMS options are available when customizing your Virgin Mobile plan:

PricePrice with VATLocal MinutesFree On-Net MinutesLocal SMS
30 SAR34.50 SAR100 local minutesN/A200 SMS
45 SAR51.75 SAR250 local minutesN/A500 SMS
55 SAR63.25 SAR500 local minutesN/A1000 SMS
80 SAR90 SAR1000 local minutesN/A2000 SMS
105 SAR120.75 SAR1500 local minutes3000 on-net minutes3000 SMS
130 SAR149.50 SAR2000 local minutes3000 on-net minutes5000 SMS
280 SAR322 SAR5000 local minutes3000 on-net minutes10 000 SMS 
Virgin Mobile Saudi Arabia Pre-Made Plans

The Pre-Made Plans are plans Virgin Mobile has made for those who want the option to customize their plan in the future but just want a starter plan, or those who do not wish to create their own plan. These plans often include exclusive freebies.

The following Pre-Made Plans are available:

PricePrice with VATDataLocal MinutesLocal SMSFreebie
70 SAR80.50 SAR10 GB500 local minutes1000 local minutesN/A
100 SAR115 SAR20 GB500 local minutes1000 local minutes5 GB for Social Media
150 SAR172.50 SAR10 GB1000 local minutes2000 local minutesUnlimited data for Social Media
215 SAR247.25 SAR100 GB5000 local minutes10 000 local SMS Unlimited data for Social Media

The Social Media apps are Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Facebook, WhatsApp & YouTube.

Virgin Mobile Saudi Arabia Data Bundles

The Data Bundles are standard data-only bundles.

The following Data Bundles are available, which can be activated by dialing *110#:

PricePrice with VATDataValidity
3 SAR3.45 SAR50 MB 1 day 
15 SAR17.25 SAR500 MB7 days 
21 SAR24.15 SAR700 MB30 days 
24 SAR27.60 SAR1 GB30 days 
45 SAR51.75 SAR2 GB30 days 
70 SAR80.50 SAR4 GB30 days 
90 SAR80.50 SAR8 GB30 days 
100 SAR115 SAR10 GB30 days 
120 SAR138 SAR20 GB30 days 
140 SAR161 SAR40 GB30 days 
170 SAR195.50 SAR80 GB30 days 
180 SAR207 SAR10 GB90 days 
180 SAR207 SAR100 GB30 days 
230 SAR264.50 SAR50 GB60 days 
350 SAR402.50 SAR100 GB90 days 
Virgin Mobile Saudi Arabia YouTube & Social Media Offers

The YouTube & Social Media Offers are combo bundles with data, data for social media (Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Facebook, WhatsApp & YouTube), and local minutes.

The following YouTube & Social Media Offers are available, which can be activated on the Virgin Mobile App:

PricePrice with VATDataFree DataSocial Media DataLocal MinutesFree Local MinutesValidity
100 SAR115 SAR20 GB5 GB5 GB for Social Media 500 minutes250 free minutes30 days
150 SAR172.50 SAR10 GB10 GBUnlimited data for Social Media1000 minutes2000 free minutes30 days
215 SAR 247.25 SAR100 GBN/AUnlimited data for Social Media5000 minutesN/A 30 days
Virgin Mobile Saudi Arabia Friendi Data Bundles

The Friendi Data Bundles are data-only bundles available to Virgin Mobile users and those who still have a Friendi Mobile SIM card.

The following Friendi Data Bundles are available, which can be activated by dialing *108#:

PricePrice with VATDataValidity
1.99 SAR2.29 SAR30 MB1 day 
4.99 SAR3.44 SAR100 MB3 days 
8.99 SAR10.34 SAR300 MB 7 days
12.99 SAR14.94 SAR 500 MB10 days 
14.99 SAR17.24 SAR750 MB14 days 
17 SAR19.55 SAR1 GB21 days
25.99 SAR29.89 SAR1.6 GB30 days
39.99 SAR45.99 SAR 2.5 GB30 days
45 SAR51.75 SAR3 GB30 days 
60 SAR69 SAR5 GB30 days
95 SAR109.25 SAR10 GB30 days 
99 SAR113.85 SAR20 GB 30 days 
110 SAR126.50 SAR10 GB90 days
189 SAR217.35 SAR 20 GB 90 days
260 SAR299 SAR50 GB90 days
330 SAR 379.50 SAR100 GB 90 days
Virgin Mobile Saudi Arabia Friendi Bundelha Plans

The Friendi Bundelha Plans are combo bundles with data and minutes available to Virgin Mobile users and those who still have a Friendi Mobile SIM card.

The following Friendi Bundelha Plans are available, which can be activated by dialing *112#:

PricePrice with VATDataOn-Net MinutesOff-Net MinutesLocal MinutesValidity
19 SAR21.85 SAR500 MB60 on-net minutes60 off-net minutesN/A14 days
45 SAR51.75 SAR3 GB200 on-net minutes100 off-net minutesN/A30 days
70 SAR80.50 SAR10 GB1000 on-net minutesN/AN/A30 days
90 SAR103.50 SAR9 GB450 on-net minutes450 off-net minutesN/A30 days
110 SAR126.50 SAR25 GBN/AN/A250 local minutes30 days

Virgin Mobile KSA APN Settings

In most cases, your phone will automatically download the correct APN settings for your Virgin Mobile KSA SIM card. If that does not happen, you will have to enter the following APN details yourself (leave anything not mentioned below blank):

  • Name: Virgin Mobile
  • APN: internet

Lebara Saudi Arabia

Lebara Saudi Arabia Logo

Lebara Saudi Arabia, just Lebara, is one of the MVNOs in Saudi Arabia. They started as an MVNO in 2014.

The Lebara Group is most active in Europe, and Saudi Arabia was its first non-European market. Lebara is known for targeting the migrant worker and expat community by offering low(er) international rates than its local competitors.

This is what you will learn about Lebara:

* Coverage
* How to Get a Lebara SIM Card & SIM Card Prices
* Recharging Options & Methods
* Internet Packages
* APN Settings

Click on the links above to jump to the section you are interested in.

Jump to STC | Jump to Jawwy | Jump to Mobily | Jump to Zain | Jump to Virgin Mobile

Lebara Saudi Arabia Coverage

Lebara is a Mobily MVNO, meaning Lebara uses the Mobily network and does not have its own antennas. Head to the Mobily Coverage Section to learn what you can expect, coverage-wise, when getting a Lebara SIM card.

Worry not, there will be a link to jump straight back to where you were after seeing Mobily's coverage.

Getting a Lebara Saudi Arabia SIM Card & Price

You can get a Lebara SIM card for 30 SAR (34.50 with VAT) in Lebara stores (authorized resellers) or on the Lebara website. You can also get a data-only SIM card for the same price. Lebara SIM cards are available as eSIMs as well, but only for Saudi residents.

Lebara Saudi Arabia Prepaid Package
Lebara Saudi Arabia eSIM Availability & Compatibility

The Lebara eSIM is available for purchase online. However, you need a valid Absher account to order and activate a Lebara eSIM – tourists and short-term visitors are not eligible for Absher accounts and, therefore, cannot get a Lebara eSIM.

If your device supports eSIM, you may use a Lebara eSIM as long as it is a Lebara supported device.

Lebara Saudi Arabia eSIM

The following devices support Lebara eSIM:

  • Google Pixel 2
  • Google Pixel 3
  • Google Pixel 3 XL
  • Google Pixel 3a
  • Google Pixel 4
  • Google Pixel 4 XL
  • Huawei P40 Pro
  • iPhone 11
  • iPhone 11 Pro
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone XS
  • iPhone XS Max
  • Samsung Galaxy Fold
  • Samsung Galaxy S20
  • Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
  • Samsung Galaxy S20+
  • Samsung Z Flip

If you want to learn how eSIMs work and if they work abroad, this article explains it in-depth.

Recharging Your Lebara Saudi Arabia SIM Card

You can get a Lebara scratch card from Lebara authorized resellers, and you can recharge your SIM card online in denominations starting from 20 SAR to 345 SAR.

The following Lebara scratch cards and online recharge denominations are available:

  • 20 SAR
  • 30 SAR
  • 60 SAR
  • 115 SAR
  • 230 SAR
  • 345 SAR

To redeem your Lebara scratch card, dial *111*VoucherCode#.

For example, if your voucher code is 123456, you would dial *111*123456#.

Dial *110# to check your Lebara balance. For detailed balance information, including bundle balance, call 1755 and select option 1.

Lebara Saudi Arabia Internet Packages, Plans, Bundles & Offers

Click on the links above to jump to the plan you are interested in.

Lebara Saudi Arabia Hawakom Packages

The Hawakom Packages are combo bundles that include data, a dedicated data allowances for select social media apps (YouTube, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook & WhatsApp), local minutes, and local SMS.

Lebara Saudi Arabia Hawakom Packages

At the time of writing, Hawakom is being promoted as Lebara's new plan for new customers; existing Lebara customers can easily switch to Hawakom on the Lebara KSA app.

The following Hawakom Packages are available:

PricePrice with VATPlanDataSocial Media DataLocal MinutesLocal SMSValidity
55 SAR63.25 SARHawakom 554 GBN/A500 minutes50 SMS30 days 
90 SAR103.50 SARHawakom 9010 GB5 GB for Social Media 900 minutes90 SMS30 days 
130 SAR149.50 SARHawakom 13015 GB15 GB for Social Media 1300 minutes130 SMS30 days 
170 SAR195.50 SARHawakom 17030 GB30 GB for Social Media1700 minutes170 SMS30 days 
210 SAR241.50 SAR Hawakom 210 100 GBUnlimited data for Social Media 10 000 minutes210 SMS 30 days 

Hawakom Packages auto-renew if there is enough credit in your account. You can disable auto-renewal on the Lebara website or on the Lebara KSA app.

If you need more minutes or data, you can upgrade your Hawakom Package with an Add-On.

Lebara Saudi Arabia Hawakom Packages Add-Ons (Data & Minutes)

The Add-Ons for the Hawakom Packages will boost your data or minute allowance starting from 10 SAR with 1 GB or 100 minutes.

The following Add-Ons for the Hawakom Packages are available:

PricePrice with VATDataLocal Minutes
10 SAR 11.50 SAR1 GBN/A
10 SAR 11.50 SARN/A100 minutes
30 SAR34.50 SAR5 GBN/A
30 SAR34.50 SARN/A350 minutes
50 SAR 57.50 SAR10 GBN/A
50 SAR 57.50 SARN/A700 minutes

Unlike the Hawakom Packages themselves, the Add-Ons do not auto-renew.

Hawakom Add-Ons can be activated on the Lebara website or Lebara KSA app.

Lebara Saudi Arabia Local Pass

The Local Passes are combo plans with data and minutes starting from 30 SAR (34.50 SAR with VAT) with 5 GB, 100 on-net minutes, and 100 off-net minutes.

Lebara Saudi Arabia Local Pass

The following Local Passes are available:

PricePrice with VATPlanDataOn-Net MinutesOff-Net MinutesLocal MinutesValidityActivation Code
30 SAR34.50 SARLocal Pass 30 SAR4 GB 100 on-net minutes100 off-net minutesN/A30 days*777*3006#
50 SAR57.50 SARLocal Pass 50 SAR1 GB 250 on-net minutes250 off-net minutesN/A30 days*777*3003#
70 SAR80.50 SARLocal Pass 70 SAR7 GB500 on-net minutes300 off-net minutesN/A30 days*777*3004#
70 SAR80.50 SAR Local Pass 70 Plus 10 GB 1000 on-net minutes100 off-net minutesN/A30 days*777*3070#
90 SAR103.50 SARLocal Pass 90 SAR15 GB 450 on-net minutes450 off-net minutesN/A30 days*777*3005#
110 SAR126.50 SARLocal Pass 110 SAR 30 GB N/AN/A300 local minutes30 days*777*3007#

Local Passes can be activated on the Lebara website or Lebara KSA app.

To activate a Local, dial the Activation Code.

For example, if you want to purchase the Local Pass 110 SAR bundle, you would dial *777*3007#.

Lebara Saudi Arabia Mobile Net Saver

The Mobile Net Savers are data-only bundles starting from 2 SAR (2.30 SAR with VAT) for 50 MB.

Lebara Saudi Arabia Mobile Net Saver

The following Mobile Net Savers are available:

PricePrice with VATPlanDataValidityActivation Code
2 SAR2.30 SARMobile Net Saver 50 MB50 MB7 days *777*030#
5 SAR 5.75 SAR Mobile Net Saver 100 MB 100 MB7 days *777*080#
9 SAR 10.35 SARMobile Net Saver 300 MB 300 MB 7 days *777*200#
25 SAR28.75 SARMobile Net Saver 1.5 GB1.5 GB 30 days *777*1000#
45 SAR51.75 SARMobile Net Saver 3 GB 3 GB 30 days *777*2000#
60 SAR69 SARMobile Net Saver 5 GB 5 GB30 days *777*5000#
95 SAR109.25 SARMobile Net 10 GB 10 GB30 days *777*10240#
95 SAR109.25 SAR Mobile Net Saver 25 GB25 GB 30 days *777*2500#
110 SAR126.50 SARMobile Net Saver 10 GB 10 GB85 days *777*10000#
189 SAR217.35 SARMobile Net Saver 20 GB 20 GB 90 days *777*20000#
260 SAR 299 SAR Mobile Net Saver 50 GB50 GB90 days *777*50000#
330 SAR 379.50 SAR Mobile Net Saver 100 GB 100 GB 90 days *777*01000#

To activate a Mobile Net Saver, dial the Activation Code.

For example, if you want to purchase the Mobile Net Saver 10 GB bundle, you would dial *777*10000#.

Lebara Saudi Arabia Data Recharges

The Data Recharges are internet reload options starting from 25 SAR for 1 GB.

Lebara Saudi Arabia Online Recharge

The following Data Recharges are available:

PriceDataValidity
25 SAR1 GB30 days
55 SAR3 GB45 days
70 SAR5 GB45 days
105 SAR 10 GB30 days
130 SAR10 GB90 days
299 SAR50 GB90 days
380 SAR100 GB90 days 

You can purchase a Data Recharge on the Lebara Recharge Page or on the Lebara KSA app.

Lebara Saudi Arabia Data SIM Packages

The Data SIM packages are data-only packages exclusively for the Lebara data-only SIM card.

Lebara Saudi Arabia Data SIM

The following Data SIM Packages are available:

PriceDataValidity
25 SAR1 GB30 days
40 SAR2 GB30 days
50 SAR3 GB 45 days 

You can purchase a Data SIM package on the Lebara website or on the Lebara KSA app.

Lebara Saudi Arabia APN Settings

In most cases, your phone will automatically download the correct APN settings for your Lebara Saudi Arabia SIM card. If that does not happen, you will have to enter the following APN details yourself (leave anything not mentioned below blank):

  • Name: Lebara
  • APN: lebara

Other Ways to Stay Connected When Traveling in Saudi Arabia

Buying a Saudi SIM card when visiting or staying in the Kingdom has proven itself to be the most affordable way when visiting Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi telcos offer many types of plans, packages, and bundles, which offer you a lot of choice, but it should allow you to select the offer that suits your needs. Perhaps too many choices.

To some travelers, getting a local SIM card is not practical. You could have your reasons why you prefer not to buy a Saudi SIM card, such as not being reachable on your primary phone number.

I discuss a few other reasons why local SIM cards may not be for you in the video below.

Luckily, other ways to stay connected when in Saudi Arabia are available. I will go through them briefly.

International Roaming

Suppose you are from a GCC country or have a GCC-issued SIM card (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar & the United Arab Emirates). In that case, there is a big chance that your operator will offer attractive roaming packages when visiting GCC countries, like in Saudi Arabia.

The same counts for those coming from other Arabic countries or Muslim-majority nations, like Egypt or Libya. Mobile operators in those places often have special Hajj and Umrah roaming packages, which are much more affordable than standard roaming rates. Make sure to explore your roaming options.

One of the reasons why you may want to roam in Saudi Arabia and other countries is that it is more convenient than buying a local prepaid SIM card all the time.

I talk about the benefits of international roaming in the video below.

Be aware that international roaming has its downsides too. You may not be able to take advantage of the fast mobile speeds in Saudi Arabia. Users roaming on a network often get their internet traffic deprioritized by the roaming partner's network.

The video below discussed a few more reasons why roaming can be disadvantageous for your situation.

But most importantly, international roaming has a reputation for being expensive – which it is compared to getting local prepaid SIM cards. The video below explains.

International SIM Cards or Travel SIM Cards

International SIM cards and travel SIM cards are SIM cards made with the traveler in mind. They allow you to use the SIM card in multiple countries without buying local SIM cards in each destination you visit and to avoid international roaming fees.

The issue with most international SIM cards out there is that they prey on those who are unaware of the savings and benefits of local SIM cards. Many international SIM cards out there are criminally expensive.

Luckily, not all international SIM cards and travel SIM cards. And the good ones, at least the ones that are reasonably priced, offer services in the Kingdom, such as Surfroam (my favorite international SIM card) and travel SIM cards from SimOptions and SimCorner.

You can learn more about those SIM cards and international SIM cards in general on this page.

Mobile Hotspots (Pocket WIFI)

Mobile hotspots, or pocket WIFI, are small devices that connect to the local operators of the country you are visiting. Mobile hotspots are ideal for families or those traveling in a large group, as they allow you to connect multiple devices to one hotspot without the need of each traveler having to buy a SIM card.

You can either buy a mobile hotspot or rent one.

Free WIFI Networks

Paying nothing for something is often, but not always, better than paying for it. This can be said for free and open WIFI hotspots. They allow you to stay in touch with friends and family without having to pay for mobile internet.

The issue with rying to find free a WIFI network is that you constantly have to locate them – they do not travel with you. Besides that, not every city or town will have that many free hotspots available. More importantly, they can be extremely slow.

You can find many WIFI networks in the big cities, but most of them will be slow or you have to create an account to use the network. Also, free WIFI networks are prime targets for bad actors to steal your data for unsavory activities.

That is why I recommend using a VPN when connected to free WIFI hotspots, which is in addition to the recommendation to bypass the internet censorship and surveillance in the country, to protect your internet traffic and private information.

That way, that hackers cannot steal your personal data and use it for bad stuff. The government cannot snoop on what you are doing. And you can access blocked websites while connected to a VPN.

The Preferred Way to Stay Connected When Traveling in Saudi Arabia

Getting a SIM card from STC or Jawwy would do you well when considering a Saudi SIM card.

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Local Prepaid SIM Cards in Other Middle Eastern Countries

Visiting other countries in the Middle East? Check out my Middle Eastern SIM card buying guide, covering other Middle Eastern countries, such as:

Going to other places around the world? Then you should also check out my sim card buying guides for other destinations around the world.

Next Steps to Enhance Your Travel Experiences

Looking for the next steps to enhance your phone travel experiences? Here is what to do:

Check Out My Resource Page

Looking for the best companies and gadgets to enhance your travel experience? Check out my travel resources page for the best companies to use when you travel! Save money with international SIM cards, on plane tickets, bus rides, cruises, and accommodation. Besides that, I also list services and items I use to make my life easier – and I believe they will help you too!

Start Your Own Online Business – Make Money While Traveling

Do you want to learn how I started an online business that allows me to generate income while traveling? In my starting an online business guide, I tell you which tools, services, and products I have for this site and my YouTube channel. If I can start a business about something I am passionate about (phone travel), then you can do it too!

Learn About Your Phone Travel Options

You can buy local prepaid SIM cards, international SIM cards, mobile hotspots, or roam internationally. Each of these options has its pros and cons. Learn more about them, and find the best option for you.

Phone Travel Tips, Tricks & Hacks

I have written many articles with tips and hacks to save money on mobile costs while abroad. You surely want to check them out!

Sign Up for the Phone Travel Wiz Newsletter

Sign up for my newsletter: Get an excel sheet of the best SIM cards of over 230+ destinations around the world, updated monthly! Moreover, I send you many tips and tricks on how to save money while traveling every now and then.

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Get regular phone-travel-related news, tips, and articles. I will also send you a FREE Excel sheet with the best operator(s) of 230+ destinations around the world, including why they are the best, SIM card prices, and more! 

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Did you know that I have a YouTube channel covering everything you need to know about traveling with your phone? A lot of useful videos are uploaded multiple times a week, and you do not want to miss out on them!

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Learn More About Who Adu Actually Is

Who is the guy behind Phone Travel Wiz? Well, find out on the Ernest Adu about page!

Ernest Adu

Ernest Adu, going by just Adu, is the founder and editor at Phone Travel Wiz. He has been a traveler for 6 years. Although from Europe, the Netherlands, Adu's favorite region is Asia. In particular, East and Southeast Asia. He currently lives in Tainan, Taiwan.

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