Are you visiting Saudi Arabia soon as a tourist or for Hajj or Umrah and flying to Medina International Airport? A local prepaid sim card or an e-sim card for Saudi Arabia are among the best ways to stay connected. In this guide you can find everything about buying a sim card for Saudi Arabia at Medina Airport: the available shops, up to date prices as per May 2023, where to buy a sim card, my recommendation, information about international and e-sim cards for Saudi Arabia and even a vlog with my experiences on arrival at Medina Airport.
In the last years I traveled a couple times to Saudi Arabia and really fell in love with this incredible country and especially Medina, a magical place that is one of the best places to visit in the country and of course in the Muslim religion.
Being a nomadic travel blogger for more than 10 years now I always look for the best ways to get connected and so did I do when I arrived in Medina. As I am also on a journey to travel to every country in the world you can already find more than 200 sim card guides on Traveltomtom from all around the world: Pakistan, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Istanbul, Turkey, USA, Asia, Europe, United Kingdom, Germany, Marrakech, Ethiopia and many more.
On my blog you can also find Saudi Arabia sim card guides for Jeddah Airport and Riyadh Airport as well as a comprehensive guide for buying a prepaid sim card for Saudi Arabia in 2023 in case you missed the opportunity at the airport on arrival.
Traveltomtom recommends an STC sim card for traveling to Medina. Not only does STC have great prepaid sim card plans for tourists, but also have the best mobile internet network in Saudi Arabia in 2023. For $23 USD you get 20 GB data.
However, if you only use a little bit of data to stay in touch with family on WhatsApp, get directions from Google Maps or check your email then an e-sim card for Saudi Arabia with 1 GB data will do the job. It is the cheapest way to stay connected when traveling to Medina and it starts from $5 USD.
Another suggestion is to get a global travel sim card with data for world travelers. These international sim cards with coverage in multiple countries work the same as a prepaid sim card but their data is valid across borders. Check out my comparison of the best international sim cards for traveling in 2023 and find the one that suits your trip the best.
Best e-sim cards for Saudi Arabia
The easiest way to get connected when traveling to Medina is an e-sim card. It is very simple! You order online, receive a QR code, follow the instructions and you are all set. It is not a physical sim card, but an electronic sim card that you instal on your phone. It takes just 2 minutes to get connected.
- 1 GB data for 7 days = $5 USD
- 2 GB data for 15 days = $8 USD
- 3 GB data for 30 days = $11 USD
- 5 GB data for 30 days = $15.5 USD
- 10 GB data for 30 days = $26 USD
Click here to order an e-sim card for Saudi Arabia directly online or find more info.
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.
On another website I found an international e-sim card for Saudi Arabia. Much more expensive but this e-sim card is valid in more than 120 countries:
- 6 GB data for 15 days = $39.90 USD
Click here to order this international e-sim card for Saudi Arabia.
With an e-sim card you keep your own phone number. It is a very simple and easy way to stay connected for your trip to Medina, but make sure your phone is capable of handling e-sim cards before ordering.
Why buying a Saudi Arabia sim card
First of all it is easy to arrange and it will save you a lot of money on high roaming costs. A working data connection on your phone makes life simply easier. There are many taxi apps that you can use in Saudi Arabia to go for example to Mosque Quba, which is 15 minutes outside of Medina.
Also finding nearby restaurants with good ratings, getting directions from Google Maps or simply staying in touch with friends and family and showing them the beauty of Medina.
Don’t rely on public WiFi as there is no guarantee it is working or even fast enough. Also a reminder that browsing the internet on public WiFi is through an UNSECURED network. The use of a VPN is recommended!
Where to buy a sim card at Medina Airport
There are 2 different shops at Medina Airport that sell prepaid sim cards for tourists: STC and Zain. The small STC shop can’t be missed as you walk straight into it when walking out of arrivals. You will see its big purple letters.
The Zain shop is located near the entry/exit of the airport terminal, just 50 meters away.
Medina Airport is pretty small and easy to navigate. You will find ATM’s, car rental companies, currency exchange and the information desk all next to each other.
To make things even easier you can watch my vlog below about my arrival and buying a sim card at Medina Airport and I show you exactly where to go.
Reminder that both prepaid sim card shops are open 24 hours and you can pay by international credit cards, so there is no need to exchange money first.
Prices prepaid sim cards at Medina Airport
Luckily prices for tourist sim cards are everywhere the same in Saudi Arabia. It doesn't matter of you buy your sim card at the airport on arrival or in the city center in an official retail store.
As of May 2023: $1 USD = 3.75 SAR and 1 SAR = $0.27 USD.
Zain Saudi Arabia
You will get a free sim card and registration when buying one of the Zain prepaid sim card packages:
- 3 GB data + 1 GB Snapchat, WhatsApp & Facebook + 50 minutes valid for 2 weeks = 34.5 SAR
- 15 GB data valid for 2 weeks = 57.5 SAR
- 10 GB data + 5 GB Snapchat, WhatsApp & Facebook + 150 minutes valid for 4 weeks = 80.5 SAR - 21.45 USD
- 25 GB data + unlimited Snapchat, WhatsApp & Facebook + 350 minutes valid for 4 weeks = 149.5 SAR
STC Saudi Arabia
At STC they offer a wide range of prepaid sim card packages for tourists at Medina Airport, valid for 4 weeks:
- 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
Best sim card at Medina Airport in 2023
When looking at the prices we see that STC has better prepaid sim card deals than Zain for those looking for a lot of data. When you are looking for the cheapest prepaid sim card deal at Medina Airport then head to Zain where you can buy a tourist sim card for Saudi Arabia for 34.5 SAR which is $9.2 USD and you get 3 GB data + extras.
As STC has great prepaid sim card deals for tourists and also the strongest 4G/5G mobile network in Saudi Arabia STC is the best sim card at Medina Airport in 2023.
For more info about the best 4G/5G coverage in Saudi Arabia check my article about the best prepaid sim card for Saudi Arabia in 2023.
Order a sim card for Saudi Arabia online
You can also order a sim card for Saudi Arabia online and get it shipped to your home address before your trip to Medina. Check out the following Saudi Arabia sim card deals:
- True Move = 6 GB data for 15 days —> $39.90 USD
- Orange = 10 GB data for 14 days —> $49.90 USD
Calls and sms are not included in the above sim card deals for Saudi Arabia. These sim cards are pre activated and automatically activated from its first use. It is plug and play, but make sure your phone is unlocked.
Click here to directly order an international prepaid sim card for Saudi Arabia online.
I hope all the above tips for buying a sim card at Medina Airport were helpful for your upcoming trip. Please, when you still have questions leave me a comment below and I will try to help you out.
Visiting Jeddah after Medina? Then I recommend you to take a look at my YouTube channel for my vlogs about traveling in Saudi Arabia. Specially recommended for you a trip by high speed train from Medina to Jeddah. For some Saudi Arabia travel inspiration check out my Instagram account @traveltomtom and follow my road to visit every country in the world. As of May 2023 I have visited more than 150 countries.
Enjoy your trip to Medina, Saudi Arabia!
Some links in this article about the best ways to stay connected when traveling to Medina are affiliate links. If you buy any of the products after using an affiliate link in this article I earn a small commission. This is at no extra cost to you of course!