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Why Study in UAE: Top Benefits & Courses

Updated on 18 April, 2024

Bulbul Sharma

Bulbul Sharma

Manager- Content @upGrad

If there is one country that can ‘literally’ render the feeling of being on top of the world, it’s the United Arab Emirates or UAE. Home to the tallest manmade structure and hotel, Burj Khalifa and Burj Al Arab, respectively, UAE is a testimony of man’s staggering potential. 

However, skyscrapers are just the beginning. From a worm’s eye view, the country is wildly popular for its wealth of gold, oil, extravagant vacations, exotic pets, luxurious cars, but most importantly, a 4.5-day work week and one of the highest literacy rates in the world – an astounding 95% (including both genders)! 

So, could there be a better reason for choosing UAE for study than the fact that the country prioritizes education? 

Even so, the benefits of studying in the UAE are many – a melting pot of cultures, low rates of crime and violence, amazing people, lack of boredom, and a thriving ex-pat community. 

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Eligibility Criteria for Studying in UAE 

To study in UAE, all international applicants (be it undergraduate or postgraduate studies) need to apply for a student Visa. The requirements for a student visa include the following –

  • The applicant must be at least 18 years old and should have applied to a university within the UAE.
  • In the case of a freshman visa, the applicant must apply for an official letter from their enrolled institution.
  • The applicant needs to have a visa sponsor. This could be the university, a parent, or another relative.
  • The applicant must pass a medical fitness assessment. 
  • The applicant needs the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs approval. 

Besides these, the respective university’s course eligibility criteria will also apply. 

Top 10 Universities in UAE

Curious to know the top universities in UAE? Listed below are the top 10 –                   

Name of the UniversityQS World University Rankings 2023Popular UG CoursePopular PG CoursePopular Ph.D. CourseTuition Fee (Range in AED)
United Arab Emirates University296Business AdministrationBusiness AnalyticsPublic Health86,400 – 130,000
University of Sharjah601 – 650Architectural EngineeringSustainable and Renewable Energy EngineeringCivil Engineering6,000 – 21,000
Zayed University701 – 750Multimedia DesignBusiness AdministrationComputer Science & IT84,000 – 128,000
Abu Dhabi University651 – 700Electrical and Computer EngineeringArchitectureBusiness Administration18,000 – 300,000
Ajman University651 – 700Dental SurgeryUrban DesignLaw140,000 – 270,000
Khalifa University181Biomedical EngineeringAerospace EngineeringChemical Engineering27,200 – 31,000
Dubai University College801 – 1000Entrepreneurship ManagementData ScienceInformation System Security37,500 – 200,000
Al Ain University601 – 650Information TechnologyClinical PharmacyLife Sciences32,000 – 48,000
American University of Sharjah369English Language and LiteratureArt & DesignBusiness Administration50,000 – 250,000
Canadian University Dubai541 – 550Media and CommunicationsMBA in Finance55,000 – 128,000

Academic Cycle: Intakes and Deadlines 

To study abroad in the UAE, international applicants wishing to enroll under Spring intake must keep an eye around the previous year, Fall, specifically the months of September and October. Universities invite applications from the end of September, extending up to October end. 

For Fall international admissions, applications open around the time of January (same year) and extend up to the end of March or April. 

Traditionally, country-wide universities offer trimesters (or three semesters) – Spring, Summer, and Fall. The semesters extend for 15 weeks, 12 weeks, and 15 weeks respectively. 

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Cost of Attendance 

The cost of attendance in UAE includes college tuition, books, and mandatory service fees. Though the exact amount will vary among students based on the university, course, number of subjects, and other factors, here’s a general idea –

Tuition Fees203,424 AED
Registration and Service Fees10,229 AED
Books and Supplies6,354 AED
Health Insurance6,295 AED
Estimated Personal Expenses8,683 AED
Room and Boarding (Meals)43,342 AED
Estimated Travel13,164 AED
Total Cost of Attendance (Estimated)291,491 AED

Pre-Arrival Cost

Pre-arrival or before arriving in UAE, students will mainly encounter student visa fees and travel charges. 

The first-time issuance of the UAE student Visa will cost around 100 AED, and flight charges may range between 1000 to 2000 AED. 

Cost of Living 

The cost of living in UAE is not extremely cheap, yet moderately affordable when done tactfully. This includes choosing a rented apartment in a modest neighborhood, hunting down affordable eateries, buying local, etc. 

On average, living costs in UAE for an international student range from 3,000 AED to 6,000 AED a month. These costs include rent, three meals a day, public transport, data expenses, and other out-of-pocket or miscellaneous expenses. 

Important Read : Top Universities in UAE

Top Recruiters 

Why study in UAE? Well, not only are educational facilities top-notch, but even job opportunities are plenty. Plus, there’s always the solace of a 4.5-day workweek! Listed below are the top recruiters operating in the United Arab Emirates, both government and private portals –

  • Federal Government Job Portal 
  • Abu Dhabi Government Job Portal 
  • Bayt 
  • BAC Executive Recruitment 
  • Michael Page 
  • Charterhouse Middle East
  • Nadia Global 

Career Prospects 

UAE has an exciting job market, experiencing hiring booms, unlike any other country. This is again one of the top reasons to study in the UAE. Albeit, it is true that UAE’s job market is highly competitive. In particular, certain industries and job roles are taking precedence over others as the market recovers from COVID aftermath. 

Listed below are some of the most in-demand jobs in the current UAE market with estimated salary –

Job RoleSalary (Estimated) Per Month
Financial Analysts14,000 AED
Cyber Security Architects27,000 AED
Cloud Engineers11,000 AED
Talent Acquisition Specialists13,000 AED
Legal Counsellors20,000 AED
Chemical Engineers5,000 AED
Risk Managers19,335 AED
Petroleum Engineers22,577 AED

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why study in UAE?

From a purely educational standpoint, UAE actively puts education as a priority. Besides top-quality educational facilities and faculty, UAE offers much in terms of cultural diversity, exotic locations, one-of-its-kind cuisine, and never-seen-before manmade structures. 

What are some of the most popular courses to study in the UAE?

Some of the most sought-after courses in UAE among ex-pats include Hospitality and Tourism, Business Management, Aerospace Engineering, Civil Engineering, and Medical Sciences. 

What is the cost of living in the UAE?

To meet all basic needs comfortably, along with little entertainment and luxury, one can expect to spend at least 3000 AED in UAE every month. 

Can students work while studying in the UAE?

Yes, both domestic and international students are allowed to work part-time while studying in UAE. All they need to ensure is fulfilling relevant legal and university requirements. 

Bulbul Sharma

Manager- Content @upGrad

Bulbul is a self-driven professional and an expert writer & editor. She has been a part of the ed-tech industry for the past 2 years now and is motivated to provide study abroad aspirants with factually correct and relevant information. Her knack for impactful writing makes her blogs worth a read!

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