Mobile applications
Here is how you can port your number from one service provider to another. Image Credit: Stock image

Dubai: Love your mobile number but want to take advantage of a better mobile phone plan? UAE consumers have the option to switch telecom operators on the same mobile number through Mobile Number Portability (MNP).

Porting services were launched in the UAE in 2013 and Etisalat and du, the two main telecommunications service providers in the UAE, have made it a relatively seamless process for customers to switch from one provider to the other, whether you are doing so to get more attractive data plans or heaper international call rates.

While porting form one provider to the other does not incur charges, before you decide to you would need to consider the following:

1. If you have a contract plan with your service provider, find out what the charges for early termination will be. Regardless of how many months are left on your contract, you would need to pay one month’s fee as an early termination charge, based on the announcement by the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) in January this year

2. If you are a pre-paid customer, TRA’s advice is to use your current balance before moving your number to another operator, to avoid potentially losing the remaining balance.

3. If you have bought your mobile phone device from your telecom provider as part of a contract, you would need to pay any remaining charges for the device before you are able to port to another service provider.

Switching from du to Etisalat

To request to port a number from du to Etisalat, you would need to visit an Etisalat business centre and fill out an application form. The form is also available online here:

Fee: There is no service charge

Documents needed

1. Valid Emirates ID

2. In case of a post-paid plan, you would need to present any one of the following documents:

• Stamped salary certificate

• Vehicle licence

• Three months bank/online bank statement

• Last month’s utility bill with physical address

• Tenancy/ownership contract

• Ministry of Labour contract

How long will the process take?

The process to port is fulfilled within one working day. Once you submit the application to port the number, you will be provided with a new SIM card. When the number has been shifted to Etisalat, you would need to replace the SIM and restart your phone to begin using the service.

Switching from Etisalat to du

You can make the request at the following places:

1. Du shop

2. Du authorised partner shops

3. Online –

Fee: There is no fee for the request to port. However, for a pre-paid ‘Pay as you go’ plan, you would need to pay a one-time activation fee of Dh20. For post-paid plans, there is no activation fee.

Documents needed

1. Passport with a valid visa OR Emirates ID.

2. In case of a post-paid plan, you would need to present any one of the following documents:

• UAE credit card.

• Latest utility bill.

• Current tenancy contract.

• Salary certificate.

• Signed and stamped current pay slip.

If you submit your request online, a confirmation SMS will be sent to your current SIM within one working day.

The new du SIM card will then be delivered to your location. You would be required to present your original Emirates ID for verification purposes.