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SIM Cards in the United Arab Emirates: The Best Prepaid Plans | 2024 Guide

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) – mostly known for the insane skyscrapers in Dubai, Dubai International Airport & Emirates – and Etihad Airlines.

When you think of the United Arab Emirates, you may think of the Burj Khalifa, The World Islands in Dubai, or elegant malls

But what about the less extravagant things, like the many deserts full of exciting attractions (and full of sand, of course).

You would almost forget the United Arab Emirates has many deserts when you mostly see pictures of Dubai.

So, what to do in this country?

If you love to shop, The Dubai Mall is for you.

Lose seeing beautiful mosques? Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque will take your breath away.

Into art? The Alserkal Avenue has a bunch of modern art galleries.

In short, being bored while in the United Arab Emirates should be illegal.

Before you decide to make your friends on social media jealous, be aware that international roaming can be expensive.

You are better off buying local SIM cards to enjoy local rates, even in the United Arab Emirates – not a place known for being affordable.

But how expensive are SIM cards in this country?

You can get an Emirati SIM card for as low as 55 AED (14.95 USD) up to 99 AED (26.95 USD) in mobile operator stores (Etisalat – also for Du and Virgin Mobile) or authorized dealers. SIM cards are also available at Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Sharjah airports.

15 USD for a SIM card? That is certainly not cheap.

As I said, this is not a cheap country. But international roaming rates here? They are criminal.

But, you will be visiting a country that has the fastest mobile download speeds globally.

So is it worth the price? Probably. But we will have to see, huh?

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

Buying a SIM Card in United Arab Emirates Guide (logos of Etisalat, Du, Virgin Mobile & Swyp)

Original publication: 25th of December 2019. Last updated: 1st of February 2024.


Table of Contents

What is the Best SIM Card in the United Arab Emirates?

If you want to buy the best SIM card in the UAE, I recommend going with Etisalat or Du. Etisalat is the fastest mobile operator and has the best coverage. But it has a strict policy of only selling tourist SIM cards to short-term visitors. Du is more flexible with the types of SIM cards they sell and the validity tied to them, and it is generally great too.

Phone Travel Wiz Approved Seal

So, which other SIM cards are available in the United Arab Emirates?

The United Arab Emirates has two mobile operators and two Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) offering prepaid services easily accessible to travelers:

  • Etisalat UAE
  • Du
  • Swyp UAE (Etisalat UAE MVNO for the youth)
  • Virgin Mobile UAE (Du MVNO)
Cellular Connectivity Illustration by Phone Travel Wiz

This guide sticks to the mobile operators only and the most popular MVNOs (bolded above) to prevent information overload (at least, that is the aim – this guide is still in-depth!).

If you want to buy a SIM card from the unbolded MVNO, you must do the research independently. I do not actively use MVNOs anymore because I test travel eSIMs instead, like the ones for the United Arab Emirates.

Anyone 18 or older living in or visiting the United Arab Emirates can buy an Emirati SIM card with no restrictions.

But you do have to comply with the SIM card registration regulations, which include getting your fingerprints captured and showing your passport at the point of sale.

  • Find out which countries have SIM card registration regulations and what is required from you (lookup tool)
SIM Card Registration Worldwide Tool by Phone Travel Wiz

Where Can You Buy an Emirati SIM Card (+Costs)?

You can get an Emirati SIM card in Etisalat, Du & Virgin Mobile stores. Some Emirati airports sell (tourist) SIM cards (at inflated prices).

You can expect to pay the following for Emirati SIM cards:

  • Etisalat UAE: 55 AED (57.75 AED with VAT)
  • Du: 55 AED (57.75 AED with VAT)
  • Virgin Mobile UAE: free, but plan required (minimum of 36.75 AED with VAT)

The following Emirati mobile operators also have SIM cards targeting tourists:

  • Etisalat UAE: 49 AED, 79 AED, 125 AED & 200 AED
  • Du: 55 AED, 75 AED & 110 AED

If you plan to buy a SIM card at an airport, the prices can be higher than those listed above – be aware of this.

Use the Wise Currency Converter tool (free) for up-to-date AED (Emirati Dirham) to your currency (let's say INR – Indian Rupee) exchange rates.

Wise Currency Exchange Banner
© Wise

For your convenience, below are some exchange rates between AED and USD (US Dollars):

  • 1 SAR = 0.25 USD
  • 10 SAR = 2.65 USD
  • 100 SAR = 26.65 USD
  • 1000 SAR = 266.55 USD
  • 10 000 SAR = 2665.65 USD

But for any other currency, the Wise Currency Converter tool.

(Travel) eSIMs for the United Arab Emirates

(Travel) eSIMs have become extremely popular in recent years.

Especially after Apple made iPhones (14- & 15 series) sold in the United States eSIM-only, forcing its users to use eSIMs – even when abroad.

This forced mobile operators to adopt eSIM technology faster than they had planned (for the benefit of anyone wishing to use eSIMs instead of swapping SIM cards).

At the moment, no Emirati mobile operator offers eSIMs to prepaid customers.

But if the Emirati mobile operators did have eSIMs and you wanted to purchase an eSIM, you would need to comply with the United Arab Emirates' SIM card registration regulations.

Suppose you do not wish to do so for whatever reason. In that case, you may consider getting a travel eSIM for the United Arab Emirates.

My United Arab Emirates eSIM buying guide analyzes various eSIM providers I have tested extensively worldwide (even in the United Arab Emirates).

Buying an eSIM for the United Arab Emirates Guide (logos of Holafly, Nomad, Menalink, Discover+, Burj Mobile, Alosim & Airalo)

You can even get eSIMs covering the United Arab Emirates and other countries in the Middle East, allowing you to use one eSIM in multiple destinations with just one purchase.

Or you can even get a global eSIM, which can be used in at least 100 countries worldwide.

While the United Arab Emirates eSIM buying guide goes much more in-depth about your options, I do want to introduce some quickly here:

Here are some discount codes to sweeten the deal:

  • Airalo: FEB15 for 15% off (if you have never bought an Airalo eSIM before). Otherwise, FEB10 for 10% off (for existing users) – only the first 3000 users can redeem either discount code)
  • Alosim: PTW for 5% off (as many times as you wish for as many eSIMs as you want)
  • Holafly: PHONETRAVELWIZ for 5% off (as many times as you wish for as many eSIMs as you want)
  • Nomad: ADU123 for 3 USD off (on your first-ever Nomad order only)

For information about these eSIMs, such as how much the eSIMs cost and how much data you get, check out the United Arab Emirates eSIM buying guide.

Buying an eSIM for the United Arab Emirates Guide (logos of Holafly, Nomad, Menalink, Discover+, Burj Mobile, Alosim & Airalo)

Emirati Prepaid SIM Cards Explored

Below, I will guide you through Etisalat UAE, Du & Virgin Mobile UAE, and go through:

  • Background information
  • Mobile coverage
  • SIM card types, prices & availability
  • Recharge/top-up information
  • Combo plans, data plans & special packs (such as social media packs)

Let's see what the United Arab Emirates offers us.


Etisalat UAE

Etisalat Logo New
© Etisalat

Etisalat UAE, just Etisalat, is the largest mobile operator in the United Arab Emirates. It also won the prestigious award for having the world's fastest mobile network in 2020.

It is also the best mobile operator in all aspects in the United Arab Emirates.

Etisalat, as a company, is active in Africa, Asia & the Middle East.

Etisalat uses the following frequencies:

  • 2G: 900 MHz
  • 3G: 2100 MHz
  • 4G/LTE: 800 MHz (Band 20), 1800 MHz (Band 3), 2600 MHz (Band 7) & 3500 MHz (Band 42)
  • 5G NR: 3500 MHz (n78)

This is what you will learn about Etisalat:

* Coverage
* How to Get an Etisalat SIM Card & SIM Card Price
* Topping Up Options & Methods + Balance Check
* Plans & Packages
* APN/Internet Settings

Coverage – Etisalat UAE

Etisalat has the best coverage in the United Arab Emirates.

Basically, all of the populated areas are covered by Etisalat. You may, however, have to deal with 2G or 3G in deserts.

Below is Etisalat's coverage map produced by Speedtest:

However, click here to see Etisalat's official coverage map.

SIM Card Price – Etisalat UAE

You can buy an Etisalat SIM card, called Wasel Prepaid Line, for 55 AED (57.75 AED with VAT) with 1 GB with the first recharge (valid for 7 days) in Etisalat stores and from authorized resellers. It is also possible to get Etisalat SIM cards at Abu Dhabi International Airport, Dubai International Airport & Sharjah International Airport.

Short-term travelers can also take advantage of the Etisalat Visitor Line – Etisalat's tourist SIM card.

They come in four variants, which are shown below:

Price (with VAT)PlanDataFlexi MinutesUAE WIFI HoursCareem CreditValidity
49 AEDVisitor Line2 GB30 minutesN/A100 AED28 days
79 AEDVisitor Line + 4 GB30 minutesN/A100 AED28 days
125 AEDVisitor Line Premium6 GB120 minutes5 hours100 AED28 days
200 AEDVisitor Line Premium +22.5 GB525 minutes30 hours100 AED28 days

Be aware that tourists and travelers will most likely only get Visitor Lines when getting an Etisalat SIM card, not a Wasel Prepaid Line SIM card.

Etisalat employees are often strict with this policy.

Moreover, the validity of your Visitor Line SIM card is tied to the validity of your visa, which could mean a shorter validity than advertised.

Migrant workers, who often read this guide, do not have to worry about the aforementioned policy – you can simply get a regular Etisalat SIM card and take advantage of many of the plans mentioned later.

Dial *101# to access the Etisalat menu.

  • Find out how much SIM cards cost in every country, including data-only SIM cards and tourist SIM cards, offered by each mobile operator + information about starter benefits (lookup tool)
SIM Card Prices Worldwide Tool by Phone Travel Wiz

It is also possible to get an Etisalat eSIM for the same price as a regular SIM card.

You should consider getting a travel eSIM for the United Arab Emirates because they can sometimes be cheaper than getting a SIM card from Etisalat.

Especially if you get a Middle East-wide eSIM or a global eSIM.

I discuss various eSIM options of eSIM providers for the United Arab Emirates in my United Arab Emirates eSIM buying guide, which are:

  • Airalo: Burj Mobile (United Arab Emirates only), Menalink (15 countries in the Middle East and Northern Africa) & Discover+ (130 countries worldwide + minutes and SMS) – use code FEB15 (15% off – first-time users only) or FEB10 (10% off)
  • Alosim: United Arab Emirates – use code PTW (5% off – no limits)
  • Holafly: United Arab Emirates (unlimited data eSIMs) – use code PHONETRAVELWIZ (5% off – no limits)
  • Nomad: United Arab Emirates, Middle East (seven countries) & Global (up to 139 countries) – use code ADU123 (3 USD off – first-time users only)

As I said, check out my United Arab Emirates eSIM buying guide for more information, as I have to continue with Etisalat for now.

Buying an eSIM for the United Arab Emirates Guide (logos of Holafly, Nomad, Menalink, Discover+, Burj Mobile, Alosim & Airalo)
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Top-Up, Recharge & Balance Check – Etisalat UAE

Etisalat top-up vouchers are sold in Etisalat stores and many other establishments, such as kiosks, gas stations, and grocery stores.

The following top-up options (recharge cards & eVouchers) are available:

  • 25 AED
  • 50 AED
  • 100 AED
  • 200 AED
  • 500 AED

To top up your Etisalat SIM card, dial *120*VoucherCode# or dial *101# and follow the instructions.

For example, if your voucher code is 123456, you would dial *120*123456*1#.

You can also tell the salesperson how much credit you want, your phone number, pay, and they will top up your SIM card with the POS system.

You can also recharge online with (international) debit and credit cards.

Dial *101#, *121#, or call 121 to check your Etisalat balance.

You can also top up and check your balance on the My Etisalat UAE app (Android/iOS/Huawei AppGallery).

My Etisalat UAE App
© Etisalat UAE

Packages, Plans, Bundles & Offers – Etisalat UAE

Etisalat has eleven data-featured prepaid plans:

All Etisalat plans can be purchased by dialing *101#.

I will list all the prices in AED (Emirati Dirham).

To convert AED to your currency (let's say IND – Indian Rupee) with up-to-date exchange rates, use the Wise Currency Converter tool.

Wise Currency Exchange Banner
© Wise

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

Wasel Flexi Exclusive Addons – Etisalat UAE

Wasel Flexi Exclusive Addons are combo plans with data (with 5G NR access), Flexible Minutes & International minutes.

Although the name includes addons, they can be purchased as standalone plans.

Wasel Flexi Exclusive Addons can be activated by dialing *101*50#:

PriceLocal DataFlexi MinutesValidity
10 AEDN/A30 minutes28 days
20 AEDN/A60 minutes28 days
30 AEDN/A90 minutes28 days
30 AED1 GBN/A28 days
55 AED2 GBN/A28 days
75 AED3 GBN/A28 days
Etisalat United Arab Emirates Wasel Flexi Exclusive
WaselGO – Etisalat UAE

WaselGo is the base plan for the Wasel Prepaid Line. It featured data and Flexi Minutes (local & international minutes).

The WaselGo are combo plans with data (with 5G NR access) and minutes.

WaselGo can be activated by dialing *101#:

Price (with VAT)PlanDataFlexi MinutesValidity
10.50 AEDWaselGo Small400 MB (@ 400 Kbps)15 minutes7 days
26.25 AEDWaselGo Medium750 MB40 minutes7 days
52.50 AEDWaselGo Large2 GB100 minutes7 days
78.75 AEDWaselGo Extra Large3.5 GB175 minutes7 days

WaselGo auto-renews. To disable auto-renewal, dial *101#.

Etisalat United Arab Emirates WaselGo Combo Plans
Prepaid Combo Plan Addons – Etisalat UAE

The Prepaid Combo Plan Addons are combo plans with data (with 5G NR access) and Flexi Minutes (local & international minutes).

Although the name includes addons, they can be purchased as standalone plans.

Prepaid Combo Plan Addons can be purchased by dialing *101#:

PriceLocal DataFlexi MinutesInternational Minutes 1Validity
19.05 AED150 MB/day ”192 Kbps”N/A50 minutes7 days
35 AED500 MB25 minutesN/A28 days
55 AED1 GB50 minutesN/A28 days
57.14 AED150 MB/day ”192 Kbps”N/A200 minutes28 days
100 AED2 GB140 minutesN/A30 days
110 AED3 GB150 minutesN/A28 days
165 AED6 GB200 minutesN/A28 days
220 AED10 GB250 minutesN/A28 days

1 for Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Egypt, India, Nepal, Pakistan & Philippines

Prepaid Combo Plan Addons auto-renew. To disable auto-renewal, dial *101#.

Etisalat United Arab Emirates Prepaid Combo Plan Add-Ons
Pinoy Pack – Etisalat UAE

The Pinoy Pack is a plan targeted at Filipino migrant workers. It features data, minutes, and SMS.

The Pinoy Pack are combo plans with data (with 5G NR access), minutes & SMS.

Pinoy Pack can be activated by texting Pinoy to 1020:

PriceDataBarkada Minutes 2Local MinutesInternational Minutes 1Flexi SMSValidityActivation Code
20 AED1 GB210 minutes20 minutes20 minutes250 Flexi SMS7 days Pinoy to 1012

1 only to the Philippines
2 to other Pinoy Pack users

Visitor Line Combo Pack Addons – Etisalat UAE

Visitor Line Combo Pack Addons are combo plans with data (with 5G NR access) and Flexi Minutes (local & international minutes).

Although the name includes addons, they can be purchased as standalone plans.

Visitor Line Combo Pack Addons can be activated by dialing *101*#:

PriceLocal DataFlexi MinutesValidity
46.66 AED2 GB30 minutes28 days
75.23 AED4 GB30 minutes28 days
119.04 AED8 GB120 minutes28 days
190.47 AED22.5 GB525 minutes28 days
303.81 AEDUnlimited100 minutes10 days
Etisalat United Arab Emirates Visitor Line Combo Pack Add-Ons
Visitor Line – Etisalat UAE

The Visitor Line is a prepaid pack exclusively for visitors to the UAE. Benefits include loads of data, voice minutes and Wi-Fi connectivity as well as discounts at restaurants and attractions.

The Visitor Line are combo plans with data (with 5G NR access).

Visitor Line can be activated by dialing *101*#:

PricePlanDataFlexi MinutesUAE WIFI HoursCareem CreditValidity
49 AEDVisitor Line2 GB30 minutesN/A100 AED28 days
79 AEDVisitor Line + 4 GB30 minutesN/A100 AED28 days
125 AEDVisitor Line Premium8 GB120 minutes5 hours100 AED28 days
200 AEDVisitor Line Premium +22.5 GB525 minutes30 hours100 AED28 days
200 AEDVisitor Line UnlimitedUnlimited100 minutesN/A100 AED7 days
319 AEDVisitor Line UnlimitedUnlimited300 minutesN/A100 AED14 days
Etisalat United Arab Emirates Visitor Line Plans
Prepaid Data Plan Addons – Etisalat UAE

The Prepaid Data Plan Addons are, as the name implies, data bundles (with 5G NR access).

Although the name includes addons, they can be purchased as standalone plans.

Prepaid Data Plan Addons can be activated by dialing *101*#:

PriceLocal DataSocial Data 1Validity
2 AED60 MBN/A1 day
2 AEDN/A120 MB1 day
3 AEDN/A200 MB1 day
4 AED150 MBN/A1 day
4 AEDN/A300MB1 day
5 AED100 MBN/A1 day
7.62 AED250 MBN/A1 day
14.28 AED75 MB/dayN/A7 days
20 AED300 MBN/A7 days
23.80 AED150 MB/dayN/A7 days
30 AED500 MBN/A28 days
38.09 AED250 MB/dayN/A7 days
40 AED75 MB/dayN/A28 days
40 AEDN/A150 MB/day28 days
42.85 AEDN/A1 GB/day30 days
47.62 AED150 MB/day ”192 Kbps”N/A28 days
49 AEDN/A1 GB30 days
50 AED1 GBN/A7 days
50 AED1 GBN/A30 days
57.14 AED500 MB/day N/A7 days
60 AED150 MB/dayN/A28 days
60 AEDN/A250 MB/day28 days
65 AED2 GBN/A28 days
80 AED2 GBN/A30 days
85.71 AED250 MB/dayN/A28 days
100 AED3 GBN/A28 days
123.80 AED500 MB/day N/A28 days
150 AED6 GBN/A28 days
200 AED10 GBN/A28 days
300 AED20 GBN/A28 days
600 AED50 GBN/A28 days

1 BOTIM (chat only), C'ME (chat only), Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Twitter, WeChat, & WhatsApp

Prepaid Data Plan Addons auto-renew. To disable auto-renewal, dial *101#.

Etisalat United Arab Emirates Prepaid Data Plan Add-Ons
Everyday Data Packs for Prepaid (Local Data) – Etisalat UAE

The Everyday Data Packs for Prepaid (Local Data) are, as the name implies, data bundles (with 5G NR access).

Everyday Data Packs for Prepaid (Local Data) can be bought by dialing *101#:

Price (with VAT)DataValidity
2.50 AED75 MB1 day
4.20 AED150 MB1 day
8 AED250 MB1 day
15 AED75 MB/day (525 MB)7 days
15 AED500 MB1 day
25 AED150 MB/day (1.05 GB)7 days
30 AED1 GB1 day
40 AED250 MB/day (1.75 GB)7 days
42 AED75 MB/day (2.1 GB)28 days
60 AED500 MB/day (3.5 GB)7 days
63 AED150 MB/day (4.2 GB)28 days
90 AED250 MB/day (7 GB)28 days
100 AED1000 MB/day (7 GB)7 days
130 AED500 MB/day (14 GB)28 days
200 AED1000 MB/day (28 GB)28 days
Etisalat United Arab Emirates Everyday Local Data Packs
Super Hour Data Access – Etisalat UAE

The Super Hour Data Access plans are data bundles with unlimited data (at slow speeds – 3 Mbps) for 1 or 3 hour(s).

The Super Hour Data Access are data plans (with 5G NR access).

Super Hour Data Access can be purchased by dialing *800*5#:

Price (with VAT)PlanDataValidity
3 AEDSuper 1 HourUnlimited (@ 3 Mbps)1 hour
6 AEDSuper 3 HoursUnlimited (@ 3 Mbps)3 hours
Etisalat United Arab Emirates Super Hour Data Access Data Plan
Everyday Data Packs for Prepaid (Social Data) – Etisalat UAE

The Everyday Data Packs for Prepaid (Social Data) is a data plan for various social media apps (BOTIM, C'ME, Facebook, Facebook Messenger, GoChat Messenger, HiU Messenger, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Twitter, Voico, WeChat, & WhatsApp).

The Everyday Data Packs for Prepaid (Social Data) are data plan (with 5G NR access).

Everyday Data Packs for Prepaid (Social Data) can be activated by dialing *101#:

Price (with VAT)Social Data 1Validity
2.5 AED150 MB1 day
4 AED250 MB1 day
15 AED1.05 GB (150 MB/day)7 days
25 AED1.75 GB (250 MB/day)7 days
42 AED4.2 GB (150 MB/day)28 days
63 AED7 GB (250 MB/day)28 days

1 BOTIM (chat only), C'ME (chat only), Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Twitter, WeChat, & WhatsApp

Etisalat United Arab Emirates Everyday Social Data Packs for Prepaid
Visitor Line Data Packages – Etisalat UAE

The Visitor Line Data Packages are data plans with social media data allowances (BOTIM, C'ME, Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Twitter, WeChat, & WhatsApp) for the Visitor Line.

The Visitor Line Data Packages are data plans (with 5G NR access).

Visitor Line Data Packages can be bought by dialing *170*1# or *101#:

Price (with VAT)DataSocial Data 1Validity
47.61 AED1 GBN/A7 days
100 AED1 GB1 GB30 days
150 AED3 GB2 GB30 days
200 AED5 GB3 GB30 days
250 AED7 GB4 GB30 days
300 AED10 GB5 GB30 days
450 AED20 GB10 GB30 days
500 AED25 GB15 GB30 days

1 BOTIM (chat only), C'ME (chat only), Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Twitter, WeChat, & WhatsApp

Etisalat United Arab Emirates Visitor Line Data Pack Add-Ons
Flexi Minutes & SMS Countries – Etisalat UAE

Your Flexi Minutes and SMS can be used to call and the following countries:

  • Afghanistan
  • American Samoa
  • Andorra
  • Angola
  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Bahamas
  • Bahrain
  • Bangladesh
  • Bermuda
  • Bhutan
  • Brazil
  • Brunei
  • Cambodia
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • China
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Dominican Republic
  • Egypt
  • Faroe Islands
  • France
  • French Guiana
  • Germany
  • Gibraltar
  • Greece
  • Greenland
  • Guadeloupe
  • Guam
  • Guatemala
  • Honduras
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Iran
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Jordan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kenya
  • Kuwait
  • Laos
  • Lebanon
  • Liechtenstein
  • Luxembourg
  • Macau
  • Malaysia
  • Malta
  • Guam
  • Martinique
  • Mauritius
  • Mayotte
  • Mexico
  • Mongolia
  • Nepal
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Nigeria
  • Norway
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Palestine
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Puerto Rico
  • Qatar
  • Réunion
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Saba
  • Saudi Arabia (KSA)
  • Singapore
  • Sint Eustatius
  • Sint Maarten
  • Slovakia
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sudan
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • Tajikistan
  • Thailand
  • Turkey
  • Turkmenistan
  • U.S. Virgin Islands
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Uruguay
  • Uzbekistan
  • Venezuela
  • Vietnam

APN/Internet Settings – Etisalat UAE

  • Name: Etisalat Internet
  • APN: etisalat.ae

Note: leave anything not mentioned above untouched.

Jump back to Table of Contents.

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Du UAE

Du Logo New
© Du

Du is the other mobile operator in the United Arab Emirates.

It is mostly popular among the migrant worker community because it used to target that target group initially.

Now, it is just the other option in the country.

Du uses the following frequencies:

  • 2G: 900 MHz & 1800 MHz
  • 3G: 2100 MHz
  • 4G NR: 800 MHz (Band 20) & 1800 MHz (Band 3)
  • 5G NR: 3500 MHz (n78)

This is what you will learn about Du:

* Coverage
* How to Get a Du SIM Card & SIM Card Price
* Topping Up Options & Methods + Balance Check
* Plans & Packages
* APN/Internet Settings

Coverage – Du UAE

Du has excellent coverage throughout the United Arab Emirates.

Do note that coverage may be lacking in deserts.

Below is Du's coverage map produced by Speedtest:

However, click here to see Du's official coverage map.

SIM Card Price – Du UAE

You can buy a Du SIM card for 55 AED (57.75 AED with VAT) in Du stores. It is also possible to get Etisalat SIM cards at Abu Dhabi International Airport, Dubai International Airport & Sharjah International Airport.

Dial *135# to access the Du menu.

  • Find out how much SIM cards cost in every country, including data-only SIM cards and tourist SIM cards, offered by each mobile operator + information about starter benefits (lookup tool)
SIM Card Prices Worldwide Tool by Phone Travel Wiz

It is also possible to get a Du eSIM for the same price as a regular SIM card.

You can consider getting a travel eSIM for the United Arab Emirates, which can, in specific scenarios, be cheaper than getting a SIM card from Du.

Especially if you get a Middle East eSIM (for when you visit at least two or more supported Middle Eastern countries) or a global eSIM (for frequent travelers visiting multiple continents).

In my United Arab Emirates eSIM buying guide, I analyze various eSIM options of eSIM providers I have tested extensively worldwide.

But I will introduce them here quickly:

  • Airalo: Burj Mobile (United Arab Emirates only), Menalink (15 countries in the Middle East and Northern Africa) & Discover+ (130 countries worldwide + up to 200 worldwide minutes & 200 worldwide SMS) – use code FEB15 (15% off – first-time users only) or FEB10 (10% off)
  • Alosim: United Arab Emirates – use code PTW (5% off – no limits)
  • Holafly: United Arab Emirates (unlimited data) – use code PHONETRAVELWIZ (5% off – no limits)
  • Nomad: United Arab Emirates, Middle East (seven countries) & Global (109 or 139 countries, depending on the variant) – use code ADU123 (3 USD off – first-time users only)

Once again, check out my United Arab Emirates eSIM buying guide to learn more about these eSIM options.

Buying an eSIM for the United Arab Emirates Guide (logos of Holafly, Nomad, Menalink, Discover+, Burj Mobile, Alosim & Airalo)

For now, I will continue with Du.

Short-term visitors can also take advantage of the Du Visitor SIM.

Prior to the pandemic, Du handed out SIM cards for free with some credit and 20 MB of data.

However, it is unknown whether Du still does this or not. Let me know.

The Visitor SIM is sold in the following four variants:

Price (with VAT)DataFlexi MinutesValidity
49 AED2 GB30 minutes28 days
99 AED6 GB30 minutes28 days
139 AED10 GB30 minutes 128 days
189 AED20 GB30 minutes 128 days

1 Unlimited VoIP with BOTIM

Although the validities of the plans are valid for up to 14 days, the Visitor SIM is valid for 90 days.

It can be extended for another 90 days by dialing *135#.

Only Visitor SIM plans, the ones mentioned earlier, can be added to Visitor SIMs.

No opt-in is required if you want to renew a plan.

Simply recharge to the corresponding amount, and the plan will automatically be activated.

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Top-Up, Recharge & Balance Check – Du UAE

Du top-up vouchers are sold in Du stores and many other establishments, such as kiosks, gas stations, and grocery stores.

To top up your Du SIM card, dial *135*VoucherCode# or dial *101# and follow the instructions.

For example, if your voucher code is 123456, you would dial *135*123456*1#.

You can also tell the salesperson how much credit you want, your phone number, pay, and they will top up your SIM card with the POS system.

You can also recharge online with (select international) debit and credit cards.

However, only Emirates-issued cards are accepted or issued by other GCC countries (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia & Qatar).

Dial *135*1# to check your Du balance.

You can also top up and check your balance on the Du app (Android/iOS/Huawei AppGallery).

Du App
© Du

Packages, Plans, Bundles & Offers – Du UAE

Du has five data-featured prepaid plans:

I will list all the prices in AED (Emirati Dirham).

To convert AED to your currency (let's say IND – Indian Rupee) with up-to-date exchange rates, use the Wise Currency Converter tool.

Wise Currency Exchange Banner
© Wise

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

Youth Box – Du UAE

The Youth box is a bundle of our popular ‘Flexi Yearly Prepaid Plan’, a ‘Music Pass’, and wireless over-the-ear headphones especially created for the Youth.

The Youth Box are combo plans with data (with 5G NR access).

Youth Box can be set up by dialing *135#:

Data/Minutes2 GB4 GB6 GB10 GB
30 minutes24.5 AED39.5 AED49.5 AED69.5 AED
60 minutes29.5 AED44.5 AED54.5 AED74.5 AED
Prepaid Flexi – Du UAE

With Prepaid Flexi, you can customize your plan by setting how much data and how many minutes you want for 28 days.

However, all plans need a minimum of 2 GB of data and 30 minutes (49 AED).

The Prepaid Flexi are combo plans with data (with 5G NR access), minutes & SMS.

Prepaid Flexi can be set up by dialing *135#:

Data/Minutes2 GB4 GB6 GB10 GB
30 minutes49 AED79 AED99 AED139 AED
60 minutes59 AED89 AED109 AED149 AED
90 minutes69 AED99 AED119 AED159 AED
120 minutes79 AED109 AED129 AED169 AED
Du UAE Prepaid Flexi Plan
© Du

1 free internet calling through BOTIM & VOICO app

Du Tourist SIM – Du UAE

The SIM will be given to you by the Dubai Immigration Officer at Passport Control. The free SIM will have a Welcome Bonus of 1 GB local data valid for 24 hours. In addition, you can also enjoy non-telecom benefits by downloading the ALSAADA app and getting discounts on retail, dining and attractions in Dubai.

The Du Tourist SIM are combo plans with data (with 5G NR access).

Du Tourist SIM can be set up by dialing *135#:

PriceDataFlexi MinutesValidity
49 AED2 GB30 minutes28 days
99 AED6 GB30 minutes28 days
139 AED10 GB30 minutes28 days
189 AED20 GB30 minutes28 days
199 AEDUnlimited100 minutes7 days
299 AEDUnlimited200 minutes14 days
499 AEDUnlimited400 minutes28 days
Du UAE Tourist Sim Plan
Add-Ons – Du UAE

The add-ons are data add-ons. They cannot be purchased as standalone plans.

The Add-Ons are add-ons with data (without 5G NR access).

Add-ons can be purchased by dialing *135#:

Price (with VAT)DataValidity
3 AED100 MB24 hours
30 AED1 GB28 days
55 AED2 GB28 days

1 first 155 MB @ 192 Kbps. Unlimited @ 72 Kbps thereafter

Du UAE Add-Ons Plan
Internet Calling Pack – Du UAE

The Internet Calling Packs allow you to make VoIP calls with BOTIM, C'ME, HiU Messenger & Voico.

The following Internet Calling Packs are available:

Price (with VAT)IC Data 2Activation CodeValidity
5.25 AED1 GBICP1 day
52.50 AEDUnlimitedDICP30 days 1

1 auto-renews. To stop auto-renewal, text Stop Netcall to 1355
2 BOTIM, C'ME, HiU Messenger & Voico

Flexi Minutes Countries – Du UAE

Your Flexi Minutes can be used to call the following countries:

  • Afghanistan
  • Alaska
  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Bahamas
  • Bahrain
  • Bangladesh
  • Belgium
  • Bermuda
  • Bhutan
  • Brazil
  • Brunei
  • Cambodia
  • Canada
  • China
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Dominican Republic
  • Egypt
  • Ethiopia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Gibraltar
  • Greece
  • Guam
  • Guatemala
  • Hawaii
  • Honduras
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Iran
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Jordan
  • Kenya
  • Kuwait
  • Laos
  • Lebanon
  • Lesotho
  • Luxembourg
  • Macau
  • Malaysia
  • Malta
  • Mauritius
  • Mayotte
  • Mexico
  • Mongolia
  • Mozambique
  • Myanmar/Burma
  • Namibia
  • Nepal
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Nigeria
  • Norway
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Palestine
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Puerto Rico
  • Qatar
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Saudi Arabia (KSA)
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Syria
  • Taiwan
  • Tajikistan
  • Thailand
  • Turkey
  • Turkmenistan
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Uzbekistan
  • Venezuela
  • Vietnam
  • Yemen

APN/Internet Settings – Du UAE

  • Name: Du Mobile
  • APN: du

Note: leave anything not mentioned above untouched.

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Virgin Mobile UAE

Virgin Mobile Logo New
© Virgin Mobile

Virgin Mobile UAE, just Virgin Mobile, is a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) using the Du network. It is actually owned by Du.

Virgin Mobile, as a brand, is active in Europe, Mexico, the Middle East & South America.

To learn about Virgin Mobile's frequencies, jump back to Du's frequencies.

This is what you will learn about Virgin Mobile:

* Coverage
* How to Get a Virgin Mobile SIM Card & SIM Card Price
* Topping Up Options & Methods + Balance Check
* Plans & Packages
* APN/Internet Settings

Coverage – Virgin Mobile UAE

Virgin Mobile is a Du MVNO, meaning Virgin Mobile uses the Du network and does not have its own mobile infrastructure.

To find out what to expect in terms of coverage with Virgin Mobile, jump to the Du Coverage section.

SIM Card Price – Virgin Mobile UAE

Virgin Mobile SIM cards are free in Virgin Mobile stores and partner stores, but they are sold together with a plan, meaning you have to spend at least 36.75 AED (with VAT) to get a Virgin Mobile SIM card. It is also possible to get Virgin Mobile SIM cards at Abu Dhabi International Airport, Dubai International Airport & Sharjah Airport.

Virgin Mobile UAE SIM Card 3
© Virgin Mobile UAE

You can also get a Virgin Mobile SIM card delivered within 60 minutes for free in all Emirates (Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah & Umm Al Quwain).

However, results have been mixed for short-term travelers, as you mostly need an Emirates ID to confirm your identity upon delivery.

  • Find out how much SIM cards cost in every country, including data-only SIM cards and tourist SIM cards, offered by each mobile operator + information about starter benefits (lookup tool)
SIM Card Prices Worldwide Tool by Phone Travel Wiz

Virgin Mobile has no eSIMs.

You should consider getting a travel eSIM for the United Arab Emirates because they can sometimes be cheaper than getting a SIM card from Virgin Mobile.

Especially if you get a Middle East-wide eSIM or a global eSIM.

I discuss various eSIM options of eSIM providers for the United Arab Emirates in my United Arab Emirates eSIM buying guide, which are:

  • Airalo: Burj Mobile (United Arab Emirates only), Menalink (15 countries in the Middle East and Northern Africa) & Discover+ (130 countries worldwide + minutes and SMS) – use code FEB15 (15% off – first-time users only) or FEB10 (10% off)
  • Alosim: United Arab Emirates – use code PTW (5% off – no limits)
  • Holafly: United Arab Emirates (unlimited data eSIMs) – use code PHONETRAVELWIZ (5% off – no limits)
  • Nomad: United Arab Emirates, Middle East (seven countries) & Global (up to 139 countries) – use code ADU123 (3 USD off – first-time users only)

As I said, check out my United Arab Emirates eSIM buying guide for more information, as I have to continue with Virgin Mobile for now.

Buying an eSIM for the United Arab Emirates Guide (logos of Holafly, Nomad, Menalink, Discover+, Burj Mobile, Alosim & Airalo)
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Top-Up, Recharge & Balance Check – Virgin Mobile UAE

Virgin Mobile top-up vouchers are sold in Virgin Mobile stores and partner stores. However, you are encouraged to use the Virgin Mobile UAE app (Android/iOS) for everything, including recharging.

Virgin Mobile UAE App
© Virgin Mobile UAE

The following top-up options are available:

  • 20 AED
  • 50 AED
  • 100 AED
  • 200 AED

To top up your Virgin Mobile SIM card, dial *149*VoucherCode#.

For example, if your voucher code is 123456, you would dial *149*123456#.

You can also tell the salesperson how much credit you want, your phone number, pay, and they will top up your SIM card with the POS system.

Your balance can be checked on the Virgin Mobile UAE app.

Virgin Mobile UAE SIM Card 2
© Virgin Mobile UAE

Packages, Plans, Bundles & Offers – Virgin Mobile UAE

Virgin Mobile has two data-featured prepaid plans:

All Virgin Mobile plans can be activated on the Virgin Mobile UAE app.

I will list all the prices in AED (Emirati Dirham).

To convert AED to your currency (let's say IND – Indian Rupee) with up-to-date exchange rates, use the Wise Currency Converter tool.

Wise Currency Exchange Banner
© Wise

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

Pre-Made Plans – Virgin Mobile UAE

The Pre-Made plans are data bundles (with 5G NR access) and minutes. Made by Virgin Mobile for those who do not want to build their own plan or want to see what there is to offer.

The following Pre-Made Plans are available:

PriceDataLocal Minutes/SMSValidity
35 AED0.75 GB25 minutes/SMS30 days
50 AED1.5 GB50 minutes/SMS30 days
Virgin Mobile UAE Pre-Made Plan
Build Your Plan – Virgin Mobile UAE

With Build Your Own Plan, you can set how much data, local minutes/SMS, and international minutes/SMS you want.

Note that every plan needs at least 2 GB and 50 local minutes/SMS, meaning that the plan's minimal price is 79 AED.

And each plan is valid for 28 days.

Virgin Mobile UAE Plans
Build Your Plan (Data) – Virgin Mobile UAE

The data options (with 5G NR access) to Build Your Plan start from 2 GB (79 AED) to 100 GB (1000 AED).

You need at least 2 GB to activate Build Your Plan.

Below are your options:

PriceDataLocal Minutes/SMSValidity
79 AED3 GB50 minutes/SMS30 days
119 AED6 GB50 minutes/SMS30 days
162 AED10 GB50 minutes/SMS30 days
203 AED14 GB50 minutes/SMS30 days
250 AED20 GB50 minutes/SMS30 days
322 AED28 GB50 minutes/SMS30 days
382 AED40 GB50 minutes/SMS30 days
607 AEDUnlimited 150 minutes/SMS30 days

1 roaming pass and data not available for sharing

Build Your Plan (Local Minutes/SMS) – Virgin Mobile UAE

The local minutes/SMS options for Build Your Plan start from 50 local minutes/SMS (79 AED) to unlimited local minutes/SMS (225 AED).

The local minutes/SMS allowances are combined, not separate.

You need at least 50 minutes/SMS to activate Build Your Plan.

Below are your options:

PriceLocal Minutes/SMS
79 AED50 minutes/SMS
86 AED100 minutes/SMS
100 AED200 minutes/SMS
114 AED300 minutes/SMS
130 AED500 minutes/SMS
178 AED750 minutes/SMS
225 AEDUnlimited
Build Your Plan (International Minutes/SMS) – Virgin Mobile UAE

The international minutes/SMS options for Build Your Plan start from 50 local minutes/SMS (88 AED) to 1000 international minutes/SMS (430 AED).

The international minutes/SMS allowances are combined, not separate – and they are optional.

Below are your options:

PriceInternational Minutes/SMS
88 AED50 minutes/SMS
105 AED100 minutes/SMS
140 AED200 minutes/SMS
165 AED300 minutes/SMS
230 AED500 minutes/SMS
430 AED1000 minutes/SMS

Your international minutes/SMS can be used to call the following countries:

  • Afghanistan
  • Andorra
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Bahamas
  • Bahrain
  • Bangladesh
  • Belgium
  • Bermuda
  • Bhutan
  • Brazil
  • Brunei
  • Cambodia
  • Canada
  • China
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Dominican Republic
  • Egypt
  • El Salvador
  • Faroe Islands
  • Finland
  • France
  • French Guiana
  • Germany
  • Gibraltar
  • Greece
  • Guadeloupe
  • Guam
  • Guatemala
  • Guyana
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Iran
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Jordan
  • Kenya
  • Kuwait
  • Laos
  • Lebanon
  • Luxembourg
  • Macau
  • Malaysia
  • Malta
  • Marshall Islands
  • Martinique
  • Mauritius
  • Mayotte
  • Mexico
  • Mongolia
  • Namibia
  • Nepal
  • Netherlands
  • New Caledonia
  • New Zealand
  • Nigeria
  • Norway
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Palestine
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Puerto Rico
  • Qatar
  • Réunion
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Saudi Arabia (KSA)
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sudan
  • Swaziland
  • Sweden
  • Syria
  • Taiwan
  • Tajikistan
  • Thailand
  • Turkey
  • Turkmenistan
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • US Virgin Islands
  • Uruguay
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vietnam
  • Yemen
Boosters – Virgin Mobile UAE

The Boosters are data, local minutes, and international minutes add-ons. They cannot be purchased as standalone plans.

Data Boosters – Virgin Mobile UAE

The Data Boosters are data add-ons starting from 256 MB (15.75 AED) to 50 GB (210 AED).

Below are your options:

Price (with VAT)Data
15.75 AED256 MB
26.25 AED512 MB
52.50 AED2 GB
105 AED10 GB
157.50 AED25 GB
210 AED50 GB
Local Minutes Boosters – Virgin Mobile UAE

The Local Minutes Boosters are international call add-ons starting from 50 local minutes (15.75 AED with VAT) to 200 local minutes (52.50 AED with VAT).

Below are your options:

Price (with VAT)Local Minutes
15.75 AED50 minutes
26.25 AED100 minutes
52.50 AED200 minutes
International Minutes Boosters – Virgin Mobile UAE

The International Minutes Boosters are international call add-ons starting from 25 international minutes (15.75 AED with VAT) to 100 international minutes (52.50 AED with VAT).

Below are your options:

Price (with VAT)International Minutes
15.75 AED25 minutes
26.25 AED50 minutes
52.50 AED100 minutes

APN/Internet Settings – Virgin Mobile UAE

  • Name: Virgin Mobile Data
  • APN: internet1
  • MCC: 424
  • MNC: 03

Note: leave anything not mentioned above untouched.

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The Preferred Way to Stay Connected When Traveling in the United Arab Emirates

Getting a SIM card from Etisalat or Du would do you well when considering an Emirati SIM card.

Going to other places around the world? You should also check out my SIM card buying guides for other destinations worldwide.