The United Arab Emirates, in the eastern part of the Arabian Peninsula, extends along part of the Gulf of Oman and the southern coast of the Persian Gulf. Its neighbours are Saudi Arabia to the west and south, Qatar to the north, and Oman to the east. Most of the land is barren and sandy.
The land is largely hot, dry desert. Less than half of the inhabitants of the UAE are Arabs, while South Asians make up about 40%, and there are also Iranians, East Asians, and Europeans. Only about 20% of the UAE's population are native citizens. Muslims comprise 96% of the population (80% of these are Sunni, the balance Shiite) and the remaining 4% are largely Christian or Hindu. The official language is Arabic, but Farsi and English are widely used.
Federation formed in 1971 by seven emirates known as the Trucial States—Abu Dhabi (the largest), Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, and Umm al-Qaiwain. In addition to a federal president and prime minister, each emirate has a separate ruler who oversees the local government. Abu Dhabi is the largest and most populated of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates, with over 80% of its landmass.
Originally, a seafaring people who were converted to Islam in the 7th century inhabited the area. Later, a powerful sheikdom was established and its army conquered Mecca. After the sheikdom disintegrated, its people became pirates. Threatening the Sultanate of Muscat and Oman early in the 19th century, the pirates provoked the intervention of the British, who in 1820 enforced a partial truce and in 1853 a permanent truce. Thus what had been called the Pirate Coast was renamed the Trucial Coast. The British provided the nine Trucial states with protection but did not formally administer them as a colony.
The British withdrew from the Persian Gulf in 1971, and the Trucial states became a federation called the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Two of the Trucial states, Bahrain and Oman, chose not to join the federation, reducing the number of states to seven.
Industries involving the area's oil and natural-gas deposits are still critical to the economy, and provide the bulk of export earnings. However, the country's increasingly diversified economy relies also on international banking, financial services, regional corporate headquarters, and tourism. The traditional occupations of fishing and pearling are still practiced, and there is some agriculture (dates, vegetables, watermelon and poultry). Aluminium, fertilizer, and textiles are manufactured, and there is commercial ship repair.
Temperatures range from a low of around 13C (50F) on a winter's night, to a high of around 42C (118F) on a summer's day. The cooler months, November to April, are the most pleasant time to visit, when temperatures are around 24C (75F) during the day and 13C (56F) at night.
The local currency is the UAE dirham (AED or Dhs).
Higher education institutions include both public and private Universities and Colleges.
Government institutions are overseen by the Ministry of Higher Education & Scientific Research, and are only open to UAE nationals. Private universities and colleges are open to all students.
The Commission for Academic Accreditation, operating within the Ministry, licenses higher education institutions.
More than 14,000 students were enrolled at UAE in the first semester of the academic year 2006–7.
Student information about cities in the UAE
Find the best information about what to expect when studying in top cities in the UAE. Read about degree course offers, career opportunities, student life, living costs, and more.
The Arab Emirates has established an excellent and diversified system of higher education in a very short period. Nationals can attend government institutions free of charge. A wide range of private institutions with international accreditation supplements the public sector. The country now has one of the highest application participation rates in the world. Ninety-five per cent of all females and 80 per cent of all males who are enrolled in the final year of secondary school apply for admission to a higher education institution or to study abroad.
A system of colleges offering a more technically oriented education was devised in 1988. Today, 16 men’s and women’s colleges in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Madinat Zayed, Al Ruwais, Dubai, Ra’s al-Khaimah, Sharjah and Fujairah provide a diversity of programmes in modern, technologically equipped campuses.
Many private institutions offer a wide range of tertiary-level opportunities.
Students should hold a High-school Graduation Certificate. Gulf students should obtain 60% of total marks in the high school Certificate for admission to the Faculties of Engineering and Economics; non-Gulf students should obtain 80% for admission to any faculty, except Engineering where they must obtain 90%. For Islamic Studies and Sharia, candidates must be Muslims and must obtain 50% of the total marks in the High School Certificate. Applications should be made to the University in June.
There are a few governmental universities and colleges in UAE where admission is restricted to nationals only. However, there are several private institutions where enrollment is open to any student who meets the admission requirements. A student may enroll in any program of his/her choice.
For detailed information contact the international student office of the University you wish to attend.
Find out more about higher education in the United Arab Emirates.
The UAE educational system comprises of a variety of academic and professional training institutions. Academic Programs include diplomas, degrees as well a postgraduate studies. A student may also enrol for professional training to gain an internationally recognized certificate.
Universities & Colleges courses organize lecture courses and lab work. Institutes may provide local programs or internationally recognized certifications. Certification of completion is provided for each program in addition to the vendor certification upon completion of exams.
The language of instruction in Government schools is Arabic, with English used for some science and technical subjects. Improving English language skills at all levels of education is a government priority under the ‘Education 2020’ plan.
Even though English is the primary language of instruction in some UAE universities, students are expected to be fluent in both Arabic and English.
Meet language requirements for university admission in the UAE by choosing an English language preparation course offered by English language schools worldwide, including the UAE. By taking the right English exam training course you will advance your language skills in order to get the needed scores for IELTS, TOEFL, CAE, or other English exams.
Student Residence Visas are normally only valid for 1 year at a time, renewed each year during the study program.
Students from some countries will undergo a security check to make sure they are not considered a threat to UAE security. A medical test at an authorised UAE medical center will normally be required. Student Residence Visa Fees
Students need to apply for visa at their local UAE embassy or consulate. Ask the embassy for detailed information about obtaining a visa.