Things to know before you plan to study abroad in the UAE

Anyone can go to Europe, USA, UK, or "Down under", but the UAE is a young and economically and politically stable country which has numeric world top universities to pursue higher education. This article provides you a detail information about its culture, living cost, various universities, fee structures, famous places and visa procedures.


The United Arab Emirates(UAE) is young, dynamic and known for its incredible diversity, political stability, economic vitality, religious tolerance and worm hospitality. Bordered by the Arabian/Persian Gulf, Oman, and the Indian Ocean. It has experienced huge economic development and social transition since its establishment as a country in 1971.
The UAE is booming and diverse economy founded on petroleum products, banking, education, construction and tourism. The UAE offers a range of attractions, including innovative architecture, camel racing, desert safaris, amusement parks, water sports, camping, indoor skiing and shopping. So, overseas students will never be bored here.

study abroad UAE

Why study in the UAE?

The UAE has emerged as one of the rapidly developing education hubs attracting domestic and foreign investment to serve its citizens with the right tools to maintain the UAE's position as a leader in many markets. One of the vital reason of studying abroad in UAE is its suitable geographic location that allows its provinces to be positioned within a 5 hour radius, bridging Asia to the West. The government has invested heavily in infrastructure combining its natural surroundings with artificial architecture. Following are some reasons when the UAE is your study abroad destination:

  1. One destination, Many cultures: Emiratis only make up approximately 20% of the country's population. However, students will certainly learn a lot about the Emirati culture. While most people speak English, also you will hear conversations in Arabic, Farsi, Urdu, Tagalog, English and many more. It is the place to discover the real meaning of the word internationalization.

  2. Unique study abroad location: UAE is a relatively new and dynamic destination undergoing constant and extreme transformation. Choose to the UAE for a whole new kind of adventure

  3. Excellent Education environment: There are a range of study abroad opportunity, from large public universities to smaller private colleges. Overseas students can continue on with their major studies in confidence at a high quality university

  4. Explore all the Emirates: The UAE contains seven Emirates, each with their own laws, cultures, traditions, and Sheikh, which is a respectful term meaning elder or leader. Abu Dhabi - the largest Emirates and capital city. The second largest Emirates of Dubai features a modern city, the tallest building in the World (Burj Khalifa), seven star hotels such as Burj Al Arab, Palm Islands, incredible malls. The third largest Emirates is Sharjah, which is a more traditional Arab city featuring the beautiful Universities.

  5. Meet friendly people: Arabs are known for their hospitality, strong sense of tradition, and good sense of humor. They welcome people from all over the World.

  6. Explore an interesting culture: The Bedouin are an Arab ethnic group that lives in the desert. The UAE offers a wide range of heritage areas, museums, festivals, galleries, and events to experience.

  7. Various activity: The list of activity never ends here. Water sports, parachuting, trekking, belly-dancing, eating, shopping, studying, camel riding, exploring, travelling, etc.


There are 5 public and 58 private colleges and universities in Dubai, serving both Emiratis and Overseas students. The following are some of the most prominent local and branch campus universities in UAE:

Local universities

University of Dubai (UD)
It is an internationally and nationally accredited university based iin center of Dubai city. UD now offers bachelor's degree programs in business administration (management, marketing, finance, banking, accounting, human resources management), entrepreneurship management, economics, supply chain and logistics management and information technology. Also master's degree programs in business administration (MBA), information systems (MScIS) and law (LLM).

Al Ghurair University (AGU)
A private local university within DIAC. It offers bachelor's degrees across its three colleges. AGU also has a School of Design, which gives students academic preparation for professional practice in interior design.

Biotechnology University College (BUC)
offers both undergraduate and postgraduate programs in biotechnology, medical and pharmaceutical studies, environmental and agricultural studies, petroleum and industrial studies, DNA forensics and bioinformatics, etc.

The Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT)
The Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) is one of the largest institutions of higher learning in the UAE, with more than 55,000 UAE nationals being graduates of the institution. It is offering programs in business, computer and information science, applied communications and engineering, health sciences and education.

Zayed University
The newest of the three government-sponsored universities in the UAE, Zayed University has three main campuses – one in Abu Dhabi and two in Dubai. It also hosts the Institute for Islamic World Studies and University College.

A few other notable local universities in the UAE include:
  • Hamdan Bin Mohammed E-University
  • Institute of Management Technology in Dubai
  • Dubai School of Government
  • Dubai School of Dental Medicine
  • The Dubai Medical College for Girls

Branch campus universities

University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD)
Dubai is a private university located in the Dubai Knowledge Village, founded as a branch campus of Australia's University of Wollongong in 1993. UOWD offers a range of UG and PG programs including finance and accounting, business and management, engineering and information studies, arts and humanities.

American University in Dubai (AUD)
The American University in Dubai is a private university which started life as a branch campus of American InterContinental University, in Atlanta, Georgia (US).

American University in the Emirates (AUE)
The American University in the Emirates is a private university and based in Dubai International Academic City. AUE works in partnership with several US and other international universities and offers undergraduate and postgraduate programs.

British University in Dubai (BUiD)
The British University in Dubai is a research-based, postgraduate university that works in partnership with several leading UK universities – namely, the University of Edinburgh, University of Manchester, Cardiff University and King's College London. The BUiD also offer a range of accredited postgraduate certificates and diplomas, and has been popular with local and international organizations who have offered to provide funding and scholarships.

A few other notable branch campus universities in the UAE include:
  • Strathclyde Business School
  • The Saint-Petersburg State University of Engineering & Economics, Dubai Branch
  • The Canadian University of Dubai (CUD)
  • Hult International Business School
  • The Murdoch University, Dubai

Visas and Immigration

Following list of documents are required for UAE visa process:
  • Evidence of English Language proficiency e.g. IELTS, TOEFL, etc.
  • Required tests like: GMAT, GRE
  • Attested copies of X, XII & Graduate Degree (if applicable), mark sheets including Backlogs
  • Two academic references
  • Two references from employers
  • Two passport sized photographs
  • Resume
  • Portfolio (for Art, Design and Architecture program)
  • Statement of Purpose (SOP)

Note: Required documents may vary for individual candidates, courses or universities.

Education and Living costs

Tuition Fees: The total tuition fees for an undergraduate program in the UAE ranges between 37,500-70,000 (UAE Dirham) per year. The tuition fees for postgraduate program range between 55,000-75,000 AED per year.

Living Costs: The living expenses range between 2,600-3,900 AED per year.

Culture and social life

Public transportation in the UAE is plentiful, and often offers special rates for students. Various discount programs are also available both within and outside of universities. In addition to English and Arabic languages, visitors will overhear conversations in a wide range of other languages such as Urdu, Farsi, etc.

Points of interest

  • Burj Khalifa
  • Wild Wadi water park
  • Dubai Creek
  • Sheikh Zayed Mosque
  • Dubai Museum
  • Palm Jumeirah
  • Emirates Palace
  • Yas Island
  • Saadiyat Island
  • Palm Island
  • The Dubai Mall
  • Ferrari World Abu Dhabi
  • Dubai World Trade Centre
  • Dubai Waterfront
  • Emirates Towers
  • Marina Mall
  • Grand Mosque
  • Al Badiyah Mosque

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