Universities in Dubai

university in Dubai
Updated 2024-04-04 11:55

Are you looking forward to studying in the United Arab Emirates? Dubai is a perfect choice, and the article below tells you why.

The United Arab Emirates is a choice destination for international students planning to study abroad. It provides rich cultural experience and opportunities to work in the future in some of the world's top companies.

Study programs in Dubai

Dubai has over 70 universities and colleges, both local and international. More than 30,000 students from 150 different nationalities are enrolled in these institutions. The Knowledge Village and the Dubai International Academic City (DIAC) both host multiple international universities.

Note that the DIAC is the only free zone in the world dedicated to higher education institutions. Indeed, several well-renowned universities around the world have chosen to set up a branch in Dubai. Some examples are the University of Wollongong, Hult International Business School, American University, Curtin University Dubai, Middlesex University, London Business School, Canadian University, and more. They offer many different programs in every field, in which you can choose to do your undergraduate, postgraduate, or doctorate. The most popular programs are engineering, architecture, information and communication technology, business, commerce, marketing, film, and media.

Education is free for Emiratis, but charges are applied for foreigners. Fees vary from one university to another and depend on the chosen field of study. The cost of undergraduate programs can range from AED 37,500 to AED 70,000 per year, while postgraduate studies can cost between AED 55,000 and AED 75,000 per year. You are required to check with the respective university or school.

Universities in Dubai

Dubai has both public and private universities. Universities and colleges here are also classified into local universities (which have been founded and set up in Dubai) and branch universities (these have been set up in another country but have a branch campus in Dubai). Some of the most popular universities include:

Local universities

University of Dubai

The University of Dubai has been set up to fill the gaps in the workforce. The university currently has four different colleges: Dubai Business School, College of Engineering & Information Technology, College of Law, and General Studies.

Dubai Business School is internationally accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), which is a testament to its quality of education, as it is earned by less than 5% of the world's business schools. It offers several different BA degrees, including Accounting, Finance and Banking, Marketing, Human Resources Management, Business Economics, and more. You can also apply for an MBA through this university.

The College of Engineering & Information Technology offers two specializations in Electrical Engineering: Communication Engineering, Power and Energy, and Computing and Information Systems. The CIS program is accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET.

The College of Law at the University of Dubai is mostly known for its Master of Laws program. The program offers two tracks focused on Arbitration and Dispute Resolution, as well as Financial Crimes and Money Laundering. The college was established following a recognition of the shortage of local professionals in these fields and aims to encourage and increase this in the future.

The Higher Colleges of Technologies (HCT)

This is one of the largest institutions of higher education in the UAE. It offers a variety of programs such as computer information science, engineering, applied media, education, health sciences and business. You can also enroll in graduate programs in computer and information science, engineering management, construction engineering, and communication technology.

HCT's Computer Information Science faculty offers three programs with various concentrations. The Bachelor of Information Systems program has concentrations in Business Solutions and Data Science. The Bachelor of Information Technology program has concentrations in Applications Development, Networking, Security and Forensics, and Cloud Computing. Finally, students have the opportunity to pursue a Diploma in Network and System Administration.

The Faculty of Engineering Technology and Science is the largest and offers students 19 different programs, ranging from Bachelor of Logistics Engineering Technology and Bachelor of Applied Science in Marine Engineering Technology to Diplomas in Mechanical Technology and Chemical Engineering Technology.

The Bachelor of Applied Media offers students an opportunity to learn both inside and outside of the classroom and may sometimes require research projects, interviews, and more. Students enrolled in this program have the option of choosing concentrations in Video Production, Corporate and Media Communication, or Graphic Design.

The university's Bachelor of Education program is aimed at Early Childhood and is constructed to allow graduating students to pursue careers as educators, owners of early childhood centers, entrepreneurship in learning resources, and more. Another major division in the HCT is its Health Sciences, offering 11 different programs in the field ranging from Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science and Bachelor of Veterinary Science to Diplomas in Emergency Medical Services and Pharmacy Technician. The university has partnered with countries developing in the healthcare industry to provide students with the highest quality of education.

Finally, the Faculty of Business offers 11 different programs ranging from Bachelor of Accounting and Bachelor of Marketing to Diplomas in Sales and Marketing and Project Management. Its programs prepare students for the growing and evolving market in the UAE and globally.

Branch campus universities

Dubai is home to a number of prestigious branch universities from which prospective students can choose. We've highlighted some of the top institutions below.

American University in Dubai

American University is a private university founded in 1995 and is a branch of American InterContinental University in Atlanta, Georgia (US). American University has both US (SACSCOC) and UAE (MOHESR) accreditations for its degree programs and is open to both Emiratis and international students. It includes the School of Architecture, Art and Design; School of Arts and Sciences; School of Business Administration; School of Education, Mohammed bin Rashid School for Communication; and School of Engineering.

AUD offers 13 undergraduate programs and eight graduate programs, including the only MBA program in Dubai ranked by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS).

The university also offers a pre-university summer camp, which allows participants to learn more about its undergraduate programs, experience learning in a university classroom with faculty, and experience what it would be like to live independently as a university student. The program equips prospective students for their transition from high school to higher education and helps them make more informed decisions about their future.

The University of Wollongong (UOWD)

The University of Wollongong is a private university established in 1993 as a branch campus of Australia's University of Wollongong. It offers undergraduate and postgraduate programs in finance and accounting, business and management, engineering and information studies, and arts and humanities. The university also offers a Ph.D. in Philosophy.

With its undergraduate programs, students can choose from eight different Bachelors in Business & Commerce, four different Bachelors in Computer Science, six different Bachelors in Engineering, a Bachelor of Business Information Systems, and four different Bachelors in Media & Design.

Middlesex University Dubai

The London university officially set up a home in Dubai in 2005 and has since grown to welcome over 4,500 students. Middlesex University Dubai has two campuses in Dubai Knowledge Park and Dubai International Academic City.

This top university offers a range of 10 different degree programs in the field of business, accounting & finance, computer engineering & informatics, psychology, law, art & design, media, health & education, as well as an MBA program.

The School of Business offers 10 undergraduate programs ranging from a BA Honours in International Business to a BA Honours in Marketing. It also offers six postgraduate programs, including an MA in International Business Management and an MSc in Digital Marketing & Analytics.

Its School of Accounting & Finance has received recognition from a host of leading professional bodies, including the ACCA, UAECA, CIMA, CFA, CIPFA, GARP, and ICAEW. It offers a BA Honours in Accounting and Finance and a BSc Honours in Business Accounting. Its postgraduate program includes an MSc in Banking and Finance and an MSc in Investment Management.

The Department of Computer Engineering and Informatics has grown in popularity due to Dubai's growing technology sector. It offers students an academic experience supported by partnerships with leading STEM organizations worldwide. Its six undergraduate programs include a BSc Honours in Information Technology and a BSc Honours in Business Computing and Data Analytics. Postgraduate students can also obtain an MSc in Engineering Management.

Middlesex University Dubai's Psychology Department offers degrees to prepare students for careers in the clinical psychology field, counseling, and psychological health. It offers several BSc Psychology programs with emphasis on areas of human resource management, marketing, education, and more. It also offers postgraduate studies, such as an MSc in applied psychology and an MSc in clinical health psychology and well-being.

Hult International Business School

Hult opened its doors in Dubai's International Academic City in 2008 with only 130 enrolled students. The branch of the renowned Boston Business School now welcomes 405 students from various backgrounds.

The university offers three postgraduate degrees: A global One-Year MBA, a Part-Time Executive MBA, and a Master's in International Business.

Students can also choose from a range of 22 specializations to further develop the specific skills they would need for a successful career, ranging from Marketing and Finance to Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Its Executive MBA program is highly attractive in Dubai as it allows current employees to pursue their degrees without sacrificing their jobs.

Securing a student visa in Dubai

International students who are not from the GCC countries must apply for a visa to study in the United Arab Emirates. Usually, the study visa is sponsored by the university or college where the student is enrolled. It is valid for 12 months upon its issue and is renewable each year.

You will be required to apply for visa sponsorship, and you will need the following documents:

  • A copy of your passport copy (with a minimum of 6 months' validity);
  • A recent passport-size photo;
  • A medical certificate approved by the concerned authorities in the UAE;
  • Your visa application form;
  • Proof of payment of visa and tuition fees;
  • A copy of your current visa (if you are already in the UAE);
  • A copy of your unconditional offer letter from the university or college;
  • A tenancy agreement (if none, a letter from the university if you'll be staying in university accommodation);
  • Postgraduate students will need to prove that they have a recognized undergraduate degree;
  • Please note that if you are already in the UAE on a tourist visa, you will be required to exit the country before coming back to validate your study visa once it is issued.

The application for the student visa can cost up to AED 3,000. A deposit of AED 1,000 is also required.

In order to renew your student visa, you must provide proof of continuing education from your university, and it must state the duration of your studies.

Students are also advised to subscribe to health insurance prior to their arrival in the country. However, some universities might include health insurance fees in their total costs, along with the study fees. It's best to check this with your university of choice upon your acceptance in order to plan properly.

You can apply online to private universities or colleges. You will have to meet the study visa requirements of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA). The UAE embassy or consulate in your home country would be able to provide you with the information.

Good to know:

Scholarships are available for international students. You are advised to contact the UAE embassy or consulate in your respective country regarding this.

Some universities are single-sex institutions in the UAE. You can find more information about each campus on the university's respective website.

Under Federal Law, students who are 18 or older can work part-time during their studies in the United Arab Emirates, provided they apply for a work permit. However, international students are not permitted to take up full-time jobs on a student visa.

Useful links:

UAE Ministry of Education

The General Directorate of Residency and Foreigner Affairs

Local universities:

University of Dubai

Higher Colleges of Technology

Top branch universities:

American University in Dubai

University of Wollongong in Dubai

Middlesex University Dubai

Hult International Business School Dubai

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.