Buying a Prepaid SIM Card in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Guide

The United Arab Emirates has the fastest mobile internet speeds in the Middle East. The Kingdom is in the top 3 countries with the fastest average mobile download speeds.

But does that mean you will have to pay a hefty premium for Emirati SIM cards and data packages to enjoy these fast speeds? Not really.

You can buy an Emirati SIM card for as little as 34.50 AED (9.40 USD). Expect to spend at least 50 AED (13.60 USD) to get a plan or package that includes 1 GB of data.

Even though the Emirati telecom market is an effective Duopoly between Etisalat UAE and Du, which both have sub-brands (Swyp by Etisalat UAE and Virgin Mobile UAE by Du) and are both partially owned bu the Emirati government (40% stake in both operators), you do have a lot of choice in terms of packages, plans, and bundles while in the Kingdom.

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 the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Guide (Logos of Du, Etisalat, Virgin Mobile & Swyp)

Original publication: 25th of December 2019. Last updated: 30th of November 2020.

Table of Contents

In This Guide Show

Can I Buy a SIM Card in the United Arab Emirates?

Everyone living or visiting the United Arab Emirates can purchase a SIM card from the four Emirati operators. Short-term visitors without an Emirates ID are encouraged to purchase SIM cards from a operators' stores (including the ones at the airport) because you often need an Emirates ID to order a SIM card online.

Can I Use My Phone in the United Arab Emirates?

The United Arab Emirates uses GSM for its mobile telecommunications network. They use frequencies used in many regions around the world (Europe, Asia, Africa, and Oceania – ITU Regions 1 & 3). However, these frequencies are not used in the Americas (North-, Central-, and South America + the Caribbean – ITU Region 2).

ITU Regions Map
By Maximilian DΓΆrrbecker (Chumwa) – Own work, using this fileOpens in a new tab. by Denelson83, CC BY-SA 2.5

If you bought your phone in the Americas, if your device has not been unlocked, or your phone does not support the United Arab Emirates frequencies, then you cannot use your phone in the United Arab Emirates.

Mobile Operators, Networks & Frequencies in the United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates has two mobile operators and MVNOs (or sub-brands), which are:

The following frequencies are used by the Emirati operators:

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

You can learn more about frequencies in the video below.

To check whether your phone will work in the United Arab Emirates, check out this pageOpens in a new tab. by Will My Phone Work.

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 the United Arab Emirates

The Emirati operators, Etisalat and Du, launched 5G for commercial in since 2019. Since then, customers have been able to use 5G in highly populated areas, such as Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Etisalat UAE and prepaid customers can use 5G at no additional cost if they are in an area with 5G and have a 5G capable phone supporting 3500 MHz (n78). The same applies to Virgin Mobile UAE and Swyp, but they do not offer postpaid services.

The Best SIM Card in the United Arab Emirates

If you want to buy a SIM card in the United Arab Emirates, I would recommend going with Du. Although Etisalat is faster and has better coverage than Du, Etisalat has a strict policy only selling tourist SIM cards instead of regular SIM cards (Wasel) to short-term visitors. Etisalat's tourist SIM card validity is tied to your visa's validity. Du is more flexible with the types of SIM cards their sell and the validity tied to them.

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SIM Card Registration in the United Arab Emirates

SIM card registration with your passport information is mandatory in the United Arab Emirates. It will be done at the point of sale. As of 2016, fingerprints will also be taken as part of the SIM card registration process.

VAT in the United Arab Emirates

As of January 2018, the Emirati government introduced a Value Added Tax (VAT) of 5% applicable to most goods and services in the United Arab Emirates.

The 5% VAT will be charged when using your prepaid credit to buy a package or plan.

This means that you will not be taxed 5% when reloading your SIM card or that the reload amounts have increased by 5% (unlike Saudi Arabia). Instead, the 5% VAT will be charged when buying a SIM card or buying a bundle/plan/package.

Some operators have updated their prices with the new VAT, but most prices are still advertised without the VAT.

Therefore, I will add a column named β€œprice with VAT” if the operator states that the prices are exclusive of VAT. When the prices are VAT inclusive, I will clearly mention that as well.

Worry not; it sounds more complicated than it actually is. It will make more sense when you go over the prices.

Internet Censorship in the United Arab Emirates

Some parts of the web are blocked in the United Arab Emirates. Reporters Without Borders has classified the United Arab Emirates as one of the Enemies of the Internet since 2014.

Unlike some other Middle Eastern countries, like Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, internet surveillance in the United Arab Emirates is not as prevalent as the aforementioned Kingdoms.

Websites that are inaccessible in the United Arab Emirates are Israeli domains (.il) and sites not in favor of the morals of the United Arab Emirates (like pornographic sites and politically sensitive sites).

Usually, I would recommend using a VPN when a government censors the internet.

However, a change to the Cybercrime Law in 2016 states that […] Whoever uses a fraudulent computer network protocol address (IP address) by using a false address or a third-party address by any other means for the purpose of committing a crime or preventing its discovery, shall be punished by temporary imprisonment and a fine of no less than 500 000 AED and not exceeding 2 000 000 AED, or either of these two penalties, making the use of VPN services de factor illegal.

However, VPN use for corporate use is still allowed (to access internal networks).

Moreover, the government will have a hard time to track individuals using VPNs (especially those with camouflage protocols, such as NordVPN and Surfshark).

Because of this, I will not advocate for VPN usage in the United Arab Emirates just to access blocked websites or to avoid surveillance. However, I always recommend travelers to use a VPN when connecting to (open) WIFI hotspots or access geo-blocked content, like Netflix. You can check the VPNs I recommend for the purposes stated above on this page.

VoIP Ban in the United Arab Emirates

VoIP services have mostly been banned in the United Arab Emirates.

Examples of VoIP services are WhatsApp calls, Facebook Messenger calls, or Snapchat calls.

One of the most cited reasons why VoIP has been banned in the Kingdom is that it would result in loss of (international) call and text revenues for Etisalat and Du (which are both partially stated-owned – 40% stake in both operators).

As of now, only four apps offering VoIP can be used while in the United Arab Emirates, which are BOTIM, C'Me, VoiCo (by Du), and HIU Messenger. You do have to purchase Internet Calling packages if you intend to call with the four apps.

Or you can use a VPN with the main purpose of accessing geo-blocked content, as mentioned in the Internet Censorship section.

The State of the Telecom Market in the United Arab Emirates

United Arab Emirates Flag

The United Arab Emirates is one of the few Middle Eastern countries with a robust mobile network infrastructure. As a result, they are the nation with the fastest average download in the Middle East, with an average download speed of more than 111 Mbps.

That is according to the Speedtest Global IndexOpens in a new tab..

The United Arab Emirates has been in the top 3 countries with the fastest average mobile download speed for years, together with South Korea and China.

It has topped the index multiple times, but the competition with South Korea and China has been fierce.

One of the reasons why mobile internet in the United Arab Emirates is so fast is that it lies next to the Persian Gulf. Multiple submarine cables pass the Persian Gulf. The submarine cables passing the Persian Gulf have more than 15 landing points in the United Arab Emirates.

Moreover, the domestic broadband infrastructure is top-notch as well.

How about mobile internet prices? How expensive is mobile data in the United Arab Emirates?

Cable.co.ukOpens in a new tab. found that the average price for 1 GB of data in the United Arab Emirates is 3.78 USD, which is less than the Middle Eastern average of 4.46 USD. The world average of 5.03 USD.

With affordable prices, blazing-fast mobile internet speed, and proper nationwide coverage, your mobile experience in the United Arab Emirates should be flawless.

Currency in the United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates uses the United Arab Emirates Dirham with the symbol AED (which will be used throughout this article). Prices in the United Arab Emirates are listed in AED, DH, or Dhs. For example, 25 AED is AED/DH/Dhs 25. For reference, below are some exchange rates between AED and USD (US Dollars – Rounded):

  • 1 AED = 0.27 USD
  • 10 AED = 2.70 USD
  • 100 AD = 23.35 USD
  • 1000 AED = 272.25 USD

For up-to-date AED:USD exchange rates, search AED 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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United Arab Emirates Prepaid SIM Cards & Video Guide

Below, I will guide you through Etisalat UAE, Du, Virgin Mobile UAE & Swyp, 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

If you prefer to watch a video of what the Emirati operators have to offer, be sure to check the video below AND also subscribe to my channelOpens in a new tab. for more local prepaid SIM card guides, SIM card reviews (prepaid and international), mobile hotspots, and international roaming guides!

With that said, let’s see what the United Arab Emirates has to offer to us.

Etisalat UAE

Etisalat Logo

Etisalat UAEOpens in a new tab., just Etisalat, is the largest operator in the United Arab Emirates. They a;lo have the fastest speeds in the country.

The Etisalat Group is active in multiple countries in the Middle East and Northern Africa, such as Egypt, Afghanistan, and Saudi Arabia (under the Mobily brand). That is why Etisalat UAE is being used in the headings, but just Etisalat is used in the passages.

Do note that those between the ages of 18 and 29 can go with Etisalat youth-focused brand called Swyp. A Swyp membership comes with many perks, which you want to explore.

This is what you will learn about Etisalat:

* Coverage
* How to Get a Etisalat SIM Card & SIM Card Prices
* Visitor Line (Tourist SIM Card)
* Flexi Minutes & Flexi SMS Countries
* Recharging Options & Methods
* Internet Packages
* APN Settings

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

Jump to Du | Jump to Virgin Mobile UAE | Jump to Swyp

Etisalat UAE Coverage

Etisalat has the best coverage in the United Arab Emirates.

You can expect nationwide coverage with 2G, 3G, and 4G/LTE. 5G is being rolled out since 2018.

CommsUpdate reported that the TRA expects full 5G coverage by 2025 for all Emirati operators, including Etisalat.

Below are the coverage maps of Etisalat, which has a good-working and useful coverage checker tool.

Etisalat UAE 2G Coverage
2G Coverage
Etisalat UAE 3G Coverage
3G Coverage
Etisalat UAE 4G Coverage
4G Coverage
Etisalat UAE 5G Coverage
5G Coverage

Jump back to Getting a Swyp SIM card

Getting an Etisalat UAE SIM Card

You can buy an Etisalat SIM Card, called Wasel, for 57.75 AED in Etisalat storesOpens in a new tab. (often called Etisalat Business Centers) across the Emirates. Short-term visitors can get the Etisalat Visitor Line for 125 AED or 200 AED, depending on the type of Visitor Line you choose.

Etisalat SIM cards are sold at various airports, such as Dubai International Airport and Abu Dhabi International Airport.

Etisalat UAE Visitor Line

The Visitor Line is Etisalat's SIM card for short-term visitors.

Etisalat UAE Visitor Line

Tourists, travelers, and business travelers with a short-term visa or visa-exempt may, depending on the salesperson, only get a Visitor Line SIM card and not a Wasel SIM card.

The Visitor Line comes in two variants, which are shown below.

PricePackageDataFlexi MinutesWIFI HoursCareem Ride CreditSmiles AppValidity
125 AEDVisitor Line2 GB40 minutes5 WIFI hours100 AED Buy one, get one free30 days
200 AEDVisitor Line Plus 7.5 GB 175 minutes30 WIFI hours100 AEDBuy one, get one free30 days

Careem Ride offer: 20% discount on 4 trips. Max discount per trip is AED 25.
Smiles App offer: discounts on City Sightseeing Dubai, Ferrari World, Dubai Parks & Resorts, and Yas Waterworld plus Buy-One-Get-One on the best restaurants in the United Arab Emirates

Do note that although the Visitor Line packages are valid for 14 days, the validity of your Visitor Line SIM card is tied to the validity of your visa.

For example, if you got an Emirati visa valid for 7 days, then the Visitor Line SIM card will expire in 7 days.

If your visa is valid for 90 days, then your Visitor Line SIM card will be valid for 90 days, and you can repurchase Visitor Line packages or add-ons as many times as needed.

Repurchasing a Visitor Line Plan can be done by dialing *101#.

You are allowed to migrate your Visitor Line SIM card to a Wasel Prepaid SIM card by visiting an Etisalat SIM card if you can present an Emirates ID (to fulfill TRA's registration rules). The minimum balance for migrating to Wasel Prepaid from Visitor Line is 100 AED.

Etisalat will often only offer you the Visitor Line if you are a short-term visitor, which can be bothersome if you want to retain an Emirati phone number.

If phone number or SIM card validity is a concern of yours, may want to consider going with another operator – none of them have such a (strict) policy.

Du also has a Tourist SIM card. Its tourist SIM card is valid for 90 days, regardless of the validity of your visa.

Etisalat UAE Visitor Line Packages

The Visitor Line Data Packages are exclusive to those with the Visitor Line SIM card with data and Flexi Minutes.

Those with a Visitor Line SIM card cannot purchase any other Etisalat package.

The following Visitor Line Packages are available:

PricePrice with VATPackDataFlexi MinutesValidity
47.61 AED50 AEDVisitor 1 GB Data Pack1 GB40 Flexi Minutes7 days 
47.61 AED50 AEDVisitor 50 Flexi Minutes PackN/A50 Flexi Minutes7 days 
119.04 AED125 AEDVisitor 2 GB and 40 Flexi Minutes Pack 2 GB N/A14 days 
190.47 AED200 AEDVisitor Line Plus 7.5 GB & 175 Flexi Minutes Pack 7.5 GB175 Flexi Minutes14 days 

You can use your Flexi Minutes to call to 100+ international destinations.

Etisalat UAE Flexi Minutes & Flexi SMS Countries

Many of Etisalat packages include Flexi Minutes or Flexi SMS, which are minutes and SMS that can be used for local use or to call and text to more than 100 international destinations.

The following international destinations are part of Flexi Minutes and Flexi SMS:

  • 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
  • Mariana Islands
  • Martinique
  • Mauritius
  • Mayotte
  • Mexico
  • Mongolia
  • Nepal
  • Netherlands
  • Netherlands Antilles
  • New Zealand
  • Nigeria
  • Norway
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Palestine
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Puerto Rico
  • Qatar
  • Reunion
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Singapore
  • 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

Jump back to Wasel Plans, Combo Monthly Add-Ons, or Pinoy Pack

Recharging your Etisalat UAE SIM Card

Etisalat (Wasel) recharge cards are sold in denominations starting from 25 AED to 500 AED in Etisalat storesOpens in a new tab. and Etisalat retailers. Online recharge and recharging through the Etisalat app with international debit and credit cards are available starting from 5 AED with eVouchers.

To redeem your Etisalat (Wasel) recharge card, dial *120*VoucherCode#.

Jump back to recharging your Swyp SIM card.

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

Dial *121# to check your Etisalat balance.

Etisalat UAE Internet Packages, Plans, Bundles & Offers

Etisalat has many types of bundles and packages that are offered to its prepaid customers. These plans are:

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

Etisalat UAE Wasel Plans

The Wasel Plans, also known as WaselGo Plans, are recurring plans with data, Flexi Minutes, and the ability to set a Favorite Number, allowing you to make unlimited calls to that number.

The following Wasel Plans are available, which can be activated by dialing *101#:

PricePrice with VATPlanDataSpeedFlexi MinutesFavorite NumbersValidity
10 AED10.50 AEDWaselGo Small400 MBMax. 400 Kbps15 Flexi Minutes1 favorite number 7 days
25 AED26.25 AEDWaselgo Medium750 MBN/A40 Flexi Minutes1 favorite number 7 days
50 AED52.50 AEDWaselGo Large2 GB N/A100 Flexi Minutes2 favorite numbers7 days
75 AED78.75 AEDWaselGo Extra Large 3.5 GB N/A175 Flexi Minutes3 favorite numbers 7 days

Click here to jump to see the Flexi Minutes countries.

Unused WaselGo balance will roll over to the new week if auto-renewal is successful. Auto-renewal can be disabled by dialing *101#.

You can set a Favorite Number by dialing *101#. Do note that only local numbers can be selected as Favorite Numbers. At least one Favorite Number has to be an Etisalat number.

To check your WaselGo plan balance, dial *121#.

Those on other Etisalat prepaid plans who wish to migrate to WaselGo can do so by dialing *101*15#.

Etisalat UAE Combo Monthly Add-Ons

The Combo Monthly Add-Ons are monthly combo bundles featuring data and Flexi Minutes.

The following Combo Monthly Add-Ons can be purchased by dialing *101#:

PricePrice with VATPackageDataFlexi MinutesValidity
35 AED36.75 AEDMonthly Combo 35500 MB 15 Flexi Minutes 30 days 
50 AED52.50 AEDMonthly Combo 50750 MB30 Flexi Minutes30 days 
100 AED105 AEDMonthly Combo 1001.5 GB100 Flexi Minutes30 days 
150 AED157.50 AEDMonthly Combo 1503 GB150 Flexi Minutes30 days 
200 AED210 AEDMonthly Combo 2005 GB200 Flexi Minutes30 days 

Click here to jump to see the Flexi Minutes countries.

Etisalat UAE Pinoy Pack

The Pinoy Pack is a bundle targeted at Filipino migrant workers in the United Arab Emirates. The bundle includes data, on-net minutes, international minutes to the Philippines, and Flexi SMS.

The Pinoy Pack includes the following perks:

PricePrice with VATDataBarkada MinutesLocal MinutesInternational Minutes to the PhilippinesFlexi SMSValidityActivation Code
20 AED21 AED1 GB210 Barkada Minutes20 local minutes20 international minutes250 Flexi SMS7 days Pinoy to 1020

Click here to jump to see the Flexi SMS countries.

Burkada Minutes can be used to other Pinoy Pack users.

Etisalat UAE Every Day Local and Social Packs

The Every Day Local and Social Packs are packages with daily data allowances for unrestricted internet browsing (Every Day Local Packs) or for select social media apps (Every Day Social Packs).

Etisalat UAE Every Day Local Packs

The Every Day Local Packs are data packages with capped daily data allowances. However, you can visit whatever website you wish with the Every Day Local Packs.

The following Every Day Local Packs are available, which can be activated by dialing *101#:

Price (with VAT)Data/DayTotal DataValidity
2.5 AEDN/A75 MB 1 day 
4.2 AEDN/A150 MB 1 day 
8 AEDN/A250 MB1 day 
15 AEDN/A500 MB1 day 
15 AED75 MB 525 MB7 days 
25 AED150 MB1.05 GB7 days 
30 AEDN/A1 GB 1 day 
40 AED250 MB1.75 GB7 days 
42 AED75 MB 2.1 GB28 days 
60 AED500 MB3.5 GB7 days 
63 AED150 MB4.2 GB 28 days 
90 AED250 MB 7 GB 28 days 
100 AED1000 MB 7 GB7 days 
130 AED500 MB14 GB 28 days 
200 AED1000 MB 28 GB28 days 

The Every Day Local Packs allowances roll over when the pack is successfully renewed, with an exception on the Daily Every Day Local Packs.

The allowances of each Every Day Local Pack will reset at midnight. Multiple packages can be activated at the same time.

Data usage will be blocked when you go over your daily data allowance, meaning that Pay As You Go (PAYG) data rates are not available with the Every Day Local Packs. You can purchase another Every Day Local Pack if you need more data.

Etisalat UAE Every Day Social Packs

The Every Day Social Packs are data packages with capped daily data allowances for Facebook, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Twitter, LinkedIn, WeChat, Snapchat, Instagram, BOTIM & C'Me.

BOTIM & C'Me: messaging only. For calling, you need an International Calling Plan.

The following Every Day Social Packs are available, which can be activated by dialing *101#:

Price (with VAT)Data/DayTotal DataValidity
2.5 AEDN/A150 MB1 day
4 AEDN/A250 MB 1 day 
15 AED150 MB1.05 GB 7 days
25 AED250 MB 1.75 GB 7 days
42 AED150 MB4.2 GB28 days
63 AED250 MB 7 GB 28 days

The Every Day Social Packs allowances roll over when the pack is successfully renewed, with an exception on the Daily Every Day Social Packs.

The allowances of each Every Day Social Packs will reset at midnight. Multiple packages can be activated at the same time.

Internet usage will be blocked when you go over your daily data allowance. Pay As You Go (PAYG) data rates are not available with the Every Day Social Packs. You can purchase another Every Day Social Pack if you need more data.

Etisalat UAE Data Packs

The Data Packs are data packages starting from 2 AED with 60 MB to 500 AED with 25 GB and 15 GB for select social media apps (Facebook, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Twitter, LinkedIn, WeChat, Snapchat, Instagram, BOTIM & C’Me). Some plans include hours for UAE WIFI.

The following Data Packs can be purchased by dialing *101#:

PricePrice with VATPackDataSocial Media DataUAE WIFIValidity
2 AED2.10 AED60 MB Daily Plan60 MB N/A N/A 24 hours 
4 AED4.20 AED150 MB Daily Plan 150 MB N/A N/A 24 hours 
5 AED5.25 AEDOne-Day 100 MB Data Pack100 MB N/A N/A 24 hours 
10 AED10.50 AEDOne-Day 250 MN Data Pack 250 MB N/A N/A 24 hours 
20 AED21 AEDOne-week 300 MB Data Pack300 MB N/A N/A 7 days 
30 AED31.50 AED250 MB + 250 MB Social Plus Data Pack 250 MB 250 MB N/A 30 days 
49 AED51.45 AEDSocial Data Plan – Monthly *N/A 1 GB N/A 30 days 
50 AED52.50 AED1 GB Week Pack 1 GBN/A N/A 7 days 
100 AED105 AEDOne-month 1 GB + 1 GB Social Media Data Pack 1 GB1 GB5 hours30 days
150 AED157.50 AEDOne-month 3 GB + 2 GB Social Plus Data Pack 3 GB2 GB 5 hours30 days
200 AED210 AEDOne-month 5 GB + 3 GB Social Plus Data Pack 5 GB3 GB 20 hours 30 days
250 AED262.50 AEDOne-month 7 GB + 4 GB Social Plus Pack 7 GB 4 GB 20 hours 30 days
300 AED315 AEDOne-month 10 GB + 5 GB Social Plus Data Pack 10 GB5 GB 30 hours 30 days
450 AED472.50 AEDOne-month 20 GB + 10 GB Social Plus Pack 20 GB10 GB 30 hours 30 days
500 AED525 AEDOne-month 25 GB + 15 GB Social Plus Data Pack 25 GB 15 GB 30 hours 30 days

* Social Media apps for the Social Data Plan – Monthly is restricted to Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp & LinkedIn. After pack exhaustion, you can still use those apps at 64 Kbps.

Do note that you need an Internet Calling Plan if you plan on calling with BOTIM & C'Me.

Etisalat UAE Internet Calling Plans

The Internet Calling Plans are data add-ons for HiU Messenger, Voico UAE, C'ME & BOTIM.

Etisalat UAE Internet Calling Plans

The following Internet Calling Plans are available, which can be bought by dialing *101#:

PricePrice with VATPackDataAppsValidityAuto-Renews?
5 AED5.25 AEDDaily Plan for Prepaid Mobile1 GB HiU Messenger, Voico UAE, C'ME & BOTIM24 hours No
50 AED52.50 AEDMonthly Internet Calling Plan for Mobile Prepaid UnlimitedHiU Messenger, Voico UAE, C'ME & BOTIM30 days Yes

You can disable auto-renewal for the monthly plan by dialing *101#.

Etisalat UAE Internet Calling Plans Apps

Etisalat UAE APN Settings

  • Name: Etisalat Internet
  • APN: etisalat.ae

Note: leave anything not mentioned above untouched.

Jump back to Table of Contents

Du

Du Logo

DuOpens in a new tab. is the smaller operator in the United Arab Emirates. They target the migrant worker community by offering slightly lower prices than Etisalat. Du is, on average, slower than Etisalat.

This is what you will learn about Du:

* Coverage
* How to Get a Du SIM Card & SIM Card Prices
* Tourist SIM Card
* Flexi Minutes Countries
* Recharging Options & Methods
* Internet Packages
* APN Settings

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

Jump to Etisalat UAE | Jump to Virgin Mobile UAE | Jump to Swyp

Du Coverage

Du has great coverage throughout the United Arab Emirates.

However, its coverage is slightly behind Etisalatβ€˜s.

Then again, the Emirates is not the most extensive Kingdom out there, so you can expect nationwide coverage with Du.

Du has a coverage checkerOpens in a new tab. on its website. For some reason, it will not show anything when trying to look at their 3G, 4G, or 5G coverage (different mapOpens in a new tab.) – only its 2G coverage, making the tool useless.

Luckily, the Speedtest app has a tool to see the coverage of many operators around the world, including Du, which I will show below

Du Coverage Map

Jump back to getting a Virgin Mobile SIM card

Getting a Du SIM Card

You can buy a Du SIM Card for 57.75 AED (with VAT) in Du storesOpens in a new tab. throughout the United Arab Emirates. Short-term visitors can get the Du Tourist SIM card for 55 AED, 75 AED, or 100 AED (all with VAT), depending on the starter package you choose.

Du SIM cards are sold at various airports, such as Dubai International Airport and Abu Dhabi International Airport.

You can also get a Du eSIM if you have an iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone XR, iPhone XS, or iPhone XS Max. New Du eSIMs cost 57.75 AED (with VAT), while a regular Du SIM card to an eSIM costs 21 AED (with VAT).

Du eSIM
Du Tourist SIM Card

The Tourist SIM card is Du's SIM card targeting short-term visitors with data, Flexi Minutes, and UAE WIFI.

Du Tourist SIM Card

Du sales agents may only offer you the Tourist SIM card if you are a short-term visitor (tourist, stopover, business traveler, etc.) However, they are more willing to sell you a regular SIM card compared to Etisalat.

The Du Tourist SIM card comes in three variants, which are shown below:

Price (with VAT)DataFlexi MinutesUAE WIFIValidity
55 AED500 MB20 Flexi MinutesN/A7 days 
75 AED2 GB40 Flexi MinutesN/A14 days 
110 AED3.5 GB 50 Flexi Minutes1 GB 14 days 

Click here to jump to see the Flexi Minutes countries

Although the packages have a short validity, Du Tourist SIM cards are valid for 90 days and can be extended for another 90 days if needed. If you need to repurchase a plan, you can do so by dialing *135#.

Do note that those with the Du Tourist SIM card can only buy Tourist Plans (the three plans shown above) and none of the other internet packages.

The Du Tourist SIM cards also have their own recharge cards in denominations of 25.55 AED and 110 AED. Recharging is done by dialing *131*VoucherCode#.

Du Flexi Minutes Countries

A handful of Du packages include Flexi Minutes for local use or to call to more than 100 international destinations.

The following international destinations are part of Flexi Minutes:

  • 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
  • Macao
  • Malaysia
  • Malta
  • Marshall Islands
  • Martinique
  • Mauritius
  • Mayotte
  • Mexico
  • Mongolia
  • Namibia
  • Nepal
  • Netherlands
  • Netherlands Antilles
  • New Caledonia
  • New Zealand
  • Nigeria
  • Norway
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Palestine
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Puerto Rico
  • Qatar
  • Reunion
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sudan
  • Swaziland
  • Sweden
  • Syria
  • Taiwan
  • Tajikistan
  • Thailand
  • Turkey
  • Turkmenistan
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • U.S. Virgin Islands
  • Uruguay
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vietnam
  • Yemen

Recharging your Du SIM Card

Du recharge cards are sold in denominations starting from 20 AED to 200 AED in Du storesOpens in a new tab.. Online rechargeOpens in a new tab. is available to those with GCC-issued credit cards.

The following reload amounts are available:

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

To redeem your Du recharge card, dial *131*VoucherCode#.

For example, if your voucher code is 123456, you would dial *131*123456#.

Those who recharge online will get a 20% bonus if you reload more than 25 AED. Upon recharging, you will get an SMS saying you have to dial *055*20# to redeem the bonus.

Text Bal to 1355 to check your Du balance.

Du Internet Packages, Plans, Bundles & Offers

Du offers many types of plans and packages, such as:

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

Du Daily Saver

The Daily Saver is a 24-hour combo plan with 50 MB, 5 Flexi Minutes, 5 Flexi SMS for 2.62 AED (with VAT). The Daily Saver can be activated by dialing *135*7#.

Be aware that the Daily Saver auto-renews every 24 hours unless you cancel the plan.

Du Prepaid Plans

The Prepaid Plans are combo plans with data and Flexi Minutes valid for 30 days.

The following Prepaid Plans are available, which can be activated by dialing *135#5#1#:

PricePrice with VATDataFlexi MinutesValidity
35 AED36.75 AED750 MB15 Flexi Minutes30 days 
50 AED52.50 AED1500 MB30 Flexi Minutes30 days 
100 AED105 AED1.5 GB 100 Flexi Minutes30 days 
150 AED157.50 AED3 GB 150 Flexi Minutes 30 days 

Click here to jump to see the Flexi Minutes countries

Note that the Prepaid Plans auto-renew when there is enough credit in your account. Dial *135#5#1# to disable auto-renewal.

Du Kabayan Bundle

The Kabayan Bundle is a bundle targeted at Filipino migrant workers in the United Arab Emirates, which costs 3 AED (3.15 AED with VAT). The bundle can be activated by dialing *143# and selecting option 1.

Du Kabayan Bundle

The Kabayan Bundle includes:

  • Unlimited chatting on Viber, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Line & WeChat
  • Free surfing on Facebook, Dubizzle, Weekly Kabayan News, The Filipino Times & The Philippine Embassy website
  • 30 minutes to call to other Kabayan Bundle subscribers
  • 30 SMS to text to other Kabayan Bundle subscribers
  • 5 flexible Minutes to Emirati and Filipino phone numbers
  • 5 flexible SMS to Emirati and Filipino phone numbers

To unsubscribe from the Kabayan Bundle, dial *135*71# and select option 2.

You can also get the Kabayan Data Pack for 1.05 AED (with VAT) a day. The bundle includes data usage for Spinnr, Azlyrics.com, the Philippine Basketball Association Website, basketball news, job search sites like MonsterGulf and Monster, and the Philippine Showbiz site.

Du National Daily Bundles

The National Daily Bundles are daily bundles with unrestricted web browsing (National Daily Data Bundles) or data for select social media apps (Social Daily Data Bundles).

Du National Daily Data Bundles

The National Daily Data Bundles are short-term data bundles.

The following National Daily Data Bundles are available, which can be activated by dialing *135*6#:

Price (with VAT)DataValidity
2.10 AED60 MB1 day
3.15 AED100 MB1 day
4.20 AED150 MB1 day

You can purchase a National Daily Data Bundle up to 10 times a day.

Du Social Daily Data Bundles

The Social Daily Data Bundles are short-term data bundles for WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and LinkedIn.

The following Social Daily Data Bundles are available, which can be activated by dialing *135*5#:

Price (with VAT)DataValidity
2.10 AED120 MB1 day
3.15 AED200 MB1 day
4.20 AED300 MB1 day

You can purchase a Social Daily Data Bundle up to 10 times a day.

Du Data Bundles

The Data Bundles are internet packages with a dedicated data allowance for social media usage (WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and LinkedIn).

The following Data Bundles are available:

Price (with VAT)DataSocial Media DataValidityActivation Code RecurringActivation Code One-Off
21 AED160 MB160 MB30 days Data AED 21Data AED21 o
25 AED200 MB200 MB 30 days Data AED 25Data AED25 o
52.50 AED450 MB450 MB30 days Data AED 52.20Data AED52.5 o
55 AED500 MB500 MB30 days Data AED 55Data AED55 o
105 AED1 GB1 GB30 days Data AED 105Data AED105 o
110 AED1.1 GB1.1 GB30 days Data AED 110Data AED110 o
157.50 AED3 GB2 GB 30 days Data AED 157.50Data AED157 o
210 AED5 GB3 GB 30 days Data AED 210Data AED210 o
315 AED10 GB2 GB 30 days Data AED 315Data AED315 o
525 AED25 GB15 GB 30 days Data AED 525Data AED525 o

To activate a Data Bundle only once, text the One-Off Activation Code to 1355. If you want the Data Bundle to auto-renew, text the Recurring Activation Code to 1355.

For example, if you want the 110 AED plan, you would text Data AED 110 to 1355 if it should be a recurring purchase and Data AED 110 o if it should be a one-time purchase.

Du Monthly Data Packs for Prepaid

The Monthly Data Packs for Prepaid are internet packages with a dedicated data allowance for social media usage (WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and LinkedIn).

The following Monthly Data Packs for Prepaid are available:

Price (with VAT)DataSocial Media DataValidityActivation Code
25 AED200 MB200 MB 30 days Data AED 25
55 AED500 MB500 MB30 days Data AED 55
110 AED1.1 GB1.1 GB30 days Data AED 110
210 AED5 GB3 GB 30 days Data AED 210
525 AED25 GB15 GB 30 days Data AED 525

To activate a Monthly Data Pack for Prepaid, text the Activation Code to 1355.

For example, if you want the 110 AED plan, you would text Data AED 110 to 1355.

Du Internet Data Passes

The Internet Data Passes are short-term data passes with uncapped data allowances at reduced speeds (3 Mbps).

The following Internet Data Passes are available, which can be activated by dialing *222#:

PricePrice with VATDataSpeedsValidity
3 AED3.15 AEDUnlimited Up to 3 Mbps1 hour
5 AED5.25 AEDUnlimited Up to 3 Mbps2 hours
Du Internet Calling Packages

The Internet Calling Packages are data add-ons for HiU Messenger, Voico UAE, C'ME & BOTIM.

The following Internet Calling Packages are available:

Price (with VAT)PackageDataAppsValidityAuto-renews?Activation Code
5.25 AEDDaily Pack for Prepaid Only1 GBHiU Messenger, Voico UAE, C'ME & BOTIM1 dayNoDICP
52.50 AED Monthly Pack for Prepaid & Postpaid UnlimitedHiU Messenger, Voico UAE, C'ME & BOTIM30 days YesICP

The Daily Pack for Prepaid Only can be activated up to three times a day.

To activate an Internet Calling Package, text the Activation Code to 1012.

For example, if you want the Daily Pack for Prepaid Only, you would text DICP to 1012.

Du APN Settings

  • Name: Du Mobile
  • APN: du

Note: leave anything not mentioned above untouched.

Jump back to Table of Contents

Virgin Mobile UAE

Virgin Mobile Logo New

Virgin Mobile UAEOpens in a new tab., just Virgin Mobile, is a subsidiary of Du using the Virgin Mobile brand. Most things related to Virgin Mobile has to be done with the Virgin Mobile app. Tourists and short-term visitors are allowed to get a Virgin Mobile SIM card.

This is what you will learn about Virgin Mobile:

* Coverage
* How to Get a Virgin Mobile SIM Card & SIM Card Price
* Recharging Options & Methods
* Internet Packages
* APN Settings

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

Jump to Etisalat UAE | Jump to Du | Jump to Swyp

Virgin Mobile UAE Coverage

Virgin Mobile is a sub-brand by Du, meaning Virgin Mobile uses the Du network and does not have its own antennas. Head to the Du 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 Du's coverage.

Getting a Virgin Mobile UAE SIM Card

You can get a Virgin Mobile SIM card for free in Virgin Stores and retailersOpens in a new tab. and onlineOpens in a new tab. (and get it delivered for free when in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, or Ajman). However, you have to make your own plan or choose a pre-made one. The cheapest pre-made plan costs 36.75 AED (with VAT).

Virgin Mobile SIM cards are sold at various airports, such as Dubai International Airport and Abu Dhabi International Airport.

Virgin Mobile UAE Retailers selling SIM Cards

You can also get a Virgin Mobile eSIM if you have an iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone XR, iPhone XS, or iPhone XS Max.

Suppose you order a Virgin Mobile SIM card online. In that case, you can expect it to be delivered within 60 minutes for free if you live or stay in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, or Ajman.

Tourists and short-term visitors can also order a Virgin Mobile SIM card online. However, you need an Emirates ID if you want the SIM card to be activated upon delivery. Emirates IDs are only issued to citizens and residents.

As a result, you would still have to visit a Virgin Mobile store to activate the SIM card. Therefore, it may be better to go to a Virgin Mobile store and get yourself a SIM card there to save some time.

Virgin Mobile UAE SIM Card

Recharging your Virgin Mobile UAE SIM Card

You can recharge your Virgin Mobile SIM card on the Virgin Mobile app with (international) debit and credit cards or with recharge vouchers sold at select retailersOpens in a new tab. and redeem them on the app.

Virgin Mobile UAE Retailers selling Recharge Vouchers

Virgin Mobile recharge vouchers are sold in the following denominations:

  • 50 AED
  • 100 AED
  • 150 AED
  • 200 AED

To redeem your Virgin Mobile recharge voucher, dial *149*VoucherCode#.

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

The voucher codes can also be redeemed on the Virgin Mobile App by doing to the Payment Screen and selecting Add Credit.

Virgin Mobile UAE Internet Packages, Plans, Bundles & Offers

Virgin Mobile allows you to customize and set your own plan. It is also possible to buy one of their pre-made plans. When you are out of data or minutes, you can upgrade your plan with Boosters. All plans and boosters can be purchased or customized on the Virgin Mobile App.

The following options are available:

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

Virgin Mobile UAE Pre-Made Plans

The Pre-Made plans are plans created by Virgin Mobile in case you do not want to create your own plan or are not sure how your plan should look like.

The following Pre-Made Plans are available:

Price (with VAT)DataLocal Minutes/SMSValidity
36.75 AED0.5 GB25 local minutes/SMS30 days
52.50 AED0.75 GB50 local minutes/SMS 30 days
Virgin Mobile UAE Plan Customization

All Virgin Mobile SIM cards allow you to build your own plan by setting how much data you want, local minutes/SMS, and international minutes/SMS.

Note that each customized plan needs to include at least 1 GB of data and 50 local minutes/SMS, making the minimum plan price 82.95 AED (with VAT).

Virgin Mobile UAE Plans
I random Virgin Mobile plan I customized.
Virgin Mobile UAE Plan Internet Customization

When building your Virgin Mobile plan, you can get 1 GB of data all the way up to 50 GB.

The following data options are available:

Price (with VAT)Data
82.95 AED1 GB
124.95 AED3 GB
170.10 AED5 GB
262.50 AED10 GB
338.10 AED15 GB
401.10 AED25 GB
637.35 AED 50 GB 

If you are out of data and do not buy a data booster, Virgin Mobile will give you 200 MB for free. However, your speeds will be throttled at 100 Kbps.

Virgin Mobile UAE Plan Local Minutes/SMS Customization

When building your Virgin Mobile plan, you can get 50 local minutes/SMS all the way up unlimited local minutes/SMS.

Remember, every customized Virgin Mobile plan needs to have at least 1 GB of data and 50 local minutes/SMS.

I calculated how much extra it would cost to get higher local minutes/SMS options, which are shown below:

Price (with VAT)Local Minutes/SMS
7.35 AED100
22.05 AED200
36.75 AED300
53.55 AED500
153.30 AEDUnlimited
Virgin Mobile UAE Plan International Minutes/SMS Customization

When building your Virgin Mobile plan, you can choose to get international minutes/SMS to call and text to more than 100 international destinations.

The following international minutes/SMS are available:

Price (with VAT)International Minutes/SMS
9.45 AED50
27.30 AED100
64.05 AED200
90.30 AED300
158.55 AED500
368.55 AED1000

You can use your international minutes/SMS to call and text to 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
  • Macao
  • Malaysia
  • Malta
  • Marshall Islands
  • Martinique
  • Mauritius
  • Mayotte
  • Mexico
  • Mongolia
  • Namibia
  • Nepal
  • Netherlands
  • Netherlands Antilles
  • New Caledonia
  • New Zealand
  • Nigeria
  • Norway
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Palestine
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Puerto Rico
  • Qatar
  • Reunion
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sudan
  • Swaziland
  • Sweden
  • Syria
  • Taiwan
  • Tajikistan
  • Thailand
  • Turkey
  • Turkmenistan
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • U.S. Virgin Islands
  • Uruguay
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vietnam
  • Yemen
Virgin Mobile UAE Boosters

The Boosters are add-ons when you are out of data, local minutes, or international minutes before your Virgin Mobile plan renews. You have Data Boosters, Local Minutes Boosters, and International Minutes Boosters.

Virgin Mobile UAE Data Boosters

The Data Boosters are data add-ons for when you have run out of data.

The following Data Boosters are available:

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

The Local Minutes Boosters are phone call add-ons for when you have run out of local minutes.

The following Local Minutes Boosters are available:

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

The International Minutes Boosters are phone call add-ons for when you have run out of international minutes.

The following International Minutes Boosters are available:

Price (with VAT)International Minutes Booster
 15.75 AED25 International Minutes
26.25 AED50 International Minutes
 52.50 AED100 International Minutes
Virgin Mobile UAE Internet Calling

The Internet Calling package is a package allowing you to make VoIP calls with BOTIM and C'Me. The package costs 52.50 AED (with VAT) and can be activated by texting β€œICP” to 1012.

Do note that the Internet Calling package auto-renews. To disable auto-renewal, text CCP to 1012.

Virgin Mobile UAE APN Settings

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

Note: leave anything not mentioned above untouched.

Jump back to Table of Contents

Swyp

Swyp Logo

Swyp is a youth-focused brand by Etisalat UAE. You need to between 18 and 29 to be eligible for a Swyp membership. Tourists and short-term visitors are allowed to get a Swyp membership. Almost everything related to Swyp has to be managed through the Swyp app.

This is what you will learn about Swyp:

* Coverage
* How to Get a Swyp SIM Card & SIM Card Price
* Flexi Minutes Countries
* Recharging Options & Methods
* Internet Packages
* APN Settings

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

Jump to Etisalat UAE | Jump to Du | Jump to Virgin Mobile UAE

Swyp Coverage

Swyp is a sub-brand by Etisalat targeting the youth, meaning Swyp uses the Etisalat network and does not have its own antennas. Head to the Etisalat coverage section to learn what you can expect, coverage-wise, when getting a Swyp SIM card.

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

Getting a Swyp SIM Card

You can get a Swyp SIM card, referred to as The Core, for 99 AED (103.95 with VAT) in Etisalat storesOpens in a new tab. or by ordering through the Swyp app. The price covers the SIM card and Swyp membership, which includes 1 GB of data, nonstop social data for select social media apps, nationwide WIFI, 120 Flexi Minutes, and additional perks.

Swyp Membership

The stores and locations that sell Swyp SIM cards include Dubai Mall, Downtown, Burj Dubai, Mall of the Emirates, Burjuman, City Centre, Deira, Festival, City Mall, Ibn Battuta Mall & Mercato Shopping Mall.

Nonstop Social Media data includes 3 GB of high-speed data, then unlimited social media use throttled at throttled speeds.

The social media apps are WhatsApp, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google Maps.

Swyp Social Media Apps (WhatsApp, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Facebook Messenger, LinkedIn, Twitter & Google Maps)

There are three other apps that I do not recognize (the last three). If you know what those are, please let me know.

Do note that you need an Emirates ID if you want to order a Swyp SIM card online. Short-term visitors will not get an Emirates ID. They can get a Swyp SIM card at Etisalat stores.

Swyp Flexi Minutes Countries

The Swyp membership and various packages include Flexi Minutes, which can be used for local use or to call to more than 100 international destinations.

The following international destinations are part of Flexi Minutes:

  • 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
  • Mariana Islands
  • Martinique
  • Mauritius
  • Mayotte
  • Mexico
  • Mongolia
  • Nepal
  • Netherlands
  • Netherlands Antilles
  • New Zealand
  • Nigeria
  • Norway
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Palestine
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Puerto Rico
  • Qatar
  • Reunion
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Singapore
  • 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

Jump back to Swyp Add-Ons

Recharging your Swyp SIM Card

You can recharge your Swyp SIM card on the Swyp app with (international) debit and credit cards or with Etisalat (Wasel) recharge vouchers and redeem them on the app.

Swyp Internet Packages, Plans, Bundles & Offers

Swyp has several packages, referred to as Add-Ons, with data, social media data, or Flexi Minutes that can be added on top of your Swyp Membership. They can be activated on the Swyp app or by dialing *888#.

The following Swyp Add-Ons are available:

PricePrice with VATDataAppsMinutes
25 AED26.25 AEDN/AN/A100 Flexi Minutes
25 AED26.25 AEDN/AN/A200 local minutes
25 AED26.25 AED500 MBN/AN/A
25 AED26.25 AED1 GB Instagram & SnapchatN/A
50 AED52.50 AEDN/AN/A240 Flexi Miutes
50 AED52.50 AED1 GBN/AN/A
100 AED105 AED2 GB N/AN/A
150 AED157.50 AED4 GB N/AN/A

Click here to learn more about Flexi Minutes

Note that you can have multiple Add-Ons active at a time and even the same Add-On numerous times.

Swyp Add-Ons

Swyp APN Settings

  • Name: Swyp
  • APN: etisalat.ae

Note: leave anything not mentioned above untouched.

Jump back to Table of Contents

Other Ways to Stay Connected When Traveling in the United Arab Emirates

As discussed throughout the guide, getting an Emirati SIM card will be a cost-effective way to stay connected while in the United Arab Emirates. They offer a lot of choices, including minutes that can be used for international calls and SMS.

To some travelers, getting a local SIM card is not practical. You could have your reasons why you prefer not to buy an Emirati 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 the United Arab Emirates 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, Saudi Arabia, Oman, or Qatar). In that case, there is a big chance that your operator will offer attractive roaming packages when visiting GCC countries, like in the United Arab Emirates.

These offers are not limited to GCC-countries. Middle Eastern operators often have good roaming deals for those visiting other nations in the Middle East, like Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and Palestine.

One of the reasons why you may want to roam in the United Arab Emirates 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 the United Arab Emirates. 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 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.

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. Be sure to explore the roaming options your provider offers you, as they may offer free or cheap roaming bundles.

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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 Us In Your Inbox

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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Let's Be Social

Did you know that I have a YouTube channelOpens in a new tab. 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!

Also, be sure to follow me on Pinterest and repin some pins!

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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