All UAE tourists will now get free SIM cards as soon as they arrive in the country, authorities have announced.
The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) on Friday said the free prepaid SIM cards – loaded with a three-minute talk time, five SMS and 20MB mobile data – would be given to tourists upon their arrival at any of the UAE‘s entry points. Earlier in June, a similar initiative was rolled out in Dubai.
The SIM cards will initially be valid for 30 days, and they will be automatically renewed if the tourist or visitor extends his or her visa.
Travellers with transit, tourist or visit visas and visas on arrival – as well as GCC citizens and residence visa-holders entering the UAE for the first time – will all be able to get the complimentary du tourist SIM cards.
Col Khamees Al Kaabi, executive director for Musanada Services at the ICA, and Charbel Fawaz Litany, chairman and CEO of TeleKomNow, signed the agreement to introduce the initiative last week.
Major-General Saeed Rakan Al Rashidi, director-general of foreign affairs and ports affairs at the ICA, said: “We want all people visiting the UAE to get a unique experience, so they can be the country’s good-will ambassadors when they return back to their nations or when they travel to other countries.”
He said the tourist SIM card pack will be provided to all visitors above 18.
“The SIM card will be given to a tourist by a passport control officer, after putting a stamp on their passport. The SIM card will be registered in the name of the tourist and will be activated immediately,” said Maj-Gen Al Rashidi.
Etisalat and du will be the service providers for the new SIM card initiative, the first of its kind in the world.
Litany of TeleKomNow said: “The initiative provides an enjoyable and convenient experience for all visitors during their stay in the UAE right from the time of their arrival.”