Etisalat SIM Cards & eSIM for Tourists: How to Get and Activate

Etisalat is one of the four major telecommunications networks in Egypt. In addition to providing telecommunications services, it is also a brand that tourists often choose to purchase SIM cards and eSIMs. In this article, let’s explore information about this network, Etisalat SIM Cards & eSIM, reasons why we should choose it when in Egypt, and some details about prices and suitable packages!

Etisalat SIM Cardsand eSIM for Tourists

I. Quick Facts about Etisalat

Etisalat Misr is a subsidiary of Etisalat Group, a multinational telecom company based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).  Etisalat operates in multiple countries, and its Egyptian subsidiary, Etisalat Misr, is a key player in the Egyptian telecommunications market. Etisalat is known for offering SIM cards and eSIMs, making it convenient for travelers to stay connected while in Egypt.

  • Service Launch Year: 1976
  • Types of Services Provided: Fixed line and mobile telephony, Internet services, digital television.
  • Operational Areas: 16 countries.
  • Network of Stores, Agents, Sales Points: Airports, major towns, and some suburban areas in Egypt specifically.
  • Customer Care Policy: Reputation for reliability, quality, highly rated.
  • Recent award: Egypt’s Speedtest Awards Winner for mobile network speed during Q1-Q2 2023.

II. Why Etisalat When Traveling Egypt – Coverage and Speed

When in Egypt, you have various options for continuous network connectivity. However, Etisalat is the name that attracts the most attention from many travelers, both for SIM card and eSIM services.

1. Etisalat Speed

“Etisalat wins the Upload Speed Experience award outright for the second time in a row. The operator’s score of 6.2Mbps is nearly 12% higher than that of its closest competitor, WE” – quote from Mobile Network Experience Report 2023.

Speed score of Etisalat - Etisalat SIM and eSIM
Speed score of Etisalat (Source: SpeedScore)

 The average results of Etisalat Egypt are updated in the following table:

Download Speed27.14 Mb/s
Upload Speed9.83 Mb/s
Ping latency213 Ms

Comparing with other SIM card providers, we found a comparison table between the 3 largest Egyptian carriers as follows:

SIM cardNetwork CoverageData SpeedPlans Price
EtisalatBestFastestVariety of plansCan be pricey
OrangeGoodFastVariety of plansAffordable
EtisalatGoodFastVariety of plansAffordable

► Our recommendation: Etisalat is currently rated top in terms of data speed, coverage area and good price packages in Egypt. You should consider choosing this network carrier when traveling.

2. Etisalat Coverage in Egypt

Etisalat has a comprehensive network coverage across the country. The coverage includes urban areas, towns, and many rural regions. 

According to a statistical report from the new Opensignal website in September 2023, Etisalat ranked first in coverage and data speed and 4G network speed category in Egypt. Then there are other major carriers such as Vodafone and Orange.

► Our recommendation: Etisalat ranks top 1 in coverage among telecommunications networks in Egypt today. If you come to this locality to travel, you can choose Etisalat SIM card & eSIM so you can use it with peace of mind whether you are in the big city or the suburbs.

III. What are the Best Connectivity Options of Etisalat for Travelers to Egypt?

Etisalat in Egypt provides various connectivity options for travelers, ensuring they stay connected during their visit:

  • Prepaid SIM Cards: Travelers can purchase prepaid SIM cards from Etisalat at the airport or local telecommunications stores. Prepaid SIM cards usually come with a certain amount of credit for calls, texts, and data usage. Travelers can choose a plan that suits their needs.
  • Tourist SIM Cards: Etisalat offers special travel SIM cards designed to meet the unique needs of travelers. These cards can include a combination of talk time, text messages and data according to the appropriate length of stay.
  • eSIM Services: eSIMs can be a convenient option for those who prefer not to deal with physical SIM cards. Etisalat may also provide eSIM options, you can purchase Etisalat eSIM online or at some places like airports, local stores, tourist areas.
  • Data Packages: Etisalat offers data packages that cater to different data usage requirements. These packages often include high-speed data, allowing tourists to use mobile internet for navigation, social media, and communication.
  • International Roaming: Etisalat can provide international roaming services for tourists who want to use their home country’s SIM card while in Egypt. However, the fee may change depending on the time of use and is often quite high.
  • Wi-Fi Hotspots: Etisalat offers free wifi in some key crowded locations. Travelers can connect to these hotspots to access the Internet without using mobile data.

Pro tips:

  • If you come to travel, you can choose a SIM card service for tourists. This type of service will have more unique incentives, especially good price packages for short-term tourists.
  • If you do not have specific needs related to calls/texts, choose data-only plans to save costs.
  • If you have the finances and don't like the hassle of installing a new SIM, you can choose international roaming.
  • If your phone supports eSIM function, choose eSIM for the most convenience.

IV. Best Etisalat SIM Cards for Tourists & Cost

We have a price list of Foot Etisalat packages at a Kiosk in Cairo Airport – Egypt that you can refer to as follows:

200.13 EGP (6.48$)24 GB1 month
250.13 EGP (8.09$)42 GB
300.13 EGP(9.71$)55 GB
370.13 EGP (11.98$)33 B3 months
470.13 EGP (15.21$)51 GB
650.13 EGP (21.04$)82 GB

Note: The denomination is converted based on the current exchange rate between LE and USD, which is currently 1 EGP= 0.032$.

Etisalat's Reference Services at Cairo Airport - Etisalat SIM and eSIM
Etisalat’s Reference Services at Cairo Airport (Source: traveltomtom)

If you want to buy individual packages for short-term tourists, you can refer directly to Etisalat’s website or meet the salesperson for support. The reason is because packages for tourists can change by season, or even by day depending on the number of guests they accommodate.

V. Does Etisalat Support eSIM in Egypt?

The answer is YES!

  • Coverage Area: Etisalat ranks top 1 in telecommunications coverage in Egypt, so you can feel secure using it whether in a big city or the suburbs when traveling.
  • Quality and Service: Etisalat SIM cards & eSIMs services are highly appreciated for their good price packages, strong speed and wide coverage.
  • Conclusion: Overall, Etisalat Egypt is an excellent choice for travelers visiting this country.

VI. Where to Buy an Etisalat SIM card and eSIM?

Where to Buy an Etisalat SIM card and eSIM?

1. Where to Buy Etisalat SIM Card for Egypt?

There are four ways to purchase Etisalat SIM Card eSIM: Online purchase, Etisalat stores and outlets, Airports, Authorized resellers:

Buy onlineEtisalat Stores and outlets AirportsAuthorized Resellers:
ProsProactive and convenientReputation, good quality, and direct activation support.Convenient because Etisalat kiosks are available at major airports.Reputable, good quality, ready to provide support anytime.
ConsPossible activation errors or purchasing a counterfeit SIM card.Documents need to be presentedTime-consuming due to personal document verification.Locations may be distant, inconvenient for travel.

► Our recommendation:

Depending on your usage needs and preferences when traveling to Egypt. However, we advise you to make online purchases on reputable platforms (You can refer to GIGAGO for more information) and to buy in advance before your trip, ensuring successful activation and readiness for use upon arrival in Egypt. This will help you save time and be more proactive in every aspect of your journey.

2. Where to Buy Etisalat eSIM for Egypt?

There are two ways to purchase Etisalat eSIM: Buy online, purchase directly at Etisalat stores, authorized resellers or kiosks at the airports.

Online purchaseDirect purchase
ProsConvenient, save time, be proactive before the tripPeace of mind, more prestige and standards
ConsIt’s easy to encounter unreliable suppliers, activation errors or errors during useIt takes time to present documents to register and activate

► Our recommendation:

  • You should prepare to buy an eSIM before your trip and activate it, just wait for roaming and use it after getting off the plane.
  • Refer to the GIGAGO platform – a reputable supplier of SIM and eSIM types for international tourists. You don’t waste time registering and are still fully activated.
  • Finally, only choose to buy an eSIM if your device supports it.

VII. How to Use and Activate Etisalat SIM/eSIM in Egypt?

To use and activate an Etisalat SIM or eSIM in Egypt, you can follow these general steps. Keep in mind that there might be slight variations in the process depending on your device and the type of SIM card (physical SIM or eSIM).

1. How to Use and Activate Etisalat SIM Card in Egypt?

There are steps below to activate your Etisalat SIM card:

  • Purchase a Etisalat SIM Card
  • Insert the SIM Card
  • Power On Your Device
  • Activation
  • Verification
  • Choose plan and top up your account

2. How to Use and Activate Etisalat eSIM?

There are steps below to activate your Etisalat eSIM:

  • Check Device Compatibility
  • Purchase an eSIM
  • Scan QR code to install
  • Activate Online
  • Verification
  • Choose plan and top up your account

Pro tip: Please keep a copy of your identification documents during the activation process for use when needed. If you encounter any problems with activation or after use, contact Etisalat directly for troubleshooting instructions. Download Etisalat's online app to stay informed of important updates related to your SIM or eSIM card.

VIII. How to Top-up Etisalat SIM/eSIM

How to Top-up Etisalat SIM/eSIM

1. Top up an Etisalat SIM card

1. Purchase a Recharge Card

Buy an Etisalat recharge card from authorized outlets, stores, or online platforms. 

2. Scratch Off the Card

 scratch off the protective coating on the recharge card to reveal the PIN.

3. Dial the Recharge Code

Dial the provided code on the recharge card (usually found on the back) using your mobile phone.

4. Follow Instructions

Follow the automated instructions provided by Etisalat to enter the PIN and complete the recharge process.

5. Confirmation Message

You will receive a confirmation message that the process is complete.

2. Top up an Etisalat eSIM

1. Online Recharge

Log in to the official Etisalat Misr website or mobile app.

2 Select Recharge Option

Look for the recharge or top-up option in the app or on the website.

3. Enter Recharge Code

Enter the PIN or recharge code provided from the purchased recharge card.

4. Follow Instructions

Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the card loading process.

5. Confirmation

You will receive a confirmation message that the process is complete.

► Our recommendation:

  • Some third-party providers also assist in the top-up process for Etisalat SIM cards and eSIMs. However, you need to carefully check the reliability of these providers before using their services. 
  • Additionally, you can top up directly at airport kiosks, authorized Etisalat retail stores, or local SIM card shops. Seek direct assistance from sales representatives or always adhere to the instructions provided by the service provider to ensure a successful process.

IX. Alternatives to Etisalat Egypt

Etisalat is one of the major telecommunications networks in Egypt. Additionally, you can consider other networks such as Vodafone, Orange, etc. Among them, Orange is also a recommendation we would like to suggest for you if you travel to Egypt.

The eSIM and SIM card services from Orange are quite good, with high coverage, nearly 99% of the Egyptian territory. Additionally, you can purchase Orange eSIM in advance through a suggested website – Gigago, where you will receive quick and free registration support, with the eSIM already activated and ready for immediate use upon landing, providing a convenient option. The costs are also quite reasonable.


Does Etisalat have extensive coverage in Egypt?

Yes. Etisalat has the widest coverage currently in Egypt, you can access the network whether in a big city or a suburb. You can choose Etisalat SIM cards u0026amp; eSIMs when traveling in Egypt.

Where can I activate Etisalat eSIM?

Etisalat eSIM can be activated directly at points of sale, stores or telecommunications distributors where you register to buy. In addition, if you buy online through websites like GIGAGO, you will receive direct registration and activation support.

Which Etisalat package is the best?

Currently, depending on the length of stay, you can consider choosing long-term or short-term packages with flexible costs. If you are a tourist, we recommend that you sign up for traveler-specific packages for many incentives. You can receive additional travel-related services from the network when purchasing a SIM card or eSIM.

Why should I buy Etisalat eSIM online?

Buying an eSIM online is a smart and proactive choice before each trip. It would be great if you step into the airport and can contact or access the internet using the eSIM you previously purchased.

XI. Conclusion

Etisalat is a major telecommunications provider with the broadest coverage across Egypt. Etisalat SIM cards & eSIMs offer various data packages suitable for travelers visiting this country. We hope the information in the article will provide you with valuable tips for your journey to explore the land of legendary Pharaohs.