Free SIM card in Dubai
Since July 2019, in Dubai, arriving tourists began to distribute free SIM cards of the local operator DU. Naturally, the DU operator and the Dubai government state that this is a "tourist compliment". But in fact, their benefit? And the main question – whether to use this SIM card or better buy a full-fledged local SIM card?
This article is updated in February 2021, and free SIM cards are still distributed. Apparently, the experiment was successful. Now for tourists such a SIM card has additional value to enjoy the COVID19 – DXB application. Details in our article about the COVID rules, reference above.
Attention! Free SIM cards can be available at a certain point, and may not be. This is a question of luck.
Conditions and prices
This is a joint action of the mobile operator DU and GDRFA (Office for Accommodation and International Affairs of Dubai).
Tourists distribute these free SIM cards directly on migration control. Now DU provides 3,000 cards every day, but it lacks all the arrivals. Morally get ready for SIM cards will not get. However, they don’t need to grieve about it, let’s tell why.
Package from: 3 Flexi-minute and 20 megabytes of mobile traffic.
At this moment, many say: "Excellent! I will call home mom, I will say that successfully flew!".
No. You will not be able to call home, as these are local minutes, and not international. Rather, it is that these minutes to the rooms of the UAE and another row of countries whose list is not included. Although try, maybe by the time of your visit Russia will fall into a preferential list. For trying to call money will not take.
"Then on these megabytes I will call home by WhatsApp".
No. You will not be able to call WhatsApp, as any VoIP calls to the UAE are prohibited by law and are blocked.
And also say: "Great, I can cause a cheaper taxi to not overpay by taxi drivers at the airport».
Will not work. All taxi drivers at the airport of one – 25 dirhams for landing and 1.72 per kilometer. No cheaper taxi is not here. If you want cheaper, then sit down on the subway. Read our article "How to get from Dubai to the city".
Theoretically, there is Uber and Careem, but they have almost the same prices as the official taxi RTA. About all prices Read in our article "Taxi in Dubai".
How to add minute and megabytes
Naturally, you can add megabytes and minutes on this SIM card. Detailed instructions are inside an envelope with a SIM card. But for this, first need to replenish the account.
To do this, go to the DU office or in any store, which provides the service "Du Quick Recharge". In all three terminals of Dubai Airport, there are DU offices. There you need to call your phone number and the amount of replenishment. After payment will give a voucher with the code. There are instructions on how to activate it.
Or look for an automatic payment. On the principle of operation and the interface, such machines in the UAE do not differ from our. Watch the photo near, click on the photo to enlarge.
Next, connect one of the packages:
55 Dirhams – 20 local minutes + 500 megabytes.
75 Dirhams – 40 local minutes + 2 gigabytes.
110 Dirhams – 50 locals + 3.5 gigabytes + 1 gigabytes in WiFi UAE network.
These tariffs exactly repeat the line DU Tourist Plan.
Current dirham course to ruble, dollar and euros, see the article "Money in the UAE" or use our Dirhama Calculator. In all three terminals there are currency exchange points, although the courses are a little worse than in exchange centers in shopping centers. Read our article "How and where to change money in the UAE".
After replenishing the account you need to activate the package, the instruction is in the convective with the SIM card. The procedure is complex. We hope that in DU will come up with a way to make it easier.
Or maybe it’s easier to immediately buy a DU Tourist Plan?
Naturally, it’s easier to buy a full-fledged Tourist Plan SIM card. Come to the DU office, pay 55, 75 or 110 dirhams, present a du passport employee, get a SIM card on hand.
What could be easier?
Or maybe even not du, but buy SIM from Etisalat?
At the moment (February 2021) is better to buy an Etisalat SIM card. From January 1, 2021, they updated the line of tourist rates of Visitor Line. Now the gigabyte has become more for the same price. And the bonuses of Etisalat are now more, and bonuses are more interesting.
At the moment we recommend Etisalat.
And it is also more profitable
Prices in both cases are the same, however, with a full-fledged Tourist Plan SIM card, you get a bonus – promotional code for 20% discount on 4 trips Uber. You can immediately download the Uber app, enter promotional code and go from the airport with a discount. Unfortunately, the discount does not work on the Uberx (the cheapest tariff that is canceled in the UAE from 01.09.2019).
Until the summer of 2019 there were still Dollar Rent A Car and Du Entertainer bonuses, but unfortunately already canceled. And not surprisingly, after all, the use of bonuses kills the profit of the operator DU.
With a free SIM card, this bonus is not given.
Why is it necessary to operator du?
For the operator DU distribute free SIM cards very profitable.
First, they take customers from a competitor Etisalat and their Visitor Line line.
Secondly, do not give a free SIM bonus on a taxi, which is beneficial for DU.
Thirdly, stimulate the use of its SIM cards, not roaming.
And what is better for a tourist?
And the tourist is easier to leave this SIM card as a souvenir or an emergency case. Then go to the office du or etisalat and buy tourist plan or visitor line.
– Tourist rules Du and Etisalat were described in detail in detail, compared among themselves and with roaming in the articles "Internet in the UAE cheap" and "How to call from the UAE Döshevo";
– At ABU Dhabi and Sharjah’s airports, while free SIM is not distributed. May be if the experiment in Dubai goes successfully;
– Duration of free SIM – 30 days.
Have a good holiday in Dubai, and read our interesting articles about the UAE (List of articles below).
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Well done! Briefly essentially.
good day. Tell me, please, and whether it is possible to activate this card and use purely to register in Wi-Fi networks – here often request the number in order to send SMS with the code. No additional payments for these cards?
Alexander – Glavred site
You can, why not. But I already write a lot of tourists that they did not give them the cards. May now give only those who ask, and not everyone in a row.