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eSIM Dubai deals


Uswitch tips

eSIM UAE features

  • Far cheaper than roaming
  • Can be set up in advance of travel
  • Available on the majority of current smartphones
  • Allows you to use your current number for calls and WhatsApp

Which phones support a Dubai eSIM?

You can install a travel eSIM in the vast majority of new and current smartphones. The iPhone has had eSIM compatibility since the iPhone Xs, Samsung since the S21 and Google since the Pixel 5. So, if you have had your phone for the last three years, you’ll have no problem using a Dubai eSIM.

Dubai eSIM travel bundles

1GB - £4.00

7 day bundle

Get this bundle

2GB - £4.00

15 day bundle

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3GB - £6.00

30 day bundle

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5GB - £9.00

30 day bundle

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10GB - £15.00

30 day bundle

Get this bundle

How to install your Dubai travel eSIM

1

Check your phone is eSIM compatible

These include iPhone 11 or newer Apple devices or Android devices from the last three years.

2

Purchase travel eSIM for UAE

Dubai is part of the UAE, so any UAE data plan will work while you're in Dubai.

3

Follow the eSIM installation instructions

You'll receive an email with installation instructions.

4

Check your phone settings when you land

Double-check that your eSIM is activated and set as your primary SIM.

Do I need an eSIM in Dubai?

Unlike trips within Europe, the UAE is way beyond the inclusive roaming limits offered by even the best roaming networks. So, if you want to use your mobile phone to get directions, order an Uber, or share photos on social media, you’ll need to either pay for roaming data or get yourself a travel eSIM.

Roaming vs getting an eSIM Dubai

For travellers coming from the United Kingdom, the prospect of relying solely on your domestic mobile plans while roaming in the UAE may seem convenient at first glance. However, a closer look reveals a stark contrast in terms of cost-effectiveness and flexibility when compared to opting for a travel eSIM.

Roaming with a UK mobile in the UAE often results in some pretty significant charges, with data, calls, and texts incurring hefty fees. With different networks charging different amounts for roaming in the UAE, you might get caught unawares, leading to an unwelcome surprise on your phone bills when you get home from your trip. 

Also, in many cases, traditional roaming plans restrict you to predefined packages, leaving little room for customization according to individual needs.

In contrast, a travel eSIM makes a great alternative if you’re looking for affordability and flexibility during your visit to Dubai. 

Travel eSIMs tailored for the UAE offer prepaid packages specifically designed to cater to tourists' needs, encompassing generous data allowances, ample call minutes, and unlimited texts.

But the biggest advantage of getting a travel eSIM over using your roaming is cost. Though roaming charges vary from network to network and package to package, a typical charge for data in the UAE is roughly £6 per MB. Even if you plan to just watch a couple of YouTube videos while lounging on the beach, you’ll have spent £10 before you know it.

Roaming in Dubai on UK networks

Uswitch eSIM for Dubai

Uswitch eSIM packages are data-only, with costs and allowances vary per package.

Three roaming charges in Dubai

Approximately £6.00 per MB

£3 per minute to receive calls

35p to send texts to the UK

Vodafone roaming charges in Dubai

Vodafone charges £7.39 a day in addition to your existing plan for calls, texts, and up to 25GB of data.

O2 roaming charges in Dubai

The O2 Travel Bolt On gives you unlimited minutes, texts and data for £6 a day.

EE roaming charges in Dubai

EE's Travel Data Pass gives you 150MB of data for £8.45 a day.

Getting a local SIM vs a Dubai eSIM

When you land in Dubai, you’ll be greeted by a number of local network reps offering local SIM cards. In fact, you’ll even be given a free local SIM card when you go through passport control. However, despite being provided by the major local networks, these SIM cards might not be the best choice.

These local SIMs often come with an offer of free data or calls. The trouble with this is those “welcome offers” are typically only valid for 24 hours. This means you’ll need to pay higher prices to top up your data with that local provider.

Activating a travel eSIM is pretty straightforward, often requiring just a few taps on your smartphone screen — all of which you can do before you leave home. This makes getting a local SIM quicker and easier and removes any risk of losing your home SIM while you’re travelling.

Finally, the versatility of eSIMs extends beyond smartphones, encompassing a diverse array of devices such as tablets, smartwatches, and even laptops. This could prove invaluable for those seeking seamless connectivity across multiple devices, ensuring that they remain effortlessly connected throughout their UAE adventures.

FAQs

How much is an eSIM for UAE travel?

UAE travel eSIMs cost from £4, depending on how long you're using them and how much data you need.

Which eSIM data plan should I choose for my UAE trip?

If you're only going to be sending messages and checking social media, you won't need more than 1-2 GB for a short trip to the UAE.

Can I call and send an SMS with my Uswitch eSIM in the UAE?

Our UAE travel eSIMs offer data-only packages. You could, therefore, only make calls and send texts via internet-based apps like WhatsApp.

Does the UAE eSIM include a local phone number?

As our UAE travel eSIMs are data-only packages, you won't get a local Dubai phone number.

Nick Baker author headshot
Written by Nick Baker, Senior Editor
Published - 31 May 2024
Updated - 9 July 2024