How To Buy A SIM Card At Riyadh Airport (RUH) 2024: Best Plans + Updated Price

Navigating the process of purchasing a SIM card at Riyadh Airport (RUH) can be a breeze with the right information.

guide to buy sim card at riyadh airport

This guide is designed to assist travelers, whether you’re visiting Saudi Arabia for business or leisure, in understanding the steps to acquire a SIM card at Riyadh airport

By the end of this article, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge to make an informed decision about the best SIM card option for your needs, including the latest pricing and plan details.

I. Should You Buy a SIM Card at Riyadh King Khalid International Airport (RUH)?

should i get a sim card at riyadh airport

Yes, buying a SIM card at Riyadh’s King Khalid International Airport is generally a convenient and recommended option for travelers.

MethodProsCons
Buying a SIM card at the airport– Immediate access to local connectivity upon arrival
– Wide range of SIM card options and plans available
– Assistance from knowledgeable staff
– May be slightly more expensive than outside options
– Limited plan variety compared to third-party providers
Purchasing SIM card online/in advance– Able to research and select the best plan beforehand
– May be cheaper than airport kiosks
– Can have a SIM card delivered to your hotel
– Requires extra planning and delivery time
– Limited flexibility to adjust the plan on arrival
Buying a SIM card outside the airport– Potentially lower prices than airport kiosks
– More plan variety from third-party providers
– May require additional time and effort to find a suitable provider
– Risk of encountering language barriers or difficulty registering the SIM card

The airport is best for new visitors or short layovers since you get a SIM card fast. If you have time or like planning, buy online or elsewhere for better value. Remember to compare the pros and cons to pick the best way to stay connected in Saudi Arabia.

II. Where to Buy a SIM Card at King Khalid International Airport?

riyadh airport map

There are two ways to buy a SIM card at King Khalid International Airport, including:

  • buying online before departure, and
  • picking up at the airport and the airport upon arrival

1. Buying a SIM Card online and pick up at the airport

This is the clear guide to the pickup point at King Khalid International Airport:

  • Buy an eSIM plan online before your trip.
  • At the airport, head to the pickup area near the airport’s info desks or in the arrival hall.
  • Show your passport and order details to the representative.
  • They’ll help you download and activate the eSIM profile on your smartphone.

What to prepare?

  • Order confirmation email/details
  • Passport for identification

Cost: Typically ranges from $10 – $30 depending on the data package purchased

Pros:

  • Convenient, as you can order before arrival
  • Avoid long queues at the airport
  • Pick up the SIM card quickly after landing

Cons:

  • Limited options compared to purchasing at the airport
  • May need to top-up with a different data package after pickup

2. Buying at the Airport Upon Arrival

buy sim card at riyadh airport

Guide to buy at kiosks/booths at the airport:

  • STC Store: Domestic Terminal, Open 24/7, prepaid data packages in English and Arabic.
  • Mobily Store: Terminal 1 and Terminal 5, Open 24/7, prepaid data packages in English and Arabic.
  • Zain Store: Terminal 1, Open 24/7, prepaid data packages in English and Arabic, slightly pricier than Mobily.

What to prepare?

  • Passport for identification
  • Cash (Saudi Riyals) or debit/credit card for payment

Pros:

  • Wide variety of data package options
  • Ability to compare plans and pricing
  • Stores have staff to assist with setup and queries

Cons:

  • Potential queues during peak travel periods
  • Need to locate the store within the terminal

III. How Much Does a SIM Card at King Abdulaziz International Airport Cost?

A SIM card at King Abdulaziz International Airport often cost from $9. The prices depend on different factors, such as the SIM provider, the data volume, and the validity.

When you’re on the hunt for a Saudi Arabia SIM card at Riyadh Airport, you’ll come across a variety of prepaid plans and packages to choose from. Here’s a quick look at the main options available:

OperatorPackageDataPrice
STCsawa basic1GB~$9
sawa like plus7GB~$23
sawa share plus25GB~$35
sawa post plus65GB~$52
MobilyPrepaid 301GB~$8
Prepaid 7510GB~$20
Prepaid 15059GB~$30
ZainVisitor 303GB~$9
Visitor 5015GB~$15
Visitor 7010GB~$22
Visitor 13025GB~$40

Pro Tips:

  • If you're not sure which SIM card to go for, feel free to ask a retailer for help.
  • If you'll be making voice calls, go for a SIM card that includes voice calls.
  • Some SIM cards might not work everywhere in Saudi Arabia, so make sure to check the coverage map before purchasing one.

IV. What to Prepare for Getting a SIM Card at Riyadh King Khalid International Airport – Registration Process

To purchase a SIM card, you’ll need to prepare the followings:

  • Passport: Required for purchasing a SIM card as a foreigner. The shop will make a copy of your passport details.
  • Etasalat Number: A visitor ID is received when entering Saudi Arabia. It should be in your passport for SIM activation.
  • Active SIM Card: Necessary for verification. If you don’t have one, ask the shop staff for assistance.
  • Payment: Cash or credit card is accepted. Prices vary from 20-100 SAR based on your plan.

With these items, activation will be smooth, and you’ll be connected quickly!

V. Best Tourist Riyadh Airport SIM Card Options and Price

Check out the top tourist SIM card choices and prices available at Riyadh Airport in this detailed overview!

CarrierData AllowanceVoice/SMSPrice (USD)Price (SAR)
STC5GB – 20GB100 – 500~ $10 – $40~ 40 – 150 SAR
Mobily3GB – 15GB50 – 300~ $8 – $35~ 30 – 130 SAR
Zain2GB – 10GB25 – 200~ $6 – $25~ 25 – 100 SAR

Based on the options, here are my recommendations for SIM card packages in Riyadh:

  • Best Value: Mobily 7GB data + 100 minutes/SMS for $18 (70 SAR)
    • Good data and voice/SMS balance at a reasonable price
    • Strong network coverage in Riyadh
  • High Data Needs: STC 15GB data + 300 minutes/SMS for $30 (120 SAR)
    • Ideal for heavy internet users
    • Most extensive network in Saudi Arabia
  • Budget Option: Zain 3GB data + 50 minutes/SMS for $8 (30 SAR)
    • Cost-effective for modest data and voice needs
    • Competitive pricing but slightly less reliable coverage

VI. Saudi Arabia eSIM for Riyadh – An Alternative to Prepaid SIM Card at RUH Airport

gigago esim saudi arabia

Traveling with a traditional SIM card can be a bit complicated, right? Switching cards between phones, dealing with lost or damaged cards, and limited network options are all things of the past with eSIM technology!

eSIMs are like digital SIM cards that live inside your phone, bringing a bunch of pros for travelers. Talk about eSIM, we highly recommend Gigago, a highly reputable eSIM provider offering a variety of data plans specifically designed for travelers in Saudi Arabia.

Gigago caters to all types of internet users with data plans starting from a budget-friendly 1GB per day for 5 days, priced at $13.50

The beauty of Gigago’s eSIM Saudi Arabia is the diverse range of data options, with prices varying between $13.50$127.50 depending on your needs. Whether you’re a casual internet user or a data-hungry streamer, Gigago has a plan to keep you connected throughout your trip to Riyadh.

VII. Where to Buy a SIM Card Outside Riyadh King Khalid International Airport?

Here are some places to buy SIM cards outside of Riyadh Airport:

  • Telecommunication Stores: STC, Mobily, and Zain in malls.
  • Kiosks and Convenience Stores: small shops throughout Riyadh.
  • Shopping Malls: Kingdom Centre, Al Nakheel Mall, Panorama Mall.
  • Online Marketplaces: like Amazon for delivery or pickup.

The telecom stores and major malls will generally provide the widest selection of SIM card plans and higher-quality customer service. Kiosks and online options can be more convenient for quick purchases but have fewer choices.

VIII. FAQs about Getting a SIM Card at Riyadh Airport

What payment methods are accepted to buy a SIM card at Riyadh airport?

SIM cards can be purchased using cash (Saudi Riyals only) or credit/debit cards including Visa and Mastercard. Some outlets may accept payment via mobile wallets.

Can I get a SIM delivered to my address in Riyadh?

While SIMs can only be activated after purchase from airport outlets, some carriers offer delivery to addresses in Riyadh within 3 working days upon placing an online order on their website.

How do international incoming calls work on SIMs from Riyadh airport?

Prepaid SIMs from all major carriers allow incoming calls from abroad. Customers need to load sufficient account balances to make outgoing international calls or use internet calling applications.

IX. Conclusion

In conclusion, grabbing a SIM card at Riyadh airport is a simple yet crucial move for travelers wanting to stay connected in Saudi Arabia. With different choices on hand, picking the perfect one can provide effortless communication throughout your trip. 

Whether you’re here for work or play, getting a SIM card at the airport means you’re only a call or click away from all you need, enhancing your travel experience with ease and enjoyment.