When you relocate to Sharjah, you will want to get yourself connected as soon as possible so that you can stay in touch with your friends and family, as well as speak to employers and new friends in your area. Getting connected with a mobile phone, telephone, Internet connection and a post box isn’t too challenging and you can start the process as soon as you arrive.
There are two telecommunication providers in the UAE – Etisalat and Du. Both telecommunication providers are controlled by the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority that is responsible for managing the telecommunications and information technology industries in the UAE. The UAE ICT sector is one of the largest in the Arab world and the UAE has one of the highest mobile penetration and Internet usage rates in the world. Internationally, the UAE ranks first equal in mobile network coverage, in terms of the population covered, so you can be assured that facilities are excellent.
Get a Mobile Phone Connection
Visit both the Etisalat and Du websites or visit any of their numerous retail outlets in larger malls in the UAE to determine which provider offers the package that best suits your needs. It is advisable to bundle your mobile, landline and Internet connection with one provider.
Mobile phones can be purchased from a variety of retail outlets around Sharjah but can also be purchased directly from Etisalat or Du as part of a package and this often offers significant cost savings.
When it comes to mobile phone SIM cards, there are many different options for prepaid – where credit is purchased in advance of the service being used - and postpaid – where the user is billed for usage usually at the end of every month, as agreed with the provider - cards with data packs and other special packages. The package you choose will depend on whether you use your phone to browse the Internet and how many call minutes you think you might need. When you register your SIM Card and activate it, you will need to bring along your passport. Postpaid options are only available to UAE residents while short-term visitors can purchase temporary SIM cards loaded with credit.
If you select a prepay option, credit can be reloaded and purchased in multiples of AED 20, 25, 50, 100, 200 and 500, at any supermarket, petrol station, retail outlets and in the case of Etisalat, public payment machines located at Etisalat Business Centres and other areas around the UAE.
Mobile phone reception is excellent throughout the UAE, so you should have no problem making most calls on your mobile phone. There are various roaming service packs available to purchase when you want to make and receive calls or use mobile data outside the UAE.
Get a Telephone Connection
You might want to also consider getting a landline at your Sharjah home as well as a mobile phone. There are a couple of options of phone providers to choose from, Du and Etisalat.
If you live in an apartment building, it is likely one of the providers – Du or Etisalat - will serve your building.
In order to obtain an Internet connection, you will need a “No Objection” letter from your employer, a copy of your lease agreement, your residency visa, a copy of your passport and an application form.
Be aware that the government will block some websites, which is part of life in the UAE.
In the UAE, state mail is normally not delivered to addresses in the UAE but rather to post office boxes via a post box service that is called “My Box”, which is available throughout Sharjah.
In order to apply for a Post Box, you will need to submit two passport photos, a completed application form (obtained at the post office) and a copy of your passport and residency stamp.
The post box will cost an annual rent of 200 AED, as well as AED 10 for every key you need, plus a registration fee of AED 70.