United Arab Emirates ("WASEL") SIM Instructions

+1 310 862-7100
Please be sure to read these instructions prior to departing for the UAE.

If you experience any technical difficulties with your phone or SIM card and you do not contact Cellular Abroad for technical support by phone or by email during your trip, we cannot offer any refund or compensation.

Dialing information
Your phone needs to be an unlocked dual-band, tri-band or quad-band GSM phone capable of functioning on the 900/1800 MHz GSM band in order to accept the SIM card.

Your UAE Cell to US: 001 – area code – phone number
US to Your UAE Cell: 011 – 971 – digit number
Your UAE Cell Number to UAE: area code - phone number
UAE to Your UAE Cell Number: area code - phone number

Important: US toll free numbers are not accessible from overseas. Be sure to get valid international numbers prior to your departure.

Please Note: There is no support for service when roaming outside of UAE.

Rental Setup

  • Make sure the phone is charged and the menu settings are in English.

For SIM Card Purchases Only
Snap out the SIM chip from the SIM card and insert the chip into your GSM Phone with the metal portion facing down as to make contact with the contact prongs.

  • Make sure the phone is charged and the menu settings are in English.
  • Make sure your wall charger is a variable voltage charger.

Activating Your Service

  • Your first call while in UAE activates your service

Checking your credit
To check the balance of your prepaid account:

  • Type 121 <Send> into the phone
  • After you type the information, check the screen on your phone—the confirmation message with your balance will be displayed
  • Alternately, to check the balance of your WASEL account at any time, you may dial +9714004121 from any country and following the voice instructions.

Purchasing More Talk Time                                                                                                                          Additional call credit can be added by purchasing Etisalat "WASEL" recharge cards. They are sold in denominations of $6, $8.50 and $11 at tobacco shops, magazine kiosks and any convenience store displaying the Etisalat or WASEL logo. You can also locate your nearest vendor by calling customer service.

Adding Talk Time
Even if you have zero credit—since incoming calls are always free—you will still be able to receive calls. Once you have purchased an airtime voucher:

  • Gently scratch off the grey protective layer to reveal your 14-digit reload code.
  • Dial 120
  • Follow the instructions on the SIM card to add your airtime to your account.

Voice Mail
Call 125 to set up the service.

To activate SMS facility, you'll need to enter the SMS Message Centre No: +971506060000 in the message menu of their mobile handset. You may need to consult your phone's user guide.

If you are unable to make or receive calls switch networks on your phone.  Consult your phone’s manual.  The steps will be like these:

  • Menu > Settings/Setup > Network > Available Network/Change Network > Search
  • Select a different network carrier than the one currently shown.

If you are receiving no reception bars, emergency calls only, SOS, or no service
check your phones band setting:  Consult your phone’s manual. The steps will be like these:

  • Menu > Settings/Setup > Network > Network Setup >Band
  • Make sure you select 900/1800

Customer Service
For network or service issues:

  • Dial 101 <Send> at any time from your UAE cellular phone. Customer service card is available 24 hr/day.

For hardware issues:

  • Please contact Cellular Abroad at +1-310-862-7100 (8am to 4pm PST, Monday through Saturday, English speaking reps) or via email at support@cellularabroad.com

Calling Rates
Rates are based on per-minute charges but are charged by the second.

Domestic Outgoing Call

$ 0.08 USD first min.

Billed in 30 sec increments after first min

$0.04 every 30 sec
(Peak 7AM-2PM and 4PM-12AM)

$0.03 every 30 sec
(Off peak 2PM-4PM and 12AM-7AM)


$ 0.064 USD per Min

SMS (Text) Messages sent to Domestic phone numbers:

$0.05 Domestic
$0.16 International


Per minute rate

USA & Canada

~$0.57 USD

All incoming calls are always FREE
Calls made to 120, 121 and 122 are free of charge.

For more detailed international rates please visit:

Please remember Cellular Abroad will not give support if you are roaming outside of the designated country.

Emergency Numbers
Emergency numbers: 999 / 112 (These are free of charge)

Service Life
The annual WASEL subscription can also be renewed simply by dialing 122 from the mobile handset and following the voice instructions. SIM card renewal charges are US$ 30.
To inquire about the possibility of extending your SIM card’s service life while outside the SIM card’s country of origin, contact the telecom provider's customer service, Cellular Abroad does not provide support for this feature.

You will find a copy of these instructions on our website at http://www.cellularabroad.com/uaeSIMop.php.

Cellular Abroad is not responsible for typos, misinformation, change of service or menu prompts, lack of coverage or other possibilities that result in a lack of service or otherwise resulting in not being able to make or receive calls. We try to supply the most accurate information possible.   Carrier rates, service plans and related information can change without notice. If you find any discrepancies between these instructions and your actual experience with the phone service or if you have useful additional information, we would appreciate any clarifications, suggestions or corrections. Please send your comments to comments@cellularabroad.com.

© 2008 Cellular Abroad