Traveling to the UAE or just visiting Dubai? When flying into Sharjah Airport get yourself a local prepaid sim card for the UAE on arrival, the best way to stay connected! This is your complete guide for buying a sim card at Sharjah Airport including a vlog on where to buy a sim card, up to date prices as per June 2022, my recommendation and even info about international and e-sim cards for the UAE.
Being a full time nomad and world traveler since 2012 I aim to provide other travelers with information to make traveling more convenient and cheaper. Therefore I wrote already more than 150 guides for buying a local prepaid sim cards: USA, Europe, Hong Kong, Egypt, Pakistan, South Africa, Costa Rica and many more.
Of course I also wrote a guide for buying a prepaid sim card in Dubai for tourists in 2022. If for some reason you will miss the opportunity at Sharjah Airport then this guide is particular helpful.
Why buying a sim card at Sharjah Airport
When traveling to the UAE there is WiFi almost everywhere and yes it is fast and reliable. Still though I recommend you getting a local sim card. Foremost reason is that while you are on your way traveling around there is no WiFi. Ordering an Uber becomes impossible, as well as getting directions from Google Maps or finding friends. Also think about emergencies, travel planning on the road, finding nearby restaurants, etc.
Keep in mind that browsing the internet on public WiFi is through an UNSECURED network, the use of a VPN is recommended. When buying a local sim card in Sharjah you will connect to the available 4G/5G network which is a secured connection and therefore safer to roam the internet than public WiFi.
Traveltomtom recommends buying a DU prepaid sim card at Sharjah Airport for 139 AED ($38 USD) with 10 GB data for 28 days.
However, based on your data consumption and the length of your stay there are a couple more options to consider. The cheapest sim card at Sharjah Airport costs 49 AED ($13), keep reading.
Another alternative is a so called world travel sim card with international coverage. There are some great sim card deals for travelers in 2022. Check the article in the link and find a comparison of the best international sim card in 2022. Pick the one that suit your trip to the Middle East.
However, the easiest way to stay connected when traveling in 2022 is an e-sim card.
E-Sim Card for UAE
You can now also order an e-sim card for the United Arabic Emirates online. No more physically sim cards, but a so called e-sim card, a code that you simply instal on your phone. Simple, fast and easy! The following data-only e-sim cards for the UAE are offered by Burj Mobile. They operate on both the Etisalat and the DU network.
- $15 USD = 1 GB for 7 days
- $45 USD = 3 GB for 30 days
- $60 USD = 5 GB for 30 days
Click here to directly order one of the above e-sim card deals for the UAE online or find more info. With an e-sim card you keep your own phone number.
Where to buy a sim card at Sharjah Airport
When going through customs you will get to the baggage hall where you will find the first opportunity to buy a prepaid sim card for the UAE. Sharjah Airport is very small and at luggage belt 4 you will see a small Etisalat kiosk.
Surprisingly there is another and much bigger Etisalat shop when you walk out through the sliding doors of the arrival hall on your right side. On your left hand side in the corner there is a small Virgin Mobile store.
Last but not least there is also a DU store at Sharjah Airport. To reach the DU store you will have to walk out of the arrival hall and then walk into the departure hall the door directly on your left when walking out.
As you can see there are multiple opportunities for buying a UAE sim card at Sharjah Airport. See the vlog below to make it even easier for you to find the right shop.
Prices UAE sim cards at Sharjah Airport
In the UAE they use the AED (Dirham) and 10 AED = $2.7 USD.
Etisalat sim card Sharjah Airport
Both Etisalat shops sell the exact same prepaid sim card packages for tourist. The sim card is included in the following tourist deals:
- 49 AED = 2 GB data + 30 minutes - valid for 28 days
- 79 AED = 4 GB data + 30 minutes - valid for 28 days
- 125 AED = 6 GB data + 120 minutes - valid for 28 days
- 200 AED = 22.5 GB data + 525 minutes - valid for 28 days
All the sim cards come with a free gift of 100 AED Careem credit, which is the Uber from the Middle East, a very reliable taxi app.
DU sim card Sharjah Airport
The DU sim cards are also free at Sharjah Airport when buying one of their prepaid sim card deals for tourists:
- 49 AED = 2 GB data + 30 minutes worldwide - valid for 28 days
- 139 AED = 10 GB data + 30 minutes worldwide - valid for 28 days
- 299 AED = Unlimited data for 10 days
The DU starter package is the exact same price as the Etisalat tourist package. The bigger data deals give you more value for money though.
Virgin Mobile sim card Sharjah Airport
At Virgin Mobile they offer a bunch of data packages for tourists, many more than DU and Etisalat however, their starting price is much higher. A Virgin Mobile sim card is also free when buying one of the following packages:
- 150 AED = 21 GB data + 30 minutes UAE + 20 minutes international - valid for 7 days
- 200 AED = 40 GB data + 30 minutes UAE + 20 minutes international - valid for 10 days
- 300 AED = 75 GB data + 30 minutes UAE + 20 minutes international - valid for 15 days
On top that they even have another wide range of sim cards with data available and they are all monthly packages, valid for 28 days:
- 189 AED = 7 GB data + 50 minutes UAE + 50 minutes international
- 299 AED = 15 GB data + 200 minutes UAE + 50 minutes international
- 357 AED = 22 GB data + 50 minutes UAE + 50 minutes international
- 420 AED = 28 GB data + 50 minutes UAE + 50 minutes international
- 656 AED = 50 GB data + 50 minutes UAE + 50 minutes international
Virgin Mobile has many packages, so depending on your use and length of stay it is worth checking out.
Best prepaid sim card Sharjah Airport
If you want to go for the cheapest UAE sim card at Sharjah Airport then you have to go to either DU or Etisalat. They will give you 2 GB for just 49 AED = $13 USD. As the Etisalat shops are much easier to find, I would go for that one. Also Etisalat offers 100 AED free credit on Careem! WINNER.
If 2 GB data is not enough then I would then go for either DU or Virgin Mobile. Etisalat give you much less value compared to DU when it comes to the bigger data packages. A good option is the DU prepaid sim card with 10 GB data for 139 AED = $38 USD.
When you plan to use a lot of GB and you only stay short term then head to the Virgin Mobile shop and get yourself 21 GB for 150 AED = $41. This package however is only valid for 10 days.
All network providers have excellent network coverage in the UAE 4G AND 5G, see my article about the best prepaid sim card in Dubai in 2022.
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Buying a sim card for UAE online
There is also the option to buy your prepaid sim card for the United Arabic Emirates though Simoptions and they have the following offer:
- $49.90 USD = 10 GB data in UAE for 14 days
This sim card is automatically activated from its first use and will be send to your home address before your trip. That means as soon as the plane touches the ground in Sharjah, you put the sim card in your phone and it starts working.
Also a last reminder that you can order an e-sim card for Dubai directly online and keep your own phone number. No swapping physical sim cards. Click on the link for more info.
Follow my adventure to visit every country in the world, click on the link to see my progress or check out my Instagram account @traveltomtom for more tips on the best places to visit and things to do in Dubai. As of June 2022 I have visited more than 130 countries around the world.
If you have any more questions please leave me a comment below.
Enjoy your trip to Sharjah