UAE to provide free SIM cards to tourists

File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Web Team Abu Dhabi Jul 05, 2019, 12.43 PM (IST)

In a first of its kind, UAE will now provide free mobile phone SIM cards to the tourists arriving in the country.

The cards will contain free data, international calling minutes and text message facility. Valid for a month, the SIM cards will get renewed if tourists extend their stay.

The scheme was announced after an agreement was signed between the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship and TeleKomNow in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.

No documentation is required by the tourists to avail the service. They will be handed over the SIM cards as a gift at the immigration. Once the tourist inserts the card and enter their identification and arrival date their service will be immediately activated and within two minutes the tourist can use the facility.

UAE has also waived off visa fee for dependents, aged 18 years or below, between July 15 and September 15.

The scheme will be applicable every year and is expected to boost the tourist footfall. The decision was taken by the UAE cabinet last year in July.

Earlier in May, UAE had launched a permanent residency scheme to attract individuals and highly skilled workers, such as doctors, engineers, scientists and artists, to the oil-rich Gulf country.

Foreigners account for 90 per cent of the population of around nine million in the UAE, the Arab world's second-largest economy which has seen rapid development in recent years.

(With inputs from agencies)