How to set up mobile data package in Dubai

Sign up with Etisalat or Du for mobile & internet packages

To set up your mobile phone with data package, you need to have a Dubai cell phone service by a mobile phone service provider.

Afterwards, you need to know that there are two methods to set up your mobile phone, either first you buy your sim card or even after.

There is a postpaid line and a prepaid line:

What is Postpaid Service?

It’s the standard mobile phone service that allows you to do local and international dialing as well as call receipt. It’s called postpaid, because you pay your bill in the end of the month.

It can’t be used outside of UAE unless roaming service is added.

There are three providers in Dubai, Etisalat, Du and Virgin Mobile. Plans and data packages vary depending on the service and internet provider, as well as the required plan.

What do you need to have a postpaid service?

In order to have a postpaid service, you must:

  • be a resident in Dubai (Or generally UAE).
  • be over 21 years old.
  • have a monthly salary of AED 2500 approximately.
  • Submit the required documents

What are the required documents to submit for a postpaid service?

  • An original & a copy of valid Emirates ID
    • Or an original & a copy of valid Passport & valid UAE Visa or valid Emirates ID
  • Residence Visa : Visa No. + Unified Number or Residency File No.
  • Salary Certificate with a salary of AED 2500 at least
  • Last 3 months Bank Statement or valid credit card or last month’s utility bill that tells you have a physical address in Dubai. (If you have DEWA setup already you can submit DEWA bill, if not yet, learn here how to setup DEWA account)

Afterward, fill the form (typed or hand written) and select any the services needed.

Submit all documents. Pay the fee (cash or credit card) at the counter. The supplementary service charges are included in your next bill. The sales person will give you a SIM card or assign the data package to your current SIM card .

What is Prepaid Service?

Prepaid service allows you to receive unlimited incoming calls. You can pay as you go for your outgoing calls using a purchased phone SIM card that’s available in several supermarkets, petrol stations and shops.

Prepaid service includes one year’s rental, connection, and SIM card charges. International rates apply when you receive calls outside the UAE.

As this is a prepaid service there are no monthly reporting bills.

You do not have to be a resident of Dubai to apply for these services.

What are the required documents to have a prepaid service?

  • Passport original and 2 copies.
  • If Visit Visa : Visa No. + Birth Date.
  • Residence permit (copy) or entry stamp in passport (original and copy).
  • Plus relevant subscriber fee.

Now, that you know the difference between postpaid and prepaid services, let’s dive into Dubai internet packages of each provider.

moreover, having a cell phone in Dubai without a good data package could be a rip off and you wouldn’t know how much you spent until it’s too late.

So rather than Googling “what’s the best mobile network in Dubai”, you need to take a look at each one of them and what they have to offer and which data package suits you the best.

Choosing your mobile data package

Mobile data packages in Dubai

Let’s start with Etisalat Dubai:

There’s a wide variety for Etisalat mobile plans for both methods: postpaid and prepaid.

Etisalat mobile packages

Let’s face it:

When you’re looking for mobile packages, the most important part you’re actually concerned about is Etisalat data package, then the minutes of calls and so on. Minutes in most of packages are flexible. Flexible minutes means that you can use these minutes for either local or international calls.

Etisalat Postpaid data plans

When it comes to Etisalat internet packages for mobile, it’s known that having a postpaid data package with Etisalat gets better choices and more data.

The below Etisalat data packages have a contract of 24 months (2 years):

SMART
150
SMART
300
SMART
600
Data6 GB18 GB25 GB
Flexible Minutes300 Min600 Min1200 Min
Preferred NumbersN/A12
Preferred No. MinsN/A300 Min600 Min
Monthly billAED 150AED 300 AED 600

In case you exceeded your package, the charges additional on your bill will be as the following:

Local calls: 32 fils per minute

International calls:

  • 1.26 AED/minute for 175 countries
  • 3.78 AED/minute for 48 countries

National SMS: 19 fils per SMS

International SMS: 63 fils per SMS+charge per zone (Zone 1Zone 2Zone 3)

Etisalat Prepaid data plans

Etisalat prepaid packages has no contract and you simply can sign up to one by sending an SMS and having the balance for the subscription you choose.

SMALL COMBO PLAN
40
MONTHLY COMBO PLAN
100
MONTHLY COMBO PLAN
150
Data100 GB1 GB2 GB
Flexible Minutes60 Min100 Min150 Min
Social Data1 GBN/AN/A
CostAED 40AED 100 AED 150

If you exceeded your data package, the charges additional will get back to normal as you’d been using your prepaid service before the subscription.

Du mobile packages

Du mobile plans have also packages for both prepaid and postpaid.

As a matter of fact, when you look for Du internet packages for mobile, you get more than just data packages. Du data packages for postpaid services have more extra stuff that you might be interested in having.

Du postpaid plans

The below Du data packages have a contract of 24 months (2 years):

SMART PLAN
150
SMART PLAN
300
SMART PLAN
600
SMART PLAN
1000
Data6 GB18 GB25 GB100 GB
Flexible Minutes300 Min600 Min1200 Min2500 Min
Preferred NumbersN/A123
Preferred No. MinsN/A300 Min600 Min1000 Min
ExtraSpecial Number + AnghamiBronze Number + Anghami + The EntertainerSilver Number + Anghami + The EntertainerGold Number + Anghami + The Entertainer
Monthly billAED 150AED 300 AED 600 AED 1000

There will be one time activation fee of the service which costs AED 125

The above are costs without the VAT 5%

Smart plan 1000 needs a salary certificate with at least AED 15,000

What are the charges after you exceed your monthly plan?

In case you exceeded your package, the charges additional on your bill will be as the following:

All inclusive of 5% VAT:

  • Local calls: 32 fils per minute
  • International call rate for flexible plan (to selected 175 destinations): AED 1.26/min
  • International call rate for national plan (to selected 190 destinations): AED 1.53/min
  • National SMS: 19 fils per SMS
  • International SMS: AED 0.63/SMS

Du prepaid plans

Du prepaid packages has no contract and you simply can sign up to one by sending an SMS and having the balance for the subscription you choose.

Data500 MB750 MB1.5 GB3 GB
Flexible Minutes15 Min30 Min100 Min150 Min
Monthly CostAED 35AED 50 AED 100 AED 150

Above packages do not include VAT 5% which will be added.

If you exceeded your data package, the charges additional will get back to normal as you’d been using your prepaid service before the subscription:

All inclusive of 5% VAT:

  • Local calls: AED 0.38/min (pay per second)
  • International calls : AED 2.52 /min (pay per second)
  • National SMS: AED 0.19 /SMS
  • International SMS: AED 0.63 /SMS
  • In addition to the big two we have newly another mobile service provider in Dubai & UAE…

Virgin Mobile

If you’re confused whether Virgin Mobile plans are postpaid or prepaid, let’s clarify this for you.

Virgin mobile wanted to give a different experience to UAE mobile customers.

  1. You can download Virgin mobile app (Get it here for Android, and here for iOS).
  2. Pick your custom mobile plan and pick the number you prefer.
  3. Your Virgin sim card will reach to your doorstep and activate it on the spot. 🙂

The way you connect your payment is by connecting your Debit or Credit card and you can change your subscription any time. As a matter of fact Virgin mobile has no commitment to a contract, so it’s more like prepaid, yet it calculates your monthly bills and cuts it from your Debit or Credit card which is more like postpaid technique.

Nonetheless they call it prepaid and so we will. 🙂

For Virgin mobile prepaid plans, they have competitive offers such as mobile data, local & international minutes, as well as SMS and roaming.

After all, since it’s all customized as of your convenience, and that there are no fixed packages, we decided to keep it for you to check what’s the best package that suits your needs.

You can find Virgin Mobile UAE offers & Mobile plans by visiting their official website in UAE here.

In the end:

We hope that we answered all your questions about Dubai internet packages for mobiles, and helped you pick your best data package provider. Let us know what do you think in the comment box and if we missed any part, give us a heads up.

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3 Comments

  1. Which mobile network is more profitable for a new person in Dubai that is looking for job.

    1. Hi Nnaemeka! We’d recommend you a basic prepaid plan. A prepaid du would be a bgood start especially that you’d use data outside such as using the GPS. They have a variety of prepaid packages as you can see up in the article.
      Also you can get it with a passport copy and then pick a plan via dialing *135# or checking their special daily plans via dialing *055#.
      Good luck with the job hunt 🙂

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