Ready to travel to Saudi Arabia? I am happy and excited for you as Jeddah, Mecca and Medina are magical places to discover. Let this guide help you to find out everything you need to know before buying a prepaid sim card for Saudi Arabia at Jeddah Airport or may be you fancy an e-sim card for your trip to Jeddah.

Whether you go for Umrah, Hajj or simply as a tourists, staying connected when traveling to Jeddah makes life much easier and you don't waste your money on high roaming charges.

This is a complete guide for buying a sim card at Jeddah Airport on arrival with up to date prices and info as per June 2024, where to buy a sim card, my recommendations, the best e-sim cards for Saudi Arabia, a vlog about my arrival and experiences, information about international sim cards and more.

Finding out the best way to stay connected is one of the first things I do when planning my next trip. In the past I always used to buy a prepaid sim card on arrival but nowadays I mostly order an e-sim card on the internet.

As I love to document all my travel tips and I am also on a journey to visit every country in the world I already wrote more than 200 sim card guides for tourists in places like: Dubai, Abu DhabiEurope, Paris, Rome, London, Cairo, Istanbul, Ethiopia, Pakistan, Bahrain, Qatar, Jordan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Mexico, Canada, USA, etc.

On Traveltomtom you can also fins specific sim card guides for Medina Airport as well as Riyadh Airport and of course an extensive guide for the best prepaid sim card for tourists in Saudi Arabia in 2024.

So next time you are planning your adventure abroad come check out Traveltomtom for the latest prepaid and e-sim card advice for your next holiday destination. Bookmark me and let me help you save money!

Some links in this article about buying a sim card at Jeddah Airport are affiliate links. If you buy any of the products after using an affiliate link I will earn a small commission. This is at absolutely no extra cost to you.

Why buying a Saudi Arabia sim card

Traveling with a working data connection on your phone is simply much more convenient. Think about getting directions from Google Maps, ordering a taxi through an app, staying in touch with friends and family back home, emergencies, checking your banking apps, etc.

Don’t rely on WiFi as it might be slow or not working at all and another reminder that surfing the web on public WiFi is through an UNSECURED connection. The use of a VPN is recommended to protect your data.

My recommendation

Traveltomtom recommends buying an STC sim card at Jeddah Airport. STC has great tourist sim card deals and the best 5G network coverage in Saudi Arabia. For 86.25 SAR ($23 USD) you get 20 GB data and 500 minutes.

However, if you just need a little bit of data to use WhatsApp or for checking your email then an e-sim card for Saudi Arabia will be a great solution for you. It only takes 2 minutes to set it up and you already get 1 GB data for just $5 USD.

Traveltomtom recommends ordering an e-sim card for Saudi Arabia via Nomad, SimOptions or Airalo.

Traveltomtom does also recommend world travel sim cards with data and international coverage including Saudi Arabia. These international sim cards can be ordered online and will be shipped to your home address. Click on the link above for a complete comparison and review of the best global sim cards in 2024 and choose the one that fits your trip.

Best e-sim cards for Saudi Arabia

The easiest way to get data on your phone when traveling to Jeddah in 2024 is an e-sim card. You order online and arrange everything in just a couple clicks. No more visiting a sim card shop and swapping physical sim cards.

You order an e-sim card for Saudi Arabia on the internet, you receive a QR code, scan it, follow the simple steps and within less than 2 minutes you have a Saudi Arabia e-sim card installed on your phone.

Upon arrival in Jeddah it automatically connects you to an available network and you enjoy data on your phone pretty much when the plane lands.

Make sure your phone is e-sim compatible before ordering an e-sim card for Saudi Arabia.

Airalo

airalo esim card plans for saudi arabia 2024

Airalo is a reliable e-sim provider and Traveltomtom has used Airalo in more than 50 countries around the world and never faced an issue. Here are the Airalo e-sim card plans for Saudi Arabia for 2024:

  • 1 GB data for 7 days = $5 USD
  • 2 GB data for 15 days = $8.5 USD
  • 3 GB data for 30 days = $11 USD
  • 5 GB data for 30 days = $16 USD
  • 10 GB data for 30 days = $27 USD
  • 20 GB data for 30 days = $44 USD

Click here for more info or to order an e-sim card for Saudi Arabia via Airalo.

The above e-sim cards from Red Sand are data-only and valid in Saudi only. They operate on the 4G/LTE/5G network of Zain. Yes, these e-sim cards for Saudi Arabia support 5G.

SimOptions

simoptions international esim cards for saudi arabia 2024

SimOptions is another reliable e-sim provider and Traveltomtom has used SimOptions also in multiple countries around the world.

The SimOptions e-sim cards are more expensive than Airalo, but these are international e-sim cards, valid in up to 141 countries around the world. Here are the SimOptions international e-sim cards for Saudi Arabia in 2024:

  • 6 GB data for 15 days = $39.90 USD
  • 10 GB data for 14 days = $39.90 USD

Click here for more info or to order an international e-sim card for Saudi Arabia via SimOptions.

Nomad

nomad esim card plans for saudi arabia 2024

A relatively new e-sim provider is Nomad and they sometimes have great e-sim card deals. Here are the plans for Saudi Arabia in 2024:

  • 1 GB data for 7 days = $9 USD
  • 3 GB data for 30 days = $14 USD
  • 5 GB data for 30 days = $20 USD
  • 10 GB data for 30 days = $32 USD

Click here for more info or to order a Nomad e-sim card for Saudi Arabia.

The Nomad e-sims for Saudi Arabia operate on the Zain and Mobily 4G/LTE and 5G network.

With an e-sim card you keep your own phone number from home, but make sure your phone is e-sim card compatible before ordering an e-sim card for Saudi Arabia.

Where to buy a sim card at Jeddah Airport

As I mentioned before buying a sim card for Saudi Arabia at Jeddah Airport is easy. After you picked up your luggage and walk through the last baggage customs check you end up in the arrival hall.

At first you follow the signs for exit and you will get to the main hall. When everyone starts harassing you for a taxi you know you are on the right track. In the main arrival hall you will find convenience stores, coffee shops, ATM's and some fast food restaurants left and right and right in front of you there is a massive aquarium.

stc sim card store jeddah airport

Right behind this incredible fish tank there is the exit towards the train station and there you will also find all the sim card shops of the mobile internet operators in Saudi Arabia: STC, Zain and Mobily.

In my YouTube video above you see more about my experiences arriving and buying a sim card at Jeddah International Airport. The video is from a previous trip, but a great reference of what it is like arriving at Jeddah Airport.

Apart from the prices, most things stayed the same, but therefore I always recommend to read blogs over watching YouTube videos. Blogs can be updated, vlogs can't. I traveled to Jeddah again in June 2024. 

Prices prepaid sim cards Jeddah Airport in 2024

Great thing about tourists sim cards in Saudi Arabia is that regardless if you buy your sim card at the airport or in a phone store in the city center, prices are the exact same.

The below prices and info are updated in June 2024: $1 USD = 3.75 SAR and 1 SAR = $0.27 USD.

Zain prepaid sim card

zain saudi arabia prepaid sim cards jeddah airport

Here are the most common Zain prepaid sim card plans for tourists in 2024, valid for 28 days:

  • 30 GB data + 30 GB Social Media + 1,000 minutes = 120 SAR - $32 USD
  • 30 GB data + Unlimited Social Media + 1,400 minutes = 150 SAR - $40 USD
  • 70 GB data + Unlimited Social Media + 1,400 minutes = 180 SAR - $48 USD

For more prepaid sim card plans from Zain see the picture above. At the Zain store at Jeddah Airport they offer physical prepaid sim cards as well as e-sim cards for tourists.

Mobily prepaid sim card

mobily saudi arabia prepaid sim cards jeddah airport

At the Mobily kiosk they tried selling me the sim card deal for 115 SAR, but they also have a cheaper option available. Here are the most common Mobily prepaid sim card plans for tourists:

  • 10 GB data + 10 GB Social Media + 500 minutes for 28 days = 86.25 SAR
  • 25 GB data + 25 GB Social Media + 500 minutes for 28 days = 115 SAR
  • 25 GB data + unlimited Social Media + 400 minutes for 14 days = 115 SAR

For more prepaid sim card plans from Mobily see the picture above. At the Mobily store at Jeddah Airport they offer physical prepaid sim cards as well as e-sim cards for tourists. TikTok is not included in unlimited social media.

STC prepaid sim card

stc saudi arabia prepaid sim card plans 2024

Unfortunately STC neither displays their prepaid sim card packages at Jeddah International Airport, but I have them here for you:

  • 1 GB data + 1 GB Social Media + 60 minutes = 40.25 SAR
  • 4 GB data + 4 GB Social Media + 120 minutes = 74.75 SAR - $19.9 USD
  • 10 GB data + 10 GB Social Media + 500 minutes = 86.25 SAR
  • 10 GB data + 15 GB Social Media + 300 minutes = 115 SAR
  • 25 GB data + 25 GB Social Media + 500 minutes = 132.25 SAR - $35.2 USD
  • 70 GB data + unlimited Social Media + 800 minutes = 195.5 SAR
  • 100 GB data + unlimited Social Media + unlimited calls = 276 SAR

STC Saudi Arabia has many more packages with more data, but of course also more expensive. At the STC store at Jeddah Airport they offer physical prepaid sim cards as well as e-sim cards for tourists.

Best Saudi Arabia sim card at Jeddah Airport

After comparing the prepaid sim cards from Zain, Mobily and STC at Jeddah Airport Traveltomtom comes to the conclusion that STC has the best prepaid sim cards for tourists in Saudi Arabia.

Not only does STC has the best prepaid sim card plans, but also the starting price of the sim cards for tourists is much lower. Keep in mind that the prices are not displayed and the (quite arrogant STC staff) will push to sell you the expensive prepaid sim card plans.

But if you just need a little bit of data to stay connected then there is no need to buy a sim card at Jeddah Airport. Order an e-sim card for Saudi Arabia on the internet. You can already get 1 GB data for just $5 USD.

Traveltomtom recommends ordering an e-sim card for Saudi Arabia via Nomad, SimOptions or Airalo.

However, the STC prepaid sim card plans offer more value for money than e-sim cards. On top of that STC also has the best 4G/5G network in Saudi Arabia. So for traveling in Saudi Arabia STC is the best sim card in 2024.

For more info about the 4G/5G network coverage in Saudi Arabia, including network coverage maps across the country check out my extensive article about the best sim card for Saudi Arabia in 2024.

Order a prepaid sim card for Saudi Arabia online

orange holiday world international prepaid sim card for saudi arabia

If your phone is not e-sim compatible and buying a prepaid sim card on arrival at Jeddah Airport sounds like too much hassle then I have a solution for you.

Arrive prepared in Saudi Arabia with an international prepaid sim card. You order them online and a physical prepaid sim card will be delivered to your home address. You put this sim card in your phone and it automatically connects to an available network upon arrival in Jeddah, basically when the plane lands you are instantly online.

SimOptions is the only sim card provider that sells physical prepaid sim cards for Saudi Arabia:

  • 10 GB data for 14 days = $49.90 USD

Click here for more info or to order an international prepaid sim card for Saudi Arabia via SimOptions.

A last reminder that if your phone is e-sim compatible then you can arrange everything directly on the internet by ordering an e-sim card for Saudi Arabia. You can already find Saudi Arabia e-sim cards starting from $5 USD.

Traveltomtom recommends ordering an e-sim card for Saudi Arabia via Nomad, SimOptions or Airalo.

My experience buying a sim card at Jeddah Airport

Here are my experiences from 2021 when I traveled to Jeddah for the first time and from my last trip to Saudi in 2024.

In my vlog you have probably already seen how easy it is to get a local prepaid sim card for Saudi Arabia at Jeddah Airport. Walking out of the terminal and walking directly into the mobile internet stores made it super easy. A couple minutes after I put my new STC Saudi Arabia sim card in my phone I was online.

You get a welcome message displaying your mobile number.

stc saudi arabia remaing balance

What I found very convenient is that STC would regularly send me text messages with a link to check my remaining balance. Although the message is in Arabic, you only have to click on the link in the message and it takes you to your profile on the STC website without the need to login with a password.

During my almost 2 weeks traveling in Saudi Arabia I had a 5G connection pretty much everywhere. During the high speed train ride from Jeddah to Medina there was mostly a phone signal. Sometimes it was 3G or 4G. Still pretty impressive phone reception though in the middle of the desert.

Lately in February 2024 I visited Jeddah again and this time I got myself a 1 GB data e-sim card from Airalo for $5 USD. Just for the sake of being online as soon as the plane lands.

On arrival I wanted to buy an e-sim card from STC but unfortunately they ran out of e-sim cards and only had physical prepaid sim cards available. Unlucky me because my iPhone 15 Pro Max does not have a sim card slot anymore so I had to wait till the next day and visit an STC store in Jeddah city center.

A bit of a hassle, but luckily I had my Airalo e-sim card with 1 GB data to get me through the first 24 hours.

I hope all the above tips for buying a sim card for Saudi Arabia at Jeddah Airport were helpful. Please leave me a comment below if you have any questions and I will try to help you out.

Looking for some Saudi Arabia travel inspiration and tips? Go check out my Instagram account @traveltomtom and follow my road to visit every country in the world.

On my YouTube channel you will also find a video about how to travel by high speed train from Jeddah to Medina. As of June 2024 I have visited more than 155 countries around the world.

Enjoy your trip to Jeddah!