Staying Connected is Easy when you Move to Dubai

Moving to the United Arab Emirates offers a breathtaking menu of delights, from the sensory to the tactile. There are so many amazing adventures awaiting, you’ll want to share them with your friends and family back home by organising SIM cards and WiFi when moving to Dubai.

Luckily, because the UAE is a leading global destination, you can stay connected with your choice of two official telecommunication providers, while foreign provider, Virgin Mobile, has just landed on the market. The two are DU and Etisalat, each one not falling far from the other. Both providers offer a SIM card that can work anywhere in the Emirates, a broadband connection for your home and business communication solutions. Each also offers both postpaid and prepaid plans.

Recently, Virgin Mobile, an international company operating in roughly 50 countries worldwide, launched in the UAE offering flexible plans and competitive rates. Virgin Mobile is currently limited to mobile users but is rapidly expanding its telco influence, so if you’re moving to Dubai keep your eye on what’s on offer by the time you arrive.

Getting A SIM Card

DU and Etisalat’s prepaid SIM cards are readily available in retail stores and malls. Before your purchase, make sure you have your visa/passport/ID available. You will not be able to buy a SIM without it.

Choosing A Provider

If you have multiple telecom providers from your home country, you won’t find it as difficult to make the right choice in the UAE because you have limited options. Below is a comparison of the three telecom services to help you decide which one to choose.


Etisalat is the largest telecom corporation in the whole of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). It has about 11.6 million users and caters to individuals, companies and the UAE government. It was founded in 1976, and boasts the accolade of being the first mobile network in the Middle East.

Regular Etisalat charges include:
Local calls: 32 fils/minute
International Calls: As per the international call rates
Local Text Message: 19 fils/SMS
International Text Message: 63 fils/SMS

How to Connect to a Phone Line
1. Choose which plan you like on the website then apply directly online.
2. Visit Etisalat’s business centre/outlet and submit the following documents:
a. Valid Emirates ID
b. Stamped salary certificate (salary should be at least AED 2500.00) OR vehicle license OR bank statement (valid for at least 3 months) OR house contract or work contract under your name.

Prepaid Plans

If you are opting for a prepaid service, there are a lot of prepaid plans available in Etisalat depending on your needs. To find out more about Etisalat, its offers and mobile and broadband packs, you can visit the Help Page.


DU started its operation in 2006, and has been thoroughly expanding the services since then. There are approximately 6.5 million DU subscribers and caters for both individuals and companies. DU is named as the Best Mobile Broadband Network in the Middle East and Africa in 2012, as per the survey conducted by ARC Chart.  

Regular DU charges include:
Local calls: 38 fils/minute
International Calls: AED 4
Local Text Message: Flexible depending on the bundle purchased
International Text Message: AED 2

How to Open a Line
1. Choose which plan you want on the website then apply online.
2. You must be able to provide the following documents to apply:
a. Valid Emirates ID
b. GCC-issued debit/credit card

Prepaid Plans

DU offers flexible choices on its prepaid plans. You can opt for a monthly, weekly or daily plan, depending on your needs. These plans are available to DU prepaid customers, except Easy and Extra Social subscribers. To find out more about what DU can offer, you can visit the Support Page.

Virgin Mobile

Owned by EITC (Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company PJSC), Virgin Mobile promises to deliver an experience like nothing else. Joining the Virgin Mobile community, paying your bills, and updating your account details are all done through the app or website; even your free SIM card will be delivered right to your doorstep.

How to Join Virgin Mobile
1. First, go online to obtain your number.
2. Choose your plan.
3. Create your free account and wait for your free SIM card to be delivered.

To date, Virgin Mobile is only catering for postpaid customers.

Blocked Sites in Dubai

When moving to Dubai, it is important to know that VoIP services and apps are blocked, so you won’t be able to use Skype, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, FaceTime, IMO or Viber. However, Etisalat and DU both offer an Internet Calling Plan, which lets you enjoy unlimited voice and video calls to your loved ones. Choose the plan you need and enjoy video calling using their supported apps. 

Check out Etisalat’s internet calling plans.
Check DU’s internet calling plans.
Check Virgin’s internet calling plans.

Furthermore, all websites with adult or nude content, websites against Islam and phishing websites are also blocked. Research the UAE’s internet censorship laws to find out more.

If you are moving to Dubai and are looking for information regarding your international relocation, contact the expert movers Allied to help you with many of your inquiries for your new adopted home.