Dubai SIM Cards: Everything You Need To Know

Visiting Dubai soon? Make sure to know what to expect when it comes to purchasing a Dubai SIM card.

Fortunately, the Middle East is one of the best places where you can buy a SIM card easily. You should be able to find a cheap SIM card pretty much anywhere in the Middle East. In fact, most data packages are affordable, which makes the whole thing easier!

In this guide, we’ll explain where to buy a SIM card in Dubai in person and online. We’ll also discuss prepaid SIM cards and eSIMs if your mobile supports them.

Before you read this guide, you may wonder if you actually need a SIM card in Dubai. If you don’t mind not having Internet, you’ll likely find free Wifi in restaurants, shopping malls, and hotels.

That said, if you need data to get around, call a cab, or translate Arabic – you may want to get a SIM card for your travels in Dubai.

Burj Al Arab, Dubai

Best SIM Cards In Dubai

If you’re traveling in Dubai, we recommend using a SIM card from Du, Etisalat, or Airalo. (I’ll get back to Airalo later on, so keep reading to learn more!)

That said, if you’re planning on visiting other countries during your trip to the United Arab Emirates, you might want to make sure to pick an option that offers coverage in other Middle Eastern countries.

How To Buy A SIM Card In Dubai

You can either buy a Dubai prepaid SIM card in person in some international airports, mobile provider stores, convenience stores, or online.

Usually, you can expect higher costs and low data offers at the airport, so we don’t recommend buying a SIM card at the airport. That said, you won’t necessarily find SIM card shops in every airport, so it’s essential to keep this in mind. And, when you see a shop, you might also have limited options.

For this reason, I’d recommend buying a SIM card directly from the mobile provider store. Note that you may need your passport to buy one.

Although, this means you won’t get data right upon your arrival. So, if you prefer to be connected at all times, you could use an eSIM or purchase a Middle Eastern prepaid SIM card online.

Now, let’s take a look at the data plans offered by Du and Etisalat.

Atlantis the palm, Dubai

Du SIM Cards

Du offers several different types of tourist plans:

  • 2 GB, valid for 28 days for AED 49 ($13.34)
  • 6 GB, valid for 28 days for AED 99 ($26.95)
  • 10 GB, valid for 28 days for AED 139 ($37.84)
  • 20 GB, valid for 28 days for AED 189 ($51.46)
  • Unlimited GB, valid for 28 days for AED 299 ($81.40)

Etisalat SIM Cards

Etisalat also offers a prepaid SIM plan:

  • 3 GB, valid for 7 days for AED 50 ($13.61)

Overall, we think Du is the best option if you plan to buy your SIM card in person. That said, any would do if you can’t find their store!

How To Buy A Dubai Prepaid SIM Card Online

If you wish to have your SIM card ready for your arrival, you could purchase it online or on websites like Amazon.

You’ll find different plans on Amazon. For example, the OneSimCard works in more than 200+ countries and gives you data for $0.01 per MB. Dubai is included.

But there are many other options worth considering, so have a look and make sure the countries you plan on visiting are listed.

Another option is to purchase a prepaid Middle East SIM card on Simify. This works if you live in the United States or Australia. They currently offer one package that covers Dubai:

  • 6 GB, valid for 15 days for $40 – works in 9 countries

Finally, the last option is to buy an eSIM card for Dubai or, if you’re traveling to multiple countries, an eSIM plan for the Middle East.

How To Buy An eSIM Card For Dubai

eSIM is a new concept allowing you to have a virtual SIM card inside your phone. If your mobile phone supports eSIM cards – it’s definitely one of the best options to get data in Dubai.

Curious? Learn more about eSIMs for travelers on eSIM Roamers.

I started using eSIM as soon as my mobile phone supported it. And I first tried it when visiting my family in Canada. To buy eSIMs, I usually use Airalo. Keep reading to learn more about the best eSIMs for Dubai.

Airalo Dubai

If you want to buy an eSIM for Dubai, you could purchase one on Airalo. This website offers many eSIM cards worldwide. I’ve been using Airalo for several months, and it works fine.

Here are the options available:

  • Burj Mobile: 1 GB, valid for 7 days for $8.50
  • Burj Mobile: 3 GB, valid for 30 days for $22.50
  • Burj Mobile: 5 GB, valid for 30 days for $35

Dubai Airalo eSIM plans

Now, one important thing to note about Airalo is that you’ll need to keep an eye out for the provider in each country. Suppose you ever have trouble connecting to the Internet during your trip. In that case, it might be because you’re connecting automatically to networks and need to select a network manually instead.

When you purchase the eSIM, you’ll get access to the list of networks supported in each country.

Holafly Dubai

Alternatively, you could look at your options on Holafly. You can read our Holafly review to learn more about this eSIM store.

Here’s an overview of the plan for Dubai:

  • 6 GB data, valid for 15 days for $54

Nomad Dubai

Finally, Nomad is also a great eSIM provider. Here’s an overview of the plans available for Dubai:

  • 1GB, valid for 7 days for $20
  • 3GB, valid for 30 days for $48
  • 5GB, valid for 30 days for $54

Nomad also has Global, an eSIM plan for 111 countries worldwide. This plan offers coverage in Dubai. Here’s an overview:

  • 1GB, valid for 7 days for $20
  • 3GB, valid for 30 days for $38
  • 5GB, valid for 30 days for $54

Final Thoughts On SIM Cards In Dubai

As you can see, getting a prepaid SIM card in Dubai or even an eSIM for your travels in Dubai is pretty straightforward. You’ll even be able to stay connected wherever you go in the Middle East without changing your SIM card, especially if you purchase a global plan.

I believe the eSIM card is the most convenient way to get data in Dubai if you wish to have data upon your arrival. This way, you won’t need to go to a store to buy a SIM card. Obviously, you need to make sure your mobile phone supports eSIM first.

Traveling soon? Read one of the following blog posts:

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