Welcome to Riyadh! One of the first things you should do upon arrival at Riyadh airport should be to get a local SIM card so you can stay connected during your trip. This guide will tell you everything you need to know about buying a SIM card at Riyadh Airport, including where to get it, and how to choose the best.

Sim card at Riyadh Airport featured image

I. Where to Buy a SIM Card at Riyadh Airport

Obtaining a prepaid SIM card upon arrival at Riyadh International Airport provides visitors with a simple and convenient way to get mobile connectivity in Saudi Arabia. At Riyadh Airport, you can conveniently purchase a SIM card from stores of the three major mobile network providers in Saudi Arabia: STC, Mobily, and Zain.

Getting SIM card in Riyadh - Airport kiosk
Getting SIM card in Riyadh – Airport kiosk

After exiting from the arrival gate, head towards the main terminal building where you will see numerous shops for Saudi Arabia’s major mobile network providers like STC, Mobily and Zain located right in the arrival hall. The counters make it easy to choose a data package, complete purchase using cash or credit card, and receive activation instructions.

For those on short layovers or wanting instant connectivity, buying a SIM at Riyadh Airport offers travelers a hassle-free option to stay connected on-the-go during their visit to Saudi Arabia. However, consider getting SIM card in the Riyadh city for more options to choose.

II. Riyadh Airport SIM Card Options and Costs

The airport shops for major providers STC, Mobily and Zain are centrally located for ease of purchase. They offer affordable plans, ranging from about $15- 40 for basic packages Let’s overview the SIM card options, speeds, and approximate costs for each provider:

peratorPlanData AllotmentSocial Media DataCall MinutesCost (SAR)Valid ForCost (USD)Best For
MobilyPrepaid 755 GB5 GB600754 weeks$20Short trip under 2 weeks
MobilyPrepaid 11010 GB15 GB1,5001104 weeks$29.332-4 week trip
STCsawa flex10 GB10 GB50086.254 weeks$23.012-4 week trip
ZainVisitor 5015GB2 weeks505057.52 weeks$15.33Short 1-2 week trip
STCsawa share plus25 GB25 GB500132.254 weeks$35.20Family on long trip

Riyadh airport SIM cards therefore represent excellent value, allowing visitors to settle in comfortably and navigate Saudi Arabia with dependable mobile connectivity from day one of their visit. When choosing a SIM, consider data speeds, network coverage, and whether you need lots of calling/text or more data. Also look at plan expiration – some prepaid plans expire quickly if not in use.

III. What You Need to Prepare for Getting a SIM Card at Riyadh Airport

Here are a few things you need to prepare before getting a SIM card upon arrival at Riyadh International Airport:

  • Unlocked phone: Make sure your phone is unlocked to work on a network different from your home provider. Contact your home carrier to unlock it if needed.
  • Passport: You’ll need your passport as identification for registration during the SIM card purchase process.
  • Cash (Saudi Riyals, SAR): It’s recommended to have some Saudi Riyal cash on hand. While some stores might accept credit cards, cash is generally more reliable, especially for faster transactions.

Having quick access to the relevant legal identity and status proofs helps travelers, residents and workers obtain their Riyadh airport SIM seamlessly. It minimizes delays at the purchase counter.

IV. eSIM as an Alternative to SIM Card at Riyadh Airport

Saudi Arabia eSIM - Alternative for tourists
Saudi Arabia eSIM – Alternative for tourists

If you’ll be arriving at Riyadh International Airport and need a local SIM card to stay connected, consider getting your Saudi Arabia eSIM online from saudiarabiaesim.com instead of dealing with airport shops.

Their digital eSIM plans offer travellers a fuss-free option without the hassle of finding a store, standing in line, or providing identity documents. No need to waste time searching the airport – you can be online right away from the comfort of your seat. Saudiarabiaesim.com offers affordable packages available from as little as $5 provide great value and ease of use.

Go Beyond Borders with saudiarabiaesim.com

⚡️Instant Activation: No waiting, just download and go!
✈️Local Carrier Magic: Seamless & speedy, powered by major players.
♾️Flexible Plans: Choose the data package that fits your needs and budget.
No Hidden Fees: What you see is what you pay, no surprises.
Ready to break free from roaming restrictions? Click the button below to grab your eSIM and start your global adventure today!


Do I need to show my passport/ID to buy a SIM card in Riyadh?

Yes, you will need to show your passport and Etasalat visa number to purchase and activate any SIM card as a foreign visitor. Shops will photocopy your passport info.

Can I use my existing SIM card from another country in Riyadh?

Most international SIM cards do not work in Saudi Arabia. Local SIM cards are very affordable, so it’s best to purchase one upon arrival for the best rates and coverage.

How long does it take to activate a new SIM card in Riyadh?

If you have all the required documentation, the activation process only takes about 10-15 minutes in most cases. You’ll walk away with a working SIM.

Can I use the airport WiFi hotspot instead of buying a SIM?

Airport WiFi is typically unreliable and may have data caps, security issues, or slow speeds. A local SIM card is recommended for stable connectivity during your trip.

VI. Final Words

Getting a SIM card at Riyadh Airport is quick and easy if you come prepared with your passport, visitor ID number, and a bit of cash. Look for arrival hall kiosks or mobile operator stores to compare plans across STC, Mobily, and Zain. With an activated SIM in hand, you’ll stay conveniently connected for calls, texting, and mobile data during your entire Saudi visit.

Alternatively, a Saudi eSIM provides a digital profile that may be more convenient than managing a physical card. Whatever option you choose, you’ll be set up for a smooth start to your Riyadh travels with mobile service ready upon arrival.