Buying a SIM Card in Manama for Travelers 2024: Guide from Locals

Learn about buying a SIM card in Manama, Bahrain for travel and better alternatives to stay connected in the city for travelers.

Having reliable internet access is a must to ensure for a smooth traveling experience in Manama. Luckily, buying a local SIM card in Manama, Bahrain is an affordable and convenient way to stay connected while exploring this lively city. In this article, we’ll provide you with friendly tips and insights from locals on how to purchase a SIM card in Manama hassle-free. Stay connected throughout your Manama journey and make the most of your time in this vibrant destination!

I. Why Buy SIM card in Manama?

Buying SIM Card in Manama helps travelers to save money for roaming and stay connected all the time.

Having a SIM Card in Manama helps you avoid roaming charges. When you’re in Manama, it’s important to stay connected without spending a fortune. That’s where a local SIM card comes in handy. By getting a SIM card in Manama, you can avoid expensive fees and enjoy affordable internet access throughout your journey.

Below are benefits of buying a SIM card in Manama that a tourist can obtain:

  • Avoid roaming charges
  • Enjoy extensive network coverage and secure internet access through the trip
  • Enjoy cheap call, text and data rates
  • Have a Bahraini phone number for easy communication (vary by plan)
  • Choose from various plans and packages that suit your specific usage needs and budget.
  • Buy at different locations, including in the convenience stores or authorized dealer shop
  • Enjoy high-speed internet access
  • Enjoy affordable price (buying SIM card in Manama city center is cheaper than buying at the airport)

By having a SIM card in Manama, you can explore the vibrant city, immerse yourself in the rich culture, and enjoy the lively nightlife without hassle.

II. Which mobile internet carrier is the best in Manama?

Which mobile network carriers in Manama is best

The best mobile internet carriers in Manama Bahrain are Batelco, Zain, and STC.

1. Batelco

Batelco is the largest network covering more than 99% of the population in Bahrain. This operator also holds the largest market share among international tourists, with more than 50% of tourists choosing their services.

Batelco can be easily found at the airport, and other tourist hotspots in Manama so tourists can buy their SIM plans and other services with ease.

2. Zain

Zain is the 2nd largest mobile network operator in Bahrain, and also in Manama. It is well-known for reliable network and competitive pricing. Zain offers good coverage within the city center of Manama, 4G speed and various prepaid pay-as-you-go plans tailored to the needs of tourists. This network carrier is popular used by locals and travelers.

3. Viva

Viva is the 3rd largest mobile network carrier in Manama as well as Bahrain in general. It offers a strong network and innovative services specialized for tourists. Their services also have additional benefits such as:

  • WiFi access at selected locations in Manama so tourists can stay connected without using their mobile data,
  • Local discounts and promotions

▶ Our conclusion:

Batelco is the most popular mobile network carrier among international tourists to Manama thanks to the widest and most reliable network coverage, tourist-specific SIM cards with generous data amounts, many sites for buying, and high-quality services.

III. Best Manama SIM Card Plans and Price

Best Manama sim card plans and price

The best Manama SIM cards plans are provided by three major network operators in Bahrain which are Batelco, Zain and Viva.

Here we’ve selected their top prepaid SIM card options for tourists: 

OperatorCostData Allowance
Batelco7.35BHD – 37BHD10GB-3TB
Zain7.35 BHD – 40 BHD1GB – Unlimited
STC1.047 BHD – 11 BHD1 GB – 50 GB


$1 USD = 0.38 BHD and 1 BHD = $2.65 USD

These plan features are subject to change. Visit the official websites of the provider for the most updated information.

IV. Where to Buy a SIM Card in Manama?

Travelers can buy SIM Card for Manama in three main locations: 

  • Bahrain International Airports
  • Buy in city center

1. Manama International Airport

To get a local SIM card for Manama, the most convenient option is to head to the new international airport upon your arrival. It’s super simple! As soon as you step into the arrival hall, you’ll find the mobile internet provider shops scattering around the airport. 

These stores are open 24 hours, so you can get your SIM card whenever you arrive. Plus, you can make payment with your credit card, making it hassle-free.

Remember that this option is quite more expensive than option 2. 

Buy Manama SIM card at airport

2. Buy in Manama city center

If you prefer to purchase your SIM card after settling into your accommodation, you can visit any of the numerous mobile carrier stores located throughout Manama’s city center, such as Batelco retail stores, Zain retail stores, and Viva retail stores.

Alternatively, you can buy SIM cards in authorized dealer shops located through the city such as Emax, Sharaf DG, AI Zain Electronics, and Mobile City.

Travelers can use Google Maps to find the nearest mobile phone store.


  • You should buy a SIM card from a reputable source to ensure authenticity and avoid potential issues.
  • Have your passport or a copy of your passport when buying a SIM card because it is required for registration and verification purpose.
  • Compare then plans and prices offered by different network carriers before buying to find the best option for your needs.

V. Bahrain eSIM card for Manama- Alternative to SIM Card for travelers

A Bahrain eSIM (embedded SIM) is a digital SIM card that allows you to connect to a Bahrain mobile network without the need for a physical SIM card. This technology is becoming increasingly popular among travelers to Manama Bahrain as it offers a convenient and hassle-free way to stay connected while on the go.

Using an eSIM in Manama has several advantages over a traditional SIM card:

  • No need to physically swap SIM cards or visit a carrier store
  • Easy to activate and manage from your smartphone
  • Flexible data plans that can be adjusted as needed
  • Compatible with a wide range of newer model mobile devices, including iPhones from XS onwards and selected Android smartphones. Check the full list of eSIM-compatible devices.

You can choose Bahrain eSIM when traveling to Manama from the eSIM provider like Gigago. You will have:

  • More options for data and validity
  • Reasonable prices
  • Easy purchasing
  • Accessible customer support

For Bahrain, Gigago offers multiple data plan options, starting from 1 GB for 7 days with $6.90 . What is great about Gigago’s Bahrain eSIM is that its plans’ costs are diversifying, varying between $6.90$19.90 . Thus, it does not matter how Internet users you are and how long your trip is in Bahrain, there is always an option for you with Gigago.

Bahrain esim for Manama - alternative to SIM card in Manama
Bahrain esim for Manama by Gigago – Better alternative to SIM card in Manama

VI. What to Prepare to buy a SIM card in Manama

Here are the documents you need to prepare to buy a SIM card in Manama:

  • Your passport or valid ID: This is required for identification purposes when purchasing a SIM card. Make sure you have it handy.
  • An unlocked compatible smartphone: Check with your current carrier to ensure your smartphone is unlocked and compatible with the SIM card you plan to purchase. This way, you can use it without any issues.
  • Your payment method: Whether it’s cash or a debit/credit card, make sure you have it with you. You’ll need it to purchase the SIM card and top up your credit if necessary.

VII. Extra Tips when buying SIM card in Manama

  • Compare Different Carriers: Take the time to research and compare different mobile carriers in Manama. Look into their coverage, available plans, and pricing to find the best option for your needs.
  • Consider Your Usage: Think about how you plan to use your SIM card. If you’ll be making a lot of local calls, choose a plan that offers affordable calling rates. If you’ll rely heavily on data for internet access, prioritize a plan with a generous data allowance.
  • Ask About International Roaming: If you plan to travel outside of Bahrain during your stay, inquire about international roaming options in Bahrain. Some carriers offer packages or add-ons specifically for international usage, which can be more cost-effective than standard roaming rates.

VIII. Conclusion

Buying a local SIM card in Manma can be a convenient and cost-effective way to stay connected during your travels. By following the tips and insights provided in this blog post, you can easily purchase a SIM card at Manama’s airport or city center, choose the best carrier and plan for your needs, and enjoy reliable internet access throughout your stay in the vibrant city of Manama