Data Roaming in Dubai for Tourists 2024: Rates & How to Avoid it

When traveling to Dubai, staying connected is essential, and understanding how to manage roaming services can be beneficial. Data roaming in Dubai allows you to use your mobile phone while abroad, but it can come with high costs. However, there are alternative solutions to consider.

Data roaming in Dubai

I. Phone Roaming in Dubai – Quick Facts for Tourists

Here are some facts about roaming in Dubai that you should know:

  • Dubai’s roaming rates can exceed local service costs, requiring careful consideration.
  • Some service providers may offer specific roaming packages for Dubai, including options for data, voice, and text messages. These packages may provide discounted rates and better value for frequent travelers.
  • Roaming rates and policies may vary depending on your home country and service provider. It is important to check with your provider for specific details.

II. Understand about Roaming in Dubai- How It Works?

Data roaming in Dubai enables you to use your mobile phone services while visiting the city. Here’s what you need to know about roaming and the services available in Dubai:

Roaming Basics

  • Roaming allows for calls, texts, and data usage while outside your home network.
  • Data roaming in Dubai connects your device to a local network, ensuring seamless phone usage.
  • Roaming helps you stay connected with loved ones and colleagues while traveling.

Roaming Charges

  • Roaming charges in Dubai differ from home country rates.
  • Charges vary based on your mobile network provider and plan.
  • Before traveling to Dubai, check with your provider for roaming charges and options.

Roaming Packages and Options

  • Many mobile network providers offer specific roaming packages or options for travelers to Dubai. These packages are designed to provide more affordable rates for roaming services.
  • Check with your mobile network provider before your trip for available roaming packages, including data plans, discounted calling rates, or unlimited usage options..

Roaming Services in Dubai:

  • Voice calls are available during roaming in Dubai, with charges varying based on your package.
  • Text messaging (SMS) is possible while roaming, with charges differing from home country rates.
  • Roaming enables mobile data services, but charges can be higher. Monitor your usage to avoid unexpected costs
  • Dubai has great network coverage, ensuring reliable mobile services throughout most areas of the city

III. Is the Roaming Rate in Dubai Expensive?

Roaming rate in Dubai
Roaming rate in Dubai

Yes, data roaming in Dubai can be quite expensive. Refer to the information in the table below:

OperatorCalls (USD)Data (USD)
Etisalat$54,45/ 500 mins/ 7 days $27,23/ 2GB/ 7 days
du$95,29/15 GB/ 15 days $27,23/ 2GB/ 7 days 

► Our recommendation: To minimize costs while traveling to Dubai, consider using a local SIM card or eSIM for more affordable rates on calls, texts, and data compared to international roaming charges

IV. How to Activate Roaming Service for Dubai in Your Cell Phone?

Step 1: Contact your service provider to activate roaming for Dubai.

  • If you are asking whether you can roam with your mobile network provider in your own country, it is possible in some cases
Mobile network carrierRoaming fees
Three5 USD/ day
Vodafone6 USD/ day
Rogers15 USD/ 10 MB 
Verizon2.05 USD/ MB
AT&T2.05 USD/ MB  
T-Mobile70 USD for 5 days 
  • If you choose roaming with mobile network providers in Dubai, here are some detailed information:
Dubai mobile network carrierRoaming fees
Etisalat$27,23/ 2GB/ 7 days
du$27,23/ 2GB/ 7 days

Step 2: Verify with your service provider the availability of roaming services in Dubai and any requirements or restrictions.

Step 3: Check with your service provider to ensure your phone is compatible with international roaming.

Step 4: Enable roaming on your phone

  • For iOS devices, go to Settings > Cellular Data Options > and switch on Data Roaming.
  • For Android devices, go to Settings > Mobile network > select the SIM > and switch on Data Roaming.

V. How to Avoid Roaming Charges When Traveling to Dubai

To avoid roaming charges in Dubai, you can: 

  • Disable data roaming before arriving in Dubai.
  • Connect to Wi-Fi networks to save on data usage.
  • Use messaging apps like WhatsApp, Skype, or Viber for communication.
  • Purchase a local SIM card or use an eSIM for local rates.
  • Utilize offline navigation apps or maps.
  • Enable airplane mode to avoid roaming charges..

For affordable eSIM plans, consider checking out GIGAGO. We offer convenient options for data, calls, and texts for travelers. Visit our website to get more information now!

VI. Dubai eSIM – Alternative to Data Roaming in Dubai to Get Internet

Gigago eSIM – An Alternative To Get Internet In Dubai With Your Cell Phone
Gigago eSIM – An alternative to get Internet in Dubai with your cell phone

Travel eSIMs offer a cost-effective alternative to data roaming in Dubai. They provide seamless data, call, and text services on compatible devices, keeping travelers connected without expensive charges.

What is Dubai eSIM? 

Dubai eSIM offers convenient connectivity for travelers. Activate a virtual SIM card on your compatible device without the need for a physical SIM. Choose a prepaid eSIM plan in Dubai for better expense control. Recharge or top-up your eSIM with specific credit to avoid unexpected charges.

If your primary requirement is internet access, consider selecting a data-only eSIM plan. 

Opt for a prepaid, data-only eSIM plan in Dubai for flexible expense management and convenient connectivity. Compare providers to find the plan that fits your data needs and budget.

Differences between Roaming and eSIM in Dubai

TypeRoaming eSIM
ProsNo setup required for seamless phone number and network maintenance
Complete services for seamless travel communication: voice, text, data
No physical SIM card needed
Save money with competitive rates compared to roaming charges
Connect to local networks for reliable coverage and fast internet
ConsCosts can be much higher, compared to local SIM cards or eSIM options
May not offer the same quality and speed as local networks
Not all devices support eSIM technology
Rely on local network coverage, be limited compared to roaming services

GIGAGO eSIM offers diverse plans, phone number availability, excellent support, top network providers, and reliable connectivity in Dubai:

  • eSIM services surpass competitors, offering extensive plan options that cater to customers’ budget, needs, and trip duration
  • Offer a combination of phone number, data, calls, and text messaging in select countries.
  • Offer 24/7 multilingual customer support in multiple languages.
  • Use the networks of leading providers in each country.
  • Ensures reliable coverage by utilizing multiple network providers.

For Dubai, GIGAGO offers multiple data plan options, starting from1 GB for 7 days with $10.50 . What is great about GIGAGO’s Dubai eSIM is that its plans’ costs are diversifying, varying between $10.50$275.50 . Thus, it does not matter how Internet users you are and how long your trip is in Dubai, there is always an option for you with GIGAGO

VII. How to Turn Off Data Roaming When Traveling in Dubai

To switch off data roaming on an iPhone when traveling in Dubai:

  • Access the settings menu on your device.
  • Find the “Cellular” or “Mobile Data” and tap on it.
  • Locate the “Data Roaming” setting.
  • Switch the toggle or button to the off position to disable data roaming

To turn off data roaming on your Android device in Dubai:

  • Open the Settings app.
  • Tap on “Connections” or “Network & Internet.”
  • Select “Mobile Networks” or “Cellular Networks.”
  • Locate the “Data Roaming” option and disable it.

Make sure to disable data roaming in Dubai to avoid additional charges for using mobile data.

VIII. Conclusion

Data roaming in Dubai is costly for travelers. Your home network provider charges extra for calls, texts, and data usage. These charges can accumulate rapidly, particularly for data, which is often expensive. Roaming fees in Dubai are much higher compared to using local SIM cards or eSIM options.