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The United Arab Emirates - A study destination

Updated on April 15, 2014 // Created on June 23, 2013

United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates is also known more commonly as the UAE or the Emirates. It is an Arab country, located in the Middle-East and shares a border with both Oman and Saudi Arabia. The country is divided into seven Emirates, each with their own unique charm and personality (details below). With sunshine 12 months of the year, some of the world’s most impressive structures, one of the most stable countries in the world (politically and economically), miles of beautiful coastline and an incredibly diverse, multi-national population, the UAE is a feast for all the senses.

With over 100 universities and an estimated 800 professional education providers, the UAE is the center of education for the MENA region. Boasting multiple international providers and a vast array of internationally recognized and certified qualifications, it really is an exemplary education destination. It is no wonder then, that the UAE is the regions leader when it comes to the number of international students studying here, standing at an estimated 50,000 in the Universities alone.

The UAE is booming with not just education but employment, innovation and entrepreneurship too. With major sectors such a finance, aviation, engineering, telecoms, media, computing, hospitality, tourism and healthcare all experiencing growth and development here, it is an ideal place to establish or further your career. Some call the UAE ‘the center of now’.

With multiple international airports and the second busiest airport in the world (DBX), it is very easy to travel to and from the UAE from all major world destinations. However, ease of access isn’t the only reason why you should choose the UAE as your education and career destination. The UAE also offers the following:

  • Incredible safety and very little crime
  • A comparably open visa policy
  • Affordable accommodation options
  • A vast array of entertainment options
  • A rich history and culture

So…now you know what the UAE has to offer you, it’s time choose your location;

Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi is the capital of the UAE and is also the political epi-center too. Housing many of the countries ministerial buildings, the National Theatre, UAE Public Library and Cultural Centre and the stunning Emirates Palace, there is no shortage cultural heritage here. Furthermore, Abu Dhabi boasts the very impressive Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, multiple parks and public beaches, Ferrari World and the newly opened Yas Waterpark. The Emirate is also host to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and many public concerts and performances, with stars such as Rihanna and Andrea Bocelli taking to the stage.

Abu Dhabi is home to many international Universities such as New York Institute of Technology (NYIT), Paris Sorbonne University, Strathclyde University and soon New York University (NYU) will also be opening a full campus here. There are also a number of local institutions such as Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT), UAE University’s second campus, Al Khawarizmi International College and the Centre for Excellence in Applied Research and Training (CERT). These together with multiple short course and professional qualification providers, makes Abu Dhabi a serious contender for the education top spot.


If the ‘wow factor’ is your thing, then Dubai could be the choice for you. Almost everything here will make you say ‘wow’. Home to world’s tallest building, the world’s only 7 star hotel, the world’s biggest mall and many other impressive features including the Dubai Fountains, Atlantis Hotel, host to international Tennis, Darts and Rugby championships, miles of immaculately kept public coastline, hundreds of performances every month from Comedy to Opera, from world class super stars to local poets, Dubai is miles ahead when it comes to your entertainment choices.

However, Dubai offers much more than just fun it also features not one but two centers’ of education; Dubai International Academic City (DIAC) and Knowledge Village (KV). Dubai hosts over 50 Universities and an estimated 450 professional and short course providers. Moreover, Dubai is home to the world’s top four higher education systems; American, British, Canadian and Australian. There are also Indian, Pakistani, Russian, French and Iranian Universities amongst others. Dubai is literally bursting with Education and takes the top spot for choice in the UAE.


The third largest Emirate, located just 40 minutes North of Dubai and 10 minutes south of Ajman, Sharjah is considered to be more traditional than some of the other Emirates and was titled ‘Cultural Capital of the Arab World’ by UNESCO in 1998. For those looking for a calmer location, rich in history and heritage and developed according to its Islamic principles, Sharjah may represent a great option for your study destination. There are a multitude of entertainment and cultural heritage destinations including many museums, the Arabian Wildlife Centre, the famous ‘Big Red’ sand-dunes, Al Qasba visitor centre and the stunning Khalid Lagoon Corniche.

Sharjah is home to University City which is located opposite the International Airport on the outskirts of the city. University City is an outstanding site dedicated to education and plays host the Sharjah Men’s College, Sharjah Women’s College, American University of Sharjah, University of Sharjah and Skyline University as well as a University teaching hospital, Police Academy, Centre of Gulf Studies and public library. The site houses many magnificent buildings inspired by Islamic Architecture and is surrounded by beautiful landscaped gardens. As well as the universities there is a series of student accommodation available as well as a mosque and other facilities on site, making it a truly convenient campus location with unparalleled grandeur.


Ajman is the smallest of the Emirates at only 100 square miles and is surrounded by the larger Emirate of Sharjah and has a coastline on the Persian Gulf. Ajman is particularly well-known for its port and creek, which serve it ship building industry. The Emirate has its own small community and a pleasant blend of the old with the new. Bargain shopping in the local Souks in a must as is a trip to the public beaches. The bigger and more densely populated Emirates of Sharjah, Dubai and Ras Al Khaima are all with a one hour drive.

Ajman boasts the only University with its own teaching hospital, Gulf Medical University (GMU) as well as Ajman University of Science and Technology offering a wide range of programs. Both with city center locations, they are within easy reach of the local amenities and offer UAE accredited degrees. There are also a number of providers offering professional certificates and diplomas in finance, accounting, English Language and much more.

Um Al Quwain

Um Al Quwain means the ‘Mother of Two Powers’ named after its powerful seafaring tradition. Um Al Quwain has the best of both traditional and modern outdoor activities. Traditional activities include falconry, bird watching and camping. Whilst the modern comprises Motor Racing Club or going to Dreamland aqua park. If you are all about the ocean you can sail your way to one of the seven of Um Quwatain’s Islands. If you are about being out and about and seeking adventure, then this is the Emirate for you.

One of the newest Universities to reach the UAE is the Emirates Canadian University College (ECUC) and their choice of location is…Um Al Quwain. Currently the only University in the Emirate they offer courses in Business and Language and are committed to the quality of their teaching and have vast research and development ambitions.

Ras Al Khaima (RAK)

Ras Al Khaima is a beautifully conserved historic Emirate. It is located on the East side of the Persian Gulf. It has two main sections Old Ras Al Khaima and Nakheel. Not only is it known for its highly developed industrial sector but nature is also a plus factor here. Expect many 5 star hotels and resorts with breathtaking views on endless greens and high mountains with breezy beaches. When you are in need of beauty this is the place to be. Ras Al Khaima is a well-developed Emirate with all the amenities you could need, it shares a border with the northern most part of Oman and day trips to the Fjords of Kasab are highly recommended for a spot of dolphin watching.

Ras Al Khaima has a number of Universities offering locally and internationally accredited programs across a vast range of subject areas, there is also a University dedicated to medicine and the health sciences. There are also a number of providers offering professional certificates and diplomas.


Fujairah is the only Emirate that has a coastline on the Coast of Oman.  Fujairah is rich with heritage and in fact the first mosque in the emirates was built in here in 1446. Fujairah has a very mountainous terrain, which ensures it has above average yearly rainfalls, and as such is very green. For entertainment there are many cafés, outdoor games arcades, cinemas, mini malls and great sea sports and activities. It is also known as a hiking destination for many. It is a simple Emirate with a gentle pace of life.

Al Ain

Al Ain is not an Emirate and belongs to the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. However, it is a major city and has its own education landscape. Al Ain is also known as Garden City, due to the large beautiful gardens and its gentler climate. It is the second largest city in the Emirates with the highest percentage of Emarati locals living here. It is located East of Abu Dhabi and south of Dubai. Al Ain is the home of a classical music festival every year and is also is the home of one of the most successful football clubs in the UAE. Al Ain also shares a border with Oman and travel into this neighboring country is a common pastime.

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The United Arab Emirates - A study destination

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