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22 June 2024

How much is your UAE mobile phone number worth?

By Sneha May Francis

With the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority’s (TRA) ‘My Number, My Identity’ campaign flagging off in the background, many residents are now being offered a price for their mobile number.

The call is made from the twin number, with only the prefix differing pertaining to the mobile service provider, with the caller quoting a price for the dialled number.

With etisalat supporting the 050 and 056-prefix, and du sporting the 055-prefix, it is interesting how there’s now a demand for the twin numbers for both the mobile providers.

“I was shocked when I got a call from a number, that looked exactly like mine only it started with the etisalat numbers. Then the man on the other line started quoting a price for my number,” narrated du customer S Kumar.

Even though he insisted that he was not planning on selling his number, the offer was made.

“First, he quoted Dh500, and when I said I wasn’t interested, he doubled it. But, when I didn’t relent, he hung up,” the resident added.

The offer was made again, and this time for Dh2,500. “I must say that he was extremely persistent. Despite telling him that I wasn’t interested in selling my number he kept at it.”

In fact, there are ads posted on an online community website with offers for mobile numbers.

“Twin etisalat numbers 050-1333342/056-1333342 for (16500DHS) CONTACT ME 055******,” reads an advertisement.

The web appears to be a hot selling point for mobile number, with one seller listing out many numbers for prices ranging between Dh200 and Dh1,000.

“Maybe it is the business guys who are keen on maintaining the same numbers for both Etisalat and du,” reasoned Kumar.

When Emirates24|7 contacted the call centres of both mobile providers, they were clueless about such an exercise, even claiming it could possibly be some sort of scam.

“Customer-to-customer sale is not possible. The TRA has put forth some regulations,” stated an agent.

The official was quick to warn customers not to give into such offers. Both, etisalat and du allows customers to purchase any number of their choice, for no extra charge, unless it has been listed to another customer.

In fact, an etisalat customer told Emirates24|7 that he was willing to bid for his number so that he could have the twin number from du. “I’d pay as much as Dh800 for it,” informed the reader, who wished to remain anonymous.