United Arab Emirates

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Study in United Arab Emirates

Dwelling beautifully alongside the Persian Gulf, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) offers spectacular locations, tall buildings, huge shopping malls, dazzling beaches, and, supposedly, a newly unveiled “Mars Science City.” Now, that’s a city I’d like to hang out in.

It’s almost like going to UAE can be a wonderfully educational experience in itself. But, luckily for you, there are also great universities for you to pursue your Master’s or Bachelor’s degree anywhere in the city. As a foreign student, there are some interesting options to consider, and there is plenty to learn about the history, culture, and politics that make UAE unique.

Why Study in the United Arab Emirates?

1. The Emirates are an expanding research and education hub

The population in the UAE has a very high literacy rate — almost 90% — and these days the country has invested tons of money into the improvement of their science and technology institutes.

Joining ranks with other major research and training enterprises, the UAE has formed the Centre of Excellence for Applied Research and Training (CERT) group, where they’ve been working with major companies around the world to develop nanotechnology, biotechnology, and a major supercomputing centre in South Asia.

2. UAE universities have grown in popularity and reputation

Universities in the UAE have started to gain a significant reputation all over the world, and their graduates have gone on to work in science, technology, and politics, making the UAE an excellent choice for higher education. Some of the top-ranked universities in the Emirates are:

  • United Arab Emirates University
  • Khalifa University
  • University of Sharjah

3. English has been growing as the second unofficial language

While they don't need to worry about language barriers during classes, because there is a substantial number of English-taught degrees, many international students wonder if they'll encounter difficulties while trying to communicate in the Emirates.

But they don't need to! The UAE is among the best Arab countries when it comes to English language proficiency. This is largely due to the positive impact of the finance and tourism sectors.

4. Be amazed by modern feats of architecture

The Emirates are known for being very ambitious and making use of all their resources to create stunning buildings and infrastructure.

While living there, you can be amazed by the Burj Khalifa, Burj Al Arab, the Emirates Palace, the Dubai Mall, the Zayed National Museum, or the artificial Palm Islands created in Dubai.

5. Enjoy thrilling outdoor activities

For adrenaline seekers, the UAE comes with an endless list of activities that will get your heart racing in no time. From sky diving to dune bashing, from camel riding to desert safaris, from kayaking to surfing — these and more await you while living and studying in the Emirates.

What it is like to study at a university in the United Arab Emirates

If you find yourself in the UAE and, especially, in a city like Dubai, you’ll be surrounded by a wide range of nationalities, cultures, languages, and religions. And, beyond the classroom, you have plenty of places to find on the weekends – beaches, shopping centres, clubs, and giant skyscrapers.

Universities in the UAE have a high standard for academic admission. Students entering have to show high markings on all of their courses. So if you’re a student there, you’ll be alongside some very serious, intelligent students from all over.

What to Study in the United Arab Emirates?

Well, it’s quite simple: the UAE is known for their science and technology, so that seems like a good place to start. But, don’t go leaping there so fast. There are other interesting topics and subjects to pursue while you’re enjoying a trip along the beach or tearing up the indoor ski slopes.

Here is a list of some interesting degrees to pursue in the UAE:

Major cities in the United Arab Emirates

What’s the first city that comes to mind when you think of the United Arab Emirates? Is it Dubai? Of course it is! Dubai has some of the biggest universities, and some of the most spectacular historical and cultural landmarks in the world. You can plenty of information about Dubai, including living costs, places to visit, and information about cultural life.

Which universities to attend in the United Arab Emirates

In each of the major cities and all over the UAE, you can find plenty of universities and institutions offering Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in lots of subjects. Furthermore, some of those universities even reach some of the top rankings worldwide, giving them a great global reputation.

Here are some universities and institutions we’d highlight:

Practical Information

Each university in the United Arab Emirates has its own system on their website that allows future students to apply for and enrol in their degree programmes. So, once you select the university of your choice, you can go through their application and submit your materials there.

Here are some of the basic requirements you’ll need for every application:

  • A scan of your diploma (high school or Bachelor’s degree)
  • A transcript/record of your previous courses
  • A scan of your passport and/or birth certificate
  • Your CV
  • Testing scores
  • Evidence of scholarship or funding
  • Letters of recommendation (between 2-3)
  • Portfolio and/or writing samples

In some universities and regions, students must be Muslims to attend, and at others admission is only available to nationals. However, other, more expansive universities are starting to arise around the region, giving international students opportunities to learn and attend courses.

Helpful ways to make sure you qualify for a university in the United Arab Emirates

Take Preparation Courses

These kinds of courses enable degree-seeking students to get an extra educational boost just before they start their Master’s degree or other post-graduate degree programmes.

Try a pre-M.B.A., pre-Law, or pre-Medicine programme, as well as any other foundation or preparation courses that will allow you to study in the degree programme of your choice.

Improve your English through an English-language prep course

If you’re attending a degree programme in the UAE you will need to prove that your language skills are good enough to participate in the classes and understand the lectures. These courses will also prepare you for any of the English-language tests that universities require.

English-language tests

To apply to study in the UAE, you’ll need to provide proof you have a diploma for your English proficiency.

The certificates generally accepted by the universities in the UAE are:

Still, you should always check on your university’s website, just to be sure what the exact requirements are.

Living in United Arab Emirates

Let's take a closer look at tuition and living expenses in the UAE:

Tuition fees

The cost of attending universities in the UAE can be quite high. But you can look for scholarship opportunities or choose one of the more affordable study programmes.

On average, international students pay between 5,000 and 27,650 EUR per year at public universities. Tuition fees at private universities go even higher.

Cost of living in the UAE

Compared to other countries around the world, the UAE can be a relatively expensive place to live. You should budget 1,100–1,700 EUR/month for living costs in the UAE.

Here's a breakdown of average monthly expenses:

  • Rent (depending on the type of accommodation): 700–2,000 EUR/month
  • Monthly utilities: 180–220 EUR
  • Monthly transportation pass (metro, train, bus): 57 EUR
  • 3-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant: 46 EUR
  • Milk: 1.33 EUR
  • Loaf of bread: 1 EUR

About United Arab Emirates

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.

Interesting facts about the United Arab Emirates
  • The Dubai police in the United Arab Emirates drives around in style, rollin’ in Lamborghinis and Ferraris – just so they can catch speeders.
  • Cash machines in Dubai dispense gold bars.
  • The United Arab Emirates once donated laptops to every high school student, in Joplin Missouri after a devastating hurricane.
  • Instead of a sewer system, Dubai uses trucks to haul away…sewage. Gross.

Universities, colleges and schools in United Arab Emirates



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