Keeping in touch with loved ones back home can burn a hole in our pockets. Du and Etisalat offer customers a few options to save and make cheap international calls – including off-peak rates, special discounts on calls to selected countries, and the occasional offer.

Using your mobile

Keep an eye out for regular offers and add-ons from your service provider, which will help you cut back on costs. Below are a few we found.

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Etisalat offers

  • Etisalat has a ‘Call International, Pay Local’ offer; customers can call 11 countries for 0.6 fils per second any time of the day. The service has a step-up charge of AED 1 per call and can be activated on top of your current plan. Countries include Bangladesh, China, Egypt, India, Iran, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. To subscribe, SMS *141#.
  • Etisalat’s ‘1 Fils International’ offer lets you call 135 countries for one fil per second. There is a set-up fee of AED 1.5 per call, and this offer can be activated on top of your current prepaid plan. To subscribe, SMS “1 Fils” to 1012.
  • With Etisalat’s The New Postpaid plan, customers can add the ‘International pack’ to their current package and get 100 international minutes for AED 50 per month.

Du offers

  • Du’s ‘Pay As You Go’ plans offers prepaid customers 10 free minutes every month to make national or international calls to 175 destinations. But remember, the minutes are only valid for three days.
  • Du prepaid customers can add the ‘Me & Mine International Plan’, and call two preferred international numbers at a 10% discount. A monthly fee of AED 10 will apply. To subscribe, call 155 or 135.
  • With the Du ‘International Minutes Bundle’ offer, pay AED 5  to make multiple calls to Bangladesh, China, India or Pakistan for a total of 10 minutes. Remember, once you’ve subscribed, the offer will only be valid for 30 days. To subscribe, SMS ‘Yes’ to 553 or dial *135*300#.
  • With Du’s ‘Daily Saver Bundle’, customers can make multiple local and international calls for a total of five minutes for AED 2.50 per day. The offer also includes five national and international SMS. To subscribe, dial *135*7#.
  • Du’s ‘Call Home For Less’ offer lets customers call 10 selected countries for AED 0.6 fils per second. You will be charged a set-up fee of AED 1 for each call you make. To subscribe, dial*135*30# and press 1.
  • With Du’s Smart Plan 150, postpaid customers get a total of 300 minutes ( 5 hours) to make national and international calls for AED 150. Each international call is charged at 2 fils per second.

[Related: Useful mobile commands for UAE customers A cheaper way to secure your new mobile phone Six ways to keep your mobile bill under AED 200]

Using your landline

  • Etisalat customers can already make calls to other local landlines for free. To make international calls, landline customers can subscribe to the 1Fils Per Second Plan and get discounted rates to 162 destinations at one fil per second. The discounted rate is applicable at all times of day. For other countries, standard rates apply. To subscribe, dial 125.
  • Du customers can make international calls to 190 international destinations at a discounted rate of one fil per second with their Homephone plan. However, calls have to be made between 9pm and 9am, and there is an activation fee of AED 50. Once the line is activated, you get a bonus of 100 minutes of international calls, which have to be used within 90 days. To get a Du landline, call 04 39055 55.
  • Du Homephone Recharge customers with a prepaid service for their landlines get charged one fil per second for international calls to 190 destinations. They also get free credit worth AED 5 upon activation of the service. To subscribe, call 800 135.