The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) in the UAE is planning on launching mobile number portability to allow mobile users to switch between the two current operators while retaining their number.
Mobile users in the UAE on the Etisalat network have a prefix of 050 and 056 while Du users have the 055 prefix. The TRA plans to introduce this service sometime during 2010.
According to TRA, mobile subscribers wishing to change their current service provider will be able to switch by approaching the other service provider for this service. Once the formalities are concluded the subscribers will retain their mobile numbers while being served by the new service provider.
The initiative does not apply to landlines since UAE residents do not have the freedom to choose between Etisalat or Du landline, Internet or TV services. While Etisalat is available across the UAE, Du still operates in specific and limited areas in Dubai where residents do not have the option of choosing Etisalat.