Review: How Airalo Menalink eSIM works in the UAE

I recently travelled from Doha to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. The flight was relatively short and took less than an hour. I was pleased with how well the Airalo Menalink eSIM functioned in the UAE.

Disclaimer: Some links in this article contain affiliate links. If you click on the link and purchase any service, I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.

If you want to compare Airalo Menalink eSIM with other eSIMs for the UAE, my reviews are here:

Reviews: eSIM for United Arab Emirates

This article discusses eSIM technology and other companies in detail. This article offers advice on choosing a suitable product for a trip abroad. All eSIM reviews are available here.

Airalo Discount Code

Use this link to access the Airalo webpage. You can get $3 off on your first eSIM if you use my Airalo code SANDRA4293.

If you already have an existing account, see this article for the discount code.

Airalo Applications

Airalo has apps where you can buy new plans or track the usage of your existing plans. Below are the links where you can download them:

For Google Play click here.

For Apple Store click here.

Airalo’s offering for the United Arab Emirates

Airalo offers three types of eSIM products for the UAE. The first product is the Airalo Burj Mobile eSIM, a data package specifically for the UAE.

The second type of product is Airalo Menalink, which can be used in 15 countries in the Middle East and North Africa. These include Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates.

Airalo offers two variants of “Global eSIMs”. The first one is Airalo Discover eSIM, which offers data only. It varies from 1 to 20 GB. These data eSIMs can be used in 124 countries.

The second variant is Airalo Discover eSIM, which contains data, voice calls, and SMS. The plans include voice calls (from 10 minutes up to 200 minutes), SMS (from 10 SMS up to 200 SMS), and mobile data (from 1 GB to 20 GB). These eSIM cards come with the Austrian phone number +43. These data eSIMs could be used in 125 countries.

Detailed instructions on creating an account and buying a data package can be found in this article.

When I purchased my eSIM, Airalo presented me with three Menalink packages, each offering various mobile data ranging from 1GB for $15 to 3GB for $39. The validity of these packages ranges from 7 to 30 days.

What phones support eSIM?

With this technology’s growing popularity, more and more phones and tablets are on the market that support it. When buying a phone, you should ask the seller if the phone supports eSIM. Airalo regularly updates the list of supported devices, so it is better to check their official support page.


Mobile operators in the UAE and connection type

There are two mobile operators in the Emirates – du Mobile and Etisalat. The Menalink data package can only be used on the Etisalat network.

Connection type

Airalo lists LTE on its website. More and more operators are launching 5G networks, so you may see a 5G icon on your phone.

eSIM Activation

The activation and validity period of the data package will start as soon as the eSIM is connected to a supported network, in this case, Etisalat. 

My data plan

I travelled to Abu Dhabi and spent two days there. One day was on my way to Indonesia, and the other was on my way back home. Although my entire trip lasted only 9 days, the 7-day validity period was sufficient for me. During my stay in Abu Dhabi, I purchased a Menalink 1GB data package for $15. If you apply my discount code, you can get it for $12.

Network registration

Before my flight from Qatar to the UAE, I ensured the Airalo Menalink eSIM was active on my phone. Once I landed at Abu Dhabi airport, I turned off flight mode and observed what would happen. The Airalo eSIM automatically connected to the Etisalat mobile network. Upon enabling mobile data, I noticed that the H+ icon appeared, and after a few minutes, it changed to 4G.

Functionality

On my first visit to Abu Dhabi, I was eager to visit the Sheikh Zayed Mosque. Thanks to Google Maps, I knew exactly how to get there and when the bus was scheduled to run. During the bus ride, I continued to browse the internet to see if there were any other interesting sights to explore. I only encountered slow internet once while I was at the shopping centre near the mosque; otherwise, everything worked seamlessly.

During my second visit to Abu Dhabi, I experienced slow internet speed issues at the airport while using Uber and finding a taxi to my hotel. However, while exploring Yas Island the next day, I didn’t face any problems with Google Maps or social networks. As I wanted to keep my family and friends updated on my trip, I was glad to have a smooth internet connection during my sightseeing.

Speed

On my way home, I decided to test the speed. I still had about 350 MB left, which I thought would be sufficient for the speed test and would still give me some data for Qatar (my next stop). I did not expect that the network speeds in Etisalat’s mobile network would go up to 249 Mbps and that this test would consume all remaining data.

Top-ups

Purchasing additional data is relatively simple. After clicking “My eSIM” and “Menalink,” I saw the offer for these three packages.

Conclusion

Menalink eSIM is more expensive than the combined cost of Peal Mobile eSIM for Qatar and Burj Mobile eSIM for Emirates. Both Burj Mobile eSIM and Menalink eSIM support Etisalat as an operator. However, speed testing can be risky, as in this case, where the download speed exceeded 200 Mbps, consuming quite a lot of data (351 MB in my case). Overall, my experience with this eSIM has been positive, with only a brief problem during the second visit.

What is your experience with Airalo or other eSIMs in UAE? Share your experience with us.

AdvantagesDisadvantages
Three types of eSIM – local Burj Mobile, regional Menalink and global DiscoverNo unlimited data package
Different sizes of data offered – from 1GB to 3GBHigher prices compared to local eSIMs (Burj Mobile)
Different validity periods of data plans – from 7 to 30 daysThe largest package is only 3GB
Simple process for top-ups


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