All tourists entering Dubai will now receive a free pre-paid mobile SIM card, thanks to a collaborative 'happiness' project launched by Du Telecommunications, the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs (GDRFA- Dubai), and Smart Dubai.
The free 'tourist sim pack' will be handed over to all tourists above 18-years-old at the Immigration counter, Major General Mohammed Al Marri told Khaleej Times at a press meet at the Dubai International Terminal 3 on Sunday, June 16. He said, "The traveller will be given the SIM card on the basis of their travel document, which includes the travellers' passport and a valid visit visa."The pilot phase of "Connect with Happiness" project allows travellers with transit visa, visit visa, visa on arrival, and GCC citizens arriving at Dubai International Airport to take advantage of complimentary du Tourist SIM cards. The SIM card will provide the tourist three-minute talk time and 20 MB mobile data for free. The SIM card will be valid for 30 days, an entire month, or the duration of the tourist's stay.
Fawad Al Hasawi, executive Vice President, Emirates Integrated Telecommunication Services, du, also said that the system works in sync with the immigration system, and will be deactivated once the tourist exits the country. "Otherwise, the SIM is valid for 30-days only. The tourist can also top-up the sim for three packages- small, medium, and large," said Hasawi.
Authorities believe this project will enhance the happiness of all visitors entering Dubai. Currently, the SIM will be offered to passengers exiting Dubai Airport terminals 1,2, and 3.
However, in case the tourist changes his status to a resident of Dubai, he will not be able to convert the number into a permanent one, Hawasi told Khaleej Times on the sidelines of the press meet.
"As per rules set by the telecommunication regulation authorities in Dubai, the SIM card will be deactivated in 30 days or when the individual leaves. As of right now, there is no mechanism in place to convert the temporary number into a permanent one."
Al Marri also said, "This project aims to contribute to achieving Dubai Happiness Agenda, which is being implemented by the Smart Dubai Office. We have targeted visitors of Dubai in cooperation with du, in a move to ensure they enjoy a safe and happy stay."Al Marri added: "Dubai is witnessing an increasing growth in a number of visitors from all over the world. In addition, this initiative is line with the directives of the UAE leadership and with the city's vision for the implementation of Happiness Agenda to make Dubai the happiest city on Earth. He added, "Through our association with du, we are pleased to be enabling visitors to Dubai to enjoy a unique service on arrival."
Dr Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr, the director general of the Smart Dubai Office said, "Smart Dubai Office in collaboration with its strategic partners, is working to achieve Dubai Happiness Agenda, which was launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai in 2016, which focuses on people happiness, whether visitor, resident or citizen. People's happiness in Dubai is what we are working for."
Hawasi said, "As part of future plans, we are hoping the project will eventually be extended to all immigration checkpoints in the UAE. It will also be extended to other airports across the country."