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Etisalat: That’s fast

I was at the Mall of the Emirates the other day whilst I was in Dubai. I think it’s almost obligatory to go there once per visit to the Emirate!

In this case I was there because I was driving past, saw the sign and remembered I needed – ideally – a local sim. I have been using my awesome Three Denmark sims (which I have still kept) because they support roaming in the United Arab Emirates.

I thought it would be better to not abuse 3DK’s roaming hospitality and try out a local network directly. I therefore walked around the mall until I found a mobile network store… and the one I arrived at by chance was Etisalat.

I walked in and selected a visitor price plan. The nice lady there helped me complete the transaction by scanning my passport and taking payment and so on.

She was a little surprised I opted for an eSim – most people still seem to want to put in the little chip, but not me. I’m eSIM all the way if I can do it. Both OmanTel, Vodafone Oman and 3DK are all networks that really champion eSIM technology and make it so simple to use – you can deploy right from their app or websites.

The lady in the Etisalat store insisted on setting up the eSIM for me … that was kind of her. I let her go through the process and I ‘walked out working’ a few moments later. Nice work Etisalat.

However… just as I left the store, another employee sheepishly stopped me for a moment. He was lingering at the exit looking for people who were new customers, I think.

“Can we do a speed test?” He asked me. He had an Etisalat staff badge and employee uniform. I wasn’t about to hand him my phone, but I thought there was no harm in helping out. I wondered if he was a techie from head office checking if the latest kit he’d installed in store was working properly.

“Oh sure,” I said, flicking up Speedtest and pressing ‘Go’.

“This had better be a good result,” I said to him, nodding to the store. I expected a good result in the vicinity of the store. My device did show a 5G connection with Etisalat.

He watched the Speedtest with interest – closely – and then nodded with satisfaction at the rest.

“May I take a picture?” Has asked. I nodded – he took his photo and then thanked me.

No problem then. He was happy. So was I. This is what the speed test results registered:

In parting I said, “Whaaaaaat? Only 79mb up???” but in fairness almost 2GB down is… pretty good.


  1. Hey Ewen

    Read with interest your update about the Etisalat eSIM. Speeds are outstanding.

    I thought you might be interested in an eSIM service I’ve been using called Airalo. It’s an app based eSIM which lets you subscribe to an eSIM service in a range of countries – I have tried New Zealand and Japan so far and the experience has been seamless.

    What I like about it is you can load up multiple eSIMs before you travel and they autodetect when you enter a new country / network and switch over. Prices reasonable both v roaming rates but also probably v buying a SIM from a local operator. No voice / SMS though.

    Ngā mihi


  2. Nick thanks for writing… I actually was literally just about to write about Airalo. I found them in the app store last week when I was looking for an eSim for Saudi. Its been seamless for me too. I will be writing the post shortly!!


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