stock eSIM
Here's how to switch your physical SIM for an eSIM if you are a du, etisalat by e& or Virgin Mobile user. Picture used for illustrative purposes. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Dubai: Tired of using tiny SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) cards? You can embrace the future with an eSIM, the virtual alternative embedded directly in your smartphone. You can now switch your physical SIM for an eSIM for free with UAE-based telecom providers – etisalat by e& and du.

Here’s all you need to know.

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Advantages of switching to an eSIM:

No more physical SIM cards: eSIMs are virtual, eliminating the need for a physical card. This means no more fumbling with tiny trays or worrying about losing your SIM.
Multiple phone numbers: You can manage multiple numbers on a single device.
Greater flexibility: Easily switch between different mobile plans or carriers without needing a new physical SIM. Ideal for dual SIM users or travellers.
Eco-friendly: Swapping for an eSim also reduces plastic waste.

Ready to make the switch? Here's what you need to do:

1. Check compatibility:

Make sure your phone supports eSIM technology. This includes the most recent iPhones, select Android models and other devices like smartwatches. You can usually find out if your smartphone supports eSims under the network or cellular settings.

2. Download your telecom provider’s app and have a UAE Pass account:

a. For etisalat by e& users:

You can switch to an eSIM through the ‘My Etisalat’ app using your UAE PASS account without visiting any store or customer centre. The UAE Pass is the official digital identity for citizens and residents, and it is linked with your Emirates ID. To find out how to create a UAE Pass account, read our detailed guide here.

• Once you have created the UAE Pass account, you can apply for an eSim, here are the steps, as per the etisalat by e& website -
• Log into the My Etisalat UAE App with the UAE PASS account, using the phone that you want to get the eSIM on.
• Tap on ‘Manage’ on the app’s homepage.
• Under ‘SIM Cards’ pick the SIM you want to transfer.
• Select the ‘Replace SIM/Switch to eSIM’ option.
• Then, choose ‘I want to switch to eSIM’ and tap on ‘Continue’
• Tap on ‘Continue with UAE Pass’ and allow the app to access your Emirates ID.
• Agree to the terms and conditions and tap on ‘Confirm’. After a few minutes the request will be approved.

b. For du users:

Here are the steps for converting your physical SIM into an eSIm, as per du:

• Open the du app and tap on the three dots next to your current plan.
• Select ‘Manage SIM’ from the options.
• Select the number to convert to eSIM.
• Authenticate your identity using your UAE Pass.
• Allow the app to access your Emirates ID via the UAE Pass app.
• Agree to the terms and conditions and tap on ‘Convert to eSIM’

Once your request is confirmed the eSIM will officially be installed. You will have to activate the eSIM on your phone’s settings.

For du and etisalat by e& customers, the offer for the free eSIM activation is only available for a limited period.

c. Virgin Mobile:

According to the Virgin Mobile website, ‘there are no extra charges to activate the eSIM’. Depending on the type of phone you have, the process for switching to an eSim will vary.

iOS users: Activate the eSIM service within the ‘Virgin Mobile UAE’ app.
Android users: Visit a Virgin Mobile store for assistance.

3. Activate the eSIM:

Once your mobile service provider has approved the request for the eSIM, which takes only a few minutes, you will be provided with instructions on how to further configure the eSIM on your phone.