Traveling to the UAE or just visiting Dubai and flying to Sharjah Airport and wondering if you can buy a sim card at Sharjah Airport? This is a complete guide with everything you need to know before buying a sim card at Sharjah Airport on arrival.

Don't waste money on high roaming charges, get yourself a local prepaid sim card for the UAE on arrival or an e-sim card to stay connected in the UAE. Find out everything about buying a sim card at Sharjah Airport, including a vlog about my arrival, where to buy a UAE sim card, up to date prices as per June 2024, my recommendation and even info about international sim cards for the UAE.

Being a full time nomad and world traveler since 2012 I aim to provide useful information and tips to make traveling cheaper for fellow world travelers. To help people planning their trips and staying connected I already wrote more than 200 sim card guides from all over the world: USA, Europe, Asia, Brazil, Mexico, SingaporeHong Kong, Egypt, Pakistan, South Africa, Costa Rica, Turkey, London, Paris, Saudi Arabia and many more.

Of course I also wrote a guide for buying a tourist prepaid sim card for Dubai in 2024 or for those that only want e-sim cards for the UAE I recommend you to check out my guide for the best e-sim cards for traveling to Dubai in 2024.

There is also a guide for buying a sim card at Abu Dhabi Airport. If for some reason you will miss the opportunity at Sharjah Airport then the Dubai sim card guides is particular very helpful.

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!

Why buying a sim card at Sharjah Airport

When traveling to the UAE there is WiFi almost everywhere and yes it is fast and reliable. Still though I recommend you to stay connected when traveling to the UAE. Foremost reason is that while you are out and about there is no WiFi. Ordering an Uber becomes impossible, as well as getting directions from Google Maps or finding nearby friends. Also think about emergencies, checking your banking apps, travel planning on the road, finding nearby restaurants, etc.

Keep in mind that browsing the internet on public WiFi is through an UNSECURED network, the use of a VPN is recommended.

When buying a local prepaid sim card for the UAE at Sharjah Airport or getting an e-sim card you will connect to the available 4G/5G network, a secured connection and therefore safer to roam the internet than public WiFi.

My recommendation

Traveltomtom recommends buying a DU prepaid sim card at Sharjah Airport for 139 AED ($38 USD) with 10 GB data for 28 days. But if your phone is e-sim compatible then simply order an e-sim card for the UAE on the internet.

It is even cheaper than buying a sim card at Sharjah Airport! A Nomad e-sim card for the UAE with 10 GB data costs $22 USD.

However, based on your data consumption and the length of your stay there are a couple more options to consider. The cheapest sim card at Sharjah Airport costs 49 AED ($13 USD).

But in 2024 the cheapest way to stay connected when traveling to the UAE is an Airalo e-sim card for just $8.5 USD.

Another alternative is a so called world travel sim card with international coverage. There are some great sim card deals for travelers in 2024. Check the article in the link and find a comparison of the best international sim card in 2024. Pick the one that suit your trip to the Middle East.

Best e-sim cards for UAE

The easiest way to stay connected when traveling to the UAE in 2024 is an e-sim card. You arrange everything online within just a couple minutes. No more swapping physically sim cards or visiting a sim card store. An e-sim card is literally just a QR code that you instal on your phone. Simple, fast and easy!

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

Upon arrival in Sharjah 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 Tonga.

Airalo

airalo esim card plans for dubai 2024

Airalo is a reliable e-sim provider and they offer the following data-only e-sim cards for the UAE:

  • 1 GB for 7 days = $8.5 USD
  • 3 GB for 30 days = $22.5 USD
  • 5 GB for 30 days = $35 USD

Click here for more info or to directly order a UAE e-sim card from Airalo.

The above e-sim cards are from Burj Mobile and they operate on the 4G/LTE network of Etisalat.

SimOptions

simoptions esim card plans for dubai 2024

SimOptions is another e-sim provider that Traveltomtom has used in over 50 countries around the world. They offer the following e-sim card plans for the UAE for 2024:

  • 1 GB data for 30 days = $8.90 USD
  • 3 GB data for 30 days = $21.90 USD
  • 5 GB data for 30 days = $34.90 USD
  • 10 GB data for 14 days = $39.90 USD
  • 10 GB data for 30 days = $59.90 USD

Click here for more info or to order an e-sim card for the UAE via SimOptions.

Nomad

nomad esim card plans for dubai 2024

Last but not least there is Nomad and they have the best value e-sim card plans for the UAE in 2024:

  • 1 GB data for 7 days = $8 USD
  • 3 GB data for 30 days = $11 USD
  • 5 GB data for 30 days = $13 USD
  • 10 GB data for 30 days = $22 USD 

Click here to order an e-sim card for the UAE from Nomad.

With an e-sim card you keep your own phone number, but make sure your phone is unlocked and e-sim compatible otherwise an e-sim card won't work in your phone.

Where to buy a sim card at Sharjah Airport

When going through customs you will get to the baggage hall where you will find the first opportunity to buy a prepaid sim card for the UAE. Sharjah Airport is very small and at luggage belt 4 you will see a small Etisalat kiosk.

Surprisingly there is another and much bigger Etisalat shop when you walk out through the sliding doors of the arrival hall on your right side. On your left hand side in the corner there is a small Virgin Mobile store.

Last but not least there is also a DU store at Sharjah Airport. To reach the DU store you will have to walk out of the arrival hall and then walk into the departure hall the door directly on your left when walking out.

As you can see there are multiple opportunities for buying a UAE sim card at Sharjah Airport. See the vlog below to make it even easier for you to find the right shop.

Prices UAE sim cards at Sharjah Airport

All the info and prices below are updated for June 2024. In the UAE they use the AED (Arab Emirates Dirham) and 10 AED = $2.7 USD and $1 USD = 2.67 AED.

Etisalat sim card Sharjah Airport

etisalat sim card sharjah airport

Both Etisalat shops sell the exact same prepaid sim card packages for tourist. The sim card is included in the following tourist deals:

  • 49 AED = 2 GB data + 30 minutes - valid for 28 days
  • 79 AED = 4 GB data + 30 minutes - valid for 28 days
  • 125 AED = 6 GB data + 120 minutes - valid for 28 days
  • 200 AED = 22.5 GB data + 525 minutes - valid for 28 days

All the sim cards come with a free gift of 100 AED Careem credit, which is the Uber from the Middle East, a very reliable taxi app.

DU sim card Sharjah Airport

du sim card sharjah airport

The DU sim cards are also free at Sharjah Airport when buying one of their prepaid sim card deals for tourists:

  • 49 AED = 2 GB data + 30 minutes worldwide - valid for 28 days
  • 139 AED = 10 GB data + 30 minutes worldwide - valid for 28 days
  • 299 AED = Unlimited data for 10 days

The DU starter package is the exact same price as the Etisalat tourist package. The bigger data deals give you more value for money though.

Virgin Mobile sim card Sharjah Airport

virgin mobile tourist sim card sharjah airport

At Virgin Mobile they offer a bunch of data packages for tourists, many more than DU and Etisalat however, their starting price is much higher. A Virgin Mobile sim card is also free when buying one of the following packages:

  • 150 AED = 21 GB data + 30 minutes UAE + 20 minutes international - valid for 7 days
  • 200 AED = 40 GB data + 30 minutes UAE + 20 minutes international - valid for 10 days
  • 300 AED = 75 GB data + 30 minutes UAE + 20 minutes international - valid for 15 days

The above sim cards give you a certain amount of GB's per day, see the photo above.

virgin mobile prepaid sim card for tourists dubai 2023

On top that they even have another wide range of sim cards with data available and they are all monthly packages, valid for 28 days:

  • 14 GB data + 50 minutes UAE + 50 minutes international = 189 AED
  • 30 GB data + 50 minutes UAE + 50 minutes international = 299 AED
  • 44 GB data + 50 minutes UAE + 50 minutes international = 357 AED
  • 56 GB data + 50 minutes UAE + 50 minutes international = 420 AED
  • 100 GB data + 50 minutes UAE + 50 minutes international = 656 AED

Virgin Mobile has many packages, so depending on your use and length of stay it is worth checking out.

Best sim card at Sharjah Airport

If you want to go for the cheapest prepaid UAE sim card at Sharjah Airport then you have to go to either DU or Etisalat. They will give you 2 GB for just 49 AED = $13 USD. But if you can survive with just 1 GB data on your trip to the UAE then check out buying an e-sim card for the UAE as they already start from just $8.5 USD.

If 1 or 2 GB data is not enough then I would then you should check out Virgin Mobile. Etisalat and DU give you pretty much the same value for money and have the same data plans available for tourists. But when you want a lot of data then Virgin Mobile becomes cheaper. 

When you plan to use a lot of GB and you only stay short term then head to the Virgin Mobile shop and get yourself 21 GB for 150 AED = $41. This package however is only valid for 7 days.

All network providers have excellent 5G network coverage in the UAE, see my article about the best prepaid sim card for Dubai in 2024 for more about the best network in the UAE.

Buying a sim card for UAE online

There is also the option to buy a prepaid sim card for the United Arabic Emirates on the internet. You order online and this prepaid sim card will be delivered to your home address.

  • 10 GB data in UAE for 14 days = $49.90 USD

Click here for more info or to order this international prepaid sim card for the UAE directly online.

This sim card is automatically activated from its first use and will be send to your home address before your trip. It is plug and play. That means as soon as the plane touches the ground in Sharjah, you put the sim card in your phone and it starts working.

Also a last reminder that you can order an e-sim card for Dubai directly online and keep your own phone number. No swapping physical sim cards. Click on the link for more info.

Curious what it looks like arriving at Sharjah Airport and buying a sim card for the UAE then check out my vlog below.

Follow my adventure to visit every country in the world, click on the link to see my progress or check out my Instagram account @traveltomtom for more tips on the best places to visit and things to do in Dubai. As of June 2024 I have visited more than 155 countries around the world.

If you have any more questions please leave me a comment below or reach out to me on social media.

Enjoy your trip to the UAE!