Whereas, Wifi is a norm now and free calling apps like Whatsapp and Viber or even good old Skype is used to get in touch with your friends and family, when you are abroad, especially for Hajj or Umrah. You might still want to take a Saudi sim, which has its obvious benefits.

  1. First of all, all your transfers company is local and you might want to inform them of your arrival, after landing at Jeddah. This is especially important, as some of the airlines like Royal Jordanian, have recently started using the the Hajj terminal instead of the international terminal.
  2. Wifi is normally available only inside hotels, so you still will need a sim to get in touch, when outside.
  3. Owing to the large demand, telecom companies in most Muslim countries offer special rates for calling Saudi. It is easier and cheaper for your kin to get in touch at a cheap price.
  4. You can avoid voice and data roaming charges on your home country line.
  5. If you mostly call one number in UK, there is a possibility to add a favorite number, that costs SR 1.9 per minute with Mobily and Zain.
  6. As you are new to Saudi Arabia, getting hold of emergency and other important numbers and all can be a problem. This is a breeze if you by a Saudi sim, as mostly these are loaded with local important contacts. Sims, distributed during Hajj, to pilgrims had even all the important Hajj officials contacts preloaded.
  7. Please take special care of your Sim jacket as that will be needed for every recharge.

Please remember that data and voice sims are usually separate, so make your choice after careful consideration or best is to buy two if you can.

There are three major operators in Saudi Arabia. A brief of their services and call and data rates is given below.

Mobily:

mobily logo

Mobily has a special package sim for Hajj and Umrah, which is valid for 60 days. Please note Mobily has separate sims for Data and Voice.

Rates are as follows:

Voice:

  • Free Incoming
  • All Local calls: SR 0.50 per minute.
  • SMS (Local/International): SR 0.25
  • International calls to UK : From 55 Halalas per minute

Data Bundles:

  • 500 Mb: SR 15
  • 1 GB: SR 25
  • 2 GB: SR 45
  • 5 GB: SR 100

Zain:

Zain Saudi sim

Zain has a visitor’s package for Hajj and umrah travelers. It is called Noor Package. Details are as follows:

Voice:

  • Free Incoming
  • Sim Cost: SR 30
  • Initial Balance: SR 25
  • All Local calls: SR 0.9 per minute.
  • SMS (Local/International): SR 0.25
  • International calls to UK : From 55 Halal per minute
  • Data: 0.2 Halals/Kb

Data Bundles:

Noor also has a data option:

  • 1 GB valid for 14 days : SR 25
  • 5 GB for one month: SR 80
  • 10 GB for 90 days: SR 130
  • Extra Usage: SR2/Mb

STC (Saudi Telecom Company)

STC Saudi logo

Sawa visit sim includes SR 10-25 as starting credit. The sim is valid for 120 days. STC also offers free apps like Deeni Yaqeeni, Hajji and Al Motawef, to help pilgrims with rituals.

Sawa Voice Rates:

  • Valid for : 120 days
  • Free Incoming
  • All Local calls: SR 0.55 per minute.
  • SMS (Local/International): SR 0.25
  • International calls : From SR 0.55-SR 0.99 per minute

Sawa Data Bundles:

  • 15 GB: SR100
  • 100 GB: SR200
  • 330 GB: SR300

 

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