My question was closed because it was "a shopping question, and as such, not allowed on any SE site."

I commented

Not sure I understand what a shopping question means. Is it because I put the prices of the SIM Card? Or because I listed two providers? Should I just simply ask "What cell provider should I use in Dubai" without listing providers?

Is there a better way to ask that question so it doesn't get closed?

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up vote 10 down vote accepted

The what and why behind the "No shopping questions" policy was covered in the blog post: Q&A is Hard, Let’s Go Shopping! I strongly recommend that everyone read it.

The way I think about is:

  • If a local might have the same question, then it's not a travel-related question.

    There isn't much difference between "I'm currently in London; where should I eat dinner tonight?" and "I live in London; where should I eat dinner tonight?"

  • Questions of the type "I need x—should I get it from y or z?" and "I need x—is there a better price than y?" are, at heart, shopping questions.

    If your question is more about acquiring x than it is about what you're going to do with x as part of your travels, then it's generally not going to be a good fit for the site.

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"If a local might have the same question, then it's not a travel-related question." - A local might ask a question with the same words, but the answer would be different. In this example, locals would be more interested longer term plans and less worried about once off fees. – Casebash Mar 6 '12 at 22:26

The main problem with your question is that it is not related to the travel - only to the prices. Not sure it will be ok if you will ask What cell provider should I use in Dubai. Please review this question:

In the US, what's a good prepaid GSM SIM card without a phone?

May be it will be an example to you.

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Perhaps it should be closed as a shopping question, but I disagree that it is not related to travel. Travellers have different requirements than locals - for example no long term plans, a greater importance on minimising one time fees and the option of potentially paying roaming costs instead. – Casebash Mar 6 '12 at 22:30

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