Study in Dubai

university in Dubai
Updated 2021-11-10 12:48

 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 26,000 students are enrolled in universities and institutions in the city. The Knowledge Village and the Dubai International Academic City (DIAC) in Dubai, 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, and Canadian University and more. They offer many different programs in every field. You can choose to do your undergraduate, postgraduate, or doctorate in 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. 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 offers programs in business administration, finance, HR management, logistics, technology and more.

Master's degrees are available in the fields of business administration (MBA), information systems (MScIS) and law (LLM).

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 from computer science to engineering and business. You can also enroll in graduate programs in computer and information science, engineering management, construction engineering and communication technology.

Branch campus universities

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 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.

The University of Wollongong (UOWD)

The University of Wollongong is a private university set up as a branch campus of Australia's University of Wollongong in 1993. It offers both undergraduate and postgraduate programs in the fields of finance and accounting, business and management, engineering and information studies and arts and humanities.

Student visa in Dubai

International students who are not from the GCC countries must apply for a visa to be allowed to study in the United Arab Emirates. Usually, the study visa is sponsored by the university or college in which 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)
  • 12 passport size photos
  • 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 recognised 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.

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.

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.

Under the Federal Law, students who are 18 or more can work part-time during their studies in the United Arab Emirates, provided they apply for a work permit.

Useful links:

UAE Ministry of Education


American University in Dubai

The General Directorate of Residency and Foreigner Affairs

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.