Update 19/12/2013 2:15 pm: Based on Kipp Report, it sounds like du has pushed back the launch of number portability until further notice.  Souqalmal.com is waiting for more information.

19/12/2013 11:30 am: Our latest survey reveals that 34% of UAE residents would definitely swap their current mobile phone provider for the other with 35% of people considering the possibility of doing so.

In the UAE, our mobile phone number is our identity in many places be it at the hospital, at the restaurants and even at our insurance company.   Our address, our take out preferences and our health records are all associated with our mobile phone number.  Imagine now losing that number and the efforts in changing your details if you decide to move providers.

Finally, this will not be necessary.  As of Sunday 22nd of December 2013, mobile number portability will be introduced in the UAE where customers would be allowed to move providers and change their plans without changing their mobile phone number and thus making the switch from one provider to another a lot easier.

The survey was based on over 700 respondents from the UAE who were asked if they were aware of MNP option being made available to the general public from 22nd December. They were further asked the reasons behind changing their service provider.

Amongst the respondents, 56% of respondents were unaware of the introduction of number portability. For those who are considering switching over, pricing (58%) and network reliability (24%)  were the primary reasons behind swapping providers.

Interestingly enough customer service was not a strong deciding factor as only 14% of respondents would switch between Etisalat and Du based on the quality of customer service.

Mobile number portability: How do you change providers and keep your number?

Our team at Souqalmal.com have put together a brief guide on how to make the switch without losing your mobile phone number.

Fortunately, you will not have to visit the branches of both Etisalat and Du in order to avail of this service.

  1. Simply visit only the branch of the provider you wish to switch to along with your Emirates ID or a passport with valid visa. They should be able to process your full request in just one visit.  You will also have the option of changing a postpaid plan to a prepaid plan during the switch period. Therefore you would not be constrained to the plan of your current provider.
  2. You will also have to pay a standard activation fee based on your plan. For a prepaid plan it will be AED 55 and postpaid AED125.
  3. Once you the swap is complete, you will be notified by your new provider through an SMS as to when your new SIM will be activated. You will also get an SMS from your old provider informing you of the deactivation of your SIM card.
  4. Your new service provider will then deliver your new SIM to your address.
  5. You are ready to go!

However, beware that this service is only available for mobiles and not landlines. Also 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 also be lost. So make sure not to re charge with large amounts if you are thinking on changing providers.

If you are not sure of the plan you would like to go for, then why not compare all the mobile phone plans available between Du and Etisalat available to make sure you are picking the right plan for you.  Souqalmal.com has over 350 combinations of plans and plans with phones with details of calls, sms, price and more