The Basics

How to Get a Free 1GB of Data and a Free SIM in Dubai

a screenshot of a phone
Written by Charlie

If you are visiting Dubai, do not forget to take advantage of your free 1GB of data and SIM card on your way into the country! Here is what you need to do.

I have a whole series of posts coming about a father-son trip I took last month but there were a couple of posts that I wanted to write first. I had not been in Dubai for a number of years but have been there at least 6 times so it was good to be back. I received something this time I had never had before and it was certainly a pleasant surprise so I wanted to write about it for others as well.

Get a Free 1GB of Data and Free SIM in Dubai

While I use Google Fi for all my international travel communications, if I can save a bit more on the data part of things, I certainly will! Google Fi charges $10 per 1GB anyplace in the world so that is really as easy as it gets, and somewhat cheap at that.

But, on this particular trip, as I was going through Passport Control in Dubai, I received a little gift from the police officer. The strange thing is that my father, going in another line, did not receive this and I didn’t realize about this program until after words.

The gift I received was a free du (a cell carrier in UAE) SIM card with a free 1GB of data that was good for 24 hours. Since we were only in Dubai for 24 hours, this was perfect.

This free SIM and data is something anyone can request at Passport Control in Dubai International Airport in all terminals or at Al Maktoum International Airport (DWC) from the Passport Control counter. If they don’t give it to you with your passport back, just simply ask for it.

You can add a bundle to it if you are going to be there longer than 24 hours by recharging it at a du kiosk or Dubai Duty Free in the airport or with the app and get more benefits as a result.

This is eligible for all tourists and GCC citizens over the age of 18. Maybe this was the highest of compliments to my almost 70 year old father that they did not give him – maybe thinking he was under 18? 🙂

Anyway, next time you are in Dubai, make sure you grab your free SIM and data allowance if they do not give it to you upon arrival. I certainly got my use out of it!

If you do want to add on a plan, it will cost 299AED (about $81) for unlimited data and 200 Flexi minutes along with unlimited internet calls, however it is only valid for 14 days. If you are there less time and want to save some money, the 7 day unlimited plan costs 199 AED (about $54). There are even cheaper plans, starting at around $13 for 2GB that is good for 28 days. Check out this page for more

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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.

1 Comment

  • Can you use it in a tablet or a laptop or is it something you have to use in your phone?