Dubai is known for being a tourist-friendly city, so you can quickly go without buying a local sim here because there is ultra-fast internet everywhere! The Mall of Dubai even claims to have the fastest public Wi-Fi.

However, reliable, high-speed connectivity isn’t always guaranteed in all parts of the UAE, especially when you’re outside travelling or near the beach.

The solution? A local prepaid SIM card. Though these may cost more, they provide essential internet access across the country.

This article offers a selection of the best prepaid SIM cards in the UAE for maintaining constant connectivity, serving both business and personal needs.

Which is the best Mobile Network in UAE?

The two biggest Mobile Network Operators in the UAE are called Du and Etisalat. Out of these two, the best mobile network in terms of blazing speeds and connectivity is Etisalat. However, Du offers plans that might suit you better considering your use. 

Apart from this, there are two other Mobile Virtual Network Operators, Virgin Mobile UAE, and SWYP UAE, which Du and Etisalat own. These are youth-focused providers; hence, their tariffs and packages are focused on catering to the youth. 

Etisalat and Du are both partly state-owned operators. However, Etisalat offers its services to more than thirteen million people in the UAE. However, its rival Du offers its coverage to around nine million people, most of whom are migrants. 

You can get either of their sims as soon as you land in Dubai. The shops are almost next to each other, so their rivalry is top-notch. Apart from the Dubai Airport, you can visit the shops of these two giants in almost every mall in Dubai and every other major mall in the UAE. 

Which is the best sim card in UAE for Internet?

Etisalat is the best sim card for the people in UAE if internet speeds are their primary concern.

Etisalat has the fastest download speeds when compared to its rivals and has speeds of up to 40.5 Mbps when needed.

This is matched by upload speed up to 11.6 Mbps. You will get these lightning-fast speeds everywhere, including highways, beaches, restaurants, small towns, etc. 

However, service plans and their rates vary provider by provider; hence, read our guide to know if Du, Swyp, or Virgin Mobile might be a better fit for you! 

What are the best-prepaid sim cards in UAE?

There are four options for you to choose from if you are in the UAE regarding sim cards. All of these providers offer different plans and tariff charges, so make sure you pick a plan that suits your needs best. 

The coverage offered by these brands is exceptional. However, we must warn you that these brands are all costly since they are the only two major ones in the UAE which control the market; the rest are their sub-brands. 

Etisalat 

Etisalat is the top consumer choice when choosing a sim card. Etisalat has been in the game since the beginning, and it is almost forty percent owned by the state, and the rest are private holdings.

Etisalat has won many different consumer awards and boasts the most significant number of users.

The sim card offered by Etisalat is called Wasel and was recently relaunched with added capabilities and features. With this new prepaid sim Wasel, users can get more affordable plans and data subscriptions.

Wasel is not cheap, though. This sim is available for  AED 55 plus VAT charges for people who are residents in the UAE. The Wasel charges and plans are available on their website, and we will list some of them below. 

Wasel Sim offers per-second billing rates for all local and international calls. Moreover, with every recharge, you get points that you can redeem later.

There are a ton of different consumer-friendly features and plans which make this the perfect option for you. Moreover, you get lifetime validity as well for this prepaid sim. 

Wasel Prepaid Line offers several different plans. However, will we talk about the most important ones, Wasel Premium and Wasel Bronze.

Wasel Premium

Wasel Premium costs around AED 1000, and it’s really for those businessmen who need uninterrupted internet speeds and internet connectivity round the clock.

Moreover, this package comes with a personal number of your choice, which makes it all the more exclusive.

You will get a sim automatically with the purchase of this plan, along with three gigabytes of free data every month for the next six months! This plan indeed sounds a lot more exciting. 

Wasel Bronze

Wasel Bronze is another fantastic service offered by Etisalat.

This prepaid plan allows you to get two gigabytes of data per month for the next six months free and allows you to pick the number of your choice as well.

This luxury is exceedingly valued among the residents of the UAE. Moreover, this deal will cost you around AED 500, but it is a one-time payment. 

Moreover, if you are traveling and want a sim card for your visit to the UAE, Etisalat offers two visitor sim cards per passport and many flexible plans.

You will also be given specific local and international minutes in your data plan.

There are five different visitor plans called Visitor line, Visitor Line +, Visitor Line Premium, Visitor Line Premium +, and Visitor Line Unlimited, which are priced at AED 49, 79, 125, 200, and 319, respectively. 

Du

Du is another reputable carrier of mobile networks in the UAE and has a customer base of over nine million individuals; hence we are sure that you would love the services of this network carrier. The Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company runs Du. 

DU sims are available from the airport as soon as you land. You can get your hands on one; hence, it is a hassle-free experience with Du.

Moreover, these Du sims are free of cost and are offered with one GB of data. This can be of immense help to the tourists since they have just landed and are figuring out their things and belongings and thinking of calling a taxi or a hotel. 

These DU sims can be pre-booked, which will help you get exclusive benefits apart from the already economical and suitable packages offered by DU.

DU offers its data services for just AED 49. Once you run out of your data free one GB of data which lasts for around 24 hours, you can renew it for AED 49 and get an additional two gigabytes of data.

Similarly, 6 gigabytes cost AED 99, 10 gigabytes will cost AED 139, and finally, for twenty gigabytes of data, you will have to pay around AED 189. 

SWYP UAE

SWYP is an initiative taken by Etisalat to aim its services at the younger generation. This Mobile Virtual Network Operator operates on the infrastructure of Etisalat and doesn’t have its infrastructure. 

The users Etisalat is trying to capture with this initiative are between the ages of 18-29, and if you fail to meet these age requirements, you can not get a SWYP Sim.

This sim card is sold alongside Etisalat’s standard sim cards at its retail store and comes with only one package called The Core. However, you can add additional features to this package as you see fit. 

The Core plan comes with around 1 gigabyte of data and 120 minutes to various other countries. Moreover, the add-on packages for SWYPE start from about AED 25 and go all the way up to AED 500 for all the premium features. 

Virgin Mobile UAE

Like SWYPE, Virgin Mobile UAE is also a mobile virtual network operator, and its owned by Du. It uses Du’s coverage and infrastructure as well. Virgin Mobile is a telecom company based in Britain. 

Virgin Mobile sim cards are free, but you have to buy them from official Virgin Mobile stores in the UAE or from official partners.

The cheapest plans by Virgin Mobile start from AED 36.75. Virgin Mobile offers around three different plans for its prepaid users, after which, if you want more options, you can always use add-ons and make your package better for extra charges.

These charges start from AED 20 and go up to AED 200 for those premium features.

Apart from this, there is another feature for Virgin Mobile users whereby they can design their own packages, use the minutes and amount of data they want, and pay accordingly.

The cheapest bundle you can make yourself will set you back AED 79. 

How to get a prepaid sim card in UAE?

There are two different types of people who want to buy a sim card in the UAE, and we will explain how to buy it from a store and also how to buy it if you are here on a tourist visa. 

Buying it from a store

If you are a resident in the UAE, all you need to do is visit the nearest store of your chosen mobile network carrier along with your resident ID card and select your package and pay! Almost every major mall in the UAE has official shops of these carriers. 

However, if you are a tourist on a visa, then you should visit the store and show your visa to get your temporary sim and plan. You can also get these Sims at the airport by showing your visa. Du carrier offers a free sim and a gigabyte of data for twenty-four hours on that sim! 

How to activate your prepaid sim card in UAE

If you have bought a Du sim and are a resident, you should visit the Du Account Renewal page. Then you should enter your phone number and the four-digit pin, which you shall receive for confirmation.

After that, you will be redirected to a page where you will upload two pictures of your Emirates ID, Emirate ID number, and registration date; after that, you will agree to the terms and conditions and click on confirm.

Now you should wait around 48 hours for your sim to activate. If you are a traveler on a visa and have Du’s tourist sim, you should put the sim in your phone and turn it on.

Now dial *122# and enter your passport number, date of arrival, and country of origin. Now enter these details and let the system process the information.

Upon doing that successfully, you will get a text message with the sim card number you have been given. 

You can activate your Etisalat and other carrier sims similarly, a detailed process of which is explained on their websites! 

Conclusion

From our point of view, the best prepaid sims to use in the UAE is Etisalat; however, if they are costly for your budget, make sure to check out Du’s sims and their plans, which are pretty affordable.