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Roaming | With the mobile phone to Dubai and the UAE

Table of contents

Roaming in the United Arab Emirates

  1. Roaming in the Emirates
  2. Local prepaid cards
  3. Examples of local prepaid cards
  4. VoIP and WhatsApp Call
  5. Landline in the Emirates

Roaming in the Emirates

Regardless of whether you are on vacation or on a business trip: It is also important to be mobile when you are abroad. In non-European countries such as the United Arab Emirates, however, this is often still very expensive. Many cell phone providers offer special tariff options that can be used to reduce these roaming costs at least to some extent. Details on these offers can be found on our advice pages on roaming for contract customers and roaming for prepaid customers.

Local prepaid cards

Local prepaid cards can be particularly useful for cell phone calls in Dubai and within the United Arab Emirates. Their credit is usually valid indefinitely, provided you have at least one outgoing call per year. Business travelers who regularly come to the country for short business appointments benefit from this, as do regular vacationers. However, be careful when calling Germany: Many local standard tariffs are cheap in Germany, but international calls are expensive.

Examples of local prepaid cards

In Dubai and the rest of the Emirates there is with you and Etisalat two local cellular network operators that offer special tariffs for tourists. The purchase of a SIM card is therefore quite easy because only the passport is enough to be able to purchase a SIM card. Corresponding dealers can be found at airports and in shopping centers.

Make calls with a local prepaid SIM
teltariffEtisalat is the formerly state-owned mobile communications company and had a monopoly until 2006. The network in Dubai and throughout the rest of the country is correspondingly well developed. LTE can also be used with European cell phones and is available almost throughout the country. For AED 105 (approx. 25 euros), the company is offering a special tariff for tourists with the Visitor Line, where quotas for telephony, SMS and mobile data can be purchased. The tariffs offered can be used for 14 days each, but can then be booked again. If you only want to use mobile internet, you have the option surf Book with 1 GB of data and 5 hours of WiFi at Etisalat hotspots. Etisalat also offers an app for iOS and Android that can be used to control consumption.

Also you advertises a tariff for tourists, the Tourist Plan. At just 65 AED (approx. 16 euros) this is a little cheaper, but offers 20 minutes, 20 SMS and only 500 MB of data. In addition, the tariff is only valid for 7 days.

VoIP and WhatsApp Call in Dubai: Difficult, but possible

After the telephony and video functions on WhatsApp were previously blocked in the Emirates, WhatsApp call and WhatsApp video now also work in the Emirates. This was shown in a test by the editorial team in November 2018. This means that you can now call friends and family in Germany free of charge via WhatsApp in Dubai.

Apart from that, the use of VoIP is usually not possible in Dubai or all the Emirates because the network operators have prevented this at the request of the government. If you still want to use VoIP, you have to secure your Internet connection with a VPN, which routes the traffic directly to Germany. However, the use of VPN services is also prohibited in the Emirates.

Anyone who nevertheless sets up a VPN - for example free of charge to the FRITZ! Box at home - can also make calls to Germany over the Internet from Dubai, Abu Dhabi or other Emirates. This is then - apart from possible traffic costs - possible free of charge. There are numerous free Wi-Fi hotspots in Dubai and most hotels either offer an open Wi-Fi network or access data are available at reception - some free of charge, some for a fee. Another possibility are bars, cafes and shopping centers (malls) in Dubai and other Emirates, which often provide free WiFi for their customers.

WhatsApp calls: safe and inexpensive!
teltarif A call from Dubai to Germany is also safest if you use a messenger with encryption, such as that offered by WhatsApp Call. WhatsApp Call has recently also been usable without a VPN. This means that it is currently technically impossible to listen to such a conversation from the network. Only those who have been on the phone with whom and for how long are logged.

In theory, there is also the option of making calls in Dubai using WiFi calling. However, since this is also VoIP, it does not work without VPN either. With WiFi calling, calls to Germany in particular are very cheap. You can read more about this in our guide to WiFi calling abroad.

Alternative: international prepaid cards

If you don't want to use VPN and still want to make calls via VoIP, you can order an international SIM card over the Internet before going on holiday in Dubai. In Dubai or the Emirates, this only works in roaming, but is not affected by the restrictions of local providers. In addition, the tariffs for data and telephony are usually cheaper than the roaming prices of German network operators.

You can find an overview of international Prepad SIM cards in our guide. We also regularly test international SIM cards and tell you the advantages and disadvantages.

Landline in the Emirates

Anyone who has long conversations from the V.A.E. who wants to lead to Germany can also make calls over the fixed network. However, you shouldn't just pick up the hotel phone and dial a German number, because most hotels use their own tariff model in order to earn money on the phone calls. The use of calling cards or callback offers often makes it cheaper.

Attention: In many hotels, room telephones are more expensive than the local landline connection.
dpa In order to be able to use callback offers, the room telephone in the hotel must be reachable under a specific extension number. On the other hand, you have to ask at the hotel reception whether calling cards can be used. A completely normal landline connection, for example in a holiday home, allows both calling cards and tariffs with the callback method to be used. If you are looking for a cheap landline tariff for calls to Germany, you can either purchase a corresponding calling card on site or use our calling card calculator to find out more beforehand.

If you think we have forgotten an important tip, simply send us an email to [email protected]

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