UAE to give free SIM cards to all tourists


Abu Dhabi: Tourists arriving in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will receive free mobile phone SIM cards with free data, international calling minutes and text messages, authorities said here.

The free tourist friendly SIM cards will be valid for a month and they will get automatically renewed if the tourist extends their visa, the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship announced.

The agreement between the authority and TeleKomNow was signed at the authority’s headquarters in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday by Colonel Khamees Al Kaabi, executive director for Musanada Services at the authority and Charbel Fawaz Litany, chairman and CEO of TeleKomNow, reports Gulf News.

“Tourists will get the SIM card from the passport control officer on arrival as a gift,” Litany told Gulf News on Thursday. “It will contain data and talk time, which they can recharge anywhere in the country.”

Etisalat and du will be the service providers for the new facility to tourists and the services will remain the same throughout the year, Litany added. 

“It will be valid as long as the tourist stays in the country, and upon the extension of their visa the card will automatically get validated until the expiry of the visa.

“Tourists don’t need to do anything and no documentation is required to obtain the card,” he added.

Handed out at immigration, once the tourist inserts the card and enters their identification and arrival dates their service will be immediately activated and within two minutes the tourist can use the facility.

The initiative is the first of its kind in the world.