Visiting Saudi Arabia soon? Make sure to know what to expect when it comes to purchasing a Saudi Arabia SIM card.
Fortunately, the Middle East is one of the best places where you can buy a SIM card easily.
You should be able to find a cheap SIM card pretty much anywhere in the Middle East. In fact, most data packages are affordable, which makes the whole thing easier!
In this guide, we’ll explain where to buy a SIM card in Saudi Arabia in person and online. We’ll also discuss prepaid SIM cards and eSIMs if your mobile supports them.
Before you read this guide, you may wonder if you actually need a SIM card in Saudi Arabia.
If you don’t mind not having Internet, you’ll likely find free Wifi in restaurants, shopping malls, and hotels.
That said, if you need data to get around, call a cab, or translate Arabic – you may want to get a SIM card for your travels in Saudi Arabia.
Best SIM Cards In Saudi Arabia
If you’re traveling in Saudi Arabia, we recommend using a SIM card from Virgin Mobile, Jawwy, STC, or Airalo. (I’ll get back to Airalo later on, so keep reading to learn more!)
That said, if you’re planning on visiting other countries during your trip to the Middle East, you might want to make sure to pick an option that offers coverage in other Middle Eastern countries.
How To Buy A SIM Card In Saudi Arabia
You can either buy a Saudi Arabia prepaid SIM card in person in some international airports, mobile provider stores, convenience stores, or online.
Usually, you can expect higher costs and low data offers at the airport, so we don’t recommend buying a SIM card at the airport.
That said, you won’t necessarily find SIM card shops in every airport, so it’s essential to keep this in mind. And, when you see a shop, you might also have limited options.
For this reason, I’d recommend buying a SIM card directly from the mobile provider store. Note that you may need your passport to buy one.
Although, this means you won’t get data right upon your arrival. So, if you prefer to be connected at all times, you could use an eSIM or purchase a Middle East prepaid SIM card online.
Now, let’s take a look at the data plans offered by Virgin Mobile, Jawwy, and STC.
Virgin Mobile SIM Cards
Virgin Mobile offers several different types of prepaid plans:
- 1 GB, valid for 10 days for SAR 12.99 ($3.46)
- 2.5 GB, valid for 30 days for SAR 39.99 ($10.66)
- 13 GB, valid for 30 days for SAR 55.00 ($14.66)
- 40 GB, valid for 30 days for SAR 85 ($22.66)
- Unlimited data, valid for 30 days for SAR 325 ($86.63)
Jawwy SIM Cards
Jawwy has one prepaid plan available:
- 5 GB, valid for 30 days for SAR 69 ($18.39)
STC SIM Cards
STC offers several main SIM-only plans for tourists:
- 4 GB, valid for 30 days for SAR 74 ($19.73)
- 10 GB, valid for 30 days for SAR 115 ($30.65)
- 40 GB, valid for 30 days for SAR 195.50 ($52.11)
- 80 GB, valid for 30 days for SAR 276 ($73.57)
- Unlimited, valid for 30 days for SAR 414 ($110.35)
Overall, we think Virgin Mobile is the best option if you plan to buy your SIM card in person.
That said, any would do if you can’t find their store!
How To Buy A Saudi Arabia Prepaid SIM Card Online
If you wish to have your SIM card ready for your arrival, you could purchase it online or on websites like Amazon.
You’ll find different plans on Amazon. For example, the OneSimCard works in more than 200+ countries and gives you data for $0.01 per MB. Saudi Arabia is included.
But there are many other options worth considering, so have a look and make sure the countries you plan on visiting are listed.
Another option is to purchase a prepaid Middle East SIM card on Simify. This works if you live in the United States or Australia.
They currently offer one package that covers Saudi Arabia:
- 6 GB, valid for 15 days for $40
Finally, the last option is to buy an eSIM card for Saudi Arabia or, if you’re traveling to multiple countries, an eSIM plan for the Middle East.
How To Buy An eSIM Card For Saudi Arabia
eSIM is a new concept allowing you to have a virtual SIM card inside your phone.
If your mobile phone supports eSIM cards – it’s definitely one of the best options to get data in Saudi Arabia.
Curious? Learn more about eSIMs for travelers on eSIM Roamers.
I started using eSIM as soon as my mobile phone supported it. To buy eSIMs, I usually use Airalo, a reliable eSIM provider.
Keep reading to learn more about the best eSIMs for Saudi Arabia.
Airalo Saudi Arabia
If you want to buy an eSIM for Saudi Arabia, you could purchase one on Airalo.
This website offers many eSIM cards worldwide and special plans for the Middle East and Saudi Arabia.
I’ve been using Airalo for several months, and it works fine. Learn more by reading our Airalo review.
Here are the options available:
- Red Sand: 1 GB, valid for 7 days for $5
- Red Sand: 2 GB, valid for 15 days for $8
- Red Sand: 3 GB, valid for 30 days for $11
- Red Sand: 5 GB, valid for 30 days for $15.50
- Red Sand: 10 GB, valid for 30 days for $26
The following options are also available for the Middle East:
- 1 GB, valid for 7 days for $15
- 2 GB, valid for 15 days for $28
- 3 GB, valid for 30 days for $39
These are part of the Menalink plan and cover the Middle East and North Africa, including Saudi Arabia.
Alternatively, if you’re traveling in other countries, Discover Global offers coverage in 84 countries, including Saudi Arabia.
Here’s an overview of the options available on Discover Global:
- 1 GB, valid for 7 days for $9
- 3 GB, valid for 15 days for $24
- 5 GB, valid for 30 days for $35
- 10 GB, valid for 60 days for $59
- 20 GB, valid for 180 days for $89
Now, one important thing to note about Airalo is that you’ll need to keep an eye out for the provider in each country.
Suppose you ever have trouble connecting to the Internet during your trip.
In that case, it might be because you’re connecting automatically to networks and need to select a network manually instead.
When you purchase the eSIM, you’ll get access to the list of networks supported in each country.
Holafly Saudi Arabia
Alternatively, you could look at your options on Holafly.
You can read our Holafly review to learn more about this eSIM store.
Here’s an overview of the plan for Saudi Arabia:
- 3 GB data, valid for 7 days for $34
- 6 GB data, valid for 15 days for $49
Nomad Saudi Arabia
Finally, Nomad is also a great eSIM provider.
Here’s an overview of the plans available for Saudi Arabia:
- 1GB, valid for 7 days for $8
- 3GB, valid for 30 days for $15
- 5GB, valid for 30 days for $20
- 10GB, valid for 30 days for $35
Nomad also has Global, an eSIM plan for 111 countries worldwide. This plan offers coverage in Saudi Arabia.
Here’s an overview:
- 1GB, valid for 7 days for $25
- 3GB, valid for 30 days for $40
- 5GB, valid for 30 days for $45
Final Thoughts On SIM Cards In Saudi Arabia
As you can see, getting a prepaid SIM card in Saudi Arabia or even an eSIM for your travels in Saudi Arabia is pretty straightforward.
You’ll even be able to stay connected wherever you go in the Middle East without changing your SIM card, especially if you purchase a Middle East or global plan.
I believe the eSIM card is the most convenient way to get data in Saudi Arabia if you wish to have data upon your arrival.
This way, you won’t need to go to a store to buy a SIM card.
Obviously, you need to make sure your mobile phone supports eSIM first.
Traveling to the Middle East soon? Read one of the following blog posts: