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Study in Dubai for International Students 2024: Top Universities, Fees, Education, and Courses

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Study in Dubai for International Students: Top Universities, Courses, and Fees

Are you planning to study in Dubai, the gateway to the Middle East? After all, the city is famous for its unique blend of modernity, diversity, and opportunity. Naturally, this combination makes it a perfect choice for international students pursuing higher education in a dynamic and cosmopolitan environment. In this blog, we will explore how to study in Dubai for international students, including the best universities, the affordable fees, the quality of education, the scholarship options, and the courses available. Read on to find out how you can make your dream of studying in Dubai a reality!

cta
Number of UniversitiesOver 60, including international branches
Academic YearSeptember to May
Popular CoursesBusiness, Engineering, IT, Hospitality, Healthcare
Tuition Fees (average)AED 40,000/year (public universities)AED 60,000/year (private universities)
Living Expenses (average)AED 6,000-10,000/month
English Language RequirementIELTS, TOEFL
Admission RequirementsHigh school diploma, English test scores, statement of purpose, letters of recommendation (varies with university)
Tax on IncomeNone for students

Study in Dubai: Overview

With more than 65 colleges and universities, many of which are branch campuses of top-ranking international institutions. Dubai offers various programs, from bachelor’s to master’s, diplomas to certificates, in fields like business, engineering, hospitality, media, and more. It also has a dedicated free trade zone for academic institutions, called the Dubai International Academic City (DIAC), which provides state-of-the-art facilities and services for students and faculty.

The demand for higher education in Dubai is growing, as seen by the annual increase in student enrolment at international universities. In 2023, Dubai reported an 8% rise in student enrolment, reaching more than 29,000 students. The majority of international students in Dubai come from India, followed by other Middle Eastern countries, Pakistan, and China.

Must Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nF7wlNj0m-4 

Why Study in Dubai?

Studying in Dubai for international students comes with multiple benefits. Apart from learning at some of the world’s top universities on its land, such as Heriot-Watt University and Murdoch University, here’s what makes Dubai a popular study-abroad destination:

  1. Generous visa policies that allow students to work part-time, extend their stay after graduation, and apply for long-term residency if they are exceptionally talented.
  2. A robust economy and a high standard of living, with opportunities for career development and entrepreneurship.
  3. A diverse culture with a mix of traditions and modernity, and a thriving nightlife.
  4. A strategic location within the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia (MENASA) region, with easy access to other countries and markets.

Universities to Study in Dubai for International Students

Dubai has numerous institutes of higher education for international students, both local and international. The city has 5 public universities and 58 private universities, whose primary teaching languages are Arabic and English respectively. Given below are the names of both types of institutions:

Local Universities in Dubai

  1. Al Ghurair University (AGU)
  2. University of Dubai (UD)
  3. Zayed University
  4. Biotechnology University College Dubai (BUC)
  5. The Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT)
  6. The Dubai Medical College for Girls 
  7. Hamdan Bin Mohammed e-University
  8. Institute of Management Technology in Dubai 
  9. Dubai School of Government
  10. Dubai School of Dental Medicine

International Universities in Dubai

  1. American University in Dubai (AUD)
  2. University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD)
  3. British University in Dubai (BUiD)
  4. American University in the Emirates (AUE)
  5. Canadian University of Dubai (CUD) 
  6. University of Birmingham, Dubai Campus
  7. Heriot-Watt University, Dubai Campus
  8. Curtin University, Dubai Campus
  9. Strathclyde Business School, Dubai
  10. Islamic Azad University UAE Branch 
  11. Middlesex University, Dubai Campus
  12. Saint-Petersburg State University of Engineering & Economics, Dubai Branch
  13. Murdoch University, Dubai 
  14. Manipal University, Dubai
  15. Manchester University Dubai
  16. Rochester Institute of Technology, Dubai
  17. Hult International Business School

Also Read: Top Universities in UAE for International Students 2024

Study in Dubai for International Students: Cost

At the minimum, the cost of study in Dubai for international students will be around AED 70,000 – 80,000 per year. The average cost goes up to AED 100,000 – 120,000 per year. It also varies with multiple factors, like the type of institution (public or private), course level, and the student’s nationality. Here’s a general breakdown of the tuition fees that students can expect to pay for public and private universities in Dubai:

University TypeTuition Fees
PublicAED 40,000 – 70,000 per year
PrivateAED 60,000 – 150,000 per year

Besides academic expenses, students must also plan for major living costs that will be incurred while studying in Dubai. Given below is a rough estimate:

ExpenseCost
AccommodationAED 3,000 per month
FoodAED 1,500 – 3,000 per month
TransportationAED 200 per month
Utilities (basic)AED 500 – 1,000 per month

Here are some miscellaneous costs that you need to keep in mind:

ExpenseCost
Airfare from India to DubaiAED 1,500
Visa FeesAED 7,000

Universities in Dubai cater to a large global student population, providing them with top-notch choices in various disciplines according to their academic and career goals. Given below are the 10 most popular courses to study in Dubai for international students:

  1. Tourism & Hospitality Management
  2. Business & Management
  3. Aerospace Engineering
  4. Accounts and Finance
  5. Computer Science
  6. Life Sciences and Medicine
  7. Psychology
  8. Design
  9. Civil Engineering/Construction Management
  10. Architecture

Scholarships to Study in Dubai for International Students

Since it can be quite expensive to study in Dubai for international students, they can also avail of scholarships and financial aid that their chosen university offers. There are government scholarships and scholarships from external organizations

Scholarship NameEligibilityAmount
The Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation ScholarshipsHigh-achieving students from around the worldCovers full tuition fees, monthly living allowance, health insurance, and travel costs
American University in Dubai (AUD) ScholarshipsStudents with outstanding academic records, exceptional talents, or financial needUp to full tuition fees
University of Dubai ScholarshipsHigh-achieving students from specific countries or regionsVaries depending on the scholarship
Zayed University ScholarshipsHigh-achieving students from around the worldUp to full tuition fees
Middlesex University Dubai ScholarshipsStudents with outstanding academic records, exceptional talents, or financial needUp to full tuition fees
Canadian University Dubai Scholarships:Students with outstanding academic records, exceptional talents, or financial needUp to full tuition fees
Khalifa University Master’s ScholarshipsHigh-achieving students pursuing Master’s degrees in STEM fieldsUp to full tuition fees and a monthly stipend
Heriot-Watt University Dubai ScholarshipsStudents with outstanding academic records, exceptional talents, or financial needUp to full tuition fees
MODUL University Dubai ScholarshipsStudents with outstanding academic records, exceptional talents, or financial needUp to full tuition fees
Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University ScholarshipsHigh-achieving students pursuing degrees in relevant fieldsUp to full tuition fees and a monthly stipend

Also Read: A Guide to the UAE Education System: Foundation and Focus, Structure and Stages, Challenges & Future

Dubai Student Visa

As per their need, there are 3 types of student visas available to study in Dubai for international students, namely:

  1. Dubai student visa sponsored by family – Students below 18 (for males only) who enrol for higher education in Dubai through their parents’ sponsorship.
  2. Dubai study visa sponsored by an Educator – Sponsored by the institute the student is enrolled in.
  3. Dubai student visa for a short stay – A 60-day visa to stay in Dubai (can be extended if required).

Who’s Eligible?

Here are the general eligibility criteria to apply for a student visa to study in Dubai for international students:

  1. Valid Passport with at least 6 months validity remaining and having two blank visa pages (one for the visa and one for entry stamps).
  2. An official acceptance letter from a recognized university or educational institution in Dubai.
  3. Proof of financial stability to demonstrate sufficient monetary resources to cover your tuition fees, living expenses, and travel costs. 
  4. Fulfilling the academic requirements for your chosen program.
  5. Proof of English language proficiency through tests like IELTS or TOEFL.
  6. Undergoing a medical examination and obtaining a medical fitness certificate from a government-approved health centre in the UAE. 
  7. Proof of your accommodation in Dubai, like a student housing contract or tenancy agreement.
  8. Valid travel insurance

Additional Requirements:

For a 5-year Student Visa, you need to be an outstanding student with:

  • Secondary Education – Minimum 95% score in graduation from a public or private secondary school.
  • University Graduates – Minimum GPA of 3.75 from a university within or outside the UAE.

How to Apply for a Dubai Student Visa?

Applying for a Dubai student visa involves several steps, and the specific process may vary depending on your nationality and chosen university. Here’s a general overview:

  1. Gather the necessary documents required for visa application.
  2. Apply online through the University portal or a visa application centre near you.
  3. Submit your application and documents. Ensure all documents are complete, accurate, and meet the required format and language.
  4. Submit your application along with the necessary fees through your chosen method.
  5. Certain nationalities might require an additional medical test at a designated clinic (if applicable).
  6. Track your application and collect your visa. Visa processing times can vary. 

Validity and Renewal

The visa to study in Dubai for international students has a validity of 1 year, which needs to be renewed every academic year. If the student leaves UAE for more than 6 months, the visa becomes invalid. The said student then needs to apply for a new student visa. 

Admission Requirements

The admission requirements for international students to study in Dubai varies with student’s choice of university and programme. But given below are some general requirements:

  1. A valid passport and a student visa.
  2. A high school diploma or equivalent, with a minimum percentage or GPA as specified by the university.
  3. Proof of English language proficiency, such as IELTS or TOEFL scores.
  4. Additional documents, such as transcripts, recommendation letters, personal statements, portfolios, or entrance tests, depending on the programme and the university.

How to Apply?

The application process to study in Dubai for international students will vary with the choice of university and program. However, some of the common steps are:

  1. Select the university and programme that suit your interests and qualifications.
  2. Find out the entry requirements for your chosen programme, including necessary documents and required tests.
  3. Be ready with the documents that you need to submit with your application. Make sure that they are valid, complete, and attested if required.
  4. Submit the online application form on the university’s website. You may need to create an account and fill in your personal and academic details. 
  5. You may also need to upload your documents and pay the application fee, if applicable.
  6. Wait for the university’s response. You may receive an offer letter, a conditional offer letter, or a rejection letter. If you receive an offer letter, you need to accept it and pay the tuition deposit, if required. 
  7. If you receive a conditional offer letter, you need to meet the conditions and submit the proof before the deadline. If you receive a rejection letter, you may contact the university for feedback or apply to another university.
  8. Apply for a student visa. You may also need to undergo a security check and pay the visa fee. You can apply for a student visa online through the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) website or through the university (if they offer visa services).
  9. Prepare for your arrival. You need to book your flight, arrange your accommodation, pack your luggage, and exchange your currency. 
  10. You may also need to register for orientation, enrol for courses, and pay the tuition fee. You can contact the university for any assistance or guidance.

Documents Required

Here are some of the common documents required to study in Dubai for international students:

  • A valid passport and a student visa.
  • A high school diploma or equivalent, with a minimum percentage or GPA as specified by the university.
  • Proof of English language proficiency, such as IELTS or TOEFL scores.
  • A certificate of admission or acceptance letter from the university.
  • A medical certificate issued by a government-approved health centre in the UAE.
  • A student declaration form and a bonafide certificate from the Indian educational institution, if applicable.
  • A passport copy of the parent and NOC, if the student is a minor.

Post-Study Work Opportunities

Dubai is a global hub for business, tourism, and innovation. This makes it an attractive destination for students seeking not only a quality education but also potential career opportunities post-graduation. The city offers a 6-month grace period visa extension after students complete their studies to actively search for employment.

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FAQs

Q.1 Is Dubai a safe and welcoming environment for international students?

Ans. Yes, Dubai is generally considered a safe city with a low crime rate. The government prioritizes safety and security for residents and visitors. However, it’s important to be respectful of local customs and laws to have a smooth experience.

What are the most popular courses for international students in Dubai?

Ans. While offering a wide range of programs to choose from, here are some popular courses to study in Dubai for international students:

1. Business and Management, 
2. Engineering and Technology
3. Hospitality and Tourism
4. Data Science 
5. AI

Q.3 What scholarship options are available for international students in Dubai?

Ans. Several scholarship options exist for international students in Dubai, including government scholarships, university scholarships, and external scholarships.

We hope that this blog gave you a complete overview of how to study in Dubai for international students. To explore more study-abroad destinations, tune into Leverage Edu today. Thank you for reading!

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