You can switch providers between Du and Etisalat without losing your mobile phone number – it’s called mobile number portability (MNP) or ‘porting’ and it’s not the easiest of processes but, at the very least, you don’t have to visit both providers to do it.

How do I move my Etisalat 050 number to Du?

  1. Visit the branch of the provider you wish to switch to. Take your Emirates ID or a passport with valid visa, plus EITHER a UAE credit card, latest utility bill, current tenancy contract, salary certificate OR signed and stamped current pay slip, and fill in a porting request application form.
  2. Choose your plan: You’re not constrained by the plan you’re on with your current provider as you’re starting again so you could, for instance, change a post-paid plan to a pre-paid plan during the switch. [Compare all mobile phone plans from Du and Etisalat]
  3. Activation fee: You will have to pay a standard activation fee based on your plan – AED 55 for a pre-paid plan AED 125 for post-paid.
  4. SIM: You’ll be given your new SIM at the branch or it can be couriered to your address.
  5. SMS alerts of the swap: You should get an SMS from your existing provider confirming that they have received the MNP request and a second one telling you the switch has been approved and that your current service will be deactivated. Then you’ll get an SMS from your new provider confirming the move.
  6. Change over SIM cards… and you’re ready to go!

[Related: Cheap international calls from your mobile | Choosing the right mobile phone plan]

Things to know about mobile portability in the UAE

  • This service is only available for mobiles, not landlines.
  • All mobile phone numbers starting with 050, 052, 055 and 056 are covered.
  • 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 and then switch provider.
  • 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 a month with their new network.
  • For businesses, a collective switch by companies must include at least 10 numbers.
  • Your request may be rejected – reasons could be a mismatch of the subscriber’s name with the applicant name, or due to incomplete application forms or lack of clear identification through the paperwork you provide.

Make sure you back up all your contacts as, once the switch has been made, all your SIM information will be wiped off. This also means that your available credit will be lost, so be sure not to re-charge with large amounts if you are thinking of changing providers.

  • More details from Du and Etisalat on mobile number portability.