If you’re planning a visit to Kuwait, having a reliable sim card is essential to stay connected and make the most of your trip. Access to the internet while traveling allows for seamless navigation in unfamiliar cities. Whether you need to discover the top-notch restaurants, find your accommodation, book transportation, or share memorable moments with your loved ones, having internet access on the go is a must.
While roaming is a viable option, international fees can quickly accumulate, so it’s advisable to opt for either an eSIM or a local sim card to enjoy local phone rates. Fortunately, obtaining either an eSIM or local sim card in Kuwait is incredibly convenient.
However, it’s important to understand which option suits you best. This comprehensive guide aims to provide you with all the information you need to purchase a sim card in Kuwait, including current pricing and recommendations for the best sim card to suit your needs.
The best sim card in Kuwait is the Zain prepaid sim card. For 5 KD you will get 30GB data + 100 minutes of calls valid for 30 days. This is plenty of data for anyone visiting Kuwait.
On top of this, Zain is the largest mobile operator in Kuwait and has the best coverage and network reliability. Ooredoo also has extensive coverage and is a suitable alternative, especially if you require significantly more data, however, it will cost you almost 50% more at 7 KD.
If you are happy with a little less data, for 4.61 KD I highly recommend the Airalo Kuwait eSim. It is cheaper than the local sim cards and comes with 5GB data. This is of course a lot less than 30GB, but most people don’t need 30GB of data when they’re visiting Kuwait and I consider the improved convenience of an eSim worth the tradeoff. For 7.69 KD ($25 USD) you can get 10GB.
A Tourist Sim Card in Kuwait costs 5 KD in February 2024, however, the exact price will often depend on the store you visit and the plan you choose.
Alternatively, an eSim in Kuwait will cost between $4.50 USD and $40 USD. This, again, depends on how much data you require and which eSim provider you choose.
I generally recommend this Airalo plan for most tourists visiting Kuwait which includes 5GB of data which is valid for 30 days and costs $15 USD.
In Kuwait, the main SIM card providers are Zain, Ooredoo, and STC. Zain, also known as Mobile Telecommunications Company, is one of the biggest telecom operators in the country. They offer a wide range of mobile plans and services, including voice calls, text messages, and data packages. Ooredoo is another prominent provider, previously known as Wataniya Telecom. They provide competitive mobile services, focusing on high-speed mobile internet and excellent coverage. STC, or Saudi Telecom Company, is a leading telecommunications provider in the region. They offer reliable and flexible mobile plans, ideal for both personal and business use. With these three main players, customers in Kuwait have a variety of options to choose from for their mobile communication needs.
Zain is a renowned telecom provider in Kuwait offering incredible tourist sim cards. With their affordable packages, travelers can enjoy unlimited data, local calls, and international minutes. Zain’s excellent network coverage ensures uninterrupted connectivity while exploring Kuwait’s beautiful attractions. Additionally, their quick and hassle-free activation process enables tourists to start using the sim immediately. Embrace a seamless travel experience with Zain’s tourist sim cards and stay connected throughout your adventure in Kuwait.
The price of a Zain tourist sim card in Kuwait is 5 KD.
The plan offered by Zain stores includes 30GB data + 100 minutes valid for 1 month.
Ooredoo, a leading telecommunications company in Kuwait, offers exceptional tourist sim cards to enhance the travel experience. With seamless network coverage across the country, visitors can stay connected effortlessly. These sim cards provide generous data allowances and affordable international calling rates, allowing tourists to stay in touch with family and friends back home. Ooredoo’s reliable network and excellent customer service make it a top choice for tourists seeking efficient connectivity in Kuwait.
The price of a Ooredoo tourist sim card in Kuwait is 7 KD.
The plan offered by Ooredoo stores offers 230GB data + 100 local minutes valid for 30 days.
STC, also known as Saudi Telecom Company, offers convenient tourist SIM cards in Kuwait. These SIM cards provide affordable plans with data, voice, and SMS services. With network coverage across Kuwait, travelers can stay connected and enjoy seamless communication throughout their journey. STC’s tourist SIM cards offer flexibility, convenience, and reliable service, ensuring a hassle-free experience for tourists visiting Kuwait. Stay connected and make the most of your trip with STC’s tourist SIM cards.
The price of a STC tourist sim card in Kuwait is 5 KD.
The plan offered by STC stores includes 200GB data + 200 minutes valid for 30 days.
Identify mobile providers: Zain, Ooredoo and STC are your best options in Kuwait.
Find your nearest store: Locate a store or retailer by searching on Google Maps for your nearest store or asking at your hotel reception. I’ve never had issues finding a store as they can usually be found in major cities, shopping centers, or tourist areas. If possible, I always recommend to to avoid airports and head in to an official store in the city.
Bring the necessary documents: It is always a good idea to carry your passport or identification documents for sim card registration purposes. We’ve found most providers will need to confirm your identity to provide a sim card and it can be a major hassle to head to a store only to have to come back again later with your passport.
Choose your plan: Either request the plan you are after or consult with the staff in the store to select the right plan for you. My recommendations at the beginning of this guide are a good starting point, but the staff will usually be able to suggest the best option.
Pay and activate your card: Pay for the SIM card and plan, and the staff will activate it for you.
Test: It’s always a good idea to check that you can access the internet before you leave the store. I always search for something on Google then refresh my Instagram feed to check it’s working fine.
Buying a prepaid sim card for Kuwait at the airport is usually considered the most convenient option for travellers arriving by plane.
However, airport stores selling sim cards are almost guaranteed to charge inflated prices, so if you are a cost-conscious traveller then you should definitely buy your sim card from a store in the city center.
In addition to this, we would argue that buying physical sim cards at all aren’t particularly convenient now that most people use esim compatible phones. If you are looking for the most convenient option, then buying an esim before you arrive or with the airport wifi is much easier and will save you having to queue up or communicate with staff.
If you must purchase a sim card at the airport in Kuwait then you will be in luck. All major international airports in Kuwait have stores selling sim cards. Despite the prices being higher than normal, the staff are knowledgable and will be able to get you set up with the correct sim card relatively quickly.
If you want to avoid the inflated sim card prices you’ll find at the airport and your phone isn’t esim compatible, then you’re going to need to head in to a store to buy your sim card.
I recommend visiting one of the official retail stores of the mobile internet operators such as Zain, Ooredoo and STC. Your best option is to enter their names into Google Maps and find the branch closest to your hotel or accommodation. Typically the staff in the official stores in Kuwait are knowledgable and helpful which means you can ensure you’ll walk away with a functioning sim card.
Despite this, it’s always a good idea to check your internet is working before you leave the store by loading a Google search results page and your preferred social media app. You should also ensure you always bring your passport with you when purchasing a sim card in case they need to register it.
If you like to be prepared and would prefer to arrive in Kuwait with your sim card all sorted and your phone ready to connect to the internet immediately then you should look into purchasing a sim card online.
The first option is to buy your sim card in advance via SimOptions, which is a company that will prepare and ship a sim card directly to your door. It’s a reliable and effective service, but with the invention of eSims it’s becoming obsolete.
The better option is to purchase an eSim online. We’ve written more on that below!
An eSim is a digital version of a traditional sim card and is most likely the future of connectivity for mobile devices. The convenience of no longer visiting a store, handing over your passport and purchasing a physical sim card is quickly making physical sim cards obsolete in favour of eSims.
We recommend Airalo’s eSim when travelling to Kuwait. The Airalo Kuwait eSim offers fast internet speeds, wide coverage and extremely competitive prices making it a far more compelling option than purchasing a physical sim card from any of the local sim card providers.
In order to get set up with an Airalo eSim, all you need to do is visit Airalo here and purchase the eSim online (the $15 USD plan is suitable for most travellers). Once you’ve purchased the sim card Airalo will email you instructions and a QR code. Following these instructions should take just a couple of minutes, then you’ll have a sim card in Kuwait without having to venture outside.
Our preferred eSim provider in Kuwait is Airalo. We used them, alongside a local sim card on another device, for our most recent trip to Kuwait and found the service to be equal to the local sim card but without the hassle of acquiring a sim card in a store.
Airalo’s Kuwait eSim uses the Zain network to provide data and connect users to the internet. You can expect very good coverage and reliability with the Zain networknetwork as they are amongst the best mobile internet operators in Kuwait.
Here are the plans and prices for Airalo’s Kuwait eSim:
1GB data valid for 7 days – Price: $4.50 USD
2GB data valid for 15 days – Price: $8 USD
3GB data valid for 30 days – Price: $10.50 USD
5GB data valid for 30 days – Price: $15 USD
10GB data valid for 30 days – Price: $25 USD
20GB data valid for 30 days – Price: $40 USD
For most travellers we recommend the 5GB data plan for $15 USD which is valid for 30 days. Some travellers may prefer a larger plan, whilst travellers visiting for just a couple of days may be fine with a smaller plan.
An alternative eSim provider we can recommend is Holafly.
Holafly’s eSim is a suitable option for travellers who require large amounts of data, such as digital nomads and people who work online while they travel. All of Holafly’s Kuwait eSims offer unlimited data.
Holafly’s Kuwait eSim uses the Kuwait Telecom Company (K.S.C.) / Mobile Telecommunications Company / National Mobile Telecommunications Company (K.S.C)network to provide data and connect users to the internet. This network will provide reliable speeds and coverage while in Kuwait
Here are the plans and prices for Holafly’s Kuwait eSim:
6GB data valid for 15 days – Price: $44 USD
An eSIM, also known as an embedded SIM, is a digital SIM card that is installed directly into a device, such as a smartphone, tablet, or smartwatch. Unlike traditional physical SIM cards, the eSIM does not require insertion or removal.
Instead, the eSIM is integrated into the device’s hardware and can be remotely activated and programmed by a mobile network operator. This allows users to easily switch between different mobile networks or plans without the hassle of physically swapping SIM cards.
eSIM technology offers convenience, flexibility, and simplicity, especially for frequent travelers or those who frequently switch between mobile networks or travel internationally. It eliminates the need to purchase and insert physical SIM cards, making it much easier to manage multiple mobile connections on a single device.
To activate an eSIM, users either scan a QR code provided by their mobile network operator or manually input the activation details. Once activated, the device can connect to the desired mobile network and enjoy voice, data, and messaging services just as with a traditional SIM card.
Using an eSIM can be beneficial for several reasons. Firstly, it offers convenience as there is no need to physically insert or remove a SIM card when switching networks or plans. This is particularly useful for frequent travelers. Secondly, eSIM allows for dual SIM functionality, meaning two active mobile numbers can be used on the same device. This is great for separating personal and work numbers or managing multiple phone lines. Additionally, eSIMs are embedded within the device, saving space and allowing for smaller devices or extra components. Activation and management of mobile plans can be done remotely over the air with eSIMs, offering flexibility and convenience. Lastly, eSIM technology is becoming more widely supported, ensuring access to new services and offerings in the future. Overall, eSIM technology provides flexibility, convenience, and future-proofing for mobile connectivity.
eSIM technology is becoming increasingly popular and is supported by a growing number of smartphones and other devices. Here are some examples of eSIM-compatible phones:
Apple iPhone series (iPhone 11, iPhone 12, iPhone 13, etc.): Apple was one of the early adopters of eSIM technology and offers support for eSIM on various iPhone models.
Google Pixel series (Pixel 3, Pixel 4, Pixel 5, etc.): Google’s Pixel smartphones also support eSIM functionality, allowing users to activate and use eSIMs.
Samsung Galaxy series (Galaxy S22, Galaxy Note 20, etc.): Many of Samsung’s flagship devices now come with eSIM support, enabling users to utilize eSIM technology.
OnePlus devices (OnePlus 7, OnePlus 8, etc.): OnePlus has included eSIM support in some of its smartphone models, offering users the flexibility of using eSIMs.
Motorola Razr (2020): The latest iteration of the iconic Motorola Razr features eSIM compatibility, enabling users to use eSIMs for cellular connectivity.
These are just a few examples, and the list of eSIM-compatible phones continues to expand as more manufacturers embrace this technology. There’s a very strong chance your phone supports eSims so if you’re unsure we recommend looking it up on our list of eSim supported phones.
Using an eSim is new for many travellers, however, the good news is it’s surprisingly easy to get set up – even for the technologically challenged!
Here’s a general guide on how to use an eSIM:
Check eSIM Compatibility: Ensure that your device supports eSIM functionality. Many newer smartphones, smartwatches, tablets, and other devices are eSIM compatible including all iPhones produced since 2018.
Obtain an eSIM: There are multiple ways to acquire an eSIM. You can purchase an eSIM online from a provider like Airalo (which we recommend) or directly from a mobile network operator. Some devices also allow you to scan a QR code provided by your carrier to download the eSIM profile.
Activate the eSIM: Your eSim provider will send you instructions to activate the sim. This will usually involve scanning a QR code, entering an activation code, or downloading the eSIM profile directly onto your device.
Set up the eSIM: Once activated, your device will guide you through the eSIM setup process. This typically involves selecting the eSIM as your preferred mobile plan, configuring settings like data roaming, and entering any necessary authentication details.
Enjoy the Connection: Once the eSIM is set up, you can use it as you would with a physical SIM card. Make calls, send messages, browse the internet, and use data services as needed. You can also switch between eSIM profiles if you have multiple eSIMs installed on your device.
Hi, I’m Mitchell. I’m a full-time traveller, explorer and travel blogger. Travel Sim Expert is a blog dedicated to helping you find the best sim card for you, no matter where you are or what your budget is.