Ooredoo is one of the leading telecommunications companies in Qatar, providing mobile, home internet, and business connectivity services. As Qatar gears up to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Ooredoo’s network capacity, coverage, and reliability will play a key role in serving the connectivity needs of tourists and visitors flocking to the country.

This blog provides an in-depth look at Ooredoo SIM cards and eSIMs for travelers visiting Qatar, covering everything you need to know from network coverage and speeds to costs, activation, top-ups and more. Read on for guidance on the best Ooredoo connectivity options to stay connected during your Qatar trip!

Ooredoo SIM Cards

I. Quick Facts About Ooredoo

Ooredoo, originally known as Qtel, was founded in 1987 as the first telecommunications company in Qatar. It has since become a leading international communications company across the Middle East, North Africa, and Southeast Asia.

Some key facts about Ooredoo Qatar:

  • Full Name: Ooredoo QSC
  • Services: Mobile, home internet, business connectivity, IoT solutions
  • Over 3.3 million mobile subscribers (2022 estimate)
  • 97% population coverage with its advanced 4G+ network
  • An extensive network of over 70 stores and 5,000 agents nationwide

II. Why Ooredoo When You’re Exploring Qatar – Coverage and Speed

When traveling in Qatar, reliable connectivity is essential – whether staying on top of your work emails, using Google Maps to navigate, or posting photos from your desert safari online. With its unrivaled coverage and speeds, Ooredoo has you covered across Qatar.

1. Ooredoo Network Coverage in Qatar

Ooredoo Coverage Map
Ooredoo Coverage Map (Source: nperf)

As Qatar’s leading communications company, Ooredoo operates the country’s most expansive 4G and 5G networks. Its advanced 4G+ network already covers over 97% of Qatar’s populated areas, while its commercial 5G network was activated in 2018 and is continually expanding.

Ooredoo’s network spans the length and breadth of Qatar – from the economic hub of Doha to coastal and inland towns to remote desert camps along the Saudi border. Wherever your Qatar travels take you, you can count on Ooredoo for connectivity.

2. Ooredoo Speed

Ooredoo Speeds
Ooredoo Speeds (Source: Opensignal)

In addition to extensive coverage, Ooredoo offers blazing-fast mobile data speeds on its 4G+ and 5G networks.

Ooredoo was the first to launch 5G in Qatar and the wider region, with users experiencing average download speeds of 900Mbps during testing phases. Its advanced 4G+ network also enables speeds averaging 114Mbps nationally, ensuring smooth streaming, rapid web browsing, and lag-free online gaming.

With Ooredoo SIM cards in Qatar, ultra-fast speeds allow you to make the most of your apps, mobile gaming, YouTube & Netflix streaming – without frustrating loading times or stuttering videos.

III. Ooredoo Connectivity Options for Travelers to Qatar

Ooredoo Option Pros Cons
Prepaid SIM Card - No contract or credit check required - Must top up with additional funds
E-SIM - No physical SIM card needed - Device must support eSIM
Travel WiFi Device - Pocket-sized portable hotspot - Additional device to carry
Day Pass - Pay as you go option - Only valid for single day
Week Pass - Valid for full week in country - More affordable than daily

In summary, the prepaid Ooredoo SIM cards are most budget-friendly for longer stays but require visits to stores. E-SIM is convenient if your device supports it. Travel WiFi devices or day/week passes work if you don’t want to change SIM cards but costs more for short trips.

IV. Best Ooredoo SIM Cards for Tourists & Cost

When choosing Ooredoo SIM cards in Qatar, tourist SIMs represent the best value specifically catering to visitors and short stays. Options include:

Plan Price (USD) Validity Data Voice (minutes) SMS
Ooredoo Tourist SIM 7 Days $27.27 7 days 7GB 100 local minutes 100
Ooredoo Tourist SIM 30 Days $54.55 30 days 15GB 200 local minutes 200

Unlike regular prepaid plans, Ooredoo sim cards offer fixed bundled allowances of data, calls, and texts. The bundled allowances provide peace of mind, allowing you to easily stay connected for the duration of a short trip without needing to top-up.

V. Does Ooredoo Support eSIM in Qatar?

Yes, Ooredoo launched eSIM support in January 2022 – making it the first Qatar telecom company to launch eSIM technology.

Ooredoo eSIMs provide digital SIM profiles that can be purchased and activated remotely, without needing to insert a physical SIM card. They are supported on many flagship smartphones like the iPhone 14, Google Pixel 7, Samsung Galaxy S22, and latest iPads.

Using Ooredoo eSIM in Qatar is extremely convenient for tourists and visitors, enabling activation before arrival and seamless connectivity on dual SIM devices.

Besides, if you’re looking for an alternative to using the Ooredoo network, esimqatar.com – the #1 Qatar eSIM provider also offers some very convenient eSIM options to consider.

Esimqatar.com has diverse plans for any traveling goals with affordable prices. Find the best options for your trip below:

Plan that may interest you

Qatar eSIM 7 Days Plan
Qatar eSIM 7 Days Plan
From $5.50
Qatar eSIM 15 Days Plan
Qatar eSIM 15 Days Plan
From $9.90
Qatar eSIM 30 Days Plan
Qatar eSIM 30 Days Plan
From $13.50

VI. Where Can You Buy an Ooredoo SIM card and eSIM?

Ooredoo SIM cards and eSIMs can both be purchased across Qatar, with multiple convenient options for tourists.

1. Where to Buy Ooredoo SIM in Qatar

Ooredoo - Mobile Operator in Qatar
Ooredoo – Mobile Operator in Qatar

As Qatar’s leading telecom company, Ooredoo SIM cards can be purchased easily from:

  • Official Ooredoo stores: Located across Qatar offering dedicated tourist SIM sales Ooredoo self-service kiosks – Over 70 kiosks to instantly print your new SIM
  • Petrol stations & supermarkets: Carrefour, Al Meera, and Woqod all sell Ooredoo SIMs
  • Hamad International Airport: Available from vending machines and counters in Arrivals halls

Note that a passport copy is required when buying longer validity SIMs over the counter (e.g 30-day tourist SIMs). For 7-day SIMs and all eSIM purchases, just your mobile number is needed to register the SIM card.

2. Where to Buy Ooredoo eSIM in Qatar

Since eSIMs are digital, here’s where you can conveniently purchase an Ooredoo Qatar eSIM:

Ooredoo app – Download the My Ooredoo Qatar app on iPhone/Android to buy directly Ooredoo website – Purchase conveniently on https://www.ooredoo.qa/portal QR E-Voucher – Scan QR code on an Ooredoo voucher to activate & pay

The Ooredoo app or website allows secure login and payments to deliver the eSIM profile straight to your device. Alternatively, Ooredoo E-vouchers containing QR activation codes can be purchased at Ooredoo stores and kiosks.

VII. How to Activate Ooredoo SIM/eSIM in Qatar

Activating Ooredoo SIMs and eSIMs for use in Qatar only takes a few simple steps once purchased:

1. How to Use Ooredoo SIM Card in Qatar

You’ll receive an Ooredoo StarTER pack when buying your new SIM containing the SIM card and activation instructions. Here is the process to activate your Ooredoo SIM:

  • Insert the Normal SIM into your unlocked phone
  • Select your preferred language on the popup welcome screen
  • Enter your 10-digit mobile number as prompted to activate
  • Top-up your SIM via 100 loads or other Ooredoo top-up channels

Once the SIM is active on your number, you'll have immediate access to Ooredoo's local mobile network in Qatar.

2. How to Activate Ooredoo eSIM

As eSIMs are digital, here is how to activate an Ooredoo Qatar eSIM on iPhone or Android:

  • Purchase Ooredoo eSIM via the app, website, or voucher code
  • Scan the QR code or enter the activation code from SMS/email
  • Accept activating the new plan on your Dual SIM device
  • The eSIM will be remotely activated on your phone over-the-air

And that’s it! Your Ooredoo Qatar eSIM will be ready for use immediately after following these simple activation steps.

VIII. Ooredoo Call & SMS Rates

Ooredoo Qatar offers very reasonable call and SMS rates when using their SIM cards or eSIMs:

Call/SMS Type Rate (USD)
Local calls $0.08/minute
Local SMS $0.27/SMS
Calls to USA/Canada $0.60/minute
SMS to most countries $0.40/SMS

As an estimate, calling locally within Qatar costs around $8.10 for a 1-hour call. Messaging locally or internationally costs $0.27-0.40 per SMS.

So in summary, the table shows the rates for local and international calls and SMS on Ooredoo Qatar prepaid plans in USD. Local calls are quite expensive at $0.08/minute while messaging costs around $0.27 locally or in most countries. Calls to the USA/Canada are $0.60/minute.

Do note roaming rates are higher when outside Qatar, so a local Ooredoo SIM is your best bet while visiting and exploring within Qatar.

IX. Useful USSD Codes for Ooredoo SIM/eSIM

Ooredoo supports a range of USSD codes – special number combos entered directly into your phone dial pad. Here are some handy Ooredoo Qatar USSD codes worth knowing:

  • **150 – Check the remaining balance
  • **149 – Check data balance
  • **124 – Activate roaming packs
  • **122 – Ooredoo self-care menu

USSD codes provide a quick way to check your usage without needing to install apps or sign into your account. Examples include checking remaining credits or mobile data allowance.

X. How to Top-up Ooredoo SIM/eSIM

With Ooredoo’s range of short-term tourist SIMs, bundled allowances should easily cover most visitor needs. But if needing to add extra credits, topping up is simple:

  • Vouchers – Scan the voucher barcode in the Ooredoo App or My Account
  • Kiosks – Instant printing of top-up vouchers across Qatar
  • Ooredoo App – Secure online payments & top-ups to any number
  • Credit/Debit card – Register card to instantly top-up via USSD or app

Ooredoo makes recharging talk time and data convenient through vouchers, NFC payments and digital channels. This flexibility allows tourists to easily top-up their Ooredoo SIM or eSIM while exploring Qatar.

XI. Alternatives to Ooredoo

1. Other Main Local Mobile Operators

The main alternative to using an Ooredoo SIM card in Qatar is Vodafone Qatar. However, Ooredoo remains the superior choice in covering these aspects:

  • Faster mobile speeds on average
  • Wider 4G and 5G network coverage
  • More stores and touchpoints across Qatar
  • Better value tourist SIM card options
  • Support for eSIM technology

For connectivity during your Qatar visit, Ooredoo is hands-down the best and most reliable choice thanks to its technology leadership and extensive infrastructure investments.

2. Buy eSIM from esimqatar.com

A more convenient option is to buy an eSIM plan from esimqatar.com, which is Qatar’s leading eSIM provider. They offer affordable data packages on reliable networks without any contracts or deposits. After purchasing a plan, you will receive an activation QR code via email, which you can scan on your device to connect instantly to the high-speed network. You don’t need to swap physical SIM cards – just download and go.

Leave your physical SIM behind, travel light with esimqatar.com

These providers can serve as alternatives if you need more specific roaming capabilities or have issues getting data service from certain carriers in certain regions of Qatar during your visit.

XII. FAQs about Ooredoo Qatar

Does Ooredoo offer home internet/WiFi plans?

Yes. Ooredoo provides home internet via fixed broadband or Indoor Connect femtocells. Tourists can also access Ooredoo’s 200,000+ WiFi hotspots for convenience.

Can I use my Ooredoo SIM/eSIM in other countries?

By default no – Ooredoo Qatar plans only allow usage within Qatar to prevent bill shocks. But you can enable affordable roaming add-ons to use your number overseas via USSD *124#.

How long is an Ooredoo Qatar tourist SIM/eSIM valid for

Ooredoo tourist SIMs provide a fixed allowance for either 7 or 30 days based on which recharge. Meanwhile, regular prepaid SIMs and eSIMs don’t expire and credits stay active as long as you top-up once every 90 days.

Can I pay by credit card for Ooredoo SIM/eSIM?

Yes, Ooredoo accepts Visa and MasterCard payments for purchases on its app, website, and some stores. Alternatively, cash and local debit cards are also widely accepted across Qatar.

XIII. Final Words

Getting an Ooredoo SIM card or eSIM is a smart first step after touching down in Qatar. With its leading connectivity speeds and coverage, Ooredoo provides the ideal network for reliably exploring this fascinating country.

So choose Ooredoo connectivity, and let Qatar’s rich culture and iconic landscapes load faster than ever! Have an incredible trip, and don’t hesitate to reach out to any Ooredoo store or touchpoint should you need assistance during your travels.