Excited to travel to Saudi Arabia? Don’t forget to buy a prepaid sim card for Saudi Arabia, it is the best way to avoid high roaming costs and get the fastest data connection on your mobile. This is your complete guide for buying a sim card at Riyadh Airport on arrival with where to go, up to date prices, my recommendation, network strength and even a vlog to show you how it all looks like.
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 in Saudi Arabia. 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: Malaysia, Ethiopia, Europe, Hong Kong, Panama, Dubai, Pakistan 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 Saudi Arabia sim card.
Traveltomtom recommends an STC prepaid sim card for traveling in Saudi Arabia. It will cost you $23 to get 500 local minutes and 20 GB data.
We do NOT recommend world travel sim cards for multiple countries. These international sim cards with global coverage are much more expensive than local sim cards. If you are still interested I recommend you reading Traveltomtom’s article with a review and comparison of all international sim cards.
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.
xxx - vlog coming soon
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.
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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 accept all major international credit cards.
At Zain they keep it simple and only offer 1 prepaid sim card for tourists:
- 230 SAR = 10 GB data + Unlimited Social Media + calls valid for 4 weeks
Seems like a good package with sufficient data for your trip to Saudi Arabia, but 230 SAR = $61! Saudi Arabia is not a cheap country, but trust me this price is a little over the top. Zain offers e-sim cards for its prepaid costumers.
All the Mobily prepaid sim card deals at Riyadh Airport are valid for 4 weeks:
- 132 SAR = 10 GB data + 15 GB Social Media + 1,500 minutes - $35
- 178 SAR = 20 GB data + Unlimited Social Media + 2,250 minutes - $47
- 212 SAR = 40 GB data + Unlimited Social Media + calls - $56
- 258 SAR = 100 GB data + Unlimited Social Media + calls - $69
- 400 SAR = Unlimited data + calls - $107
Mobily offers significantly cheaper prepaid sim card deals then Zain and they also offer an e-sim card.
The easy thing with STC is that their prices for prepaid sim cards are nationwide the exact same. Every airport, mall, random phone store you are able to buy one of the following STC sim card deals for Saudi Arabia:
- 40.25 SAR = 1 GB data + 1 GB Social Media + 100 minutes - $11
- 86.25 SAR = 12 GB data + 8 GB Social Media + 500 minutes - $23
- 103.5 SAR = 10 GB data + 10 GB Social Media + 200 minutes* - $28
- 115.0 SAR = 10 GB data + 25 GB Social Media + 250 minutes* - $31
- 132.25 SAR = 20 GB data + 30 GB Social Media + 1,000 minutes - $35
- 195.5 SAR = 65 GB data + unlimited Social Media + 1,200 minutes - $52
- 276.0 SAR = 100 GB data + unlimited Social Media + unlimited calls - $74
*international calls to 21 destinations included
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 we can easily conclude that an STC prepaid sim card is the best-buy. STC sim card deals are significantly cheaper than Zain and Mobily. On top of that STC has the most extensive network in the country and 4G and 5G is wide spread.
Therefore it is an easy conclusion to say that STC is the best prepaid sim card for Saudi Arabia.
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 and find network coverage maps and more.
Buying a Saudi Arabia sim card online
You can also order a sim card for Saudi Arabia online before your trip to Riyadh. On the Simoptions website you can find the following international sim card offers:
- True Move = 6 GB data for 15 days —> $39.90
- Orange = 10 GB data for 14 days —> $49.90
Unfortunately 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.
E-sim card for Saudi Arabia
Make it easy and get an e-sim card for Saudi Arabia! No need to swap a physical sim card, just filled out a code on your mobile. Check out the Airalo website for the latest Saudi Arabia sim card deals:
- $6.50 = 1 GB data for 7 days
- $18 = 3 GB data for 30 days
Make sure your phone is e-sim card ready, all newer phones are. You can order the above e-sim card deals for Saudi Arabia directly through the link above. It is a very simple and an easy way to stay connected for your trip to Riyadh.
I hope all the above tips for buying a sim card at Medina 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 prepaid sim card abroad.
May 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.
Enjoy your trip to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia!