If you’re planning a visit to Qatar, having a SIM card is essential for staying connected. Whether you want to easily explore new cities, find the best dining options, navigate to your accommodation, or share memorable moments with loved ones, having internet access on the go is invaluable.
While roaming is an option, it can quickly become expensive, especially when traveling internationally. That’s why we recommend either an eSIM or a local SIM card to enjoy local phone rates without breaking the bank.
Thankfully, obtaining either of these options in Qatar is incredibly straightforward. In this comprehensive guide, we will provide you with all the information you need to know about purchasing a SIM card in Qatar, including current prices and the optimal choice for your needs.
The best sim card in Qatar is an Airalo Qatar eSim. Usually I recommend a local sim card for anyone looking for the best value, but the price of Airalo’s eSims in Qatar are almost the same as Vodafone or Ooreedoo for a similar amount of data. In my opinion, the convenience of an eSim makes this the best pick for most visitors to Qatar.
If your phone isn’t compatible with eSims (most phones support eSims now, including all iPhones since 2018), then your best local option is the Vodafone prepaid sim card with 8GB data valid for 30 days for 60 QAR.
Ooreedoo’s network is technically the best in Qatar, but Vodafone is a close second and in reality you won’t notice the difference. Both the Airalo eSim and the Vodafone prepaid sim card use Vodafone’s reliable and extensive mobile network in Qatar.
A Tourist Sim Card in Qatar costs 60 QAR in February 2024, however, the exact price will often depend on the store you visit and the plan you choose.
Alternatively, an eSim in Qatar will cost between $5 USD and $49 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 Qatar which includes 5GB of data which is valid for 30 days and costs $17.50 USD.
In Qatar, there are two primary SIM card providers, Vodafone and Ooredoo, which dominate the telecommunications market. Vodafone Qatar, a subsidiary of the global telecommunications giant Vodafone, is renowned for its extensive coverage, high-speed data services, and excellent customer support. Their innovative product offerings include prepaid and postpaid plans, mobile internet, and value-added services.
Ooredoo, the state-owned telecommunication company, is another major player in Qatar’s mobile market. They offer comprehensive mobile plans with attractive call rates, data packages, and international roaming options. Ooredoo is widely recognized for its network reliability and advanced technology solutions.
Both Vodafone and Ooredoo strive to provide fast and reliable connections, making communication seamless for locals and expatriates residing in Qatar. Customer satisfaction is their priority, and they continuously compete to offer innovative services and superior customer experiences in Qatar’s rapidly-growing telecommunications landscape.
Vodafone is a renowned telecommunications company offering tourist SIM cards in Qatar. With their reliable network coverage, travelers can stay connected and enjoy fast internet speeds during their visit. These SIM cards provide various data and call packages tailored to meet tourists’ needs. The user-friendly interface and convenient activation process make it hassle-free for visitors. Vodafone’s tourist SIM cards ensure a seamless and enjoyable communication experience for tourists in Qatar.
The price of a Vodafone tourist sim card in Qatar is 60 QAR.
The plan offered by Vodafone stores includes 8GB data + 240 minutes valid for 30 days.
Ooredoo is a prominent telecommunications company in Qatar. They offer tourist SIM cards with various benefits. These SIM cards provide visitors with seamless connectivity, allowing them to stay connected while exploring the country. With attractive data packages, affordable call rates, and options for local and international calls, Ooredoo tourist SIM cards are a reliable choice for travelers in Qatar. Experience superior communication services and enjoy a hassle-free journey with Ooredoo’s tourist SIM cards.
The price of a Ooreedoo tourist sim card in Qatar is 35 QAR.
The plan offered by Ooreedoo stores offers 2GB + 25 minutes calls valid for 7 days.
Qatar, a Middle Eastern gem, offers tourist sim cards that cater to visitors’ communication needs. The country’s major telecom providers, Ooredoo and Vodafone, offer convenient sim card options for tourists. These cards provide affordable data, voice, and text packages, ensuring seamless connectivity throughout Qatar. Whether exploring the cultural sites of Doha or venturing into the desert, tourists can rely on these sim cards to stay connected and make the most of their visit to Qatar.
The price of a tourist sim card in Qatar is .
The plan offered by stores includes valid for .
Identify mobile providers: Vodafone, Ooreedoo and are your best options in Qatar.
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 Qatar 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 Qatar then you will be in luck. All major international airports in Qatar 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 Vodafone, Ooreedoo 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 Qatar 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 Qatar 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 Qatar. The Airalo Qatar 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 $17.50 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 Qatar without having to venture outside.
Our preferred eSim provider in Qatar is Airalo. We used them, alongside a local sim card on another device, for our most recent trip to Qatar 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 Qatar eSim uses the Vodafone network to provide data and connect users to the internet. You can expect very good coverage and reliability with the Vodafone networknetwork as they are amongst the best mobile internet operators in Qatar.
Here are the plans and prices for Airalo’s Qatar eSim:
1GB data valid for 7 days – Price: $5 USD
2GB data valid for 15 days – Price: $9 USD
3GB data valid for 30 days – Price: $12 USD
5GB data valid for 30 days – Price: $17.50 USD
10GB data valid for 30 days – Price: $30 USD
20GB data valid for 30 days – Price: $49 USD
For most travellers we recommend the 5GB data plan for $17.50 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 Qatar eSims offer unlimited data.
Holafly’s Qatar eSim uses the Ooredoonetwork to provide data and connect users to the internet. This network will provide reliable speeds and coverage while in Qatar
Here are the plans and prices for Holafly’s Qatar eSim:
3GB data valid for 7 days – Price: $34 USD
6GB data valid for 15 days – Price: $44 USD
8GB data valid for 30 days – Price: $47 USD
An eSIM, or embedded SIM, is a built-in digital SIM card found in devices like smartphones, tablets, or smartwatches. Unlike regular physical SIM cards, the eSIM doesn’t require insertion or removal from the device.
Instead, the eSIM is already 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 needing to physically change SIM cards.
eSIM technology offers convenience, flexibility, and simplicity, particularly for travelers or individuals who frequently switch networks or travel internationally. It eliminates the need to purchase and insert physical SIM cards, making it more convenient to manage multiple mobile connections on a single device.
To activate an eSIM, users can either scan a QR code provided by their network operator or manually input activation details. Once activated, the device can connect to the chosen network and access voice, data, and messaging services, just like with a regular SIM card.
There are several advantages of using an eSIM:
– Convenience: No need to physically insert or remove SIM cards when switching networks or plans, which is especially helpful for frequent travelers.
– Dual SIM functionality: Allows for two active mobile numbers on one device, ideal for separating personal and work numbers or managing multiple phone lines.
– Space-saving: With eSIMs embedded in the device, there is no need for a physical SIM card slot, freeing up space for smaller devices or additional components.
– Remote provisioning: Activation and management of mobile plans can be done remotely, without requiring a physical SIM card or store visit, providing greater flexibility and convenience.
– Future-proofing: As eSIM technology becomes more widespread, more networks and service providers offer support, allowing users to take advantage of new services and offerings.
In summary, eSIM technology offers flexibility, convenience, and future-proofing for mobile connectivity, making it an appealing choice for many users.
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.