Roams Logo
Guides

Internet in Dubai: all options and recommendations to stay connected | April 2024

logo Roams
Last update: April 1, 2024
Roams UK
Author: Roams UK
118 people have read this post in the last 12 months
In a nutshell

Having mobile internet in Dubai is highly recommended, as it will be very useful for finding your way to your hotel, keeping family and friends informed during your trip or catching a ride. Therefore, you can use eSIM, SIM, portable wifi or public wifi to access the internet during your trip to the city of the United Arab Emirates.

Buy your Dubai eSIM from Holafly!

Internet in Dubai: best alternatives

Nowadays, it is essential to have internet during our trips. Having internet in Dubai was probably one of the first questions that came to mind when you started preparing for this trip. Having the possibility to check how to get to the hotel, the fastest route to the Dubai Fountain or being able to order transport makes the trip and the experience in the city much more memorable. Here, we'll tell you about the best alternatives for internet in Dubai.

There is no free roaming in Dubai, so in order to have internet on your mobile phone without any surprises when the bill arrives, it's best to sign up for a specific tariff for your trip. There are several options, including: eSIM, SIM card, public wifi and portable wifi.

Having internet in Dubai is very useful when you need to get a translation, check or change reservations for activities or visits, tell your family and friends how your trip is going or if you get separated from your travel group you can contact them without any problem.

The following table includes some of the options and prices for having internet in Dubai and choosing which option best suits what you are looking for:

Internet prices in Dubai
Service Price/Days Data
eSIM Dubai
  • From £39/15 days
  • 6GB
SIM Card Dubai
  • From £12/28 days
  • 2GBb
Wifi Dubai:
  • Portable
  • Free

  • From £7/day
  • Free

  • 1GB/day
  • Unlimited
Roaming in Dubai
  • From £6/1 day
  • From 1GB

Signing up for an eSIM to travel to Dubai

The eSIM card is a type of electronic card that includes a chip, so you can activate your data plan on the spot without the need for a physical card. This option allows you to keep the same mobile number for the entire trip and not have to worry about internet connection, unwanted expenses or finding the right size card to fit your mobile.

The Holafly eSIM card for Dubai allows a 4G connection to connect to the internet throughout the UAE, using the Etisalat network, one of the operators operating in the country. You can keep your regular SIM to continue receiving messages and calls without missing anything.

You should bear in mind that not all mobile phones are compatible with eSIM cards, so before signing up for one, we recommend that you check that the mobile phone you are going to use during your trip can use this type of card.

The Dubai eSIM card has great advantages. The card will be active for 15 days, during which you will be able to enjoy 6GB at maximum speed. If these gigabytes run out, don't worry, you won't be left without internet, as the speed will be reduced but with no additional costs.

If your trip lasts longer, and you need data for a longer period of time, you have to take into account that the card cannot be recharged, but you can buy another card for another 15 days at any time. This way, you can continue to enjoy the internet in Dubai without any worries.

eSim United Arab Emirates
Mobile
Prepaid: 15 days expiry
Data 6 GB

Coverage
AT&T
Connection speed 4G
Pay as you go£3915 days expiry
taxes included

One of the main advantages of the Holafly eSIM tariff is that you can sign up for the card at the time of purchase, so you will never run out of internet. The activation of the Holafly card is quick, simple and instant:

  1. Select the tariff Click on the Holafly UAE tariff.
  2. Open the email Open the email that arrives immediately after signing up for the tariff and read the QR code.
  3. Download the data plan Follow the instructions on the screen to activate the data plan.
  4. Enjoy your trip Activate the eSIM by following the instructions on the screen and enjoy your trip.

Holafly's eSIM offers quick installation thanks to a QR code that you receive in your email when you sign up for the tariff, allowing you to use the card instantly, so you won't run out of data at any time during your trip. You can visit the Burj Khalifa, check the timetable for the water, light and music show at the Dubai Fountain or stroll through Dubai's parks without worrying about running out of data during your trip.

Another advantage is that you can share data with your travel companions, so you can all stay connected. If you have any problems you can contact customer service 24 hours a day, you can contact Holafly by email or chat.

If the advantages of having an eSIM card have convinced you, and you want to sign up for one, so you can use the internet in Dubai without worrying about data charges during your trip, Holafly offers the eSIM data card for the UAE:

eSIM Holafly Dubai
Days Price Data
15 days £39 6GB

As you can see, there are many benefits of signing up for a Dubai Holafly eSIM card. For 54€ you can enjoy the internet for 15 days and enjoy your trip. Remember that the card is not rechargeable, but you can buy as many cards as days you need, i.e. if the trip lasts 28 days we recommend that you buy two cards so that you never run out of data and activate the second one once the first period is over.

Buy an Unlimited data eSIM for Dubai with a 5% OFF. Code ROAMS

If you are looking for an eSIM card, but the options offered by Holafly do not suit your travel requirements, you can check out other companies such as Airalo, Flexiroam, SimOptions or Truphone who may have a more suitable tariff for what you are looking for.


Dubai SIM card

Maybe the eSIM card doesn't quite convince you or your mobile phone is not compatible with this type of virtual card, don't worry, there are more options available on the market to connect to the internet in Dubai.

Buying a SIM card in Dubai is quite simple, in fact, at the airport you can get a free prepaid Dubai SIM card from the operator "Du" with which you have 1Gb free to enjoy the first 24 hours of your stay in the city of Dubai, then you can recharge it online through a card to travel abroad.

You can find different plans and prices to connect to the internet in Dubai:

Dubai Data SIM Card Plans
Days Price Data
28 days £12€ 2GB
28 days £20 4GB
28 days £30 6GB

Buying a SIM card in Dubai is very easy, as there are several options available at the airport itself. The main companies operating in the UAE - Du, Etisalat and Virgin Mobile - have stands at the airport where you can purchase and recharge cards. The various shopping malls in the city also have these cards.

One thing to be aware of is that Dubai data SIM cards are available with different validity periods:

  • Du: the "Du" operator's cards have a validity period of 90 days.
  • Etisalat: cards are available for up to 28 days.
  • Virgin Mobile: Cards from this operator can be valid for up to 15 days.

Connecting to the internet in Dubai by wifi

The last of the options for accessing the internet in Dubai is wifi, a wireless technology that allows you to connect multiple devices to the network. It can therefore be one of the best choices if you are going to work in Dubai or want to connect several devices while visiting the city.

Using pocket wifi in Dubai

Thanks to pocket wifi, travelling in Dubai can be an even more amazing experience, as it allows you to connect multiple devices and have internet on your mobile all day long. The pocket wifi works thanks to a small portable router that can be carried in any pocket and a SIM card with mobile data.

The security offered by this type of device is much better than using public wifi. Thanks to portable wifi, you can have a fast and reliable connection so that your devices do not suffer a cyber attack and ruin your trip. There are several options that you can use to hire this type of device, some of them are:

  1. WifiVox: this small device allows you to connect up to five devices at the same time, if you spend the amount of Gb contracted you will continue to browse at reduced speed at no additional cost.
  2. Wifi Travelers: you can have internet all over the UAE, it is rented by the day, so the total price will depend on the length of your stay.

The pocket wifi is a great option if you want to connect several devices simultaneously, as well as having a convenient and secure way to have internet on your mobile. The way to connect to these devices is the same as in any wifi, you will have a private password so that only the people you want to connect can connect.

You should know that when you hire these devices, they are rented, so you must return them at the end of your trip. Another thing to consider is the battery life of the device, as it may not last all day.

Public wifi in Dubai

In Dubai there is public wifi throughout the city, the only problem is that to access this free wifi you need to register with a local phone number, so if you don't have a UAE SIM you won't be able to access it.

While this may seem like a great option because of the cost, the truth is that it can turn out to be the opposite, as these types of public networks have no protection against cyber-attacks and are much slower and more unstable.

Hotels are another place where you can find free wifi. They are not open wifi for everyone, as they are protected by a password that is given to hotel guests. So another option is to ask at the place where you are staying to check if you can access the internet.


Roaming in Dubai

Dubai is not a city with free roaming, so we recommend that you turn roaming on and off when you travel if you do not want to incur roaming surcharges.

You can check with your mobile company if there is a tariff that may better suit your requirements, or if the tariff you are using has different charges from the basic roaming tariffs. The Holalfy eSIM card may be an option, as it allows you to use the internet in Dubai.

Buy an Unlimited data eSIM for Dubai with a 5% OFF. Code ROAMS


What is the internet speed like in Dubai?

The UAE has the eighth-highest average download speed in the world, with 166.53Mbit/second (1) , almost all the country's inhabitants have an internet connection.

This high connection speed is due to the fact that the country's two leading operators, Du and Etisalat, have worked to improve fibre penetration by providing the best customer experience, allowing their customers to enjoy one of the highest internet speeds at home.

You should know that throughout the country calls and video calls via WhatsApp or FaceTime are prohibited, as well as the use of certain applications such as Skype or Netflix, so we recommend installing a VPN connection to avoid this blockade and not have problems.


Advantages of having internet in Dubai

Nowadays, having a mobile phone at any time of the day is practically an indispensable requirement, so being able to have internet in Dubai while travelling is essential and possibly one of the first questions asked when you start planning your trip.

Some of the advantages of being able to access the internet while travelling in Dubai include:

  • Being able to connect with the people closest to us, tell them how our trip is going, send photos of the wonderful places we have seen and have instant access to be able to talk to them.
  • Access email, meetings or consult any work-related data, especially if we are teleworking.
  • Consult the map to get to the Dubai Fountain, the world's largest and tallest Ferris wheel, the Ain Dubai, or how to get to one of Dubai's huge shopping malls for an afternoon of shopping.
  • Take, cancel, postpone or book excursions to the city of Abu Dhabi or the desert.

If you are lucky enough to be able to extend your trip and visit other destinations in the area, we recommend that you check out the different ways to get internet in the UAE.


Recommendations for your trip to Dubai

Dubai is a city characterised by modern architecture, luxury shopping and impressive skyscrapers. You can go and see the impressive Burj Khalifa, book a trip to the desert, stroll through the parks or enjoy the light and water show at the Dubai Fountain.

Be aware that electricity in Dubai is 230V and 50Hz and the plugs they use are type G so you should bring an adaptor so you can charge your devices without any problems.

Insurance is a must if you want to travel to Dubai because social security doesn't cover medical care in the country. There are several travel insurances available, so choose the one that suits you best.

The currency used is the dirham. You can change money at the airport on arrival or at a bank branch before you leave. You can also get a card that allows you to make international payments.

Be aware that Fridays are a holy day in Dubai, so many places may be closed. Fridays and Saturdays are generally days of rest in the city.

With the Holafly internet Dubai eSIM card you can enjoy your trip without having to worry about finding an internet connection or going over your daily gigabytes, as once they run out you will be able to surf at a reduced speed at no extra cost.

eSim United Arab Emirates
Mobile
Prepaid: 15 days expiry
Data 6 GB

Coverage
AT&T
Connection speed 4G
Pay as you go£3915 days expiry
taxes included

PFAQs: internet in Dubai

How can I get internet in Dubai?

In order to have internet in Dubai you can use the eSIM card, SIM card, public wifi and portable wifi. If you are going to use the public wifi you should know that you have to register with a local number.

How much does internet cost in Dubai?

Dubai does not have free roaming, so the companies apply the basic tariff to talk and surf in zone 3.

Where to buy a SIM card in Dubai?

When you arrive at the airport you can get a SIM card with 1Gb free for the first 24 hours of the day, then you just have to recharge the card. You can also find SIM cards in the different shopping centres in the city.

Fuentes del artículo
  1. Telecommunication in the United Arab Emirates. Worlddata.Info. Consulted in https://www.worlddata.info/asia/arab-emirates/telecommunication.php
Our methodology
Roams offers a free information and comparison service, which tries to help anyone find the product that best suits their needs. To ensure that the data presented is correct, extensive market research and product analysis is carried out. Our database of mobile phone and internet rates is updated every day. The content is frequently reviewed by a team of writers with previous experience and/or specific training in telephony.

Personas que han participado en este post:

Roams UKRoams
Actualizado por Roams UK

Roams offers its advice on recurring-use services to enhance consumer savings. Its expertise is already valued by thousands of users, who trust Roams comparisons in different sectors to hire the best option.

Laura Burón
Edited and revised por Laura Burón