Vodafone Australia customers will no longer be able to use smartphone data roaming in the United Arab Emirates from January 1, 2015, leaving many travellers disconnected in the popular destinations and stop-over cities of Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
Although voice and text messaging services will still be available, Vodafone will disable data roaming across the UAE "due to a change in the arrangements with our roaming partners," a spokesperson for the carrier told Australian Business Traveller.
Vodafone's current contract with UAE mobile network operators expires at the end of 2014 and the company has yet to settle on the terms and costs of new contracts.
"We apologise for this inconvenience and recommend customers use available wi-fi services from their devices" the spokesperson said.
There's no estimate as to when Vodafone data roaming will resume in the UAE.
Qantas' partner Emirates routes all flights through its home hub of Dubai, while Virgin Australia partner and stakeholder Etihad Airways calls Abu Dhabi home.
The UAE has yet to join Vodafone's growing roster of countries on its $5/day roaming scheme, so prices are set at $1/minute to make and receive phone calls and 75c to send an SMS message (receiving texts is free).
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