Dubai Mobile Phones

Need a Dubai mobile number? This is the A - Z of mobile phones in the UAE.

Updated 08-September-2015  

BUT BEFORE WE FORGET – an English beauty by the name of Lottie, a new arrival to Dubai and a school teacher, said ‘tell everyone to have their phone unlocked in their home country BEFORE coming here’. Unfortunately, Lottie had been without a phone for the first week or so until she managed to sort out the problem. So, please, please, please, get your phone unlocked.

There are two internet mobile phone providers – Du and Etisalat.

Both offer a variety of packages and both offer much the same, i.e. a sim card and a connection. You can buy a handset through Du or Etisalat or you can buy one in the many outlets in any of the malls.

If you buy through Du or Etisalat, you are tied into their contracts. BEWARE:  at the end of the annual contract the deal can change so be sure you read the small print and keep a note of the contract expiry date.

The staff are usually very patient and understanding. If you don’t think they understand exactly what you looking for simply ask for the manager but be nice about it! Sometimes things get lost in translation which can lead to all sorts of misunderstandings. Aggression never gets you anywhere so be calm and peaceful zzzzzzzzzz 😉

Pay the bills on time. The service providers are quite efficient at cutting your services if the bills aren’t paid and reconnection isn’t always as quick as you’d like!

You can find a list of their office locations on their websites but in general terms you should find a local office.

You are not restricted to which provider you use, as long as it’s Du or Etisalat – they are both pretty similar in terms of their network coverage and service.

Travelling abroad? If you’re new to the service here, then let your provider know in advance which country/countries you will be visiting to find out if you will be able to use your phone. Depending on your package, it is possible that they will request a deposit.

Your number is linked to you.  The ‘My Number My Identity’ campaign had everyone visiting one of the outlets to register their phone with their ID papers. A text will be sent to you when you are required to re-register. Registration is free.

There is no access to a directory for mobile numbers, only landline numbers. Dial 199 from a Du number and 181 from an Etisalat number.   The landline number you request is sent by text to your mobile phone.

Silence your phone when you are in meetings and conferences. It is downright rude to answer the phone, read messages etc when in a meeting – you are not giving the other person/s 100% of your time.

In any government office silence your phone.


The advice provided in our columns does not constitute legal advice and is provided for information only. Readers are encouraged to seek appropriate independent legal advice.

We know it's kinda boring but the Copyright and Disclaimer are important...have a read

« Back to Dubai Sherpas

Tell us your story

Tell us your story

We're all ears. Your story is important so let's hear how you survived Dubai.

Submit your story
Dubai Sherpas

Dubai Sherpas

Sherpas look, listen, learn, do and then share so that you can do, easily.

View Guides
Tell us your story

This Month's Focus

Learn about Dubai education here.

Know more

A great place to live and a great place to work.  If you're thinking of setting up a business in Dubai, you've come to the right place.  Information can be provided on all aspects of business incorporation in Dubai.  Contact us now.  


Interested in hearing more about surviving in Dubai?
Please enter your email below.

We do not send spam emails or share your details with any third party.

If you like us, share us

Bookmark and Share

© 2015

Supported by