Excited to travel to Saudi Arabia? Wether you are a tourist or coming for Hajj or Umrah don’t forget to buy a prepaid sim card for Saudi Arabia or an e-sim card to stay connected. It is the best way to avoid high roaming charges and get the fastest data connection on your mobile. This is a complete guide for buying a sim card at Riyadh Airport on arrival with where to buy a sim card, up to date prices as per August 2023, my recommendation, 4G/5G network strength, information about international and e-sim cards and even a vlog to show you how it all looks like at Riyadh Airport.
If for some reason you weren’t able to buy a prepaid sim card for tourists at Riyadh Airport you can also check out my extensive guide for buying a sim card for Saudi Arabia in 2023. You will also find at blog for buying a sim card at Jeddah Airport and Medina Airport.
Traveltomtom is on a journey to visit every country in the world and that is how he gets to see a lot of different countries and airports. He wrote more than 150 local prepaid sim card guide already: Singapore, Malaysia, Ethiopia, Europe, London, Hong Kong, Panama, Dubai, Pakistan, USA, New York, Brazil, Turkey, Germany, Abu Dhabi, Sydney, Bangkok and many more.
Why buying a Saudi Arabia sim card?
Trust me your trip to Saudi Arabia is much more fun with a data connection on your phone, it simply makes traveling easier. Think about using Google Maps for directions, ordering a taxi on the streets through an app or simply to stay in touch with friends, find info while traveling, etc.
Must say, most hotels in Riyadh offer free WiFi, however that is no guarantee there is a strong connection and fast reliable internet available. On top of that reminding you that surfing the internet on public WiFi is through an UNSECURED network. The use of a VPN is recommended in these cases.
Buying a sim card on arrival at Riyadh Airport is very easy and it only takes a couple minutes to get connected with a local prepaid Saudi Arabia sim card.
Traveltomtom recommends buying an STC prepaid sim card for visiting Riyadh or traveling in Saudi Arabia. For $23 USD you get 500 local minutes and 20 GB data on the fastest 5G network in Saudi Arabia.
That said, you can already order an e-sim card for Saudi Arabia starting from $5 USD and you arrange everything within just 2 minutes.
Another great alternative to get data on your phone is a travel sim card. Check out our comparison of the best international sim cards for traveling in 2023 and pick the one that suits your trip. These travel sim cards are pre-activated and send to your home address before your trip.
E-sim cards for Saudi Arabia
Arrange everything online in just a couple clicks! Get yourself an e-sim card for traveling in Saudi Arabia. No more visiting a store or swapping physical sim cards. It is super easy. You order online, receive a QR code, follow the steps and within 2 minutes you are all set.
Check out the following Saudi Arabia e-sim card deals:
- 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.
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. This e-sim card is valid in more than 120 countries, but also much more expensive:
- 6 GB data for 15 days = $39.90 USD
Click here to order this international e-sim card for Saudi Arabia.
Make sure your phone is e-sim card ready before ordering an e-sim card for Saudi Arabia. It is a very simple and an easy way to stay connected for your trip to Riyadh. How to find out if your smartphone is e-sim card compatible? Simply ask Google and you will get the answer instantly.
Where to buy a sim card at Riyadh Airport
When arriving at Riyadh Airport you will see that it is very easy to buy a sim card. Most international flights arrive in Terminal 2 and as soon as you walk into the Arrival Hall you will see the Saudi Arabia mobile internet provider shops.
To make it very easy for you I recorded a vlog when I arrived in Riyadh on an international flight. Keep reading.
When arriving at Terminal 1, you will have to walk to Terminal 2 to buy a sim card. It is only about 3-5 minutes. But when you are tired and want to leave for your hotel straight away then there is always the opportunity to buy a local prepaid sim card for Saudi Arabia at one of the many malls. Check out my article about the best sim card for Saudi Arabia.
Flying to Riyadh on a domestic flight? Don’t worry, the domestic terminal of Riyadh Airport also has an STC, Zain and Mobily shop. I also landed once in Riyadh on a domestic flight from Medina. When you walk into the Arrival Hall the mobile phone shops are on your left.
Prices Saudi Arabia sim cards at Riyadh Airport
There are 3 mobile internet providers in Saudi Arabia and all of them have mobile phone stores at Riyadh Airport. All stores are open 24 hours and all sim card shops accept major international credit cards. Luckily the prices for prepaid sim cards are nationwide the same in retail stores, shopping malls, airports, etc.
As of August 2023: $1 USD = 3.75 SAR and 1 SAR = $0.27 USD.
- 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
Zain offers e-sim cards for its prepaid costumers which can be activated instead of a physical sim card.
All the Mobily prepaid sim card deals below are valid for 4 weeks
- 5 GB data + 5 GB social media + 600 minutes = 75 SAR - $20 USD
- 10 GB data + 15 GB Social Media + 1,500 minutes = 110 SAR
- 20 GB data + unlimited Social Media + 3,000 minutes = 150 SAR
- 50 GB data + unlimited Social Media + calls = 180 SAR - $48 USD
- 100 GB data + unlimited Social Media + calls = 220 SAR
- Unlimited data + calls = 360 SAR
Mobily also offers a daily unlimited data plan + 50 minutes for 20 SAR - $5.3 USD per day.
Mobily has e-sim cards for prepaid costumers.
- 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 Saudi Arabia sim card at Riyadh Airport
When we only look at the prices of the offered sim card deals at Riyadh Airport then for those who want a lot of Gigbytes we can conclude that an STC prepaid sim card is the best-buy.
On top of that STC has the most extensive 4G/5G network in the country and the fastest data speed. Therefore it is an easy conclusion to say that STC is the best prepaid sim card at Riyadh Airport.
However, the cheapest prepaid sim card plan you can buy at Riyadh Airport is from Zain. They offer a tourist sim card for Saudi Arabia for 34.5 SAR ($9.2 USD) and give you 3 GB data + extras.
That said, another reminder that ordering an e-sim card for Saudi Arabia starts from just $5 USD and you are all set in just 2 minutes.
For more information about the best 4G/5G network in Saudi Arabia check out my article about the best prepaid sim card for Saudi Arabia in 2023 and find a comparison of the 4G/5G network coverage maps of all the mobile internet providers.
Click on the video below to find my vlog about my arrival at Jeddah Airport and buying a sim card for Saudi Arabia.
Order a sim card for Saudi Arabia online
You can also order a sim card for Saudi Arabia online before your trip to Riyadh. These international sim cards will be send to your home address before your trip and are pre-activated:
- True Move = 6 GB data for 15 days —> $39.90
- Orange = 10 GB data for 14 days —> $49.90
Click here to order one of the above international sim card deals for Saudi Arabia or get more info.
The above sim card deals for Saudi Arabia are data-only and calls and sms are not supported. Sim cards are pre activated and automatically activated from its first use and will be shipped to your home address after ordering through the link above. It is plug and play, but make sure your phone is unlocked.
Also another last reminder that you can order an e-sim card for Saudi Arabia directly online and arrange everything in a couple minutes.
I hope all the above tips for buying a sim card at Riyadh International Airport were helpful for your upcoming trips. Please, when you still have questions leave me a comment below and I will try to help you out.
Take a look at my YouTube channel for some vlogs about traveling in Saudi Arabia and more sim card advice. Remember for your next trip to always check out Traveltomtom for the latest advice on buying a sim card for your next travel destination.
If you have any questions please leave me a comment below and I will try to find an answer for you or check out my Instagram @traveltomtom for some Saudi Arabia travel inspiration with cool places to visit. As of August 2023 I have visited more than 155 countries around the world.
Enjoy your trip to Riyadh!
Some links in this article about buying a sim card at Riyadh 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.