Dubai: As part of a campaign launched by the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA) – your number is your identity – the authority informed people to consider a SIM card registered under their name just like an official ID.
In an awareness post on Instagram, the authority said: “Your phone number is your personal responsibility; it says who you are, just like your ID and passport. Giving others a phone number registered in your name makes you legally responsible for anything done with that number.”
Aditi Gandhi, a Dubai-based lawyer, said that it is compulsory for the citizens, residents and visitors to submit their identification document at the time of purchasing a SIM card.
“This is because the SIM card will be considered to be under the legal ownership of said applicant. All government records will reflect that the SIM card is purchased and used by the applicant for his or her personal or commercial use,” she said.
Any or all misuse, or criminal activity done through the SIM card will be assumed to be committed by its owner, unless reported as lost or stolen prior to the acts being committed.
Gandhi added that by handing over a SIM card registered under your name to someone else, you undertake the responsibility for all actions arising of the use of the SIM card, like paying the phone bills, or renewing the SIM card registration.
“Any or all misuse, or criminal activity done through the SIM card will be assumed to be committed by its owner, unless reported as lost or stolen prior to the acts being committed. The onus will be on the owner of SIM card to prove that he or she was not involved in the misuse, criminal or illegal activity,” Gandhi said.
How to report a lost or stolen SIM card?
If your SIM card gets stolen you should immediately file a report/ complaint to the nearest police station to ensure that you are not held liable for any criminal or illegal actions conducted through the lost or stolen SIM card.
My friend is coming to the UAE – how can I help him or her get a SIM card?
You do not need to feel obliged to offer an additional Sim card that may be under your name to a friend, acquaintance or relative coming to the UAE on a visit or for work purposes.
According to Ahamed Roozan Abdul Kuthoos, Director of Dubai Global Home, getting a Sim card is extremely easy for people arriving in the UAE, as kiosks for the telecommunication providers like Etisalat, du and Virgin mobile are set up at the arrivals lounge of all international airports in the country.
“A person arriving in the UAE will be to get their SIM card at the airport itself. If they are new to the UAE, they would be going out to places like malls and shopping centers, where there are stores of telecom companies. Even if they are visiting a typing center, to change their visa status, they can get a SIM card there. It is also very easy to apply online,” Abdul Kuthoos said.
Even if a person has not yet arrived in the UAE, a resident here can apply for their SIM card by presenting the applicant’s passport copy, according to Abdul Kuthoos.
A person arriving in the UAE will be to get their SIM card at the airport itself. If they are new to the UAE, they would be going out to places like malls and shopping centers, where there are stores of telecom companies.
“The telecommunications company would require a No Objection letter or requesting letter from the passport holder. This only applies for prepaid connections, as postpaid requires an Emirates ID,” he said.
What is the cost involved?
Regardless of the service provider you choose, a new mobile Sim card can cost anywhere between Dh25 to Dh50. It is important to look at the offer from the service provider, as a higher price usually brings with it a usage allowance of a set number of talk time minutes and internet data use