Student life in Abu Dhabi

Student life in Abu Dhabi
Updated 2021-11-10 11:34

Abu Dhabi is not only a prime spot to live and work in; it is also an excellent location to study in. International students get to immerse themselves in a multicultural environment on campus while at the same time enjoying several more perks compared to their other counterparts studying elsewhere.

Benefits of moving to Abu Dhabi as an international student

Abu Dhabi enjoys continuous economic growth and political stability, which is why the government invites world-class educational institutions to set up branches in the capital. Such world-renowned universities are INSEAD, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, New York University, and Paris-Sorbonne. The top local universities that have been in existence for years and offer high-class education to their students are Zayed University and the United Arab Emirates University. Students who earn their diplomas in these ADEC-licensed foreign higher education systems are also recognised not only in the UAE but also in the institution's country of origin. This gives the graduates a competitive advantage over their counterparts all over the world.

The capital enjoys political and economic stability, giving students opportunities even after they have earned their diplomas. Student life in the capital will enable them to explore which path they want to take, as more doors are available for them to the world. Today, the government's Economic Vision 2030 wants to diversify Abu Dhabi's economy and steer away from depending solely on its oil and gas industry. This way, they can direct the economy into more sustainable and high added value sectors like healthcare, tourism, education, media, renewable energy, logistics and aerospace.

Choosing to study in Abu Dhabi is not only an opportunity to tap into world-class education, but it is also opening doors of opportunities to students who choose to. Learning will not only be inside the campus doors, but their experiences in the capital will give them lifelong experiences that will contribute to their personal and professional growth too.

Student cost of living in Abu Dhabi

The cost of living depends on which school you are admitted to and your lifestyle of choice (on-campus accommodation or off-campus). For this reason, we will provide an example from one of the top universities in the city.

Student discounts in Abu Dhabi

Students have a lot of perks living in the UAE because of discounts available for them all year round. Below are some examples:

Get the best and most out of your student status in the capital through the International Student Identity Card or ISIC, an international privilege and identity card for students, teachers and the youth. Perks come with great benefits of improving their everyday life while on a budget. Visit their website for more details and merchants who provide big discounts.

Dubai's RTA discounts

Explore Dubai on weekends or free days with discounted rates for students using your blue NOL card issued by RTA.

du Mobile

Get a 2-for-1 entry at Vox cinemas courtesy of du Mobile. Treat a friend or catch a flick as you take a load off from school with a special discount.

Apple UAE student discounts

Enjoy the perks of being a new college student with its Apple Education Pricing. Not only college students will benefit but their parents, faculty members, staff and homeschool teachers for all grade levels as well.

Entertainer UAE

Entertainer UAE is one of the most popular 2-for-1 deals in the city. Almost all major restaurants and stores accept coupons that come in app form. You only need to purchase this app to avail of one year's worth of 2-for-1 deals.

The cost of living and studying in Abu Dhabi

Sample breakdown of average tuition fees (AED) for top universities as of 2021 by

  • Abu Dhabi School of Management (ADSM) - 110,000-135,000
  • Abu Dhabi University - 22,862-22,862
  • AL HOSN University - 35,000-48,000
  • Emirates College for Advanced Education (ECAE) - 75,600-75,600
  • Emirates Institute for Banking & Financial Studies (EIBFS) - 23,750-28,500
  • Fatima College of Health Sciences ' Abu Dhabi - 60,000-60,000
  • Khalifa University of Science, Technology and Research (KUSTAR) - 3,333-78,000
  • MAK Institute - 15,000-35,000
  • Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi - 32,700-188,100
  • University of Strathclyde Business School, Abu Dhabi - 130,000-130,000
  • Zayed University, Abu Dhabi - 84,000-128,000

Also, here is an example of New York University Abu Dhabi's breakdown of expenses for their students. This is based on the Estimated Cost of Attendance for 2019-2020:

  • Tuition - USD 53, 770
  • Registration and Service Fees - USD 2,730
  • Books and supplies - USD 1,730
  • Health insurance - USD $1,680
  • Room and board (meals) - USD 11,800
  • Estimated personal expenses - USD 2,364
  • Estimated travel - USD 3,584
  • Total Cost of Attendance: USD 77,658 or AED 285, 230

Useful links:

Entertainer (for discount offers in the UAE)

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.