Cellphones, mobile phones, or mobiles are common in the U.A.E. Etisalat is the main network provider, and the prefix for calling Etisalat mobiles is 050 (rather than 4, which is the prefix for landlines in Dubai). If your own network provider does not allow roaming while in the U.A.E., you can use Etisalat's Wasel service. This allows you to use a prepaid Etisalat SIM card in your existing phone while in the U.A.E. A second cellphone network called Du (www.du.ae) also offers service in the U.A.E. The prefix for calling Du mobiles is 055. Both Du and Etisalat offer monthly or pay-as-you-go mobile service.
Internet & E-mail
Internet access is widely available in Dubai, although it's also censored with a proxy server used to filter out sites considered inappropriate or offensive to U.A.E. religious, cultural, or social values. Emirates Internet and Multimedia (EIM) is responsible for Internet services in the country. Most Dubai accommodations have Internet access, and Wi-Fi is common in international hotels, but if you can't get service, you can connect to EIM's "Dial and Surf" service through your computer's modem using a regular phone or ISDN line. Just dial tel. 04-500-5555 to gain access, and the fee will be billed to the phone line you are using. Call the EIM help desk (tel. 800-6100) for more information.
Most Dubai hotels offer Internet access, including business centers with computers. Al Matrix.com Café (tel. 4/343-0000) lies in the Metropolitan Hotel on Sheikh Zayed Road and is open from 10am to midnight. Formula One Net Café (tel. 4/345-1232), in the Palm Strip shopping mall on Jumeirah Beach Road, is open from 10am to 10pm. The Coffee Bean (tel. 4/282-4122) offers Internet access at the Aviation Club in Al Garhoud, and is open from 7am to 11pm. WorldNet Internet Café (tel. 4/332-2913) lies in the Holiday Center on Sheikh Zayed Road and is open from 10am to 11pm.
Etisalat (www.etisalat.ae) is the U.A.E.'s main telecommunications provider. A second provider, Du (www.du.ae), also offers service. Local calls in Dubai are free, except to cellphones. Direct dialing is possible to most countries. Pay phones are common in Dubai, and require prepaid phone cards widely available in supermarkets, gas stations, and other shops.
The international country code for the U.A.E. is 971, and the city code for Dubai is 4. To call the U.A.E./Dubai:
- 1. Dial the international access code: 011 in the U.S., 00 in the U.K., for example.
- 2. Dial the country code: 971 for the U.A.E.
- 3. Dial the city code: 4 for Dubai, and then dial the number.
To call within the U.A.E.: For calls within Dubai, omit the city code. For calls to other emirates, first dial 0 and then the city code: 2 for Abu Dhabi, 3 for Al Ain, and 6 for Sharjah. For calls to Etisalat cellphones, it is necessary to dial first 050. For calls to Du cellphones, it's necessary to dial first 055.
To make international calls: Dial 00 to get an international line, followed by the country code and the phone number.
For directory assistance: Dial 181 for Etisalat, and 199 for Du.
For an operator: Dial 100.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.