UAE mobile data costs 20% more than global average

1GB of mobile data about US$2 more than the world average.
UAE, United Arab Emirates, Mobile, Data, Price, Money, Business, Tech


The average cost of 1GB of mobile data in the UAE is nearly $2 more than the global average, according to a new study by

The survey of broadband data packages found that consumers in the UAE pay an average of $10.23 for 1GB, against the global average of $8.53 per 1GB.

In comparison, mobile users in India get the cheapest rates, with one 1GB of data costing an average of $0.26. The most expensive place in the world to buy mobile data is Zimbabwe, where the average cost of 1GB is $75.20 - 289 times as much as in India. analysed data from 6,313 mobile data plans in 230 countries between 23rd October and 28th November 2018.

The UAE ranked 163rd worldwide. In the GCC, only Kuwait ranks in the 50 cheapest countries in the world, coming 40th on the list with an average price of $2.01.

Bahrain (58th) and Saudi Arabia (122nd) are both below the global average, with data prices of $2.83 and $5.62 respectively, but Oman had the highest prices, with an average of $11.28 putting it 173rd on the list.

In the wider Arab world, Egypt was 24th cheapest with 1GB costing an average of $1.49 and Jordan (32nd) costing $1.79.

Other countries with cheap mobile data were Kyrgyzstan ($0.27), Kazakhstan ($0.49) and Ukraine ($0.51)

The cheapest mobile data in Western Europe is in Finland, where the average price of 1GB is $1.16. The US and Canada are both over the global average, at $12.02 and $12.37 respectively.

Sixty-three countries, including the UAE, have average rates of $10 or more per GB.

In previous reports, has analysed more than 163m broadband speed tests to rank 200 countries by average internet speed, and has compared 3,303 broadband deals to reveal the cost of getting online in 195 countries.

Dan Howdle, consumer telecoms analyst at, said: "Many of the cheapest countries in which to buy mobile data fall roughly into one of two categories. Some have excellent mobile and fixed broadband infrastructure and so providers are able to offer large amounts of data, which brings down the price per gigabyte. Others with less advanced broadband networks are heavily reliant on mobile data and the economy dictates that prices must be low, as that's what people can afford.

"At the more expensive end of the list, we have countries where often the infrastructure isn't great but also where consumption is very small. People are often buying data packages of just a tens of megabytes at a time, making a gigabyte a relatively large and therefore expensive amount of data to buy. Many countries in the middle of the list have good infrastructure and competitive mobile markets, and while their prices aren't among the cheapest in the world they wouldn't necessarily be considered expensive by its consumers."

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