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Connecting to the Internet in Dubai


Connecting to the internet in Dubai


Tips and guide on how best to connect to the internet when travelling to Dubai

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In today's world the wonders of technology never cease to amaze, computers are more powerful than ever before, mobiles seem able to do everything from surf the web to instructing your house to turn the lights on and run the bath.

All these wonders however do not come without setbacks, and one of the most common complaints among frequent travellers is the fact that they are always reachable, even when on holiday. Could you imagine going on a business trip or even holiday for a week and leaving the laptop or similar multi connectivity device behind ! It is unthinkable to most.

It therefore becomes so much more important to be able to connect to the internet, even if it is simply to download the latest "urgent" emails, when on the road.

Most countries now offer stored value cards which allow you to connect via a special user name and password to a local provider for X number of minutes. This is often the cheapest and simplest way of connecting to the net.

Dubai though, has gone one step further and made connecting so simple you could literally do it with your eyes closed.

All you need to do is dial into Etisalat (Emirates ISP) on a special number : 500 5555 or if that is busy 500 5333 and you will be charged per minute. The calls cost 9 Dhs per hour and are charged to your hotel bill. It is charged per minute so if you are online for only 5 then you only pay for 5.

There is no password, no user name, just simply create a new dial up, enter the telephone number and voila, you will be able to download and send emails to your hearts content.

If you wish to actually surf the web in addition to getting your emails then you will need to go through the Emirates proxy so in your new dial up proxy settings put : and in the port settings put : 8080 after doing this some computers will require you to restart your computer in order for the new proxy settings to take effect.

Have any problems with this then simply call the Etisalat hotline on 800 6100 or 800 5244.

What about roaming I hear you scream?! Yes of course, if the ISP you use in your home country offers this service through GRIC then you also have this option. Generally though it will be a lot more expensive than the above solution, so we do not recommend it.

One other alternative which is becoming more readily available is complimentary broadband access. This is currently only available at some of the best and most innovative hotels in Dubai such as the Shangri-La Hotel Dubai. This is worth checking when you make your hotel reservation as some five star hotels charge as much as US$54 per day for in-room broadband access, it is also worth asking whether you can use that same account in the lounge etc. At the Grand Hyatt Dubai for example it is expensive to use the in-room broadband connection and if you want to use the wireless connection available in the hotel you will need to pay again! Doing a little research into this can save you a lot of money if connecting is a must.

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