Published on January 20th, 2014 | by Mohit Jivani


050 on du – first hand experience in moving from etisalat to du

Late last year, TRA announced the arrival of MNP in the UAE after a long wait. I had been considering a switch to du from etisalat, but obviously the whole process of changing numbers held me back. As soon as du’s campaign launched, I jumped the gun and registered with du to switch as soon as the MNP service started.

On December 25th, I received a call from du’s third party call center asking me about my interest in switching to du. After some research, I decided to go from a pre-paid plan on etisalat to a post-paid Smart 150 plan on du. The rep sent me an e-mail with forms that needed filling out and a list of documents that would be required. I hung up promising to get back with all the necessary documents. I waited a while before submitting the forms as my remaining data allowance and leftover balance would not get carried over to du.

Fast forward to 8th January, I get a notification that I have used up most of my data allowance. I promptly sent in my filled out forms the same day via e-mail. Within a few moments, I get a call from the rep confirming a few details. I was told the forms need to be signed by me and the payment needs to be made to the person delivering the SIM card. The next day, the courier shows up with the SIM card and filled out forms ready for me to sign. I choked up the AED 125 fee and collected the SIM card (du confirmed that I will be refunded the fee on my first bill).

du sim card box

Even though I had the new du SIM card it was not yet activated – my number had not been transferred over to du. I reached out to a du rep and was told that I would receive an SMS and my etisalat SIM would stop working immediately after the SMS. I decided to carry the du SIM card in my wallet to avoid being disconnected should the SMS show up at an inopportune moment. On the morning of 14th January, I received an SMS from du:


“Dear customer, thank you for your interest in moving your number to du. We wish to inform you that the request has now reached your current operator. If accepted, your number shall be moved to du by 12 noon, next working day. We will send you another SMS when your request is accepted.”

At this point I was thinking – I will have to recharge my credit if I had to last till 12 noon the next working day, but later on in the day, I receive an sms from etisalat:


“Dear Customer, we at Etisalat have received your MNP porting request, which we are processing.  We will notify you once it is processed.  Thank you for your time with Etisalat. “

Immediately after

“Dear Customer, we note your decision to leave us. Your Etisalat services will now be deactivated. If you want to further inquire about your rights and obligations in relation to porting your number, you may call 800 101 or visit our nearest Etisalat business center. “

Another sms from du

“Dear customer, we are happy to inform you that your request to move your number to du has been accepted by your current operator and your number will be moved to du immediately. You can now start enjoying our services. “

Boom! I was disconnected. I pulled out my etisalat SIM card and inserted the du SIM card into my phone. The network showed DU, and I received an SMS: missed call received from so and so. Fair words of advice – keep the SIM card near you if you are in the process of moving operators. If you don’t have the SIM card with you and you were to receive the above SMSs, you could be left disconnected unexpectedly.

du sim card

I am now a du customer, with a 050 number. People are already confused when I tell them I switched over to du — “so I have to call your same number using 055 now?”. No, it’s the exact same number on a different operator. Some of the customer service reps at du themselves are confused:

du dm

Slowly but steadily the realization will hit – the first three digits do not mean much anymore. The TRA along with etisalat and du have done a wonderful job at making sure this process is straightforward and beneficial to the consumers.


  • October 22nd – TRA announces availability of MNP by December
  • November 20th – du announces MNP, launches campaign. Signed up on website.
  • December 5th – Etisalat launches campaign
  • December 25th – received call from du rep and a follow up e-mail with two forms and required documents
  • January 8th – sent in filled forms and documents through e-mail
  • January 9th – courier delivers SIM card
  • January 14th – process completed after 2 working days (10th – 12th Jan long weekend)


  • Fairly Simple Process – just sign up on respective websites and everything will be delivered to you
  • For pre-paid users, make sure you have enough credit to last you a couple of days
  • No fees for transferring promised on both etisalat’s and du’s websites
  • FAQ links – du , etisalat , techview.me
  • Keep the new SIM card you receive with you at all times. Once you receive the SMS, your current SIM card will stop working immediately.
Have you had the chance to move your current operator? Share with us your experiences in the comments section below.

About the Author

- Mechanical Engineer by profession. Freakishly obsessed with the latest and greatest in technology. Keenly interested in Home Automation and 3D Printing. There is an underscore in his twitter handle: @mo_hit

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