Mobile number portability, or porting as it is sometimes called, allows you to transfer from one network to another while retaining your all-too-familiar mobile number. This promotes consumer welfare since it gives subscribers complete control over their choice.  

Here is everything you need to know about porting in the UAE.

Transferring to Etisalat or Du

Since the launch of porting in UAE in 2013, both Etisalat and Du have worked hard to simplify the whole process. You can now get your number ported to Du or Etisalat by simply following these five easy steps.

1. Activate the porting request

You will need to visit an authorized branch of the mobile network you wish to switch to. 

2. Choose a pre-paid or post-paid plan 

For a pre-paid plan, you will only need your valid Emirates ID in original to apply. 

For a post-paid plan without a device, you will need your original Emirates ID along with one of the following Ability to Pay documents: 

  • Stamped Salary Certificate (minimum salary AED 2,500)
  • Vehicle Registration
  • Last three months’ bank/online bank statement
  • Previous month utility bill with physical address
  • Tenancy/ Ownership contract
  • Ministry of Labor contract (minimum salary AED 2,500)

For a post-paid plan with rented device, you will need your original valid Emirates ID and one of the following Ability to Pay documents:

  • Stamped Salary Certificate (minimum salary AED 4,000) 
  • Vehicle Registration

You will also have to choose one of the following two payment options:

  • An upfront advance payment of AED 1000 which will be deducted from your monthly bill.
  • Registering an auto-pay credit card with at least 6-month validity. The first month rental will be deducted instantly followed by an automatic deduction on the 15th of every month.

3. Fill out the porting application form and sign it

You will be immediately given a porting date and a new SIM card. Note that the application and activation is completely free of charge.

4. The transfer

The whole porting process normally takes 1-2 working days. There is no downtime and your current mobile service is not interrupted until the transfer is complete. 

5. Swap your SIM cards

Once the connection with the new network is established, you will receive an SMS on your existing SIM card asking you to switch to your new SIM. 

Transferring to Virgin Mobile

Virgin Mobile joined the game later in 2017. Catering to the more digitally savvy generation, they offer their full spectrum of services via the Virgin Mobile smartphone app. Here is how to port your number to this network.

  1. Sign up through the Virgin Mobile app and select “Bring Your Current Number”.
  2. Enter your existing mobile number and select your current service operator.
  3. Tick the box confirming that you have a valid Emirates ID. For visitors, original passport with a valid entry stamp is required.
  4. Your request will be processed and a new SIM card delivered to you, usually within an hour. Currently, delivery service is only available in Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi. The transfer process can take up to 3 working days. In the interim you will be assigned a temporary number. You need to keep your current number as well as the Virgin Mobile temporary number active during the transfer process.
  5. On the completion of transfer, the temporary number will be disconnected and your existing mobile number with Virgin Mobile services activated. You will receive an SMS notifying you of the change.

Key Points to Note:

  • Porting is only valid on mobile phones, not landlines.
  • Customers who signed contracts for a specific time with their current provider will have to pay a termination fee if they prematurely end the contract to switch providers.
  • Subscribers have the right to return to the original telecom operator during the first three days of the number transfer. After this, they can still return to their original provider, but only after 30 days from the activation of the new services. 
  • Only mobile number is ported and not packages and plans.
  • Your request may be rejected if there is a name or information mismatch, due to incomplete application, lack of clear identification or if transferring an inactive number. 
  • You will lose all unused credit during the transfer.
  • Information stored on your previous SIM card, including contacts, will not be available on your new SIM.

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