Study in UAE: Colleges, Scholarships, Fees, Intake | MSM Unify

Study in the UAE

Recognized for its diversity, tolerance, and openness, the United Arab Emirates is a young, vibrant country with a lot to offer students of all faiths and backgrounds. Home to some of the most ambitious and extravagant infrastructure in modern history, it is not just these sights that are the reason why international students opt to study in the UAE.

Study in the UAE

Recognized for its diversity, tolerance, and openness, the United Arab Emirates is a young, vibrant country with a lot to offer students of all faiths and backgrounds. Home to some of the most ambitious and extravagant infrastructure in modern history, it is not just these sights that are the reason why international students opt to study in the UAE.

An up-and-coming study destination, the UAE is slowly proving that it has what it takes to be a global leader in education. Find out more about higher education in the UAE and discover why it is loved by international students by reading this guide below.

Why Study in the UAE?

Globally thriving education. The UAE is a popular destination for international students, with more than 80,000 students from around the world. Higher education institutions in the UAE are renowned for their top-notch instruction and state-of-the-art facilities.

Excellent education system. In the UAE, higher education is supervised and regulated by the Ministry of Higher Education. This ensures that these colleges offer the best possible education and teaching techniques to those who chose to study in the UAE.

Top institutions. High-caliber institutions can be found throughout the UAE, with several of them frequently placing in world rankings. The QS World University Rankings for 2023 have ranked three universities in the UAE in the top 500 worldwide.

Limitless study programs. Enrolling in higher education in the UAE will allow you to take part in any course of study you can think of. Fine arts, economics, medicine, engineering, and agriculture are all great options to study in the UAE. These courses are available for both undergraduate and graduate study.

High-caliber facilities. The UAEā€™s outstanding infrastructure and services help educational organizations as it is slowly becoming a worldwide hub. Thirty-five international or internationally approved universities alone have more than 38,000 students enrolled.

Scholarship opportunities. A lot of colleges in the country provide scholarships due to mutual agreements between the UAE government and other nations in order to draw top international students to study in the UAE.

Diverse culture. As an international student in the UAE, you will be immersed in Emirati culture, from cuisine, traditions, clothing, and many more. The UAE is a multicultural nation since only about 20% of the UAE’s total population makes up Emiratis.

Countless opportunities. The UAE is a well-liked destination for international students since it has a reputation for being accepting and having a low crime rate. When you study in the UAE, the government will also make sure to offer the best possible social, medical, and educational opportunities for you.

Education System

The Ministry of Higher Education in the United Arab Emirates oversees and regulates higher education in the UAE. There are two public universities and approximately 80 private institutions in the nation. Because of this, international students in the UAE prefer to attend private universities rather than public ones.

Bachelorā€™s, master’s, and Ph.D. degrees are all available in the UAE. A large number of colleges are affiliated with foreign institutions. The UAE’s education system is undergoing numerous reforms as part of the government’s effort to ensure those who study in the UAE receive a high-quality education.

Academic Excellence

An international studentā€™s endeavor to study in the UAE can be diverse, with large public universities and smaller private ones both available to international students. Accreditation by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (MOHESR) and other accrediting agencies are granted to these institutions. This guarantees that the education and methods of instruction in these universities are of the highest caliber.

Programs that meet the “gold standard” of the American educational system allow students to continue their studies at a top-tier university while still receiving financial aid and other incentives.

In fact, 11 institutions in the UAE have made it to the 2023 QS World University Rankings list, three of which belong to the top 500. The top higher education institutions are:

  • 181 – Khalifa University
  • 296 – United Arab Emirates University
  • 369 – American University of Sharjah
  • 541-550 – Canadian University of Dubai
  • 601-650 – Al Ain University
  • 601-650 – University of Sharjah
  • 651-700 – Abu Dhabi University
  • 651-700 – Ajman University of Science and Technology
  • 651-700 – American University in Dubai
  • 701-750 – Zayed University
  • 801-1000 – Dubai University College

In addition, Abu Dhabi is now home to branch campuses of top institutions from around the world such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the New York University, the INSEAD, and the Paris-Sorbonne. Some institutions join partnerships like the United Arab Emirates University and the Zayed University. Abu Dhabi has established itself as a leading educational center in the Middle East and the rest of the world.

Top Education Providers

The UAE is home to high-quality institutions, with some of them consistently placing in university rankings. These universities are known to provide excellent instruction matched with cutting-edge facilities for competitive study in the UAE. Some of them are below:

Khalifa University

The Khalifa University of Science and Technology is one of the best choices for international students in the UAE, as it specializes in research and offers academic programs which help students learn beyond the four walls of the classroom. Khalifa University has an 8:1 student-to-faculty ratio and is ranked the best university in the UAE, the 28th best university in Asia, and the 183rd best university in the world.

United Arab Emirates University

As a university focusing on partnerships with employers in the industry, the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) is an excellent choice for students from other countries looking to study in the UAE. As the UAEā€™s flagship university, the UAEU offers academic programs geared toward solving real-life problems and contributing to UAEā€™s progress. UAEU is also ranked 5th best university in the Arab world and 269th best university worldwide.Ā 

American University of Sharjah

The American University of Sharjah (AUS) is a powerhouse in teaching and research, accredited internationally for producing competent graduates equipped with the necessary skills to thrive in the contemporary world. With an emphasis on academic excellence and meritocracy, AUS offers various degree programs at the undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral levels through its four colleges and school.

Moreover, students from around the world can choose from a wide variety of courses while studying in the UAE. Some popular programs of study in the UAE include:

  • Arts
  • Design
  • Architecture
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Medical
  • Economics
  • Biology
  • Computer Science
  • Tourism and Hospitality
  • Business and Management

Scholarships in the UAE

In order to recognize academic excellence and leadership potential, many colleges and organizations in the UAE provide scholarships and grants to outstanding individuals who study in the UAE, whether domestic or international students.

Ministry of Education Scholarship

Exemplary students can continue their undergraduate or graduate studies in various subjects at domestic and foreign universities with the help of scholarships offered by the Ministry of Education.

University Arab Emirates University Full Tuition Scholarship

Students must sustain their academic performance at UAEU and have strong academic credentials to be eligible for the Full Tuition Scholarship. The Full Tuition Scholarship provides eligible students with financial support in the form of a 100% tuition waiver.

Masaar Scholarship

Through the Masaar program, the Federal Authority for Government Human Resources and the Ministry of Finance provide college scholarships to aid a more accessible study in the UAE journey for those finishing their accounting and finance degrees.

Cost of Study in the UAE

A student’s tuition and living expenses in the UAE will be determined by the length of their academic program and the university they attend.

The cost of living in the UAE depends on a studentā€™s lifestyle and the location of the university.

Tuition Fee

Universities in the UAE can charge some of the highest tuition fees in the region. Costs rise when students add in living expenses.

A UAE university or college can set its own tuition fees. A student’s tuition and living expenses in the UAE will be determined by the length of their academic program and the university they attend.

Study Level Cost
Undergraduate program (Dubai)
37,500 AED to 70,000 AED/year
Postgraduate program (Dubai)
55,000 to 75,000 AED/year
Masterā€™s program
48,000 AED to 130,000 AED/year

Cost of Living

Depending on which emirate you choose, you can expect a wide range of living expenses when you study in the UAE. Ideally, you will need a budget of 1,200 AED in the UAE.

University and private accommodation are the two most common forms of housing in the UAE. Both types of housing require a security deposit.

Accommodation Cost
College housing
1,500 AED to 3,000 AED/month
Rented accommodation
5,000 AED/month

Aside from accommodation, here is an overview of the other necessities in the UAE:

Average Restaurant Prices
Grocery (monthly)
900 AED
Meal (inexpensive restaurant)
30 AED
Domestic beer (0.5 Liter)
1.50 AED
Average Market Prices
Milk (1 Liter)
Loaf bread (500g)
3.50 AED
Eggs (12)
7.40 AED
Average Transport Prices
One-way ticket
Monthly pass
264 AED
2.40 AED
Average Utilities Prices
Basic Utility (water, electricity, heating, cooling, etc.)
670 AED
Internet (unlimited data, cable/ADSL)
370 AED
Average Leisure Prices
Fitness Club, monthly fee
305 AED
Cinema, 1 seat
40 AED

Student Visa Requirements for the UAE

A student visa from the United Arab Emirates is required for international students to start their studies in the UAE, with the exception of students from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates.

To start your study in the UAE, the following documents are required to apply for a student visa in the United Arab Emirates:

  • A police clearance certificate
  • A medical examination report
  • Student visa fee payment
  • A recent passport-size photograph
  • Letter of admission from the university in the UAE
  • Student visa application form
  • Proof of funds to support living and schooling expenses
  • A passport with at least six months of validity from the completion of stay

Students can apply for a visa to the UAE online and have it processed in a short amount of time. The student visa is only valid for one year and must be renewed each year.

If you’re thinking about studying abroad, you might want to consider the UAE as your second home. It has proven to be an up-and-coming study destination for international students across the globe.

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