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Best Tourist Sim Cards in Maldives in 2024

Choosing a sim card is hard. We've analysed the best tourist sim cards in Maldives across pricing, coverage and data. Find out the best pick!

If you’re planning a trip to the Maldives, having a sim card is essential to stay connected while exploring the breathtaking islands. Reliable internet access can make your travel experience more convenient and enjoyable, allowing you to easily navigate new cities, discover the best local restaurants, find directions to your accommodation, book taxis, and share memorable photos with your loved ones.

While international roaming is an option, the mounting fees can quickly become overwhelming. It is advisable to either opt for an eSIM or purchase a local sim card to access affordable local phone rates. Thankfully, acquiring either an eSIM or a local sim card in the Maldives is a hassle-free process, but it’s crucial to know which option suits you best.

This comprehensive guide aims to provide you with all the essential information about obtaining a sim card in the Maldives, including current prices and recommendations for the best sim card to purchase.

Table of Contents

Best Sim Card in Maldives for Tourists

The best sim card in the Maldives is the Airalo Maldives eSim. The Maldives are one of the unique countries where the Airalo eSim is actually cheaper than the local tourist sim cards. For $30 USD you will get 17GB of data valid for 30 days, whilst the cheapest tourist sim card costs $35 USD, however, it does include some minutes and texts.

The best physical sim card in the Maldives is the tourist sim card offered by Dhiraagu. Dhiraagu has the best mobile network in the Maldives, slightly cheaper pricing than their competitor, Ooregoo, and more options.

For pretty much anyone visiting the Maldives, 17GB of data will be plenty so I recommend the 17GB plan which includes 150 mins and 150 SMS valid for 30 days for $35 USD. There are a few larger plans for anyone who requires extra data but 17GB is plenty.

That said, if your phone can support eSims (most do by the way, including all iPhones since 2018) then I highly recommend opting for the Airalo eSim instead. No one wants to spend their holiday buying a sim card, talking to a salesperson and installing a physical sim card at the airport. With Airalo you can buy your eSim online before you leave and it will begin working when automatically when you arrive in the Maldives.

Maldives Sim Card Prices

A Tourist Sim Card in Maldives costs $35 USD in February 2024, however, the exact price will often depend on the store you visit and the plan you choose.

Alternatively, an eSim in Maldives will cost between $30 USD and $50 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 Maldives which includes 17GB of data which is valid for 30 days and costs $30 USD.

Maldives Sim Card Providers

In the Maldives, the two main SIM card providers are Ooredoo and Dhiraagu. Ooredoo Maldives, a subsidiary of the global telecommunications company Ooredoo Group, offers a wide range of prepaid and postpaid plans for both locals and tourists. Their services include high-speed internet, international calling, and SMS packages tailored to suit different needs. Dhiraagu, the leading telecommunications operator in the Maldives, also offers a variety of SIM card packages and services. With a strong network coverage across the country, Dhiraagu ensures reliable telecommunications and seamless connectivity for its users. Both Ooredoo and Dhiraagu strive to provide efficient customer service and continuous innovation to meet the growing demands of a digital society in the Maldives.

Ooredoo Tourist Sim

Ooredoo is a telecommunications company in the Maldives that offers convenient tourist sim cards. These sim cards are specially tailored for travelers, providing seamless connectivity throughout the archipelago. With excellent coverage and competitive data plans, tourists can stay connected during their stay. Ooredoo’s tourist sim cards also offer additional benefits like local call minutes and text messages. Enjoy hassle-free communication and internet access while exploring the stunning beauty of the Maldives with Ooredoo’s reliable services.

Ooredoo Maldives Tourist Sim Price

The price of a Ooredoo tourist sim card in Maldives is $40 USD.

The plan offered by Ooredoo stores includes 20GB data + 150 minutes + 150 SMS valid for 30 days.

Dhiraagu Tourist Sim

Dhiraagu is the leading telecommunications company in Maldives and offers a range of services, including tourist sim cards. Their sim cards provide hassle-free connectivity to tourists visiting the Maldives, offering reliable voice and data services. With extensive coverage across the islands, Dhiraagu ensures seamless communication for tourists to stay connected with their loved ones, navigate the Maldives, and share their unforgettable experiences. Dhiraagu’s tourist sim cards provide an essential tool for travelers seeking an effortless and enjoyable experience during their visit to this tropical paradise.

Dhiraagu Maldives Tourist Sim Price

The price of a Dhiraagu tourist sim card in Maldives is $35 USD.

The plan offered by Dhiraagu stores offers 17GB data + 150 minutes + 150 SMS valid for 30 days.

Tourist Sim

Maldives is a picturesque country comprised of stunning islands, attracting tourists from around the world. To cater to their needs, numerous telecom service providers offer tourist SIM cards. These cards provide affordable data plans, allowing visitors to stay connected during their stay. With excellent coverage and high-speed internet, tourists can share their memorable experiences on social media, browse the web, and communicate with loved ones effortlessly.

Maldives Tourist Sim Price

The price of a tourist sim card in Maldives is .

The plan offered by stores includes valid for .

How to Get a Sim Card in Maldives

Identify mobile providers: Ooredoo, Dhiraagu and are your best options in Maldives.

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.

Where to Get a Sim Card in Maldives

At the Airport

Buying a prepaid sim card for Maldives 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 Maldives then you will be in luck. All major international airports in Maldives 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.

In Stores

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 Ooredoo, Dhiraagu and . 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 Maldives 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.

Online

If you like to be prepared and would prefer to arrive in Maldives 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!

Maldives eSim

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 Maldives. The Airalo Maldives 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 $30 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 Maldives without having to venture outside.

Airalo Maldives

Our preferred eSim provider in Maldives is Airalo. We used them, alongside a local sim card on another device, for our most recent trip to Maldives 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 Maldives eSim uses the Ooredoo network to provide data and connect users to the internet. You can expect very good coverage and reliability with the Ooredoo networknetwork as they are amongst the best mobile internet operators in Maldives.

Here are the plans and prices for Airalo’s Maldives eSim:

17GB data valid for 30 days – Price: $30 USD
30GB data valid for 30 days – Price: $50 USD

For most travellers we recommend the 17GB data plan for $30 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.

Holafly Maldives

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 Maldives eSims offer unlimited data.

Holafly’s Maldives eSim uses the network to provide data and connect users to the internet. This network will provide reliable speeds and coverage while in Maldives

Here are the plans and prices for Holafly’s Maldives eSim:

Unfortunately, the Holafly esim packages for the Maldives are unavailable. We’ll add the prices back in here once they are available again.

What is an eSim?

The eSIM, also known as an embedded SIM, is a digital SIM card that is permanently integrated into devices like smartphones, tablets, and smartwatches. Unlike the traditional physical SIM cards, there is no need to insert or remove this eSIM physically.
Instead, the eSIM is already built into the device’s hardware and can be remotely activated and programmed by a mobile network operator. This feature enables users to easily switch between different mobile networks or plans without having to physically swap SIM cards.
The benefits of eSIM technology include convenience, flexibility, and ease of use, especially for travelers or individuals who frequently switch between different mobile networks or travel internationally. With eSIM, there is no requirement to purchase and insert physical SIM cards, making it more convenient to manage multiple mobile connections on one device.
To activate an eSIM, users either need to scan a QR code provided by their mobile network operator or manually enter the activation details. Once activated, the device can connect to the preferred mobile network, providing voice, data, and messaging services similar to a traditional SIM card.

Why Use an eSim?

There are several reasons why using an eSIM can be beneficial:

1. Convenience: With an eSIM, there is no need to physically insert or remove a SIM card when switching between mobile networks or plans. This is especially useful for frequent travelers who need to switch networks or use local SIM cards in different countries.

2. Dual SIM functionality: eSIM allows for dual SIM functionality on devices, allowing two active mobile numbers on the same device. This is helpful for separating personal and work numbers or managing multiple phone lines.

3. Space-saving: eSIMs are embedded within the device, eliminating the need for a physical SIM card slot. This frees up space within the device, allowing for smaller device sizes or additional components.

4. Remote provisioning: With eSIMs, activation and management of mobile plans can be done remotely over the air. This means you can activate or switch to a new plan without needing a physical SIM card or visiting a store. This offers flexibility and convenience in managing mobile connectivity.

5. Future-proofing: As eSIM technology gains traction, more mobile networks and service providers are offering support for eSIMs. Using an eSIM-compatible device ensures that you can take advantage of new services and offerings as they become available.

Overall, eSIM technology provides flexibility, convenience, and future-proofing for mobile connectivity, making it a compelling choice for many users.

eSim Supported Phones

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.

How to Use an eSim

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.

Mitchell

Mitchell

Hi, I’m Mitchell. I’m a full-time traveller, explorer and travel blogger. I've travelled all around the world, using and testing countless travel sim cards along the way. I'm the founder of and writer for Travel Sim Expert where I write guides to help travellers stay connected all around the world.

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. 

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