Studying in the UAE

Choices and Lifestyle

Studying in the UAE

Due to rapid expansion of the education sector and with top universities from all over the world setting up campuses here, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is becoming a popular destination for students thinking of studying abroad. 

According to the Khaleej Times , the happiness index for students conducted as part of the global Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2012 evaluation ranked the UAE second highest in the Middle East. Here are a few things you should know before you head off to the UAE.


The UAE is made up of 7 states, including Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras Al-Khaimah, Sharjah, Umm Al Quwain. Arabic is the official language and dirham is the currency. 

Schools, colleges and universities

There are many international and UAE schools, colleges and universities to choose from, such as the University of Dubai, AUS Sharjah  and the Abu Dhabi University. Many of them have international affiliations.

Most international schools such as the Dubai British School and GEMS American Academy follow the British or American curriculum and are staffed by teachers from Australia, the UK and US. These schools offer rigorous academic programs and well-rounded experience of life for the international learning community.

Select the institution that best meets your needs, requirements and career goals. Some important factors to take into consideration are location, student body size, student-faculty ratio, cost, financial aid available, housing, extracurricular activities, and transportation. Find out more at the UAE Commission for Academic Accreditation website  about the list of licensed institutions and the list of accredited programs. 

Course options

There is an array of course options for students looking for undergraduate and postgraduate programs, including studies in art and design, education, communication and media, business management, engineering, health sciences, law, and computer science.


The UAE offers a high-quality living standard. The Gulf News reported  that living expenses in the UAE are one of the lowest among developing and emerging markets. Low cost of living means students can enjoy a comfortable lifestyle while pursuing their academic goals.

Due to the large number of expatriates relocating to cities like Dubai and Abu Dhabi, student can enjoy a cosmopolitan and international lifestyle. There will be plenty of opportunities for students to interact with people from diverse nationalities, cultures, ethnicities and backgrounds. You’ll feel very much at home in the UAE as long as you abide the law and respect the cultures and values. These cities also offer varied attractions for students, including sports and recreation, shopping and dining.

Potential for graduate jobs

There is currently an abundance of graduate jobs in the UAE. As reported by Emirates 24/7, the UAE Employment Monitor showed that professional job vacancies in the UAE rose by 8% between February and March 2014. The rise in professional opportunities has been driven by the rapid expansion of the non-oil sector such as the construction industry.

If you’re considering study in the UAE it’s worth checking out the American University of Sharjah’s free eBook: How to Survive Your First Year at an American University in the MENA Region .

Further reading

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